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Abstract

Improving price discovery, linking smallholders to markets, reducing transactions costs, and increasing agricultural export earnings are some of the popular claims about benefits of Agricultural Commodity Exchanges (ACX) in developing countries. Based on the case studies, and a review of available literature, this paper examines the validity of these popular claims and associated public policies. Our analysis suggests that most of these popular claims cannot be supported by empirical evidence. While agricultural commodity exchanges have been successful in emerging countries, they have either failed or remain in operation with government or donor supports. Underlying reasons for the failures, considerations for future investments in such institutions, and implications for alternatives to centralized exchanges are discussed.

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