Farmers' Markets in the Dominican Republic: Producers' Characteristics and Perspectives

In the United States, direct marketing of farm products through farmers' markets is an important sales outlet for farmers with small- to medium-sized operations. However, in the Dominican Republic, most farmers' markets are operated by intermediaries (middle men), which limits the effectiveness of the farmers' markets as a rural economic development tool. With technical and financial support from the United States, four markets operated by farmers were established in 1999. One of the markets has ceased operating which emphasizes the importance of studying market structure and the perceptions of farmers and consumers regarding these markets. This study uses survey data to analyze the socio-economic characteristics of farmers participating in these markets, their rationale for participating, level of sales, operating characteristics and problems experienced in participating in the markets. The findings reveal that most of the farmers are small-scale producers (averaging 2 hectares) and that the farmers' markets account fora relatively large proportion of their sales. In fact, the majority of the farmers (82%) reported that they receive at least half of their total agricultural sales from farmers' markets. They also receive higher prices from direct sales to consumers at the farmers' markets versus sales to intermediaries. However, lack of credit for farmers is one problem that limits the effectiveness of the markets as a rural development strategy. The research identifies changes that are needed to ensure the sustainability of the markets, as well as, meet the needs of small farm operators.

Issue Date:
Jul 09 2002
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-11-29, last modified 2018-01-23

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