A value chain perspective towards sustainable agricultural practices: The case of vegetables in Chile

Project: PhD

Project Details


This thesis aims to empirically identify the key factors of the vegetable value chain in Chile that may support the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs). Chapter 1 - is an introductory chapter. Presents the problem definition and context of the study. Followed by the research case of the vegetable value chain in Chile and the HortEco Project (of which this thesis is part). It also explains the theoretical framework applied in this thesis, the research questions, and data and methods. Chapter 2 - empirically analyses what factors influence the simultaneous adoption of various SAPs in different vegetable crop production stages by farmers. Further, since the literature on SAPs adoption mainly analyses these factors as separate from each other, this chapter explores the interactions between factors and how these jointly impact the application of SAPs. Chapter 3 - characterises farmers’ heterogeneity and their initial starting point in the transition to SAPs. Specifically, this chapter classifies farming systems, including new elements such as the sustainability level of agricultural practices and market channel traits, in combination with socio-economic and structural farm characteristics. Chapter 4 - explores how different farmer-buyer relationships are linked to different levels of SAP adoption. First, we explore what farmer characteristics are related to each type of buyer, then we analyze what governance form (spot market, informal contract, formal contract) is used for farmer-buyer transactions, and finally, we investigate whether there is a relationship between types of contract (formal or informal) and (a) provisions in contracts with farmers (e.g., quality, quantity and the provision of services); (b) attributes of relationships with the farmer (i.e., satisfaction, trust and opportunism); and (c) levels of SAP adoption by farmers. Chapter 5 - discusses the overall results and insights derived from the three research chapters. It indicates how the three research questions support the achievement of the main objective. Besides, it reflects on the theoretical and methodological contributions. Finally, this chapter provides policy implications, gives insights for future research and presents the main conclusions.
Effective start/end date15/09/1721/12/22


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