Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - World Development
Title Principal challenges confronting smallholder agriculture in sub-saharan Africa
Author(s)
Volume 38
Issue 10
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 1384-1398
URL https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/wdevel/v38y2010i10p1384-1398.html
Abstract
This paper uses small-scale farm survey data from five countries of eastern and southern Africa to highlight four underappreciated issues: (i) how land distribution patterns constrain the potential of crop technology and input intensification to enable many small farms to escape from poverty; (ii) why most smallholders are unable to produce more than a marginal surplus or participate meaningfully in commodity markets; (iii) why most farmers are directly hurt by higher grain prices; and (iv) why the marketed agricultural surplus is exceedingly concentrated among a small group of relatively large smallholders. Policy and public investment options are reviewed in the light of these findings. There is no one future for small farms in Africa: much depends on government policy and investment decisions.

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