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Market Systems Development Initiative (MSDI)

The Market Systems Development Initiative (MSDI) seeks to increase Hawaiʻi County’s collective capacity to build competitiveness and sustainability in its local economy. The initiative is based upon an approach and set of guiding principles now used in over 60 countries worldwide to reduce poverty by leveraging the full potential of markets. The term market systems refers to the lens through which we seek to understand the ecosystem surrounding economic clusters in Hawaiʻi County. A market systems development approach is the set of guiding principles we use for facilitating improvements in market performance that benefit underserved and socially disadvantaged populations within those clusters.

The purpose of the MSDI is to strengthen Hawaiʻi County’s capacity for joint public-private economic analysis and action. It seeks to leverage the full potential of market driven growth to increase employment, income and resiliency in the county.  The initiative is focused on building market system capabilities over a five-year period through six separate but interrelated components:

  1. Economic Clusters of Opportunity Analysis and Planning. Obtain and analyze county-wide data to identify and examine high potential growth clusters for Hawaiʻi County’s economy to determine shared strategies for enhanced job and income growth where it is needed most.

  2. Train a multi-stakeholder team of experienced professionals working in support roles within the agriculture sector to understand market ecosystems and to facilitate shared public-private analysis of high potential agricultural value chains.

  3. Establish teams to carry out value chain analysis on Staple Food Crops, Export Crops and Agribusiness Support Services. The value chain analysis will identify innovations aimed at improving local competitiveness and growth opportunities.

  4. Increase collaboration, leadership and equity throughout the agriculture cluster’s market ecosystem, lowering the barriers to cooperation through collective action working with the Hawaiʻi Island Agriculture Partnership (HIAP) and Hawaiʻi Island Food Alliance (HIFA).

  5. Introduce innovations for overcoming systemic constraints in high potential value chains by piloting and testing proposed solutions. Identify potential pilot projects to test proposed innovations with industry partners that can be scaled up for widespread impact.

  6. Build market access for local products, gathering, sharing and jointly analyzing market data and designing a new marketing initiative for local value-added agricultural products.

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