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Decentralization of Agricultural Services. Decentralization of Input Supply and Marketing Services. EASYPol Series 015

This paper examines the main characteristics of agricultural inputs and marketing services, including factors affecting demand and supply for major categories of services, namely fertilizers and chemicals, seeds and planting materials, agricultural machinery and equipment, and crop marketing. The main sources of market failure are outlined. The conceptual framework which underpin the main approaches to decentralization of these services and key factors that need to be considered are next discussed. The importance of the regulatory role and adoption of a regulatory strategy are highlighted. Policy implications, in terms of possible options for decentralization (divestment, deconcentration, devolution and establishing partnerships), and the roles and functional responsibilities of both government and the private sector, including civil society organizations are then reviewed.

This paper is part of a FAO Policy series: EASYPol-Resources for policy making (in agriculture, rural development and food security). To find other EASYPol series' resources, go to the Policy Support and Governance website>Resources and type "EASYPol" in the free text search.