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Mechanisms of Inclusion: Evidence from Zambia’s Farmer Organisations

Margitta Minah () and Agustina Malvido Pérez Carletti ()
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Margitta Minah: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Agustina Malvido Pérez Carletti: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The European Journal of Development Research, 2019, vol. 31, issue 5, 1318-1340

Abstract: Abstract Policymakers and donors increasingly rely on farmer organisations (FOs) when implementing rural development strategies, though research suggests that targeted groups such as poorer households tend to participate less in FOs than richer ones. Here, we discuss mechanisms that may contribute towards the inclusion of disadvantaged households, using primary data from Zambian FOs involved in implementing an agricultural subsidy programme, and applying qualitative comparative analysis to identify individual and combined effects of four explanatory factors on inclusion. Our results suggest long-term commitment as a necessary condition. We further identify three alternative pathways that explain inclusion while within-case analysis describes their underlying causal mechanism: inclusion develops in FOs that show commitment and either provide financial services to vulnerable members, promote social identities or compensate disadvantaged members for not being able to access subsidised inputs. These results can explain why some FOs are more effective than others in reaching disadvantaged target groups.

Keywords: Agricultural cooperatives; Producer organisations; Smallholder farmers; Input subsidy programme; Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1057/s41287-019-00212-8

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