Distance to market and farm-gate prices of staple beans in rural Nicaragua

While smallholder marketing is seen effective to reduce poverty, farmers in rural areas face a number of challenges in doing so. One of the most important factors is transaction costs related to transportation. Our study quantifies the benefits associated with improvement of rural road infrastructure by scrutinizing farm-gate prices of beans in rural Nicaragua. We find that the longer the distance and traveling time are to major commercial centers from farming communities, the less farm-gate prices producers receive. We find that a decrease in distance and traveling time by one unit is associated with an increase in farm-gate prices by 2-2.5 cents/qq. If infrastructure development can reduce travel time by 25%, an average farm household would increase its annual revenue from beans by between $24 and $110 (3% and 12% of annual revenue). Given that such infrastructure development affects all farmers and crops, our findings suggest a larger implication.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
O13; O18; Q11

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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