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APRA Working Paper 95: Agricultural Technology, Food Security and Nutrition: Insight From Oil Palm Smallholders in Ghana
December 19, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
The use of agricultural technologies has facilitated gains from agricultural commercialisation for smallholder farmers in Africa. Practices that involve these technologies play an important role in tackling poverty and food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, the link between agricultural technology
APRA Working Paper 94: The Farm Size-Productivity Relationship: Evidence From Panel Data Analysis of Small- and Medium-Scale Farms in Nigeria
September 20, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
The finding that smaller farms are more productive than larger farms has long been documented. At present, evidence in the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region has been largely limited to data from farms operating 5ha and below. Examining changes in farm
APRA Working Paper 93: Changing Farm Structure and Agricultural Commercialisation: Implications for Livelihood Improvements Among Small-Scale Farmers in Nigeria
May 23, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Research in several African countries shows the rapid rise of a medium-scale farming (MSF) sector. While national development policy strategies within the region officially regard the smallholder farming sector as an important (if not the main) vehicle for achieving agricultural
APRA Working Paper 92: Livelihood Outcomes of Agricultural Commercialisation, Women’s Empowerment and Rural Employment
May 23, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Across Ghana, mixed-crop-livestock enterprises dominate the farming systems with most farmers producing both food staples and non-food cash crops. However, this paper focuses mainly on oil palm-producing farmers because oil palm is Ghana’s second most important industrial crop (aside from
APRA Working Paper 91: Effects of Commercialisation on Seaonsal Hunger: Evidence from Smallholder Resettlement Areas, Mazowe Distrct, Zimbabwe
May 12, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Agricultural transformation towards intensive commercial production is a key facet of current development strategies pursued by African governments, aimed at improving welfare outcomes of farm households. However, in Zimbabwe, there is concern that increased commercialisation, especially through tobacco production, may
APRA Working Paper 90: Agricultural Commercialisation Pathways and Gendered Livelihood Outcomes in Rural South-Western Ghana
May 4, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
It is widely assumed that agricultural commercialisation leads to increased incomes and therefore better livelihood outcomes for farmers, including smallholders. But are the gains from commercial agriculture equitably distributed? Are there pathways to agricultural commercialisation that are more effective than
APRA Working Paper 89: Impact of Commercialisation Pathways on Income and Asset Accumulation: Evidence from Smallholder Farming in Zimbabwe
May 4, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Smallholder agricultural commercialisation has been seen as an important pathway out of rural poverty in developing countries. However, little empirical evidence is available in sub-Saharan Africa that examines the relationship between commercialisation pathways taken by farmers and welfare outcomes, such
APRA Working Paper 88: Agricultural Commercialisation, Gender Relations and Women’s Empowerment in Smallholder Farm Households: Evidence from Zimbabwe
May 4, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Agricultural commercialisation has been identified as an important part of the structural transformation process, as the economy grows from subsistence to highly commercialised entities that rely on the market for both inputs and for the sale of crops. However, this
APRA Working Paper 87: The Political Economy of Agricultural Commercialisation: Insights from Crop Value Chain Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa
March 17, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
This paper is a synthesis of findings from 11 value chains case studies in six countries across sub- Saharan Africa, carried out as part of the APRA programme during 2020–21. The countries and their respective value chains case studies included:
APRA Working Paper 86: Returns to Commercialisation: Gross Margins of Commercial Crops Grown by Smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa
March 10, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
What are the returns to smallholders when they grow commercial crops for sale in rural Africa? The gross value of production per hectare is sometimes reported, with some recent estimates ranging from as much as US$10,000/ha for irrigated vegetables in
APRA Working Paper 85: In the Shadow of Industrial Companies: Class and Spatial Dynamics of Artisanal Palm Oil Processing in Rural Ghana
March 9, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
This paper is concerned with the multiple opportunities and challenges of artisanal palm oil processing and the potential multiplier effects on local economies. It examines the effect of the presence of large oil palm plantations and their industrial processing mills
APRA Working Paper 84: The Struggle to Intensify Cocoa Production in Ghana: Making a Living from the Forest in Western North
February 22, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Since cocoa began to be cultivated in the 1880s in southern Ghana, it has created jobs, incomes and prosperity for the many farmers growing the crop. Until recently, cocoa farmers could make use of highly favourable conditions when clearing forests
APRA Working Paper 82: Interrogating the Effectiveness of Farmer Producer Organisations in Enhancing Smallholder Commercialisation – Frontline Experiences From Central Malawi
February 10, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Many years of significant investment into the production and adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies and practices in agriculture have not yielded the desired results. Most smallholder farmers in Africa remain trapped in poverty. Having realised that addressing production challenges alone is
APRA Working Paper 81: Use of Climate-Smart Agriculture Practices and Smallholder Farmer Market Participation in Central Malawi
February 9, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
In the past few decades, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) has been promoted to improve food security and raise incomes as a strategy for sustainable agricultural development. The adoption rates among smallholder farmers, particularly in Africa, remain low and have varied in
APRA Working Paper 80: Long-Term Change, Commercialisation of Cocoa Farming, and Agroecosystems and Forest Rehabilitation in Ghana
February 9, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Cocoa production has a long history in Ghana, originating in the late nineteenth century. Since then, cocoa production has seen significant changes. Originally, cocoa was cultivated in newly cleared forests in which many forest trees were preserved as shade trees.
