Towards an entrepreneurial innovation system for small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Otto Kroesen Delft University of Technology
  • David John Ndegwah JOOUSTBondo
Keywords: entrepreneurship, smallholder farmers, business culture, business innovation system

Abstract

Growing population pressure, climate change and urbanization necessitate the increase of agricultural production and innovation. Horticulture by means of protected cultivation primarily for vegetables production seems promising by creating a controlled environment for light, temperature and moisture and against diseases. But there is a gap between the high-tech precision horticulture as practiced for instance in the Netherlands and the context and capacities of African smallholder farmers. On the one side high-tech large-scale greenhouse cultivation is introduced by foreign companies, management and capital, while on the other side many smallholders grapple with lack of quality inputs, lack of funding, lack of frugal small-scale technical solutions (greenhouses, irrigation systems, water provision, disease and residue treatment, monitoring soil fertility etc.), lack of infrastructure and lack of capacity. Over and above an analysis of the situation the paper proposes a way forward consisting of three elements: entrepreneurship and capacity training (1), a strategy of gradual growth (2), and finally a comprehensive business innovation system (3). The research is based on long-term student involvement by internships and master thesis studies from the Delft University of Technology and includes the experiences of a Dutch consortium of entrepreneurs and researchers (greenhouse constructors, seed companies, pest control, financial institutions, entrepreneurship). This consortium tries to raise the capacities of smallholder farmers and take them to a higher level. Findings show that in principle there is a business case for introducing existing smallholder farmers and young entrepreneurs to protected cultivation under the leadership of more experienced farmers, supported by a network of stakeholders (retailers, banks, Dutch and African companies, academic partners, NGOs, government agencies). Cooperation of many stakeholders, the creation of an enabling environment and training of capacity appear to be crucial conditions for success.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Alberts, G., Klinkhamer, S., Reniers, J., 2018. Seed2Feed, Students Internship Reports, Delft University of Technology.
Berner, E., Gomez G., Knorringa P., 2012. ‘Helping a Large Number of People Become a Little Less Poor’: The Logic of Survival Entrepreneurs, European Journal of Development Research, 24, 382-396.
Besley, T., 1995. Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana, The Journal of Political Economy 103 (5): 903-937.
Bryceson, D. F.., 2002. The Scrambling in Africa: Reorienting Rural Livelihoods, in World Development, 30, 5, 725-739.
Chirwa, E.W., Matita, M., 2012. From Subsistence to Smallholder Commercial Farming in Malawi: a Case of NASFAM Commercialization Initiatives, Working Paper 037, www.future-agricultures.org, 1-21.
Cotula, e.a., 2012. Landgrab for Development Opportunity? Agricultural Investment and International Land Deals in Africa, IIED.
Delphy Report, 2017. Optimal Greenhouse Design Ghana, MAT16GH02 Wageningen.
Fan, S., Brzeska, J. Keyzer, M., Halsema, A., 2013. From Subsistence to Profit: Transforming Smallholder Farms, Food Policy Report IFPRI, 1-22.
Faustino, J., Booth, D., 2014. Development Entrepreneurship: How Donors and Leaders of can foster Institutional Change, Working Politically in Practice Series, – Case Study Number Two, The Asia Foundation and The Overseas Development Institute, 1-54.
Fisher, E., Qaim, M., 2012. Linking Smallholders to Markets: Determinants and Impacts of Farmer Collective Action in Kenya, World Development, 40:6, 1255-1268.
Fox, L., Sohnesen, T.P., 2013. Household Enterprises in Mozambique: Key to Poverty Reduction, but Not on the Development Agenda?, Policy Research Working paper 6570, 1-32.
Fredriksson, L., Bailey, A., Davidova, S., Gorton, M., Traikova, D., 2016. Pathways to Commercialization of Semi-Subsistence Farms: Lessons Learnt from Rural Transformation in Central and Easton European Countries, conference paper in Rural transformation, agricultural and food systems in transition: Building the evidence base for politics that promote sustainable development, food and nutrition security and poverty reduction, conference 19-20 September 2016, FAO, Rome, Italy, 1- 17.
Gonzales Y.S., Dijkxhoorn, Y., Koomen, I., Van der Maden, E., Herms, S., Joosten, F., Mensah, S.A., 2016. Vegetable Business Opportunities in Ghana: 2016, GhanaVeg Report Wageningen UR.
Harrison, L.E. 2000. Promoting Progressive Cultural Change, in Culture Matters – How Values Shape Human Progress, Harrison, L.E., Huntington, S.P. (Ed.), Basic Books, New York, pp. 296-309.
