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CALL FOR PAPERS - Special Issue of the international journal “Food Chain” focusing on Contract Farming

Contract farming is an important way to coordinate linkages between farmers and agribusiness, and has the potential for increasing the integration of smallholders into value chains. How can farmers be assisted with legal advice and dealing with the paperwork? How can trust be built and incentives created for honouring contracts on both sides?

Organized by Carlos A. da Silva (FAO) and Andrew Shepherd (CTA), this special edition will cover  the conceptual, legal, empirical, policy and impact issues associated with contract farming.

You are welcome to submit papers for consideration to Peter Fellows (Editor: Short abstracts (100 words) discussing your idea for an article are also welcome: please contact Peter Fellows or Clare Tawney (Managing Editor,

 Deadline for paper submission: July 1st 2013

Publication of the Special Edition: November, 2013.

Instructions for authors:


Call for Papers: Improving Statistics for Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture,and Rural Development. Linking statistics with decision making. Technical Session 5: Measuring Contract Farming. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 23-25 October 2013

Contract farming is an important and growing phenomenon. The term refers to pre-harvest arrangements between farmers and buyers that specify quality attributes, outlets, and delivery windows for products and compensation formulas for farmers. Contract farming provides challenges for existing statistical systems. Commodity price data may not be observed if farmers are paid for the services that they provide rather than for products. Even when farmers are paid for products, meaningful price data must also convey information on product attributes. Contractor-provided inputs may not be tracked in statistical systems.

Papers should address the methodological challenges posed for statistical systems by contract farming. What statistics need to be collected on contract farming, and with what frequency? Does contract farming change the universe of entities that ought to be surveyed, and how should statisticians respond to that challenge? Do contract systems change the timing between production and payments, and do statistical systems need to take account of that change? How should samples be designed? Can data systems rely on random samples of contract producers, or must they also cover contractors? Does contract farming alter the methods by which we should collect production and price information? How should we measure the economic performance of contract farming systems, and what do we know about their relative performance?

For further information, please contact the session organizer, James MacDonald, USDA/ERS (