Electronic markets in the agro-food sector

D. Blandford, L. Fulponi

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

8 Scopus citations


Electronic commerce offers unprecedented opportunities for farmers and more broadly for rural areas. In general, its development is best led to private initiatives, although some assistance through public or co-operative bodies may be useful in the initial stages, particularly in training. But a number of other issues still have to be resolved if the full benefits are to realised. Although electronic commerce facilitates the marketing of agricultural commodities from remote rural areas, once sales are made products must be delivered. The system can only work if the necessary infrastructure, particularly lies in insufficient physical access to electronic networks in rural areas and the costs of such access, although service may be expected to expand and its costs to fall over time. In the meantime, there may be a risk of growing inequality of opportunity between producers/firms which could accentuate a drift to 'two-speed agriculture', with those unable to exploit the information echnologies operating in an increasingly disadvantaged commercial environment. Government co-operation with the private sector, particularly in training in the use of information technologies could be useful in helping to increase their use, especially in more disadvantaged rural areas or by older farmers. The rapid development of electronic commerce in agriculture nonetheless attests to the dynamic and creative capacities of the private sector in meeting the challenges and exploiting the opportunities of the changing economic environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationOECD Observer
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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