Hyden, G, 2006. African Politics in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Hyden, G., 2008. Institutions, Power and Policy Outcomes in Africa, Discussion Paper, www.odi.org.uk, pp. 1-39.
Jackson, T. 2004. Management and Change in Africa: a Cross-Cultural Perspective, Routledge, New York.
Jackson, Terence, 2011. From cultural values to cross-cultural interfaces: Hofstede goes Africa, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24: 4, 532-558.
Jayaram, K., Riese, J. & Sanghvi, S., 2010. Agriculture: abundant opportunities. McKinsey Quarterly.
Johnston, B.F. and Mellor, J.W., 1961. The American Economic Review, 51 (4), 566-593.
Kroesen J.O., Ndegwah D.J., 2017., Culture and value trade-offs for successful entrepreneurship in Africa, Conference proceedings Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa, 18-19 July https://pub.h-brs.de/solrsearch/index/search/searchtype/collection/id/16577 , University of Nairobi, http://dx.doi.org/10.18418/978-3-96043-060-5, http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:cb5ef480-8681-499a-8d02-6425b2edb98c, pp. 101-119.
Kroesen, J.O., Darson, R., Capacity Building as Part of Sustainable Rural Entrepreneurship, ICE conference June 2013, www.ice-conference.org, pp.1-9. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.1938.7207
Kroesen J.O., Darson R., Ndegwah D.J., 2015. Capacities, Development and Responsible Innovation, in Responsible Innovation, Concepts, Approaches, and Applications, Ed. Koops, Bert Jaap; Oosterlaken, Ilse; Romijn, Henny; Swierstra, Tjalling; van den Hoven, Jeroen, Springer, Cham Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-17308-5, pp. 201-224.
London, T. Anupindi, R., Sheth, S., 2010. Creating Mutual Value: Lessons Learned from Ventures Serving Base of the Pyramid Producers, Journal of Business Research, 63:582-594.
Neven, Dr., Odera, M.M., Reardon, T., 2009. Kenyan Supermarkets, Emerging Middle-Class Horticultural Farmers, and Employment Impacts on the Rural Poor, World Development, 37, 11:1802-1811.
Nordey, T. Basset-Mens, C., De Bon, H., Martin, T., Déletré, E., Simon, S., Parrot, L., Despretz, H., Huat, J., Biard, Y., Dubois, T., Malézieux, E., 2017. Protected Cultivation of Vegetable Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa: Limits and Prospects for Smallholders. A Review, Agronomic Sustainable Development, 37:53, 1-20, DOI 10.1007/s13593-017-0460-8.
Ongeri, B.O., 2014. Small-Scale Horticultural Farming along the Kenyan Highways and Local Economic Development: Exploring the Effect of Factor Prices, International Review of Research in Emerging Markets in the Global Economy, 1:3, 102-119.
Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. ed., 2010. Business Model Generation, self-published, Toronto.
Rivera-Santos, M., Rufin, C, 2010. Global village versus small town: Understanding networks at the Base of the Pyramid, International Business Review 19:126-139.
Samli, A.C. 2009. International Entrepreneurship, Innovative Solutions for a Fragile Planet, Springer, New York.
Tack, M., 2010. Actor Network Development in Strategic Niche Management: Analysis in the field of Solar Energy in Kenya, Master Thesis, Delft University of Technology.
Tshikuku, K., 2001., Culture, Entrepreneurship and Development in Africa, International conference on the cultural approach to development in Africa, 10-14 December 2001, Dakar – Senegal, 1-27.
Tshikuku, K., 2015. Modern Farming in Africa: DR Congo’s cultural factors of failure (1885-2015), Conference Paper Technology Transfer at the Interface of Cultures, Bondo 2015, conference proceedings, uuid:d39d3f32-2f84-44fb-b4b1-d5eb6fe952f3.
Vorley, B., Cotula, L., Chan, M-K, 2012. Tipping the Balance, Policies to Shape Agricultural Investments and Markets in Favor of Small-Scale Farmers, Research Report, IIED, Oxfam.
UNDP, 2012. Africa Human Development Report: toward a Food Secure Future, United Nations Publications, New York.
UNEP, 2013. United Nation Environment Program, Smallholder Farmers Key to Lifting over 1 Billion People Out Of Poverty, Report.
Wiggins, S., Kirsten, J., Llambi, L, 2010. The Future of Small Farms, in World Development 38 (10): 1341-1348.
Published
2019-02-13
How to Cite
Kroesen, O., & Ndegwah, D. J. (2019). Towards an entrepreneurial innovation system for small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. EPH - International Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Research (ISSN: 2208-2158), 5(2), 01-15. Retrieved from https://ephjournal.com/index.php/aer/article/view/1091