Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 540717
Title Digital platforms for smallholder credit access : The mediation of trust for cooperation in maize value chain financing
Author(s) Agyekumhene, Christopher; Vries, Jasper R. de; Paassen, Annemarie van; Macnaghten, Philip; Schut, Marc; Bregt, Arnold
Source NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences (2018). - ISSN 1573-5214
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2018.06.001
Department(s) Knowledge Technology and Innovation
Strategic Communication
WASS
PE&RC
Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Agriculture finance - Digital agriculture - Ghana - ICT - Networks - Trust
Abstract

Maize production is of critical importance to smallholder farmers in Ghana. Various factors limit the productivity of smallholder maize farming systems undergirded by the lack of capital for critical investments both at the farm and at national policy levels. Using a value chain approach, this diagnostic study explains how a complex configuration of actor interaction within an institutionally and agro-ecologically challenged value chain leads to the enduring absence of maize farming credit support. We find a cycle of credit rationing resulting from value chain challenges such as agro-ecological uncertainties, inadequate GAPs training, weak farmer groups and market insecurity. This condition is sustained by an interplay between mistrust, insufficient information across the value chain and inadequate control strategies in the maize credit system. We argue that Digital Platforms (DPs) show potential to help overcome some information and communication gaps and related uncertainties that impede traditional value chain credit arrangements. This is promising in terms of aiding awareness and coordinated responsiveness to agro-ecological farm conditions and the development of farming records databases. Thus, DPs could generate new networks and forms of cooperation in the maize value chain in this regard. As a tool for mediating trust in value chain credit cooperation, strategic use of these DP contributions could help initiate an entry point for recalibration of trust perceptions. Significant considerations and improvements are however needed to harness DPs effectively in mediating trust for maize credit provision, not least being farmer digital inclusion in DP implementation, effective intermediation and network governance arrangements and digital contributions towards cost-effective agro-ecological controls in the erratic maize farming context. This approach to trust building should therefore not be viewed as a quick fix but as a process of trial and error, and learning by doing.

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