Contract farming is agricultural production carried out according to an agreement between a buyer and farmers, which establishes conditions for the production and marketing of a farm product or products.
Typically, the farmer agrees to provide established quantities of a specific agricultural product, meeting the quality standards and delivery schedule set by the purchaser. In turn, the buyer commits to purchase the product, often at a pre-determined price. In some cases the buyer also commits to support production through, for example, supplying farm inputs, land preparation, providing technical advice and arranging transport of produce to the buyer’s premises.
Another term often used to refer to contract farming operations is ‘out-grower schemes”, whereby farmers are linked with a large farm or processing plant which supports production planning, input supply, extension advice and transport.