Collective action initiatives to improve marketing performance: Lessons from farmer groups in Tanzania
Department of Agriculture, Marketing Services Branch, Washington, DC, United States; Faida Market Link Company Limited, Arusha, Tanzania
This study aims to examine the extent to which certain characteristics and asset endowments of smallholder farmer groups facilitate collective action initiatives to improve group marketing performance. This is approached through an evaluation of a government-led programme in Tanzania, which is attempting to increase smallholder farmers' incomes and food security through a market-oriented intervention. Findings suggest that more mature groups with strong internal institutions, functioning group activities, and a good asset base of natural capital are more likely to improve their market situation. Gender composition of groups also affects group marketing performance, as an enabling factor for male-dominated groups. Structural social capital in the form of membership in other groups and ties to external service providers, and cognitive social capital in the form of intra-group trust and altruistic behaviour are not significant factors in a group's ability to improve its market situation.
collective action; farming system; food market; institutional framework; marketing; performance assessment; smallholder; social capital; state role; Africa; East Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Tanzania