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Poole, Nigel, Chitundu, Maureen and Msoni, Ronald (2013) 'Commercialisation: A meta-approach for agricultural development among smallholder farmers in Africa?' Food Policy, 41. pp. 155-165.

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This paper presents a critique of commercialising smallholder farming for agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. First it questions the validity of an overarching ‘metanarrative’ approach to development. Then it discusses the different types of knowledge, values and method and draws attention to the increasingly heterogeneous development policy context and also the heterogeneity among the smallholder ‘targets’ of agrifood policies. Second, a case study exemplifies this critique in the context of an existing multistakeholder strategy of commercialising the Zambian cassava sector. Although limited in scope, the primary research illustrates how a commercial supply response should not be assumed from within a rural sector more concerned with food security. The study casts doubt on the validity of a commercialising metanarrative. Rather, it endorses the need for a multidisciplinary understanding of the particular and local context which influences knowledge generation and development design, accounting for different value systems and perceptions of reality and smallholder farmer decision making within heterogeneous contexts.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: agricultural commercialisation; meta-approaches; contextuality; heterogeneity; smallholders; cassava; Zambia
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Finance and Management > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)
ISSN: 03069192
Copyright Statement: Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2013 09:09

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