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Boosting smallholder production for food security: some approaches and evidence from studies in sub-Saharan Africa


  • Matshe, Innocent


This paper uses the sustainable livelihoods framework to explore the contribution of smallholder production to food security in some sub-Saharan African countries and relates it to the South African case. Noting that many of the world’s hungry are smallholder farmers, it is clear that food insecurity is closely linked to the livelihood strategies of these farm households. As previous studies have shown, food insecurity is linked to livelihood assets, strong institutional support and a favourable external environment. In particular, the paper finds that food security depends on cereal output, budgetary support to agriculture, agricultural value added and poverty – all variables strongly linked to the sustainable livelihoods framework. Since most poor rural households rely on agricultural production for a significant share of their household income, increasing agricultural productivity is critical to increase food security and reduce rural poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Matshe, Innocent, 2009. "Boosting smallholder production for food security: some approaches and evidence from studies in sub-Saharan Africa," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 48(4), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:58217

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anonymous, 1997. "Meeting Food Aid and Price Support Objectives through Local Grain Purchase: A Review of the 1996 Experience in Ethiopia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54956, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Abdulai, Awudu & Barrett, Christopher B. & Hazell, Peter, 2004. "Food aid for market development in Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 5, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Christopher B. Barrett, 1998. "Food Aid: Is It Development Assistance, Trade Promotion, Both, or Neither?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 566-571.
    4. Lavy, Victor, 1990. "Does food aid depress food production? The disincentive dilemma in the African context," Policy Research Working Paper Series 460, The World Bank.
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