Market, state and community - three governance structures facilitating vegetable farmers' access to markets in Tanzania

A. Gramzow, V. Afari-Sefa, R. Roothaert
Interest in establishing new or strengthening existing farmer organizations to support agricultural development has been increasing in recent years. Donors and governments have long expected such organizations to complement or replace government initiatives for the provision of basic agricultural services, or to serve as instruments to promote equitable growth and poverty reduction. Despite the hopes invested in institutionalizing farmer organizations, there is growing evidence that project interventions promoting farmer organizations have not always led to viable ventures. In response, strong emphasis has been placed on identifying success factors linked to the structure of these organizations. Using the Lushoto district in Tanzania as a case study, we provide an alternative analytical approach to investigate farmer organizations engaged in vegetable marketing. Rather than comparing success factors of different farmer organizations, this study started with an analysis of the problems farmers and other vegetable value chain actors encounter. The problems they identified can be distilled into a basic failure to coordinate: among farmers themselves, and between farmers and other stakeholders. To overcome coordination failures that prevent farmers from accessing viable markets, finance or extension services, two vegetable marketing arrangements emerged: the Usambara Lishe Trust and Lushoto Korogwe Vegetables. These arrangements include quality monitoring systems, extension, or joint product delivery based on institutional arrangements that combine features of three governance structures: markets, government, and civil society. Our analytical approach allows for an institutional perspective synthesis of viable mechanisms that directly address common coordination failures impeding integration of smallholder farmers into national, regional and global food chains.
Gramzow, A., Afari-Sefa, V. and Roothaert, R. (2018). Market, state and community - three governance structures facilitating vegetable farmers' access to markets in Tanzania. Acta Hortic. 1205, 215-218
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.24
market access, collective action, quality monitoring, governance

Acta Horticulturae