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The role of collective action in the marketing of underutilized plant species: Lessons from a case study on minor millets in South India

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  • Gruère, Guillaume
  • Nagarajan, Latha
  • King, E.D.I. Oliver

Abstract

Underutilized plant species are generally defined by their unexploited economic potential, making them an appropriate focus for market development. This paper analyses the role of collective action in the process of market development for minor millets, an underutilized plant species, in the Kolli Hills of Tamil Nadu, India. Based on a series of focus group discussions, we analyze the role and involvement of self-help groups in the minor millet marketing chain recently set up by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. We then compare the role of collective action in this new market with the cases of marketing chains for cassava and organic pineapples, two cash crops with expanding production in the same area. Our analysis shows the critical role of collective action as a necessary but not sufficient condition for the successful commercialization of underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor and the conservation of agro-biodiversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 39-45

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:1:p:39-45

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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Keywords: Underutilized species Agricultural marketing Collective action Agro-biodiversity;

References

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  1. Bebbington, Anthony, 1996. "Organizations and intensifications: Campesino federations, rural livelihoods and agricultural technology in the Andes and Amazonia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1161-1177, July.
  2. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Di Gregorio, Monica & McCarthy, Nancy, 2004. "Methods for studying collective action in rural development:," CAPRi working papers 33, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Poulton, Colin & Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: New Directions for Services, Institutions, and Intermediation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1413-1428, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Raghu, P.T. & Das, S. & Ravi, S.B. & King, E.D.I.O, 2012. "Use of Contingent Valuation to Assess Farmer Preference for On-farm Conservation of Minor Millets: Case from South India," MPRA Paper 43348, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Prabhakaran T. Raghu & Sukanya Das & S. Bala Ravi & E.D.Israel Oliver King, 2012. "Assessing Farmer’s Willingness to Participate in the On-farm Conservation of Minor Millet using Direct Compensation Payment," Working Papers 2012-073, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  3. Gea Galluzzi & Isabel López Noriega, 2014. "Conservation and Use of Genetic Resources of Underutilized Crops in the Americas—A Continental Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(2), pages 980-1017, February.

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