Edited by Kate Wellard
Accelerated growth in agriculture is critical to meeting the MDGs in Africa. Intensification and commercialisation of smallholder agriculture are seen by many governments and international agencies as the principal means of delivering this.
However market-based approaches have not delivered growth to many parts of Africa where markets are weak, thin and interlocking.
The challenge is how to raise productivity in the agricultural sector, and how smallholder farmers can ‘step up’ and participate in markets and improve livelihoods This brief draws on recent research by Future Agricultures and examines narratives and strategies for commercialisation. It asks:
- What pathways to commercialisations are open to smallholder producers and how can these be supported?
- What are the livelihood aspirations of young people in rural areas?
- How can farmer organisations be strengthened to assist smallholders to engage in markets and deliver broad-based growth?