Commercialisations in Agriculture

Course ID
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Leavy Jennifer


Policy discourses around agricultural commercialisations tend to separate producers into different types of farm (small farms, large farms) growing different types of crops (food crops, cash crops) with simple distinctions made between ‘subsistence’ and ‘commercial’ or ‘export’ agriculture. Lack of clarity about what commercialisation actually means may give rise to misconceptions, evoking certain fears that can obstruct the passage of policy into practice. Writing on commercialisation highlights a number of aspects to what it means to be commercialized. However, the lynchpin of most, if not all, definitions of agriculture commmercialisation is the degree of participation in the (output) market, with the focus very much on cash incomes. However, there are other dimensions to agricultural commercialisation. First, there is the degree of participation in input market. As farms become more commercial, they tend to rely less on own-produced inputs (e.g. manure, retained seed) and sercices from mixed farming systems (e.g. animal traction) and instead depend more on markets to supply their inputs (improved seed, inorganic fertilizer, crop protection chemicals) and services (mechanised equipment for ploughing, planting weeding, harvesting etc – either hired/rented or purchased). Thus, on the input side we might define commercialisation as value of inputs acquired from market/ agricultural production value.Some writing on commercialization highlights the importance attached to the profit motive within the farm business as an indicator of commercialisation, Agricultural commercialization means more than the marketing of agricultural output, it means the product choice and input use decisions are based on the principles of profit maximization.Looking beyond purely the agricultural activities of a household, some authors (e.g. von Braun and Kennedy (1994) propose household commercilisation as a measure of integration into the cash economy, which they define as the proportion of total, value of goods and services acquired through cash transactions or the share of gross income from all market sources.

Corporate Author:Ethiopian Economic Association/Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute (EEA/EEPRI)
Publisher:Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors:Agricultural industries

Secondary Descriptor:Agriculture – Economic aspects

Geographic Descriptors:Ethiopia
Cataloge Date:03/02/2013
Broad Subject heading:Agriculture
Call Number:330.05 ETH JOU
Serial Key Title:Ethiopian Journal of Economics
Publication catagory:Ethiopian Journal of Economics
Content type:EEA Publication
Year:April, 2007
Publication date:2013-03-02 00:00:00
Forum or Discussion date:2013-03-02 00:00:00
PDF file: Jennifer and Colin_Commercialisations in Agriculture.pdf
Place of publication:Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material:Serial (Journal)
Current frequency:Semiannual
Author: Leavy, Jennifer and Poulton Colin

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