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Title: Agricultural global value chains : the case of tobacco in Malawi
Author: Moyer-Lee, Jason
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Global Value Chains (GVC) analysis, which is increasingly used in development studies to connect production in developing countries with consumption in developed countries, is used in this work to analyse the Malawi tobacco industry. This work engages with three key concepts of GVC analysis - territoriality, governance, and upgrading - in order to map the geography of the chain and its actors, examine power relationships in the chain, and determine which actors benefit from participation and how. In order to complement the firm focus of GVC analysis and incorporate a role for the state and producers, we draw on selected concepts from other theoretical traditions. Empirical evidence used in our analysis of the global tobacco industry was collected through a combination of a desktop-survey of the scant academic literature available, semistructured interviews with industry experts and stakeholders outside of Malawi, a synthesis of various primary sources, as well as a field visit to tobacco sites in the United States. The Malawi case study draws on evidence collected over the course of three fieldwork trips to Malawi and through observation, informal conversations, a firm-level survey, and over 50 semi-structured interviews with industry stakeholders and officials in farmer organizations and government there. We find that whilst firms have played a dominant role in transforming and determining participation in the Malawi tobacco industry, government and farmer associations have also been decisive. In particular, government policy has contributed to the territoriality of, as well as governance of and upgrading in the chain. Likewise, smallholder producers have used their associational power in order to upgrade in the chain. This work therefore contributes to the empirical literature on the global and Malawian tobacco industries, as well as to debates on the theoretical underpinnings of the GVC literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral