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Cooperatives for staple crop marketing: Evidence from Ethiopia

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Author Info

  • Bernard, Tanguy
  • Spielman, David J.
  • Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu
  • Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z.

Abstract

Rural producer organizations, such as farmers' organizations or rural cooperatives, offer a means for smallholder farmers in developing countries to sell their crops commercially. They hold particular promise for Sub-Saharan Africa, where small-scale farming is the primary livelihood but commercialization of foodcrops is very limited. Using the experience of smallholders in Ethiopia as a case study, this research monograph identifies the benefits of rural producer organizations for small farmers, as well as the conditions under which such organizations most successfully promote smallholder commercialization. The evidence from Ethiopia indicates that they do increase farmers' profits from crop sales, but that the beneficiaries do not tend to be the poorest smallholders. Moreover, a rural producer organization's marketing effectiveness is precarious: it can easily diminish if the number or diversity of its members increases or if it provides more nonmarketing services. The authors conclude that these organizations have a role to play in the agricultural development of Sub-Saharan Africa, but that role should be complemented by other programs that directly target the poorest farmers. Further, the effectiveness of rural producer organizations should be preserved by allowing them to follow their own agendas rather than being encouraged to take on nonmarketing activities. The assessment of rural producer organizations presented in this monograph should be a valuable resource for policymakers and researchers concerned with economic development and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series Research reports with number 164.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:resrep:164

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Related research

Keywords: Agricultural development; economic growth; Food security Africa; Poverty reduction; Rural poverty; Rural producer organizations (RPOs); Smallholders;

References

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  1. C. Peter Timmer, 1997. "Farmers and Markets: The Political Economy of New Paradigms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 621-627.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rodrigo, Maria F., 2012. "Do cooperatives benefit the poor? Evidence from Ethiopia," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 130545, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Woldu, Thomas & Tadesse, Fanaye & Waller, Marie-Katherine, 2013. "Women’s participation in agricultural cooperatives in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 57, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Diao, Xinshen & Kennedy, Adam & Badiane, Ousmane & Cossar, Frances & Dorosh, Paul & Ecker, Olivier & Hagos, Hosaena Ghebru & Headey, Derek & Mabiso, Athur & Makombe, Tsitsi & Malek, Mehrab & Schmidt, , 2013. "Evidence on key policies for African agricultural growth:," IFPRI discussion papers 1242, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Minten, Bart & Koro, Bethlehem & Stifel, David, 2013. "The last mile(s) in modern input distribution: Evidence from Northwestern Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 51, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Minten, Bart & Stifel, David & Tamru, Seneshaw, 2012. "Structural transformation in Ethiopia: Evidence from cereal markets:," ESSP working papers 39, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Rashid, Shahidur & Negassa, Asfaw, 2011. "Policies and performance of Ethiopian cereal markets:," ESSP working papers 21, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Minten, Bart & Tamru, Seneshaw & Engida, Ermias & Kuma, Tadesse, 2013. "Using evidence in unraveling food supply chains in Ethiopia: The supply chain of teff from major production areas to Addis Ababa:," ESSP working papers 54, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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