Which type of producer organization is (more) inclusive? Dynamics of farmers’ membership and participation in the decision-making process

Mercy Mwambi, Jos Bijman*, Patience Mshenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Producer organizations (POs) provide benefits to smallholders by alleviating market access challenges. However, whether all farmers benefit from a PO is still a question. Limited evidence is available on whether POs are inclusive of poor farmers. Even if the poor join, do they participate in decision-making? We conducted interviews with 595 smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya. We distinguish three groups; members of a bargaining PO, members of a processing PO and non-members. We show that membership is related to the structural characteristics of the organization: processing POs favor membership of farmers that are wealthier, more educated and more innovative. As to participation in the decision-making process: older, male and specialized farmers have a higher chance of being involved than poor farmers. Factors distinguishing farmer participation in decision-making between bargaining and processing POs are highlighted. We find that a bargaining PO is more inclusive of all groups of farmers, while women and poor farmers are excluded from decision-making in a processing PO. Our findings contribute to policymaking on inclusive development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-236
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Volume91
Issue number2
Early online date18 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • dairy farmer cooperative
  • inclusiveness
  • membership participation

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