Inclusive Business for Smallholdersâ€™ Household Food and Nutrition Security: Disconcerting Results from an Analysis of a French Bean Agri-investment in Kenya
A. C. M. (Guus) van Westen and
Alphons de Vocht
Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2021, vol. 6, issue 1, 108-127
Inclusive business is regarded as having the potential to improve food security status in the Global South. Despite increased popularity among governments, donors and other development stakeholders, little is known about the approachâ€™s impact on smallholder farmer communities. As such, the above-mentioned inclusive business promise on food security status largely rests on assumptions. This article scrutinises a case of smallholdersâ€™ French bean production for export market in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. The business model adopted in the initiative is termed inclusive and is intended to enhance food and nutrition security in the community. The empirical findings show that several contextual factorsâ€”in particular, access to land and water resourcesâ€”limit the participation of the majority of farmers in the community. This leads to a notable level of exclusion. Moreover, the company risks negatively influencing local food security when food crops are substituted for an export crop that is not consumed locally. Results of this article demonstrate that while private sector-led development might contribute to higher economic productivity and access to food of better quality, it rarely changes the structural causes of food and nutrition insecurity, which are oftentimes related to access to production resources. We plead for increased scrutiny of the contextual factors when designing and implementing inclusive business models.
Keywords: Private sector; inclusive business; agribusiness; food and nutrition security; export; Kenya (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:jodepp:v:6:y:2021:i:1:p:108-127
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