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Wageningen University (2013)

Innovation, regimes and knowledge dynamics : in a mango production and marketing project in Mbeere District, Eastern Province, Kenya

Chibvuma, P.A.

Titre : Innovation, regimes and knowledge dynamics : in a mango production and marketing project in Mbeere District, Eastern Province, Kenya

Auteur : Chibvuma, P.A.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2013

Résumé
The research focuses on innovations, regulatory regimes, knowledge dynamics and the role of the context among four mango farmer groups in Mbeere District, Eastern Province in Kenya. It uses the Innovation systems approach, strategic niche management and the contextualized nature of knowledge and knowledge dynamics as the theoretical framework. The research aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms and processes leading to the outcomes evidenced in the JOLISAA mango case project. The research was conducted at a micro level inorder to get an insight on the interaction of actors and their knowledges as explained by the innovation systems and network approach. The research took a case study approach as it focused on four heterogenous mango farmer groups spread across Mbeere District. Inorder to get an understanding on the order of events leading to the unfolding of the case, the critical event analysis was used. Data was collected through in depth interviews with stakeholders, focus group discussions, participant observations as well as through secondary data analysis. Mango is a fruit of economic importance in Kenya as it ranks third after bananas and pineapples on the export returns. There are 32 different mango varieties in Kenya which are classified under two broad categories of indigenous and exotic varieties. Farmers in the study group farm both varieties. However, three of the farmer groups are more inclined towards exotic mango varieties due to their market advantages. The types of varieties to grow were also influenced by the role of organisations such as NGOs which ran mango promotion projects for the exotic varieties. This saw most of the farmers in the areas where the NGOs ran their projects getting more inclined to exotic varieties as they managed to get free certified seedlings. One of the four farmer groups did not have any stakeholder coming to them and so they grow almost entirely the indigenous mango varieties. Since the farmers produce mangoes, they need a market for their produce. The four farmer groups are engaged in mango value addition. The farmers mainly got into mango value addition as a way of addressing the market challenges faced for raw mangoes. Still with mango value addition, the farmers face challenges. The four mango farming groups undergo four similar stages which are : group registration, mango production, mango processing and certification. At each of these stages which the groups undergo, the interplay of knowledge, regulatory regimes, contexts, role of stakeholders could be clearly visualized. Farmers in other JOLISAA innovation cases in Kenya and in other projects elsewhere in the world seemed to undergo the same pattern and face similar challenges. In conclusion after a close analysis of the case, it emerged that the farmers’ groups who had the greatest number of stakeholders cushioning and supporting them progressed further in the innovation chain and are almost achieving their objectives. External stakeholder availability and support was influenced by contextual factors such as electricity and road network which influences accessibility of the farmer groups to the stakeholders. Also as the farmers move along the commercialization chain, they are also moving out of the zones where their knowledge is sufficient into unknowledgeable zones and they tend to become more dependent on external knowledge and external stakeholders.

Mots clés : agricultural development / farming systems / development projects / farmers / innovations / knowledge / mangoes / production / marketing / kenya

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Page publiée le 28 février 2015, mise à jour le 12 octobre 2018