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Quality control in nonstaple food markets: evidence from India

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Ruth Vargas Hill
  • Bart Minten

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:38:y:2008:i:3:p:251-266
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johannes Hörner, 2002. "Reputation and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 644-663, June.
    2. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Jeffrey M. Perloff & Steven C. Salop, 1985. "Equilibrium with Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 107-120.
    5. Aparna Sawhney, 2005. "Quality Measures in Food Trade: The Indian Experience," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 329-348, March.
    6. Storm, Servaas, 1997. "Agriculture under trade policy reform: A quantitative assessment for India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 425-436, March.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Minten, Bart & Reardon, Thomas & Singh, K.M. & Sutradhar, Rajib, 2010. "The benefit of cold storages: Evidence from Bihar," MPRA Paper 54345, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Dec 2010.
    2. Minten, Bart & Reardon, Thomas & Sutradhar, Rajib, 2010. "Food Prices and Modern Retail: The Case of Delhi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1775-1787, December.
    3. Bart Minten & Anneleen Vandeplas & Johan Swinnen, 2011. "Regulations, Brokers, and Interlinkages: The Institutional Organization of Wholesale Markets in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 864-886, May.
    4. Gajate-Garrido, Gissele & Hoffmann, Vivian & Magnan, Nicholas & Opoku, Nelson, 2016. "Technological and Market Interventions for Aflatoxin Control in Ghana: Preliminary Findings," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236267, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z., 2006. "Agricultural markets in Benin and Malawi," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 1(1), December.

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