Value Chain Development in Conflict-Affected Environments:Analysis of the Fisheries Sector in Sri Lanka (On-going)

Value chain approach (VCA) has been developed mainly as a tool that can focus on simultaneous achievement of economic growth and poverty reduction (EGwPR). It is a common observation in many developing countries that economic growth has failed to improve the conditions of the poor whereas benefits of growth are enjoyed mainly by a smaller section of affluent classes. Therefore, demand for intervention approaches that can address the grievances of the poor while simultaneously fostering economic growth arose as an urgent necessity. In this context, the VCA has mainly been identified as a useful tool for improving the competitiveness, especially of the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in developing and transition economies in the face of rapid globalization. So far, its major applications have been aimed at development and implementation of competitiveness strategies for industries dominated by SME.

This study focuses on the fisheries sector of Sri Lanka. There are numerous conflicts affecting various components of the fish value chain creating a host of constraints to its effective functioning and thereby its competitiveness. In some instances, conflict situations may result in opportunities to some participants. Out of the set of conflicts that are influencing the fishery value chain, the on-going armed conflict and governance failure affecting the value chain within the sector are selected in this study to be analysed for their impacts on the fisheries value chain.

The study attempts to assess these effects and to identify possible solutions to these problems through an analysis of the fisheries value chain in Southern Sri Lanka. It will entail an analysis of the value chain with deep insights into the impact the said two conflicts have laid down on the sector. Hence, the findings of the study are intended to show how the structure and functions of the value chain could be changed in order to improve the competitiveness of the industry. Further, the study is expected to demonstrate the applicability of value chain approach to analyze impacts of conflicts on the competitiveness of an industry.

Research team

Nisha Arunatilaka
Asha Gunawardana
Dilhani Marawila