Journal Article

Food Policy 73

Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets on Extensive and Intensive Margins: Evidence from Nicaragua

Published on 24 November 2019

Access to modern commercialization channels is key for smallholder farmers to move away from subsistence farming and overcome poverty. However, achieving that goal is challenging for smallholders given their lack of appropriate managerial practices, production technology and infrastructure.

This paper examines the association between receiving trainings in two distinct entrepreneurial practices, one direct at the individual and farmerassociation level and another indirect at the community level, and commercialization in non-local markets at the extensive and intensive margins.

We exploit a panel dataset of bean producers in Nicaragua that participated in an NGO program implemented between 2007 and 2012. We find opposite results for the two market-linkage activities, especially on the intensive margin or volume of sales. While reciving direct training on entrepreneurial practices (EP) is positively associated with commercialization, training on municipality engagement (ME) activities is negatively associated.

These correlation patterns are mainly observed among entrant farmers as opposed to those already participating in commercial markets prior to the program implementation. We also find varying results for ME activities by plot size and leadership position. Additional estimations show that training activities that are positively correlated with bean commercialization are not necessarily correlated with the commercialization of other crops, and vice versa.


Ayako Ebata

Research Fellow

Hernandez, M. A.

Publication details

published by
Food Policy, volume 73


About this publication

Related content

Student Opinion

Support for first-generation learners

Rachna Vyas, IDS student, MA Governance, Development & Public Policy

27 March 2024