We are looking for two PhD candidates with knowledge and experience working in Chile to contribute to the project ‘Horticultural food systems based on ecologically intensive production and socio-economically sustainable value chains in the transition economies Chile and Uruguay’ (HortEco). These are 4-year research positions at Wageningen University, with scholarships.
1) PhD position in sociology of innovation and transitions ‘Change agents facilitating ecologically intensive production and value chains’
Transitioning towards ecologically and socio-economically sustainable production and marketing require combined ecological, technological, social and institutional change. Current innovation systems in Latin American countries, including Chile and Uruguay, are oriented towards high external input agriculture, and see innovation as science-driven technological change.
Co-innovation, while successful at a small scale, requires work beyond the farm level. Public and private actors throughout the food system need to fulfil key change agency roles in the transition to ecologically intensive production and value chains providing knowledge and mobilizing resources.
2) PhD position in management studies and supply chain economics ‘horizontal and vertical value chain collaboration models: arrangements to support ecological intensification’
Value chains play a key role in determining food availability and affordability. Vegetable marketing in Chile and Uruguay is currently characterised by limited farmer collaboration, fragmented retail, heterogeneous quality and few opportunities for value-adding. As an answer to this challenge, vertical collaboration through contract farming (CF) between farmers and agribusiness, and horizontal collaboration of ecological producer organizations (POs) are emerging in both countries to market sustainably produced vegetables for urbanising consumer markets.
Horizontal and vertical collaboration in value chains can promote sustainable socio-economic development and improve food availability and access. However, there is limited understanding how these value chain networks establish and maintain sustained market relationships. In this PhD research the focus is on how sustainably producing farmers and processors can be integrated in value chain networks that (successfully) address urban markets. The research will largely take place in Chile, with comparative work in Uruguay.
Applications must be received by 14 August via firstname.lastname@example.org