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Farmers’ preferences for supermarket contracts in Kenya

Dennis O. Ochieng, Prakashan Chellattan Veettil () and Matin Qaim

Food Policy, 2017, vol. 68, issue C, 100-111

Abstract: With the modernization of global agri-food systems, the role of contract farming increases. This also involves smallholder farmers in developing countries. While previous studies have looked at economic impacts of contract schemes on smallholder farmers, little is known about farmers’ preferences for contracting in general, and for specific contract design attributes in particular. Better understanding farmers’ preferences and constraints is important to make smallholder contract schemes more viable and beneficial. This article builds on a choice experiment to analyze farmers’ preferences and preference heterogeneity for contracts in Kenya. In the study region, supermarkets use contracts to source fresh vegetables directly from preferred suppliers. However, farmer dropout rates are high. Mixed logit models are estimated to examine farmers’ attitudes towards critical contract design attributes. Having to deliver their harvest to urban supermarkets is costly; hence farmers require a significant output price premium. Farmers also dislike delayed payments that are commonplace in contract schemes. The most problematic contract attribute is related to unpredictable product rejection rates, substantially adding to farmers’ risk. Designing contracts with lower transaction costs, more transparent quality grading, and fairer risk-sharing arrangements could enhance smallholder participation in supermarket procurement channels.

Keywords: Supermarkets; Contracts; Farmers’ preferences; Choice experiment; Kenya (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O12 O13 Q12 Q13 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Related works:
Working Paper: Farmers’ Preferences for Supermarket Contracts in Kenya (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Farmers’ Preferences for Supermarket Contracts in Kenya (2016) Downloads
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