‘Agroindustrialization’ comprises three related sets of changes: 1 growth of commercial, off-farm agro-processing, distribution, and input provision activities; 2 institutional and organizational change in the relations between farms and firms both upstream and downstream, such as a marked increased in vertical integration and contract-based procurement; and 3 related changes in product composition, technologies, and sectoral and market structure (Reardon and Barrett, 2000). The actual and potential environmental effect of these changes have been sparsely documented to date. There does not seem to have been any attempt at a reasonably general analysis of the pathways by which such effects might occur or of the instruments governments might have at their disposal to influence these pathways. This essay is meant to fill the latter gap while the articles and policy forum that follow provide more detailed findings and perspectives on constituent issues.
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