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Supermarkets, New-Generation Wholesalers, Tomato Farmers, and NGOs in Nicaragua

  • Balsevich, Fernando
  • Berdegue, Julio A.
  • Reardon, Thomas

Based on a survey of 145 tomato farmers and interviews with supermarket chains, NGOs, wholesalers, and farmer organizations in 2004, this paper examines the determinants and effects of farmers' participation in supermarket channels, with and without assistance from NGOs in "business linkage" programs. It finds that absent that assistance, the farmers that work with supermarket chains tend to be the "upper tier" of small farmers, better capitalized with various assets. The smaller and less-capitalized farmers that work with supermarkets tend to do so in association with NGO assistance. Despite higher input expenditures and entry requirements, farmers in the supermarket chain earn more. The paper discusses the issue of whether this development program approach is sustainable and can be upscaled, and wrestles with the tradeoff of helping poor farmers gain access to dynamic markets, of making it affordable at a larger scale by national governments with tight budgets, and at the same time field programs that are market-sustainable and market-responsive.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/11479
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Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 11479.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:11479
Contact details of provider: 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
Web page: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/
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  1. 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.
  2. Hueth, Brent & Ligon, Ethan & Wolf, Stephen & Wu, Steven, 1999. "Incentive Instruments in Agricultural Contracts: Input Control, Monitoring, Quality Measurement, and Price Risk," Staff General Research Papers 5237, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
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