Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Contract Farming and Food Security

Bellemare, Marc F. and Novak, Lindsey (2015): Contract Farming and Food Security.

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Contract farming has often been associated with an increase in the income of participating households. It is unclear, however, whether contract farming increases other aspects of household welfare. Using data from six regions of Madagascar and a selection-on-observables design in which we control for a household's marginal utility of participating in contract farming, which we elicited via a contingent valuation experiment, we show that participating in contract farming reduces the duration of a household's hungry season by about ten days on average, and that it makes participating households about 20 percent more likely to see their hungry season end at any point in time. Further, we find that these effects are more pronounced for households with a larger number of children, and for households with a larger number of girls. This is an important result as children---especially girls---often bear the burden of food insecurity.

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