APRA Working Paper 79: Cocoa Commercialisation in Nigeria: Issues and Prospects
January 18, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Despite the setback in the Nigerian agricultural sector’s development and its declining cocoa production in recent years, the nation still has potential to regain its production capacities in the cocoa sub-sector. In fact, cocoa farmers included in the study, across
APRA Working Paper 78: How Does Land Size Mediate the Relationship between Specialisation and Commercialisation? Lessons from Rice Farming in the Fogera Plain of Ethiopia
January 18, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
The introduction of rice into Ethiopia provided a solution to food insecurity. More recently, national policy has emphasised the positive relationship between rice specialisation and commercialisation and, thus, higher incomes. In retrospect, this initiative has been hugely successful as the
APRA Working Paper 77: Commercialisation Pathways and Climate Change: The Case of Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Tanzania
December 20, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
The semi-arid drylands of central Tanzania have been characterised by low and erratic rainfall coupled with high evapotranspiration. Up until now, farmers of these local dryland farming systems have been able to cope with these climate conditions. However, climate change
APRA Working Paper 76: Long-Term Patterns of Change in the Commercialisation of Cocoa in Ghana: Forest Frontiers and Technological Transformation
December 6, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by: Kojo Amanor, Joseph Yaro and Joseph Teye The commercialisation of cocoa production in Ghana has a long history dating back to the nineteenth century. The process of commercial development in cocoa is well documented and provides an alternative
APRA Working Paper 75: Agricultural Commercialisation and Rural Livelihoods in Malawi: A Historical and Contemporary Agrarian Inquiry
November 16, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
This study was carried out to understand the underlying dynamics of agricultural commercialisation in Malawi, especially among smallholder farmers. Despite various concerted efforts to accelerate agricultural growth and transformation, the progress among smallholder farmers has been less satisfactory. Most of
APRA Working Paper 74: The Role of Small-Scale Processors in Supporting Agricultural Commercialisation Among Smallholder Rice Farmers in East Africa: Lessons from Ethiopia and Tanzania
November 9, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by: Dawit Alemu, Aida Isinika, Hannington Odame and John Thompson Until recently, attention to rice value chain upgrading has been limited in many rice-producing countries of Eastern Africa. Yet, it is this mid-stream section (the millers and traders) –
APRA Working Paper 73: Land and Labour Relations on Cocoa Farms in Sefwi, Ghana: Continuity and Change
November 8, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
When in the 1880s farmers in southern Ghana began to plant cocoa, their main concerns were finding land to plant and mobilising labour to do so. The issue of finding land remained paramount until at least the 1990s, when the
APRA Working Paper 72: Land Tenure and Oil Palm Commercialisation
October 28, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Oil palm is the second most important cash crop after cocoa, and the sector is an important contributor to the Ghanaian economy. The production of cash crops in Ghana has largely been dominated by small-scale farmers in mostly rural areas
APRA Working Paper 71: The Drivers of Medium-Scale Farms and the Emerging Synergies and Contradictions Among Socially-Differentiated Farmers in Northern Ghana
October 12, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Since the turn of the century, agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa has been undergoing rapid transformation. Ghana is experiencing an agrarian revolution with increasing farmland sizes, increased mechanisation of production and external input usage, and high levels of commercialisation. In this
APRA Working Paper 70: The Rise of Medium-Scale Farms in the Northern Savannah of Ghana: Farmland Invasion or an Inclusive Commercialised Agricultural Revolution?
