Future Agricultures Working Paper 72
Khamaldin Mutabazi, Steve Wiggins & Ntengua Mdoe
African agriculture is predominantly carried out on small-scale family farms. The big question about such family farms is whether they can be successfully commercialised within their current structures, or whether they should give way to commercial medium and large-scale farm enterprises. In more detail, the following questions arise about the experience of commercialisation of small farms in Africa and their prospects. Under what conditions, and with what encouragement from policy, may small farms be commercialised? Does commercialisation benefit smallholding households? Does commercialisation increase social differences? Does commercialisation raise risks in the markets to unacceptable levels?
This study addresses primarily the first two questions about the nature of commercialisation, its benefits and impacts on food security. Four villages in Tanzania that produce commercial crops for sale, mainly onions, were studied.