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Linking Smallholders to the New Agricultural Economy: An Evaluation of the Plataformas Program in Ecuador

  • Romina Cavatassi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Mario González

    (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC)

  • Paul Winters

    (American University, Washington, DC)

  • Jorge Andrade-Piedra

    (International Potato Center, Quito, Ecuador)

  • Graham Thiele

    (International Potato Center, Lima, Peru)

  • Patricio Espinosa

    (International Potato Centre, Quito, Ecuador)

This paper analyzes the impact of participation in multi-stakeholder platforms (Plataformas) aimed at linking smallholder potato farmers to the market in the mountain region of Ecuador. It describes and evaluates the Plataformas’ program to determine whether it has been successful in linking farmers to higher-value markets and the effects that such connections have brought, particularly with regard to farmers’ welfare and to the environment. The analysis is run comparing a set of different and carefully constructed control groups to beneficiaries and using various specifications. Results are strongly consistent across the different specifications and are sound across the counterfactuals, suggesting impacts are adequately identified. Findings suggest that the program was successful in improving the welfare of beneficiaries, while potential negative environmental impacts, particularly with relation to agrobiodiversity and use of agrochemicals seem not to be a concern. Mechanisms through which impacts have been achieved are analyzed. Little spillover effects are found.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 09-06.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0906
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  1. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  3. Barrett, Christopher B. & Barbier, Edward B. & Reardon, Thomas, 2001. "Agroindustrialization, globalization, and international development: the environmental implications," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(04), pages 419-433, October.
  4. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  5. Jessica Erin Todd & Paul Winters & Tom Hertz, 2010. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Agricultural Production: Lessons from the Oportunidades Experience in Mexico," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 39-67.
  6. Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "On the Role of the Propensity Score in Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 315-332, March.
  7. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," NBER Technical Working Papers 0251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jill E. Hobbs, 1997. "Measuring the Importance of Transaction Costs in Cattle Marketing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(4), pages 1083-1095.
  9. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  10. Paul Winters & Romina Cavatassi & Leslie Lipper, 2006. "Sowing the Seeds of Social Relations: The Role of Social Capital in Crop Diversity," Working Papers 06-16, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
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