Improving smallholder welfare in the rural sectors of developing countries requires improving access to both input and product markets. Success, however, in developing sustainable and mutually beneficial links between smallholders and agribusiness has been variable. Two recent ACIAR studies concluded that there may be more to linking smallholders with the agribusiness sector than individual smallholder characteristics. This paper hypothesizes that social capital influences the ability of individual smallholders to take advantage of emerging agribusiness opportunities. It outlines a project proposed by the authors that aims to test this hypothesis and examine the potential for social capital to help alleviate rural poverty while maintaining social and environmental balance.