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Do partnerships lead to capability building? Insights from ‘farmer – exporter’ partnerships in Kenya’s floriculture industry
The Scinnovent Centre Working paper no. 1

Bolo, M

January 2013

Accessing export markets by smallholders is undermined by their low capabilities for value addition, post-harvest handling and marketing. The Kenyan government is promoting partnerships between smallholder farmers and agri-business actors (exporters) as a mechanism for integrating smallholder farmers into the high value export horticulture.

This study sought to interrogate whether these partnerships lead to enhancing the smallholder farmers’ innovation capabilities thus increasing their opportunities for accessing export markets. The study argues that value addition, post harvest handling and marketing are the ‘limiting steps’ and are thus key determinants of whether or not the smallholders can access export markets directly.