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Debates About Food Retail And Development Essay

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ORGANISED RETAILING OF FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES: OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUTTING RESEARCH INTO USE?
Abstract
A cross‐cutting theme in the DFID‐funded Research into Use (RIU) programme is the exploration of the developmental opportunities presented by new patterns of entrepreneurial activity. This is an exciting time to be exploring such issues as there has been an upswing in enterprise activity in the developing world, characterised by a markedly different era of economic dynamism. This has affected agri‐food value chains in profound ways. For RIU this raises questions about whether there is potential to piggyback on this new dynamic for putting research into use. It also raises the question of whether institutional change in marketing arrangements is associated with institutional change in relation to access to technology, research and other technical expertise. Organised retailing of fruit and vegetables is investigated to explore this question. A farm‐level survey and retail outlet‐level review suggest that this pattern of market development is linking farmers to markets with promising social and economic consequences. But it is also finding that the value of this as a mechanism for strengthening technical change and innovation capacity is under‐developed and that it is here that public policy needs to concentrate its attention and efforts.  
1. INTRODUCTION
A cross‐cutting theme in the Research into Use (RIU) programme, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is the exploration of the developmental opportunities presented by new patterns of entrepreneurial activity. RIU’s specific interest concerns the way entrepreneurship — as a driver of innovation and the dynamic force within economic and social systems — can be used as part of a mechanism where agricultural research and technology are deployed for poverty reduction and economic development. This is part of a wider interest in understanding how the effectiveness of a key public...

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