Global production networks and medicinal plants: Upstream actor dynamics in Nepal

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Knowledge of spatial and temporal actor dynamics in global production networks (GPNs) based on renewable natural resources remains rudimentary. This article contributes to reducing this knowledge gap by showing how upstream actors shape the territorial embeddedness and value dynamics (creation, enhancement, and capture of value) of GPNs. Empirically, we present a fine-grained analysis of the upstream section of the global production network for commercial medicinal plants harvested in and traded from Nepal. In particular, the paper investigates the within-group and between-group dynamics of key actors (traders and wholesalers). Empirical data was generated through 257 quantitative and 121 qualitative interviews with harvesters, sub-local traders, local traders, central wholesalers and regional wholesalers, supplemented with focus-group discussions. Analysis focuses on three key areas of interaction: infrastructural and ecological variations; territorial embeddedness and development; and institutional power and network reconfiguration. The findings help to understand the role of upstream actors in reconfiguring GPNs and enhancing the explanatory power of the GPN approach by adding organizational supply-side insights, thereby facilitating identification of pro-poor interventions.

TidsskriftGeographical Journal
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)455-468
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Research Committee for Development Research (FFU) of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Grant no. 13‐07KU]. The funding source had no involvement in the conduct of this research.

Funding Information:
The authors thank the harvesters, traders and wholesalers for their time and information. We acknowledge the Research Committee for Development Research (FFU) of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Grant no. 13‐07KU) for financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. The Geographical Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

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