October 12, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing rapid transformation involving major changes in farmland ownership and farm scales from small to medium farms, with the widespread use of mechanisation and agro-inputs. Generally, households are increasing their farm sizes while others are
APRA Working Paper 69: Politics, Power and Social Differentiation in African Agricultural Value Chains: The Effects of COVID-19
October 4, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Since the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s, policymaking at a national and continental level has increasingly turned to agricultural commercialisation as the foundation for Africa’s long-term nutrition and food security. However, socio-economic inequalities, land tenure and food insecurity, as
APRA Working Paper 68: Explaining the Weakness of Associational Life in Oil Palm Growing Communities in Southwestern Ghana
October 4, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
As the second most important industrial crop in Ghana, oil palm holds the potential of improving farmers’ livelihoods and alleviating rural poverty. For smallholder farmers, collective action through farmer-based organisations (FBOs) could provide a pathway to inclusive participation in agricultural
APRA Working Paper 67: Sunflower Commercialisation in Singida Region: Pathways for Livelihood Improvement
October 4, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Sunflower commercialisation in Singida Region, Tanzania has been successful. The successes include increased oilseed production, expanding processing capacity and declining rural poverty. Policies and efforts by development agents to promote sunflower commercialisation have increased the number of actors and service
APRA Working Paper 66: Yield and Commercialisation Effects of SRI Interventions in Mngeta, Kilombero District, Tanzania
September 21, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
This paper discusses System of Rice Intensification (SRI) interventions and its potential effects on paddy yield and commercialisation in Mngeta division, Kilombero district in Morogoro region, Tanzania. SRI is an innovative agroecological methodology that aims to improve yields and farmers’
APRA Working Paper 65: Livestock, Crop Commercialisation and Poverty Reduction Among Rural Households in the Singida Region, Tanzania
September 21, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Livestock is an important component of mixed crop-livestock farming systems in the Singida Region in Tanzania, directly or indirectly contributing to household income, food security and poverty reduction among rural people in the region. This paper examined the effect of
APRA Working Paper 64: Commercial Tobacco Production and Climate Change Adaptation in Mazowe, Zimbabwe
September 20, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
There has been an increasingly well-documented, rapid rise in tobacco production over the last couple of decades in Mazowe, Zimbabwe, despite growing public health concerns about lung cancer and nicotine’s addictive capacities in the wealthier countries of the West –
APRA Working Paper 63: Rice Commercialisation Effects in Mngeta, Kilombero District, Tanzania: Identifying the Underlying Factors
September 7, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Rice production is the most dominant farming system in Kilombero valley in Morogoro region, Tanzania, accounting for more than 80 per cent of cultivated land within the valley. This paper examines changes in rice commercialisation and livelihood outcomes for different
APRA Working Paper 62: Agricultural Investment Corridors in Africa: Does Smallholder and Women’s Participation Count?
August 12, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Agricultural development corridors and clusters are highly complex projects that have been driven in Africa by agribusiness and mining corporations, host governments, international donors and development finance institutions. There is interest in whether these projects can support inclusive agribusiness. Evidence
APRA Working Paper 61: Rice Commercialisation, Agrarian Change and Livelihood Trajectories: Transformations on the Fogera Plain of Ethiopia
August 6, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by: Dawit Alemu, John Thompson and Abebaw Assaye Rice was considered a minor crop in Ethiopia, rarely consumed by many households in Sub-Saharan Africa. In recent decades, however, it has become the most rapidly growing staple food source in
APRA Working Paper 60: The Political Economy of the Maize Value Chain in Nigeria
July 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Paul Amaza, Sunday Mailumo, Asenath Silong The aim of this case study is to understand the underlying political economy dynamics of the maize value chain in Nigeria, with a focus on how this can contribute to comprehending the
Working Paper 59: The Influence of Sunflower Commercialisation and Diversity on Women’s Empowerment: The Case of Iramba and Mkalama Districts, Singida Region
July 14, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
There is a growing body of literature that argues that normally women derive little benefit from cash crops. Some of the barriers leading to women having less benefit from cash crop value chains include cultural norms and power differences in
Working Paper 58: Understanding Gender and Social Differentiation in the Context of Agricultural Commercialisation and Implications for Livelihoods in Rural Malawi
May 20, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Loveness M. Mgalamadzi, Mirriam Matita, Masautso Chimombo, Blessings Chinsinga, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa, Stevier Kaiyatsa and Jacob Mazalale Agricultural commercialisation is widely recognised as a catalyst to economic growth and development in low and middle-income countries. This study investigates
