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Small Farmers and Big Retail: trade-offs of supplying supermarkets in Nicaragua

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  • Michelson, Hope
  • Reardon, Thomas
  • Perez, Francisco Jose

Abstract

In Nicaragua and elsewhere in Central America, small-scale farmers are weighing the risks of entering into contracts with supermarket chains. We use unique data on negotiated prices from Nicaraguan farm cooperatives supplying supermarkets to study the impact of supply agreements on producers’ mean output prices and price stability. We find that prices paid by the domestic retail chain approximate the traditional market in mean and variance. In contrast, we find that mean prices paid by Wal-mart are significantly lower than the traditional market but that Wal-Mart systematically reduces price volatility compared with the traditional market. We find some evidence, however, that farmers may be paying too much for this contractual insurance against price variation.

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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 62124.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:62124

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Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
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Fax: (517) 432-1800
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Web page: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/
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Keywords: Nicaragua; Supermarkets; Wal-Mart; Modern Retail; Market Risk; Contracts; Supply Chains; Agribusiness; International Development;

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References

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  1. Peter Gibbon, 2003. "Value-chain Governance, Public Regulation and Entry Barriers in the Global Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Chain into the EU," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(5-6), pages 615-625, December.
  2. Johan F. M. Swinnen & Miet Maertens, 2007. "Globalization, privatization, and vertical coordination in food value chains in developing and transition countries," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 89-102, December.
  3. Kirsten, Johann F. & Sartorius, Kurt, 2002. "Linking Agribusiness And Small-Scale Farmers In Developing Countries: Is There A New Role For Contract Farming?," Working Papers 18025, University of Pretoria, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development.
  4. Reardon, Thomas & Barrett, Christopher B., 2000. "Agroindustrialization, globalization, and international development An overview of issues, patterns, and determinants," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 23(3), September.
  5. Michelson, Hope & Reardon, Thomas & Perez, Francisco, 2012. "Small Farmers and Big Retail: Trade-offs of Supplying Supermarkets in Nicaragua," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 342-354.
  6. Maertens, Miet & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Trade, Standards, and Poverty: Evidence from Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-178, January.
  7. Abadie A., 2002. "Bootstrap Tests for Distributional Treatment Effects in Instrumental Variable Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 284-292, March.
  8. David Boselie & Spencer Henson & Dave Weatherspoon, 2003. "Supermarket Procurement Practices in Developing Countries: Redefining the Roles of the Public and Private Sectors," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1155-1161.
  9. Ricardo Hernández & Thomas Reardon & Julio Berdegué, 2007. "Supermarkets, wholesalers, and tomato growers in Guatemala," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(3), pages 281-290, 05.
  10. Key, Nigel & Runsten, David, 1999. "Contract Farming, Smallholders, and Rural Development in Latin America: The Organization of Agroprocessing Firms and the Scale of Outgrower Production," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 381-401, February.
  11. C. Dolan & J. Humphrey, 2000. "Governance and Trade in Fresh Vegetables: The Impact of UK Supermarkets on the African Horticulture Industry," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 147-176.
  12. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Holt, Matthew T, 1996. "Economic Behavior under Uncertainty: A Joint Analysis of Risk Preferences and Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 329-35, May.
  13. Reardon, Thomas & Barrett, Christopher B., 2000. "Agroindustrialization, globalization, and international development: An overview of issues, patterns, and determinants," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 195-205, September.
  14. Jose Blandon & Spencer Henson & Towhidul Islam, 2009. "Marketing preferences of small-scale farmers in the context of new agrifood systems: a stated choice model," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 251-267.
  15. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Trebbin, Anika, 2014. "Linking small farmers to modern retail through producer organizations – Experiences with producer companies in India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 35-44.
  2. Michelson, Hope C., 2012. "Small farmers, NGOs, and a Walmart World: Welfare effects of supermarkets operating in Nicaragua," MPRA Paper 42458, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Michelson, Hope & Reardon, Thomas & Perez, Francisco Jose, 2010. "Small Farmers and Big Retail: trade-offs of supplying supermarkets in Nicaragua," Staff Papers 62124, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  4. Rao, Elizaphan J.O. & Brummer, Bernhard & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Farmer Participation in Supermarket Channels, Production Technology, and Efficiency: The Case of Vegetables in Kenya," Discussion Papers 113508, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  5. Andersson, Camilla I.M. & Kiria, Christine G. & Qaim, Matin & Rao, Elizaphan J.O., 2013. "Following up on smallholder farmers and supermarkets," Discussion Papers 158142, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  6. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bachke, Maren E. & Bellemare, Marc F. & Michelson, Hope C. & Narayanan, Sudha & Walker, Thomas F., 2010. "Smallholder Participation in Agricultural Value Chains: Comparative Evidence from Three Continents," MPRA Paper 27829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Rao, Elizaphan J.O. & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Supermarkets and agricultural labor demand in Kenya: A gendered perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 165-176.
  8. Michelson, Hope & Boucher, Steve & Bai, Junfei & Jia, Xiangping & Huang, Jikun & Chen, Xinzhe, 2013. "Supermarket Supply Chains with Chinese Characteristics: The Case of Walmart's Direct Farms," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150441, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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