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Linking Farmers to Markets for High-Value Agricultural Commodities

By Pratap Singh Birthal, Awadhesh K. Jha and Harvinder Singh

Abstract

Growing demand for high-value food commodities is opening up opportunities for farmers, especially smallholders to diversify towards commodities that have strong potential for higher returns to land, labour and capital. But, there is an apprehension about the capability of smallholders to participate in the market-oriented production due to their lack of access to markets, capital, inputs, and technology and extension services. In this paper, possibilities have been explored of linking smallholders to markets through such institutions as cooperatives, growers’ associations and contract farming that reduce marketing and transaction costs and alleviate some production constraints. Evidence has shown that smallholders do participate and make a sizeable contribution to the production of high-value food commodities, but their links to markets are not strong. Though market institutions like cooperatives, contract farming and growers’ associations do not altogether ignore smallholders, some policy support is imperative to strengthen their linkages with the markets.Agribusiness, Marketing,

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