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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Examining Allegations of Exploitation and Inefficiency in Rural Marketing Systems: Some Evidence from West Cameroon
Author:Hollier, Graham P.
Periodical:Journal of Developing Areas
Geographic term:Cameroon
domestic trade
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4191370
Abstract:In the literature of agricultural economics, efficiency is usually defined as 'the movement of goods from producers to consumers at the lowest cost consistent with the provision of services that consumers desire and are able to pay for'. An efficient system for internal commodity distribution is, therefore, one in which opportunities for middlemen to realize excess profits are sharply reduced; consumer prices should 'reflect producer prices plus the costs of transforming product utility, plus a 'reasonable' surplus'. In a study of periodic rural marketing in Northwest Province, Cameroon, it was found that efficiency measured in terms of the integrative neatness of spatial and temporal patterns of marketplace location was largely irrelevant to the performance of traders of staple foodstuffs. Some details, however, were obtained concerning the trading ventures of a small sample of middlemen. Attempted here is to examine allegations of exploitation, and of implicit or explicit accusations of inefficiency in traditional marketing systems by reference to the trading margins of different groups of foodstuff traders. - Fig., notes, tab.