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Cash crop liberalization and poverty alleviation in Africa: evidence from Malawi


  • Winford H. Masanjala


This article uses the case of burley tobacco liberalization in Malawi to investigate the efficacy of cash crop liberalization as an instrument for poverty alleviation in sub‐Saharan Africa. The principal justification for cash crop liberalization is that markets allow farm households to increase their incomes by producing that which provides the highest return to their productive resources and use the cash to buy consumption goods. Using a latent welfare model, we find that households that selected to grow cash crops had higher incomes than those that did not grow cash crops. However, we also find that due to the lumpiness and seasonality of cash crop incomes, higher household incomes, while increasing food purchases did not significantly affect per capita food intake. Irrespective of participation in cash crops, for much of the cropping season rural households seem to rely more on nonfarm income for expenditure and consumption smoothing.

Suggested Citation

  • Winford H. Masanjala, 2006. "Cash crop liberalization and poverty alleviation in Africa: evidence from Malawi," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(2), pages 231-240, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:35:y:2006:i:2:p:231-240

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    Cited by:

    1. Embaye, Weldensie T. & Bergtold, Jason S. & Schwab, Benjamin & Zereyesus, Yacob A., 2018. "Modeling Farm Household’s Productivity under Inseparable Production and Consumption decisions," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274226, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. repec:bla:agecon:v:49:y:2018:i:1:p:131-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Salazar-Espinoza, César & Jones, Sam & Tarp, Finn, 2015. "Weather shocks and cropland decisions in rural Mozambique," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 9-21.
    4. repec:eee:agisys:v:165:y:2018:i:c:p:310-320 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tadesse Kuma & Mekdim Dereje & Kalle Hirvonen & Bart Minten, 2019. "Cash Crops and Food Security: Evidence from Ethiopian Smallholder Coffee Producers," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(6), pages 1267-1284, June.
    6. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0727-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ambler, Kate & Jones, Kelly M. & O'Sullivan, Michael, 2018. "What is the role of men in connecting women to cash crop markets? Evidence from Uganda," IFPRI discussion papers 1762, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0792-5 is not listed on IDEAS

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