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The effects of produce properties on the organization of vegetable commodity systems, supplying selected African cities

Moustier P., Zébus M.F.. 2002. Montpellier : UMR MOISA, 29 p.. (Working paper : UMR MOISA, 11/2002). Workshop on The Coordination of African-based Agro-commodity Chains, 2000-12-17/2000-12-19, Copenhague (Danemark).

In order to supply a growing urban demand for vegetables in Africa, the efficiency of local market organization is commonly debated by decision-makers and market specialists. The paper examines the organization of vegetable commodity systems supplying cities of West and Central Africa and its relation to produce properties. The hypothesis of longer marketing chains and decreased patterns of integration with lower perishability and instability of supply and demand is tested, based on the comparison of leafy-vegetables and onion markets. The research is based on surveys on the individual and collective strategies of different stakeholders from production to consumption stages in Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Guinea Conakry, Senegal. The paper concludes that the relevance of commodity-specific characteristics needs to be qualified by taking into account other factors including access to credit at all the levels of marketing chains and the difficulties in enforcing contractual arrangements. Attempts to change the present organization of vegetable markets should take account of their identified rationale.

Mots-clés : légume; marché; alimentation; circuit de commercialisation; production; offre et demande; afrique

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