Constructing a green revolution: a socio-technical analysis of input-support programmes for smallholder farmers in Western Kenya

Yuksel, Nalan (2013) Constructing a green revolution: a socio-technical analysis of input-support programmes for smallholder farmers in Western Kenya. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

PDF - Published Version
Download (3MB) | Preview


This thesis presents a critical reflection on what is meant by a „Green Revolution‟ within the current, narrow „productivity-technology fix‟ paradigm. It shows the current focus on productivity is creating a limited view of technology as the principal means to address food insecurity in Africa, as opposed to a more comprehensive view that takes into account economic, social and political factors. The research combines a socio-technical systems approach with an actor-oriented analysis to examine two input-support programmes in Kenya. It focuses on input-support programmes due to the current interest in subsidies as the mechanism to address food insecurity and deliver agricultural technologies to smallholder farmers. It examines the political, social and institutional factors that influence the creation, design and implementation of these programmes. A multi-level approach (global, national and local) is used to map out the key narratives and actor networks operating in and across the different levels to highlight the dynamic interactions as they come together through these programmes. The thesis demonstrates how intermediary factors (institutions, policy and social networks) significantly affect programme outcomes. The two case studies show that policy and practice often diverge through changing actors, networks and funding flows. Each programme implementation is mediated through socially differentiated beneficiaries, creating interactions that unfold in numerous ways due to distinct social, political and economic factors, as well as to unique institutional and delivery mechanisms. The evidence suggests that technology-based programmes that fail to take account of these critical factors will encounter difficulties in uptake. Therefore, policymakers must consider context-specific approaches that appreciate the diversity of local conditions and the importance of socio-economic, institutional and political factors. The underlying message is that the impact of agricultural technologies on the practices and perceptions of smallholder farmers cannot be understood in isolation; end users constantly adapt technologies through complex social interpretations, local institutions and political processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: Institute of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.E5 Environmental policy and economic development. Sustainable development Including environmental economics
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0072 Economic development. Development economics. Economic growth
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 09:28
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 14:59

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update