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Blandina Kilama   
PhD researcher 
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E-mail BKilama@ascleiden.nl 
Title PhD research: Government policy and agricultural development in Vietnam and Tanzania: a case study of the cashew sector, 1980-2007. Summary: In the mid-1980s, Vietnam and Tanzania both embarked on a programme of economic liberalization. In both countries this led to higher growth rates, but Vietnam had much more success than Tanzania in reducing rural poverty. In Tanzania production of the so-called traditional cash crops, including cashew nuts, failed to revive following liberalization, whereas Vietnam has come from behind to become a major cashew producer for the world market. This growth in output is also accompanied by rising yields, and here too Tanzania lags behind. The consequences for poverty alleviation provide a compelling rationale for examining to what extent policy differences can explain this divergence. Kilama seeks the explanation in three areas: pricing, marketing arrangements and institutions; and the economy of the household. Her initial fieldwork in Tanzania points to scarcity of cash as a major explanatory factor: lack of cash limits the possibility of hiring labour to prune the trees; is the reason why people skimp on fumigation; and explains why people sell their crops to middlemen who buy for cash in advance before the season starts. Blandina's training is in economics, but it is likely that her thesis will develop in the direction of economic anthropology, since the economics of smallholder cashew cultivation appear closely linked to household structure. The higher levels in the marketing chain may also need further study.  
Selected publications