Marketing Systems role for sustainability of Ag. Systems S24
Department of Marketing and Marketing Research, Wageningen Agricultural University, 6706 KN, The Netherlands. Hillsides Program, CIAT, A.A. 6713,Cali, Colombia.
|The need for sustainable agricultural production
is generally accepted, and it is increasingly investigated. However, although much has
been written about the socioeconomic causes of problems with sustainability and the
policies needed to overcome them, this has generally been from the viewpoint of the farmer
and/or government. There has been no assessment of sustainability problems and needs from
of the perspective of the marketing system (FAO, 1991). This study is a first attempt to
consider the question of sustainability of agricultural systems from a marketing system
perspective. Research questions are pursued. What is the impact of marketing systems on
the sustainability in agriculture? What is the contribution of the conditioning
environment (physical, political/legal, economic, social, cultural, or technological),
together with a selected agricultural market systems, on farmer's decision to use
sustainable production systems?
A research framework is presented to appraise the relationship between marketing and sustainability. A positive model approach relates sustainability (i.e. adoption of resource-conserving technologies) to physical (e.g. land slope), personal (e.g. education), economic (e.g.income), and institutional (e.g. marketing and governmental institutions) factors. A case study in an Andean hillside region was carried out, and preliminary results show that market access and other market related variables have a significant role in the adoption of soil conservation practices.
The findings seem to confirm that farmers facing market imperfections, very common in conventional marketing systems, do not make an appropriate use of the land. Market imperfections such as transport and communications handicaps, high interests of commercial loans, or ambiguity of input and output prices, can result in sub-optimal management of the natural resource.
FAO (1991): Farming, Processing and Marketing Systems for SustainableAgriculture and Rural Development. Background document no. 4, theNetherlands conference.