The project aimed to identify institutional interventions that would improve market access for poor maize producers in remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, who had been adversely affected by the transition from state-controlled to liberalised marketing systems. It aimed to make it viable for farmers to participate more fully in national maize markets by raising prices and reducing uncertainty through improved sales opportunities, whilst also making it easier for traders to do business in the areas concerned. The findings of the project are, however, that the competitiveness of maize in three out of four study areas has fallen too far for marketbased interventions alone to achieve these aims. A more appropriate strategy might be to look for higher value crops upon which local agricultural development efforts can be based. In the light of DFID’s focus on “sustainable livelihoods”, the concentration of the project on one particular crop now seems somewhat inappropriate.