The Quiet Revolution in Staple Food Value Chains in Asia: Enter the Dragon, the Elephant, and the Tiger

Agriculture, Food Security
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Reardon, T., Chen, K.Z., Minten, B., Adriano, L.
Resource Publication Date:
January, 2013
Content Format:

​Major changes have been occurring almost unnoticed in staples value chains in Asia. The Quiet Revolution in Staples Value Chains documents and explains the transformation of value chains moving rice and potatoes between the farm gate and the consumer in Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, and India. The changes noted are the rapid rise of supermarkets, modern cold storages, large rice mills, and commercialized small farmers using input-intensive, mechanized technologies. These changes have effects on food security that are highly relevant for policymakers across Asia: The rise of supermarkets provides cheaper staples; more direct relations in the chain combined with branding have increased traceability; the rise of cold storage has brought higher incomes for potato farmers and all-season access for potato consumers. The book also joins two debates that have long been separate and parallel: food industry and agribusiness development and market competitiveness, with the food security and poverty alleviation agenda

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