With public sector funding stalled in many developing countries, much is expected
from local private investment for generating the finances required to develop
essential services, such as water supply and irrigation. This philosophy is known
as the ‘market creation approach’, and involves creating viable business chains
for affordable products and services for the poor. This paper reviews one attempt
at market creation; selling treadle pumps in North Bengal, India. Treadle pumps
are ergonomically superior manual irrigation pumps, which in principle can lift a
family out of poverty.
The paper analyses five seasons of promoting and setting up supply chains for the
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