Unraveling the connection between coffee farmers’ value chain challenges and experiential knowledge: The role of farm family resources

Robert Ochago*, Domenico Dentoni, Jacques Trienekens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Multiple value chain challenges confront smallholder farmers, which necessitate context-specific solutions. Family resources, such as information and production inputs, are valuable assets for farmers. When properly used, farmers’ family resources can help them in learning how to address value chain challenges. Yet, the learning in rural agricultural value chain literature still does not inform how family resources influence farmers’ learning. Design/methodology/approach: Face-to-face interviews with 214 coffee farmers were used to investigate how family resources shape farmers’ experiential learning process. The data was analyzed using PLS-SEM. Findings: Results show that family resources play a crucial role in farmers’ experiential learning process, particular in reflecting on and addressing value chain challenges they are confronted with. Practical implications: Smallholder farms, as a collective and farmer-centered experiential learning context, can serve as a source of inspiration for extension agents bringing the paradigm shift from technology transfer to participatory advisory services to reality. Theoretical implications: The study contributes to experiential theory in the context of agriculture by advancing a model on how rural family support can function as a resource to change the mechanisms underlying farmers’ experiential learning. Originality/value: The smallholder farm is a node in larger social learning networks (e.g. Innovation platform), where resources such as information, labor, emotional support, and production inputs, circulate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-211
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date2 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • coffee value chains
  • experiential learning process
  • family resources
  • smallholder farmers
  • social learning

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