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Quality control in nonstaple food markets: evidence from India

Listed author(s):
  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Ruth Vargas Hill
  • Bart Minten

Using original survey data collected on growers, traders, processors, markets, and village communities, we will compare the situation in four states: Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Orissa. We examine the way that information about crop attributes is conveyed (or not) along the value chain. We find that little information circulates about unobservable crop characteristics. Growers receive a price premium when they dry, grade, and pack their produce, but we find no evidence that information about crop salubrity or agricultural practices circulates through the value chain or that growers are encouraged to follow specific agricultural practices for quality purposes. Market infrastructure is deficient regarding sanitation, with few public toilets, inadequate drainage, and no coordinated pest control. Copyright (c)2008 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2008.00297.x
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Article provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (05)
Pages: 251-266

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Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:38:y:2008:i:3:p:251-266
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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill, 2005. "Selling at the Farmgate or Traveling to Market," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 717-734.
  2. Johannes Hörner, "undated". ""Reputation and Competition''," CARESS Working Papres 99-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, July.
  4. A. Banerji & J.V. Meenakshi, 2004. "Buyer Collusion and Efficiency of Government Intervention in Wheat Markets in Northern India: An Asymmetric Structural Auctions Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 236-253.
  5. Jeffrey M. Perloff & Steven C. Salop, 1985. "Equilibrium with Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 107-120.
  6. Aparna Sawhney, 2005. "Quality Measures in Food Trade: The Indian Experience," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 329-348, 03.
  7. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 2001. "Property Rights in a Flea Market Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 229-267, January.
  8. Storm, Servaas, 1997. "Agriculture under trade policy reform: A quantitative assessment for India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 425-436, March.
  9. Ramaswami, B. & Balakrishnan, P., 2002. "Food prices and the efficiency of public intervention: the case of the public distribution system in India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 419-436.
  10. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Patillo & Måns Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2000. "Contract flexibility and dispute resolution in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 1-37.
  11. Timothy Conley & Udry Christopher, 2001. "Social Learning Through Networks: The Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies in Ghana," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 668-673.
  12. Parikh, Kirit S. & Narayana, N. S. S. & Panda, Manoj & Kumar, A. Ganesh, 1997. "Agricultural trade liberalization: growth, welfare and large country effects," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 1-20, October.
  13. Johannes Hörner, 2002. "Reputation and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 644-663, June.
  14. Theodosios B. Palaskas & Barbara Harriss-White, 1996. "The identification of market exogeneity and market dominance by tests instead of assumption: An application to Indian material," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 111-123.
  15. Singh, Sukhpal, 2002. "Contracting Out Solutions: Political Economy of Contract Farming in the Indian Punjab," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1621-1638, September.
  16. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill & Bart Minten, 2008. "Quality control in nonstaple food markets: evidence from India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 251-266, 05.
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