Producers’ Perception of Collective Action Initiatives in the Production and Marketing of Kola in Cameroon

  •  Amos Gyau    
  •  Bertin Takoutsing    
  •  Steven Franzel    


Collective action has been promoted as a strategy to improve the incomes of small scale producers in many developing countries, primarily by reducing transaction costs and improving farmers’ bargaining power. This paper evaluates producers’ perception of collective action initiatives which have been used in Cameroon for the production and marketing of kola nuts. Using a perceptual evaluation and cluster analysis based on interviews with 203 kola producers in western highlands of Cameroon, findings reveal that producers evaluate effectiveness of collective action based on 5 main groups of criteria: reduced transaction costs, new learning and skills acquisition, market and financial status, social networks and status, and unfavorable dimensions. Furthermore, two main types of producers who evaluate the collective initiatives differently are identified: the positive group and the unimpressed group. Higher proportions of women and youth are in the unimpressed group than in the positive group, suggesting that more needs to be done to understand their perspectives and better target collective action initiatives to their needs and circumstances. The paper concludes that promoters of collective action initiatives need to adopt differentiated strategies to enhance its adoption in the study area.

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