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'Because of poverty, we had to come together': collective action for improved food security in rural Kenya and Uganda

Andersson, Elina LU and Gabrielsson, Sara LU (2012) In International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 10(3). p.245-262
Abstract
Agricultural productivity in East African smallholder systems is notoriously low and food production faces multiple challenges, including soil degradation, decreasing land availability, poor market integration, disease burdens and climate change impacts. However, recent evidence from an in-depth study from two sites in Kenya and Uganda shows signs of new social dynamics as a response to these multiple stressors. This paper focuses on the emergence of local social institutions for collective action, in which particularly women farmers organize themselves. Although previous research on collective action has largely focused on common-pool resource management, we argue that collective action is one potential pathway to livelihood and... (More)
Agricultural productivity in East African smallholder systems is notoriously low and food production faces multiple challenges, including soil degradation, decreasing land availability, poor market integration, disease burdens and climate change impacts. However, recent evidence from an in-depth study from two sites in Kenya and Uganda shows signs of new social dynamics as a response to these multiple stressors. This paper focuses on the emergence of local social institutions for collective action, in which particularly women farmers organize themselves. Although previous research on collective action has largely focused on common-pool resource management, we argue that collective action is one potential pathway to livelihood and sustainability improvements also in a setting of private land ownership. Trust building, awareness raising and actions to improve livelihood security through risk sharing and pooling of labour and other limited assets have given people more time and resources available for diversification, preventative activities, experimentation and resource conservation. It thereby strengthens farmers' capacity to cope with and adapt to change, as well as contributes to the agency at the local level. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
collective action, communities of practice, food security, Kenya, smallholder farming, Uganda
in
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
volume
10
issue
3
pages
245 - 262
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000306741100005
  • scopus:84868245029
ISSN
1473-5903
DOI
10.1080/14735903.2012.666029
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fcbb2126-7c6a-4664-8e4c-19168e27bdce (old id 3070050)
date added to LUP
2012-09-26 15:53:52
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:07:38
@article{fcbb2126-7c6a-4664-8e4c-19168e27bdce,
  abstract     = {Agricultural productivity in East African smallholder systems is notoriously low and food production faces multiple challenges, including soil degradation, decreasing land availability, poor market integration, disease burdens and climate change impacts. However, recent evidence from an in-depth study from two sites in Kenya and Uganda shows signs of new social dynamics as a response to these multiple stressors. This paper focuses on the emergence of local social institutions for collective action, in which particularly women farmers organize themselves. Although previous research on collective action has largely focused on common-pool resource management, we argue that collective action is one potential pathway to livelihood and sustainability improvements also in a setting of private land ownership. Trust building, awareness raising and actions to improve livelihood security through risk sharing and pooling of labour and other limited assets have given people more time and resources available for diversification, preventative activities, experimentation and resource conservation. It thereby strengthens farmers' capacity to cope with and adapt to change, as well as contributes to the agency at the local level.},
  author       = {Andersson, Elina and Gabrielsson, Sara},
  issn         = {1473-5903},
  keyword      = {collective action,communities of practice,food security,Kenya,smallholder farming,Uganda},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {245--262},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability},
  title        = {'Because of poverty, we had to come together': collective action for improved food security in rural Kenya and Uganda},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2012.666029},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2012},
}