Working Paper 57: Agricultural commercialisation and the political economy of value chains: Tanzania rice case study
March 31, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by Ntengua S.Y. Mdoe and Glead I. Mlay This paper presents the political economy of rice commercialisation in Tanzania. It is based on a review of trade policies, regulations, strategies, and programmes implemented since the 1960s to promote rice
Working Paper 56: The political economy of the groundnut value chain in Malawi: Its re-emergence amidst policy chaos, strategic neglect, and opportunism
March 31, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by Blessings Chinsinga and Mirriam Matita This paper explores the political economy of the groundnut value chain in Malawi. The paper uses a combination of insights from the theoretical perspectives of political settlement, rents and policymaking to examine this
Working Paper 55: COVID-19 and the political economy of tobacco and maize commodity circuits: Makoronyera, the ‘connected’ and agrarian accumulation in Zimbabwe
March 31, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by Toendepi Shonhe This paper analyses the global commodity circuits – value chains – for maize and tobacco in Zimbabwe, in the context of a reconfigured agrarian economy and COVID-19 induced shocks. The study focuses on the political economy
Working Paper 54: Political economy of the oil palm value chain in Ghana
March 31, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by Kofi Takyi Asante Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is of strategic importance to the Ghanaian economy. It is the second most important industrial crop after cocoa and is used widely in local food preparation as well as in industrial
Working Paper 53: The Political Economy of the Cocoa Value Chain in Ghana
March 31, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Joseph Kofi Teye and Ebenezer Nikoi. The cocoa sector has, historically, been the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. Many households depend directly on the cocoa sector for livelihoods, and aspects of the cocoa industry, such as input supplies
Working Paper 52: Agricultural Commercialisation and the Political Economy of Cocoa and Rice Value Chains in Nigeria
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Emmanuel Remi Aiyede. Nigeria has sought to diversify its economy away from dependence on oil as a major source of government revenue through agricultural commercialisation. Agriculture has been a priority sector because it has very high growth potential
Working Paper 51: The Political Economy of the Rice Value Chain in Ethiopia: Actors, Performance, and Discourses
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Dawit Alemu and Abebaw Assaye. The goal of this working paper is to identify the core challenges that have contributed to the poor performance of Ethiopia’s rice sector, and highlight approaches to successfully promote the commercialisation of the
Working Paper 50: Determinants of Smallholder Farmers’ Livelihood Trajectories: Evidence from Rural Malawi
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Mirriam Matita, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa, Stevier Kaiyatsa, Jacob Mazalale, Masautso Chimombo, Loveness Msofi Mgalamadzi and Blessings Chinsinga. The authors of this paper attempt use quantitative methods to determine the different factors of livelihood trajectories in the context of
Working Paper 49: The Political Economy of Sunflower In Tanzania: A Case of Singida Region
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Aida C. Isinika and John Jeckoniah. This paper looks at the challenges and shortcomings facing the sunflower sub-sector in Tanzania. It showcases the political economy of sunflower based on analyses of the performance of the sector over a
Working Paper 48: The Political Economy of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Mvurwi Area Zimbabwe, 1984–2018
March 1, 2021 / Working Papers
Written by, Caleb Maguranyanga, Keen Marozva, Ian Scoones and Toendepi Shonhe. An analysis of the variations in land use and land cover over the past four decades in the Mvurwi area, Mazowe district, Zimbabwe illustrates how socio-economic dynamics and natural
Working Paper 47: How Conflicts Affect Land Expansion by Smallholder Farmers: Evidence from Nigeria
December 7, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adesoji Adelaja, Justin George, Thomas Jayne, Milu Muyanga, Titus Awokuse, Adebayo Aromolaran and Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie. The expansion of smallholder farms into larger farm sizes is a key strategy for growing agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. This strategy
Working Paper 46: Drivers of Market-Oriented Land Use Decisions Among Farm Households in Nigeria
November 18, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran, Milu Muyanga, Thomas Jayne, Abiodun E. Obayelu, Titus Awokuse, Omotoso O. Ogunmola and Fadlullah O. Issa In recent times, the Nigerian Government has devised strategies aimed at intensifying smallholder transformation for enhanced food security, employment
Working Paper 45: Role of resilience factors in mitigating the negative effects of conflict on land expansion
November 2, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adesoji Adelaja, Justin George, Thomas Jayne, Milu Muyanga, Titus Awokuse, Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie and Adebayo B. Aromolaran. Shocks and stresses from natural disasters, climate change, economic volatility, armed conflicts and political instability could hinder expansion efforts by