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Export-Oriented Horticultural Production in Laikipia, Kenya: Assessing the Implications for Rural Livelihoods

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  • Anne Ulrich

    () (Department of Geography, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 330, Heidelberg 69120, Germany)

Abstract

Smallholders in the global South are confronted with new opportunities and risks emanating from globalized markets of agricultural goods. In Kenya, large-scale export-oriented horticulture farms, cultivating fruits, flowers and vegetables, were by and large established in the 1980s. In Laikipia County, the farms have grown to be the most important employers tying the region into global markets. The growth of the industry has direct as well as indirect impacts on local livelihoods. Based on qualitative data gathered from 55 interviews held with experts, local households and employees, the assessment shows a range of economic, social and environmental opportunities as well as constraints. Three major shortcomings are identified, the first being increasing river water abstractions and related water scarcity, second the call for living wages and social security, and third constraints smallholders face as out-growers. Addressing these issues can contribute to a more sustainable development in the region.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Ulrich, 2014. "Export-Oriented Horticultural Production in Laikipia, Kenya: Assessing the Implications for Rural Livelihoods," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-12, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:336-347:d:31999
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patricia Augier & Michael Gasiorek & Charles Lai Tong, 2005. "The impact of rules of origin on trade flows," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 567-624, July.
    2. C. Dolan & J. Humphrey, 2000. "Governance and Trade in Fresh Vegetables: The Impact of UK Supermarkets on the African Horticulture Industry," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 147-176.
    3. Miet Maertens & Liesbeth Colen & Johan F. M. Swinnen, 2011. "Globalisation and poverty in Senegal: a worst case scenario?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 31-54, March.
    4. מחקר - ביטוח לאומי, 1998. "Volume 5," Working Papers 63, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    5. Johan F. M. Swinnen & Miet Maertens, 2007. "Globalization, privatization, and vertical coordination in food value chains in developing and transition countries," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 89-102, December.
    6. Peter Dannenberg & Gilbert M. Nduru, 2013. "Practices In International Value Chains: The Case Of The Kenyan Fruit And Vegetable Chain Beyond The Exclusion Debate," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 104(1), pages 41-56, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Van den Broeck, Goedele & Swinnen, Johan & Maertens, Miet, 2017. "Global value chains, large-scale farming, and poverty: Long-term effects in Senegal," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 97-107.
    2. VAN DEN BROECK, Goedele & MAERTENS, Miet, 2016. "Horticultural exports and food security in developing countries," Working Papers 232595, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    livelihoods; smallholder; horticulture; agriculture; rural development; Laikipia; Kenya;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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