Feed the Future
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Smallholder commercialization: Processes, Determinants and Impact

International Livestock Research Institute
Moti Jaleta
Berhanu Gebremedhin
Dirk Hoekstra
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 1, 2009

This paper by the International Livestock Research Institute reviews the available literature on smallholder commercialization. Of particular interest, the paper discusses the arguments for smallholders to scale-up and commercialize existing food crops versus beginning to produce completely new crops specifically for sale. The production of high value crops typically generates greater returns for producers, but also typically implies greater risks and barriers to entry. In general, commercialization is found to be positive for families, though the impacts vary. In particular, commercialization can lead to negative or positive impacts on household nutrition.