Intra- and inter-firm interactions in agricultural markets: a conceptual framework and application to Colombia

According to the World Bank, today more people live in cities than in rural areas. The urbanisation pattern will increase in the coming years in low and middle income countries, threatening food security in urban sectors. Latin American cities are not the exception. For instance, agricultural products in the city of Bogota, Colombia, with a population of eight million inhabitants, are supplied by means of a complex market operation that involves producers, intermediaries, wholesalers and small shops. Having a good insight about the agricultural market dynamics is key to develop policies that guarantee a sustainable food market. This includes understanding important driving forces of performance at both the market and the organisational level.

This works presents results of an agent-based simulation study on inter-firm interaction, by which we inspect the role of market intermediation and effects on producers’ profits. Result suggest that increasing intra-firm efficiency, rather than intervening the market, is best to enhance producers’ viability. This leads to an additional study aiming at understanding intra-firm knowledge dynamics, for which we propose a second agent-based framework.

Tuesday, 25 July, 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00
Cesar Garcia-Diaz
Presenter(s) biography: 

Cesar Garcia-Diaz is an Assistant Professor of Organisational Systems at the Department of Industrial Engineering of Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). He holds BSc and MSc degrees in Industrial Engineering from Colombian universities, and a PhD on computational modelling of market dynamics from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). His research deals with the evolution of organisational and economic systems in a variety of settings (e.g., organisational dynamics, industry evolution, competitive spatial location). He is also interested in the use of computational models for better policy design (policy engineering).