Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics  Research > Food Security Group > Updates > Special Release 2013-02-12

MSU AFRE Food Security

International Updates




12 February 2013

Food Security Group


Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics


Michigan State University

Michigan State University's Food Security Group is pleased to share with you information about this new book:

The Quiet Revolution in Staple (Potatoes and Rice) Food Value Chains in Asia: Enter the Dragon, the Elephant, and the Tiger. Reardon, T., K.Z. Chen, B. Minten, and L. Adriano. 2012. Asian Development Bank and IFPRI, December.

What the Experts say

Excellent!Ray Goldberg, George M. Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

… One of the best, most relevant, and most useful publications I’ve come across on this topic in the last 50 years (at least)—Patrick Labaste, Practice Leader, Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank

... an important book.... this will become a seminal study whose influence will resonate over the next decadeGrahame Dixie, Agribusiness Unit Team Leader Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank

… the predominance of marginal and small farmers has been growing in South and East Asia. Linking these farmers to markets and increasing efficiency in the food value chain are key issues of agricultural development today. This book makes a substantial contribution in this field by analyzing the transformation of the organization of production, storage, milling, and marketing; and the distribution of marketing margin between farmers and off-farm operators, for rice and potato in Bangladesh, India, and China.* The book is an important milestone in advancing the knowledge of the evolution of agricultural marketing.—Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, now Building Resources Across Communities

This is a very important piece of work, made more so because there is a terrible vacuum of such studies in the agricultural development literature.Charles Peter Timmer, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Development Studies, emeritus, Harvard University and nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Development

I find the analysis in Staple Food Value Chains most interesting.... I am drawing the attention of my colleagues to this important publication.— M S Swaminathan, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), India, and Emeritus Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

From the Forward by:
Bindu Lohani                                                        Shenggen Fan
Vice President (Knowledge Management                 Director General
and Sustainable Development)                              International Food Policy Research Institute
Asian Development Bank

This book, as its title denotes, documents the quiet revolution in staple food value chains now changing the face of Asia. It provides a systematic and rigorous review of the structural transformation pathways of these food chains and the catalytic roles that governments, the private sector, civil society, and international development institutions can play in the process. While not intended as a policy analysis for food security, the study provides critical guideposts for assessing and addressing all segments of the food chains that unnecessarily contribute to higher retail food prices. Most significantly, the book provides a clearer picture of how staple food value chains can benefit inclusive economic growth trajectories. More and more, sleepy rural areas are waking up to an increase in jobs and incomes from new links with commercial urban centers and vibrant intermediaries, technologies, infrastructure, and policies.

While there is no “one size fits all” model for modernizing these value chains, this book demonstrates that grassroots efforts are unfolding and gaps in knowledge are closing. With more proactive initiatives from governments, the private sector, civil society, and international development institutions, agriculture in Asia can be effectively transformed and food security ensured.