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Agricultural commercialization and nutrition revisited: Empirical evidence from three African countries

Listed author(s):
  • Carletto, Calogero
  • Corral, Paul
  • Guelfi, Anita

The transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture is key for economic growth. But what are the consequences for nutritional outcomes? The evidence to date has been scant and inconclusive. This study contributes to the debate by revisiting two prevailing wisdoms: (a) market participation by African smallholders remains low; and (b) the impact of commercialization on nutritional outcomes is generally positive. Using nationally representative data from three African countries, the analysis reveals high levels of commercialization by even the poorest and smallest landholders, with rates of market participation as high as 90%. Female farmers participate less, but tend to sell larger shares of their production, conditional on participation. Second, we find little evidence of a positive relationship between commercialization and nutritional status. As countries and international agencies prioritize the importance of nutrition-sensitive agriculture, better understanding of the transmission channels between crop choices and nutritional outcomes should remain a research priority.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030691921630389X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 67 (2017)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 106-118

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:106-118
DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.09.020
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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  1. Carletto, Calogero & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Sustainability in the Diffusion of Innovations: Smallholder Nontraditional Agro-Exports in Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 345-369, January.
  2. Kaminski, Jonathan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2014. "Post-harvest loss in Sub-Saharan Africa -- what do farmers say ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6831, The World Bank.
  3. Maxwell, Simon & Fernando, Adrian, 1989. "Cash crops in developing countries: The issues, the facts, the policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(11), pages 1677-1708, November.
  4. Carletto, Calogero & Kirk, Angeli & Winters, Paul C. & Davis, Benjamin, 2010. "Globalization and Smallholders: The Adoption, Diffusion, and Welfare Impact of Non-Traditional Export Crops in Guatemala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 814-827, June.
  5. Strasberg, Paul J. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Yamano, Takashi & Nyoro, James K. & Karanja, Daniel David & Strauss, John, 1999. "Effects of Agricultural Commercialization on Food Crop Input Use and Productivity in Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54675, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  6. Lev, Larry, 1981. "The Effect Of Cash Cropping On Food Consumption Adequacy Among The Meru Of Northern Tanzania," Graduate Research Masters Degree Plan B Papers 11018, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  7. Calogero Carletto & Talip Kilic & Angeli Kirk, 2011. "Nontraditional crops, traditional constraints: The longā€term welfare impacts of export crop adoption among Guatemalan smallholders," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42, pages 61-76, November.
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