To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, research concepts and empirical evidence are needed to upgrade smallholder activities within local value chains (LVCs) of many developing countries. Yet, comprehensive gender-sensitive investigations of the evolution and multiplicity of governance in whole food systems with parallel functioning of local and modern value chains (MVCs) are greatly underrepresented in the scientific literature. This study aims to uncover LVCs' (a) value systems, (b) governance themes and gender roles for value addition and (c) smallholder upgrading strategies in developing countries' dualistic sectors. The global value chain framework serves as the conceptual basis for the study and is extended towards the gendered value web approach. Empirical data obtained through three focus group discussions, three Net-maps and 21 interviews from the Nigerian shrimp sub-sector represent the basis for the qualitative analysis. The results identified two lead actors—traders and women processors—who are crucial for the functioning of the complex value system. Further findings showed that fishermen and women processors are mutually reliant and are organized along their gendered comparative advantage. Based on these results, manifold managerial and policy implications, that are also applicable to other developing countries and cases, are derived to upgrade and develop smallholders' gendered activities and products along the LVC.
- global value chain framework
- governance themes
- Nigerian fishing sector
- smallholder upgrading strategies
- value web approach