NANCY MUNYIVA LAIBUNI, SUSANNE NUEBERT, WOLFGANG BOKELMANN, EMIL GEVORGYAN, TUROOP LOSENGE
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Germany
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, SLE - Seminar für Ländliche Entwicklung, Germany
Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Agriculture, Horticulture, Kenya
African leafy vegetables (ALVs) are widely grown in Kenya and contribute to food and nutrition security, income generation and environmental services. A number of challenges namely; uncoordinated research efforts, limited information and inadequate extension packages have hindered the development of these vegetables along value chain. In addition, to these challenges there is disconnect in the innovation dissemination pathways due to poor linkages among and between the actors. This study uses the concept of sectoral system of innovation and production that postulates three building blocks namely; knowledge and technological domain, secondly actors and networks and thirdly institutions. Emphasis is put on unpacking of the knowledge base and technology present, the actors/stakeholders and their networks/linkages as well as the institutions i.e. the standards, laws and regulations that govern the sector. The graph theoretical method was used to characterise the organisational linkages in the ALV value chain. Organisations were categorised into seven broad groups; farms (producers), research, extension, marketing, value addition, financial and policy. These categories were evaluated in a square matrix to identify the linkages between them and to identify the dominant and sub-dominant categories. The results show the relationships between actors, expounding on the competences of this actors, their organisation and behaviour in the value chain. This is useful for the development public policy guidelines based on understanding of the structure, working and dynamics of the value chain. Innovation can thrive on indigenous science and technology base however; the policy environment needs to be favourable to create access to knowledge and networks along the value chain. One can therefore not over"=emphasise the importance of evidence"=based policy making.
Keywords: African leafy vegetables, graph theory, organisational linkages, sectoral systems of innovation