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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Marketing Institutions and Rural Development Policy
Author:Handwerker, W. Penn
Periodical:African Urban Studies
Geographic terms:Liberia
Subjects:rural development
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Politics and Government
Abstract:Daily markets in less developed countries (LDCs) persist because of low levels of discretionary income available to consumers. Efficient change in these retail institutions presupposes substantial increase: in real income. Periodic markets in LDCs persist because food productivity is low and sales are not contractualised. Efficient change in these combined retail/wholesale institutions presupposes substantial increases in agricultural productivity. Marketplaces, and the atomistic competition among large numbers of tiny firms with which they are associated, thus do not impede development. They reflect its absence. Because they increase consumer costs, price-support programs defeat the central purpose of economic development policy. Rural development goals can best be served by increasing productivity, and thereby lowering the costs of production, increasing farmers' incomes and lowering consumers' costs. Achieving these goals, in turn, can be expected to bring about structural changes in marketing institutions efficiently. This line of reasoning is developed through an analysis of the origins and change in the structural, spatial, temporal, and functional attributes of the contemporary food marketing institutions in Liberia. Notes, ref.