Latin American Market Planning Program (LAMP) - Summary. [1965 - 1974]

Co-Principal Investigators

Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: Charles Slater, Co Director, Don Henley, Don Taylor, Robert Mason, John Wish, (Marketing and Transportation Dept, MSU: J. McNelly and Vince Farace, Communications Dept, MSU and Herman Koenig, System Science Dept, MSU

Project Name:           Latin American Market Planning Program (LAMP) - Summary *
Donor:                        USAID
Contract No:               AID/LA-364 and AID/CSD-786
Account No:               71/2035
Location:                    MSU, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica
Duration:                    1965 to 1976
Budget:                      $1,342,341 for the start up and establishment of the LAMP Center at MSU

Documents:                (Click here to view)

Project Goals:           To conduct comparative country-level studies,  provide developing countries with information to assist in the design of improved food marketing systems, and to formulate a more adequate conceptualization of the role of agricultural, food and input marketing in the development process. To also create the Latin American Market Planning Center at MSU to support project activities.

Project Plans/Objectives:

  • To identify institutional and social reforms that will make the channels of distribution more efficient in the foodsheds of urban areas in developing countries.
  • To identify institutional and social reforms, including the legal framework and regulations surrounding the marketing of foods, that will induce more food production and at the same time will get a greater percentage of that food to markets in urban areas of developing economies.
  • To develop predictive tools to enable us to understand the response patterns and measure the costs and benefits from infusions of capital and new technology and other marketing reforms.
  • To provide a comparative study of marketing systems in different cultures.

Project Summary:  The early roots of this program are found in proposals written in 1963 and 1964 by C. Slater (School of Business at MSU). In 1964, with the cooperation of Professor Riley (Agricultural Economics),  a proposal was submitted to the Agency for International Development for a pilot project in Food Marketing and Agricultural Development in Colombia. Not acceptable in its original form, Slater and Riley, along with J. McNelly (Communication Arts) submitted a second proposal for a project to conduct comparative studies on food marketing and its contribution to economic development in Latin America. This research focused on: 1) marketing management and 2) the role of marketing in economic development.

The first project to be funded under this general program was a study conducted in Puerto Rico 1965-66. Following on the heels of this project was the creation of the Latin American Market Planning Center at MSU which expanded the scope of the program to include not only food marketing but also the marketing of technical farm inputs and industrially produced consumer goods. A study of the market processes in the Recife area of Northeast Brazil was funded in 1966 and continued through 1967. Simultaneously with the Brazil project, a study of the market processes in La Paz, Bolivia was undertaken.

In the fall of 1968, the biggest and longest lasting project activity was undertaken on the market coordination in the development of the Cauca Valley region, Colombia. Involvement of MSU faculty and staff was continued 1970-1972 with a separate contract negotiated by H. Riley to assume a consultative position with the AID mission in Bogota, Columbia, and further called upon other MSU faculty on a short-term basis for their advice. Also in 1972, the Costa Rican market planning research was begun and continued for four years. In 1975, on the basis of continued interest in MSU's participation in the study of marketing and their recommendations,  another contract was negotiated with Colombia. K. Harrison (Agricultural Economics) was positioned in the Office of Planning in the Ministry of Agriculture, Colombia, for two years.

With changes in the staffing and orientation of the Agency for International Development, formal project agreements ceased in 1976. Throughout the conduct of each of the projects under the general LAMP umbrella program, a multidisciplinary focus was maintained, and strong linkages were generated and maintained with host country institutions (including various ministries and universities) as well as with international organizations working within a given country. The emphasis of the entire program was one of collaboration between MSU and host country officials. In most instances, host countries provided additional funding to augment the awards made by the Agency for International Development.

There were many the spin-off's of the LAMP program, in addition to providing the basis for research for master's and doctoral theses for MSU students and students from host country universities, include the following.

  • The creation in Rio de Janiero of a Marketing Training Center (CICOM) by the Organization of American States.
  • The establishment of a marketing program within the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IICA) staffed largely with professionals trained at MSU and/or through LAMP field projects.
  • The creation of the agricultural marketing improvement strategies (AMIS) within the Agency for International Development.
  • The creation of strong linkages with FAO, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank, all of which draw on the research conducted by LAMP for the design of assistance programs.
  • The continued use of expertise generated by LAMP in consulting requests extended to participants (e.g., the insight and recommendations of H. Riley in marketing issues in Mexico, Ecuador, Russia, and China).
  • Incorporation of many lessons learned from LAMP in courses in marketing in Agricultural Economics at MSU. [Example: Rapid Reconnaissance Guidelines for Agricultural Marketing and Food System Research in Developing Countries (4.1MB PDF) by John S. Holtzman. 1986. 75 pp. ]
  • Incorporation of the systems and subsector approach used for food systems into work all over the world on small-scale enterprises, industry development, value chain development and employment creation.  [Example: Subsector Analysis: Its Nature, Conduct and Potential Contribution to Small Enterprise Development (2.4MB PDF) by James J. Boomgard, Stephen P. Davies, Steve Haggblade and Donald Mead. 1986. 57 pp.]

Documents From/About This Project:        

*This description is adapted from work by Nancy E. Horn, an MSU alumnus from the Anthropology Department, published in 1985 “A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development for the period 1951 – 1985”.  See AFRE Emeritus Faculty - Acknowledgements