Contract Farming in India (Gujarat)



Abhijit Banerjee

Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Sara Hernández

Assistant Professor of Economics at Northwestern University

Reshmaan Hussam

Assistant Professor of business administration in the Business, Government and International Economy Unit at the Harvard Business School.

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Natalia Rigol

Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School

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11/01/2012 - 12/31/2013
Externalities, Information, Labor
Technology Category
Contracts, Crop Quality Measure
2,200 farmers in Gujarat

Photo credit: Adam Cohn via Flickr


This pilot seeks to systematically identify the barriers that small and marginal farmers, often females, face in the production of high quality crops in India, and in turn understand what forms of contracts can best incentivize such high quality production. Knowing how to incorporate these farmers into the high value-added segments becomes increasingly relevant as organized retailers replace traditional food sellers. This is of special relevance presently in India as the country is rapidly opening up to massive retail supermarkets which interact primarily with large farmers, arguably pushing out many small and marginal farmers in the process. Understanding how to construct optimal contracts with these small farmers that streamline the production of high quality crops can thus facilitate their reintegration into the quickly changing landscape of Indian agricultural economy.

Researchers finished a baseline survey across the sample of 2,200 farmers in Gujarat and are currently in the process of cleaning and analyzing the data collected to share results.