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Between Policy and Practice – a qualitative study on smallholder commercialization in Chepareria and Kongelai, West Pokot (Kenya)

Wittich, Simon LU (2015) SIMV25 20151
Graduate School
Department of Human Geography
Master of Science in Development Studies
Abstract
In Kenya, the commercialization of smallholder agriculture has become an inte¬gral part of the national strategy to address the problems of economic and food poverty. Despite extensive governmental efforts to promote the transition of smallhold¬ers from subsistence-based to commercially-oriented livelihoods, a broad based transformation of the sector has not yet materialized. The thesis is based on an empirical case study in the semi-arid areas of Chepareria and Konge¬lai (West Pokot County, Kenya). Between September and October 2014, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participant observations were conducted in order to understand why smallholders in the research area have poorly responded to governmental efforts to... (More)
In Kenya, the commercialization of smallholder agriculture has become an inte¬gral part of the national strategy to address the problems of economic and food poverty. Despite extensive governmental efforts to promote the transition of smallhold¬ers from subsistence-based to commercially-oriented livelihoods, a broad based transformation of the sector has not yet materialized. The thesis is based on an empirical case study in the semi-arid areas of Chepareria and Konge¬lai (West Pokot County, Kenya). Between September and October 2014, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participant observations were conducted in order to understand why smallholders in the research area have poorly responded to governmental efforts to commercialize agriculture. In addi¬tion, the thesis explores the role of the community in relation to dynamics on the smallholder’s level. Based on the analysis of the qualitative data, it is argued that governments have been unable to create an enabling environment for smallholders to commercialize. The persistence of extensive and often rain-fed production sys-tems makes smallholder’s livelihoods highly vulnerable to climate shocks in the semi-arid environment. In addition, it is argued that low dynamics towards com-mer¬cial agriculture are also linked to a lack of willingness of change on a small-holder’s level. At present, many smallholders in the research area seem to perce¬ive market-oriented production as a risk rather than an opportunity. Address¬ing these challenges is imperative in order to bring about lasting change. (Less)
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author
Wittich, Simon LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV25 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
West Pokot, semi-arid, commerciali¬zation, smallholder, livelihood
language
English
id
5468386
date added to LUP
2015-06-17 08:23:41
date last changed
2015-12-14 13:34:52
@misc{5468386,
  abstract     = {In Kenya, the commercialization of smallholder agriculture has become an inte¬gral part of the national strategy to address the problems of economic and food poverty. Despite extensive governmental efforts to promote the transition of smallhold¬ers from subsistence-based to commercially-oriented livelihoods, a broad based transformation of the sector has not yet materialized. The thesis is based on an empirical case study in the semi-arid areas of Chepareria and Konge¬lai (West Pokot County, Kenya). Between September and October 2014, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participant observations were conducted in order to understand why smallholders in the research area have poorly responded to governmental efforts to commercialize agriculture. In addi¬tion, the thesis explores the role of the community in relation to dynamics on the smallholder’s level. Based on the analysis of the qualitative data, it is argued that governments have been unable to create an enabling environment for smallholders to commercialize. The persistence of extensive and often rain-fed production sys-tems makes smallholder’s livelihoods highly vulnerable to climate shocks in the semi-arid environment. In addition, it is argued that low dynamics towards com-mer¬cial agriculture are also linked to a lack of willingness of change on a small-holder’s level. At present, many smallholders in the research area seem to perce¬ive market-oriented production as a risk rather than an opportunity. Address¬ing these challenges is imperative in order to bring about lasting change.},
  author       = {Wittich, Simon},
  keyword      = {West Pokot,semi-arid,commerciali¬zation,smallholder,livelihood},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Between Policy and Practice – a qualitative study on smallholder commercialization in Chepareria and Kongelai, West Pokot (Kenya)},
  year         = {2015},
}