Market day in a village in Mali.
Photo: J. Boethling

11.06.2013

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Rural markets are important traditional institutional frameworks which perform a number of key functions in rural societies. Our author presents the major ones in Nigeria.

A rural market (also referred to as a ‘farmers’ market’) is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most rural markets in Nigeria rely on sellers offering their goods or services (including labour) in exchange for money from buyers. The rural market is a physical retail market featuring foods sold directly by farmers and farmers’ wives to consumers and wholesalers/aggregators from the urban centres. Typically, it consists of booths, tables or stands, outdoors or indoors, where farmers sell fruits, vegetables, meats, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. Rural markets can be classified on the basis of their periodicity, namely: daily markets, special markets, and periodic markets. The periodic markets take place regularly on one or more fixed days each week or month and are characteristics of smaller/rural market centres.

According to Braun et al.

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