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Abstract

In this paper we study the dynamics of smallholder participation in export value chains focusing on the example of small-scale broccoli producers in the highlands of Ecuador. A double hurdle model and a multi-spell cox duration model are used to explain the extent of participation and the hazards of dropping out of the export chain. The empirical results suggest that small farmers´ withdrawal from the export sector is in fact accelerated by hold-ups experienced in the past and that family ties play an important role in farmers’ marketing decisions. Negative external shocks – such as the bankruptcy of the main buyer in our case study – represent a major threat towards the sustainability of smallholder farmer inclusion in high-value chains, because farmer organizations often possess low resilience towards such events.

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