Given that 90% of Papua New Guinea’s poor are living in rural areas and over 80% of the poor are rural-based semi-subsistence smallholder farmers, programs to promote sustainable economic development are critical to poverty alleviation. Most farmers are participating in some form of informal or formal market. By strengthening the markets themselves, improving farmer’s access to these markets, increasing productivity, reducing limiting regulations and policy, building entrepreneurial skills and new enterprises, farmers are able to generate income and enhance their livelihoods. These strategies were central to the concept of private sector development, which sought to promote economic growth and reducing poverty in developing countries by building private enterprises.

Private sector-led development (PSD) can seem complex and is often foreign to traditional research projects that focus mainly on research outputs. The five research for development (R4D) projects of TADEP contributed to longer-term and aspirational research and development impacts by capitalising on private sector development at varying levels.