Int. J. of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development   »   2011 Vol.4, No.1/2/3

 

 

Title: Upgrading of smallholder agro-food production in Africa: the role of lead firm strategies and new markets

 

Author: Niels Fold, Marianne Nylandsted Larsen

 

Addresses:
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen, Oster Voldgade 10, DK – 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen, Oster Voldgade 10, DK – 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark

 

Abstract: This paper addresses the main dynamics in the global agro-industrial value chains for tropical products. It examines new upgrading opportunities for smallholder production in Africa as a consequence of two dominant trends within global agricultural value chains. The first is caused by the dynamics of the co-existing collaboration and intensified rivalry between lead firms within the same chain. The other is caused by new opportunities and challenges stemming from increased requirements on retailer-driven markets in the North and expansion of new markets in the South. The paper points out the need to rectify the heavily biased policy focus on standard compliance with the purpose of strengthening smallholder incorporation and upgrading in retailer-driven strands of global value chains ending in the North. Instead, markets in the South and in emerging economies may function as a training ground for upgrading of African smallholder production via increases in volume and consistency of exports.

 

Keywords: tropical products; developing countries; emerging economies; Africa; corporate strategies; smallholders; agro-food production; global value chains; agricultural value chains; collaboration; rivalry; lead firms; standards compliance.

 

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2011.041899

 

Int. J. of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2011 Vol.4, No.1/2/3, pp.39 - 66

 

Available online: 15 Aug 2011

 

 

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