Enhancing the long-term sustainability and profitability of small, limited resource farmers in the Black Belt South through marketing research – education

Project Overview

LS08-207
Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2008: $122,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Tasha Hargrove
Tuskegee University

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Fruits: berries (strawberries), melons
  • Vegetables: beans, cabbages, carrots, cucurbits, greens (leafy), onions, peas (culinary), sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: herbs
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms

Practices

  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, focus group, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, marketing management, e-commerce, market study, whole farm planning

    Abstract:

    The overall goal of this project was to explore how the long-term sustainability and profitability of small, limited-resource farmers could be enhanced through collaborative marketing. This study analyzed the marketing potential of small farmers at the local, state, and regional levels. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, participant observations, and focus groups. In addition, an aggressive outreach plan to increase the marketing potential of small farmers in the Black Belt region was implemented. This project expanded the knowledge base of small farmers and assisted them in making informed decisions regarding the marketing of their products.

    Project objectives:

    1. To provide an analysis of the vegetable produce market structure on small, limited resource farmers in the Black Belt region and how this structure influences their sustainability and profitability;

    2. To identify existing and potential collaborative marketing opportunities for small, limited resource farmers in the Black Belt region; and

    3. To develop and implement an outreach and technical assistance program that will enhance awareness of various marketing opportunities and ultimately enhance the marketing potential of small farmers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.