Actors and institutions governing common-pool resource use for an agro-industrial food system An anthropological study explored export horticulture in Northwest Mount Kenya as a food system. It examined the actors, described the relationships between actors and institutions (formal and informal); established actor perceptions of food security in export horticulture, and established how the existing institutional settings and changes in export horticulture relate to other food systems in Northwest Mount Kenya. The study adopted an exploratory design and utilized the new institutionalism theoretical approach to look into the actors, relationships between actors, perceptions, and institutional settings within and outside the food system. IDIs, KIIs, FGDs, and observations were used to collect qualitative data. The Institutional settings of export horticulture were described from an emic perspective as changing and defining the operations of the food system. The Actors, Rules, and Regulations Linked to Export Horticulture Production and Access to Land and Water as Common Pool Resources in Laikipia County, Northwest Mount Kenya. The paper discusses how the export-oriented commercial horticultural investment sector viewed as an agro-industrial food system is driven by neoliberal privatization of land and resource policies feeding the global demand for vegetables shapes the access to often short-term livelihoods by offering women and poorly paid jobs and, increasing their workload as becomes evident from women‚Äôs perspective. Furthermore, the agro-industrial food system with more bargaining power to select and transform institutionalized access to former common pool resources is competing for these scarce resources in a semi-arid zone with local food systems such as agro-pastoralism and smallholder agriculture vital local livelihoods and food security. Therefore, their livelihood resilience as local actors is undermined and therefore increasing the potential for conflicts across the different food systems.