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Smallholders' perceptions and preferences for market attributes promoting sustained participation in modern agricultural value chains

Oreoluwa Ola and Luisa Menapace

Food Policy, 2020, vol. 97, issue C

Abstract: Connecting smallholder farmers to modern agricultural value chains (henceforth high-value markets [HVMs]) represents a credible pathway to improving the welfare of farmers in developing countries. Smallholder exit rates from HVMs remains high, raising concerns about their sustained participation of smallholders in HVMs. We conduct a Best-Worst Scaling choice experiment with horticultural farmers in Kenya to understand their perceptions and preferences for market attributes that could promote sustained participation in HVMs. A unique feature of our study examines smallholders' best or worst choice consistency as means to further understand their thought process. Our results reveal that smallholders mostly expressed preference for a flexible incentive-based pricing option and long-term formal relationships with their buyers. Delayed payments and high investment requirements were the worst market attributes chosen by smallholders. Preference heterogeneity was driven by the farming experience, gender, income and location of the farmers. We find that smallholders are well aware of conditions that might motivate exit from HVMs relative to conditions that facilitate participation in HVMs. Our findings demonstrate the relevance of various key market attributes central to participation in HVMs, while teasing out the various coordination roles cooperatives, non-governmental organisations can play in facilitating sustained smallholder participation in HVMs.

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Kenya; Modern agricultural value-chains; Choice experiment; Smallholder perceptions; Market transactions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101962

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