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Tomato Farmer Participation in Supermarket Market Channels in Guatemala: Determinants and Technology and Income Effects

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Author Info

  • Hernandez, Ricardo
  • Reardon, Thomas
  • Berdegue, Julio A.

Abstract

The paper shows that in a comparison between supermarket channels (working via dedicated wholesalers) and traditional channels, farmers selling to supermarkets tend to be in the upper-end of the "small farmer" category (whereas the traditional-channel growers are in the smaller end), have more capital (in particular, irrigation, which allows them to supply all year and attain greater productivity and consistency), and be much more specialized in commercial horticulture in general and in tomatoes in particular, as compared to the traditional farmers. While they have higher yields, they also have higher input use, including use of chemicals, and these greater input expenditures (accompanied by more credit and technical assistance from the chemical companies) means that their profit rate is roughly similar to the farmers in the traditional channel. They tell us that they prefer still the more demanding wholesale-supermarket channel because it offers a lower risk and lower transaction cost outlet for the variety of their qualities and grades, all year. In turn, the supermarkets, who do not buy direct but rather source from a few dedicated wholesalers, rely on this year-round supply, lower transaction costs, and consistency. While the share of supermarkets in the produce market in Guatemala is still minor, these results mean merely that the more capitalized-tier of small farmers enjoy some advantages with the new channel, but also some entry costs that the traditional farmers as of yet do not face. As the supermarket channel grows, it is expected that more and more farmers will need to capitalized in ways that will either make them competitive in the new market, or in the traditional markets that will doubtless evolve to maintain competitiveness themselves. Development programs over the medium-long run will need to take into account the changing nature of farm-level investments thus implied.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/11771
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 11771.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:11771

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Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
Phone: (517) 355-4563
Fax: (517) 432-1800
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Web page: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/
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Related research

Keywords: Industrial Organization; Marketing;

References

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  1. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  4. Manski, Charles F & Lerman, Steven R, 1977. "The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice Based Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-88, November.
  5. Lau, Lawrence J & Yotopoulos, Pan A, 1971. "A Test for Relative Efficiency and Application to Indian Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 94-109, March.
  6. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1985. "A Theory of Contractual Structure in Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 352-67, June.
  7. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  8. Hamish R. Gow & Johan F. M. Swinnen, 2001. "Private Enforcement Capital and Contract Enforcement in Transition Economies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 686-690.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Berdegue, Julio A. & Reardon, Thomas & Balsevich, Fernando & Martinez, Anabel & Medina, Ruben & Aguirre, Marx & Echanove, Flavia, 2006. "Supermarkets and Michoacan Guava Farmers in Mexico," Staff Papers 11474, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, Peter & Reardon, Thomas, 2010. "The Rural Non-farm Economy: Prospects for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1429-1441, October.

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