Participation of smallholder farmers in the agricultural value chain is determined by their ability to capture value. There are different concepts of value that should be considered: those that drive an improvement in output value of a smallholder farmer, and those that pertain to smallholder farmers themselves, the functional (upgrading) and experiential value. Upgrading in the value chain takes three major areas of upgrading strategies: product, process and functions (Kaplinsky and Morris, 2008); the authors of this paper argue that these represent the functional value. The authors therefore claim that functional value refers to an improved or enhanced value in a more physical sense (e.g. higher prices per product sold). That leaves experiential value, which is intrinsically gained by the smallholder farmer, and is driven by improved learning and experience, confidence gained and control. Therefore, for a balanced analysis and understanding of the value for farmers participating in the value chain, the authors propose a conceptual framework which includes the elements of experiential value and functional value. The contribution of this work is therefore an expansion of the perceived value approach that may shed more light on the drivers of inclusion and exclusion of smallholder farmers in value chains. This paper begins by expanding the concept of value as it relates to smallholder farmers. Then, the authors propose a conceptual framework for participating in the value chain in an effort to understand the participation of smallholder farmers in agricultural value chains.


Agricultural value chain, experiential value, functional value, smallholder farmers, smallholder farmer participation.

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Published : 2020-04-02

Mjonono, M. (2020). A VALUE FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS PARTICIPATING IN THE AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAIN:. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 55(1), 37–44. https://doi.org/10.17306/J.JARD.2020.01209

Mfusi Mjonono  mmjonono@gmail.com
University of Stellenbosch Business School  South Africa

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