The world has witnessed increased calls for inclusive growth and development in recent years and agricultural value chains have not been spared of this tidal wave. Although undoubtedly focused on the ways in which the vulnerable participates in both the processes and outcomes of development, it is not self-evident what inclusion means in value chains nor what actions within chains enhances it. However, inclusion which is inevitably a relational concept is influenced by institutional factors underlying relationships in value chains.
Towards an analysis of institutions and embedded agency
Conceptualised as the enabling and participation of small producers in more-remunerative activities as well as giving recognition to their knowledge and priorities, inclusive value chains demands bridging of gaps, interests and logics among actors in value chains. Inclusion therefore becomes contingent on the ways actors exercise embedded agency within prevailing institutional contexts during chain coordination.
In this presentation of my proposal on inclusiveness within service delivery initiatives to smallholder cocoa farmers, I will highlight the emergence of my ideas towards an analysis of institutions and embedded agency and the strategic theoretical and methodological choices I have made. I will present the conceptual and methodological dilemmas I continue to face in how to research this phenomenon and hope it stimulates some reflections and discussion from the audience.
Faustina Obeng Adomaa Faustina is a PhD Candidate in the Knowledge Technology and Innovation Group. Before Joining KTI in September 2017, she worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant in the department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon. Her research surrounded agriculture households and the cocoa and shea value chains in Ghana and Burkina Faso.