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Abstract

The study used a case study approach and a survey questionnaire to collect data on farmers markets in the Alabama Black Belt. Specific objectives were to describe the current state of development of farmers markets, categorize the farmers markets, and make comparisons between and assessments of the various markets. The data were summarized and tabulated using descriptive statistics. A typology was developed with three categories and associated intervention policy or program attributes identified for farmers markets. It was found that there were three developed markets, all in urban areas; four developing markets, which had one market in the urban, two in the suburban, and one in the rural areas; and seven underdeveloped farmers markets, most of which were in rural areas. Consequently, it was recommended that for underdeveloped and developing farmers markets to move into the developed category, assistance must be provided with a mix of interventions that comprise facilities, proper organization, and efforts to strengthen the customer base. Such technical assistance will contribute to increased sales and economic activity in the communities.

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