Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2018, 6(4), 141-154
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-6-4-2
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Upgrading Strategies and Food Security Implications on Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Value Chain Review

Ann Njeri Kariuki1,

1Department of Business Management, Meru University of Science and Technology, Kenya, P.O Box 972-60200, Meru, Kenya

Pub. Date: November 26, 2018

Cite this paper:
Ann Njeri Kariuki. Upgrading Strategies and Food Security Implications on Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Value Chain Review. Journal of Food Security. 2018; 6(4):141-154. doi: 10.12691/jfs-6-4-2


The upgrading and value chain literature has tended to focus on the buyers in the value chain such as processors, international retailers and industries as they are the decision makers in the chain ignoring role played by smallholders with regard to food security implications. Recent research has begun to recognize the critical role that smallholder farmers will play in local, regional and global food security in the future. The population in dire need of food is growing rapidly in Africa compared to the rest of the world despite progress in market liberalization and other innovative reforms raising the concern of food security in the continent. It has largely been recognized that there is no one solution that fits all smallholder farmers in Africa. The main conclusions that emerge from the theoretical review and evidence provided in this paper include: Process, product and functional upgrading have different implications in the value chain as interventions with regard to their effect on improved food security and reduction in poverty levels. Smallholder farmers in developing countries are likely to benefit from being members of a value chain in terms of product and process upgrading, but their potential to reap the benefits of increased market opportunities, increased incomes and food security is curtailed by various factors, suggesting immiserizing growth. This paper proposes targeted agricultural interventions based on context specific integrated strategic innovations using tacit knowledge that aims at empowering smallholder farmers to add value to their farm produce using innovative models they participated in developing, while incorporating climate smart agricultural practices, to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable food security and nutrition in Sub- Saharan Africa.

food security innovation upgrading value addition value chain

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