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Title: Value chain analysis, social impact and food security. The case of quinoa in Bolivia
Authors: Avitabile, Enrico
Keywords: neglected crops
value chains
Issue Date: 19-Jun-2015
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: This research is about opportunities and risks in including smallholder farmers involved in niche productions (as neglected and underutilized crops) in global value chains in order to improve their livelihoods with a specific focus on food security. In the first chapter - starting from the evidence of the failure in achieving the goal established at the World Food Summit to halve people suffering malnutrition - I refer to the debate on policies to advance towards food security, given the failure of the trade-based approaches adopted since the 80’s. New proposal appeared, like the food sovereignty framework and the right to food approach, taking together the ‘technical’ side of food security with the broader issue of farmers’ wellbeing. The choice to use a value chain analysis depends on the evidence that global value chains are becoming more and more important also for agricultural trade. In chapter two I focus particularly on the concepts of upgrading and governance. Upgrading (as is the move that firms do within a value chain to improve their outcome) is now understood not only for its economic consequence, but for social side too. Three approaches to governance are later presented, focusing particularly on the approach of ‘governance as normalizing’ and its linkage with convention theory. The second part of the thesis is about the case study, represented by an evaluation of the boom generated by the increased demand for quinoa (a former neglected Andean grain) for Bolivian farmers. In the third chapter there is a review of the so-called quinoa-boom, from the time it was ignored from Bolivian consumers too, until the increase of demand from Western countries in last two decades. The fourth chapter is dedicated to the reconstruction of the quinoa value chain in the Southern Altopiano of Boliva: I present the market map explaining the different steps that took the current configuration; each step is characterized by different governance structures, associated to different quality conventions using the convention theory’s categories. The fifth chapter is about the impact of the quinoa boom on quinoa farmers, using a multidimensional approach that consider indicators for economic, social, environment, food security and cultural sides. My analysis confirm the good impact for economic and social wellbeing, I argue that the effect on nutrition is also positive, while there are worries for negative environment and cultural consequences. These outputs are finally associated to the changes happened into the value chain, moved from a producer-driven to a buyer-driven governance with evolution of quality attributes in adverse way for farmers. In the last chapter different possible patterns for the future of quinoa business are faced; finally I make some considerations about the necessity to join value chain analysis with local development, so an approach considering more strongly the combination of economic activities and social structures in each territory.
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:Dipartimento di Economia
T - Tesi di dottorato

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