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Farm size and productivity in Malawian smallholder agriculture

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  • Andrew Dorward

Abstract

This article contributes to the limited literature on farm size and productivity in smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Farm survey data, and the results from a linear programming farm-household model, provide evidence for a positive relationship between farm size and productivity in both labour-scarce and land-scarce smallholder farming in Malawi during the 1980's. The absence of an inverse relationship is explained in terms of failures in land, capital and produce markets with acute capital constraints, which affect both capital and labour inputs on smaller farms. Implications for rural development policies are discussed.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220389908422595
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 35 (1999)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 141-161

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:35:y:1999:i:5:p:141-161

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Cited by:
  1. Place, Frank, 2009. "Land Tenure and Agricultural Productivity in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of the Economics Literature and Recent Policy Strategies and Reforms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1326-1336, August.
  2. Klaus Deininger & Songqing Jin, 2008. "Land Sales and Rental Markets in Transition: Evidence from Rural Vietnam," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 67-101, 02.
  3. Sauer, Johannes & Tchale, Hardwick, 2006. "Alternative Soil Fertility Management Options in Malawi – An Economic Analysis," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25407, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Sauer, Johannes & Tchale, Hardwick, 2006. "Alternative Soil Fertility Management Options in Malawi - An Economic Analysis," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21423, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Deininger, Klaus & Nizalov, Denys & Singh, Sudhir K, 2013. "Are mega-farms the future of global agriculture ? exploring the farm size-productivity relationship," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6544, The World Bank.
  6. Holden, Stein & Fisher, Monica, 2013. "Can area measurement error explain the inverse farm size productivity relationship?," CLTS Working Papers 12/13, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  7. Ainembabazi, John Herbert & Angelsen, Arild, 2009. "The paradox of household resource endowment and land productivity in Uganda," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51691, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Klaus Deininger & Denys Nizalov & Sudhir K Singh, 2013. "Are mega-farms the future of global agriculture? Exploring the farm size-productivity relationship for large commercial farms in Ukraine," Discussion Papers 49, Kyiv School of Economics.
  9. Lipton, Michael, 2010. "From Policy Aims and Small-farm Characteristics to Farm Science Needs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1399-1412, October.
  10. Luc Dossa & Barbara Rischkowsky & Regina Birner & Clemens Wollny, 2008. "Socio-economic determinants of keeping goats and sheep by rural people in southern Benin," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 581-592, December.
  11. Tomasz Gerard Czekaj & Arne Henningsen, 2012. "Comparing Parametric and Nonparametric Regression Methods for Panel Data: the Optimal Size of Polish Crop Farms," IFRO Working Paper 2012/12, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  12. Kimhi, Ayal, 2003. "Plot Size And Maize Productivity In Zambia: The Inverse Relationship Re-Examined," Discussion Papers 14980, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  13. Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Deininger, Klaus, 2014. "Is there a farm-size productivity relationship in African agriculture ? evidence from Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6770, The World Bank.
  14. Matchaya, Greenwell C., 2007. "Does size of operated area matter? Evidence from Malawi's agricultural production," MPRA Paper 11948, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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