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Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Davis, Benjamin
  • Di Giuseppe, Stefania
  • Zezza, Alberto

Abstract

This paper uses comparable income aggregates from 41 national household surveys from 22 countries to explore the patterns of income generation among rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to compare household income strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa with those in other regions. The paper seeks to understand how geography drives these strategies, focusing on the role of agricultural potential and distance to urban areas. Specialization in on-farm activities continues to be the norm in rural Africa, practiced by 52 percent of households (as opposed to 21 percent of households in other regions). Regardless of distance and integration in the urban context, when agro-climatic conditions are favorable, farming remains the occupation of choice for most households in the African countries for which the study has geographically explicit information. However, the paper finds no evidence that African households are on a different trajectory than households in other regions in terms of transitioning to non-agricultural based income strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, Benjamin & Di Giuseppe, Stefania & Zezza, Alberto, 2017. "Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 153-174.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:153-174
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.09.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Janssens, C. & Van Den Broeck, G. & Maertens, M. & Lambrecht, I., 2018. "Mother s Non-Farm Entrepreneurship and Child Secondary Education in Rural Ghana," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277038, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. repec:eee:agiwat:v:213:y:2019:i:c:p:135-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Isabel Lambrecht & Monica Schuster & Sarah Asare Samwini & Laura Pelleriaux, 2018. "Changing gender roles in agriculture? Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(6), pages 691-710, November.
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:113:y:2019:i:c:p:26-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Birner, R. & Adu-Baffour, F. & Daum, T., 2018. "Can Big Companies' Initiatives to Promote Mechanization Benefit Small Farms in Africa? A Case Study from Zambia," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277288, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Adu-Baffour, Ferdinand & Daum, Thomas & Birner, Regina, 2018. "Can Big Companies’ Initiatives to Promote Mechanization Benefit Small Farms in Africa? A Case Study from Zambia," Discussion Papers 273521, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    7. Van Den Broeck, G. & Kilic, T., 2018. "Dynamics of Off-farm Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276988, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Musumba, Mark & Palm, Cheryl A. & Komarek, Adam, 2018. "Livelihood Strategies In Rural African Villages," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274214, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:10:p:2750-:d:230984 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:bla:agecon:v:49:y:2018:i:5:p:549-562 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:lje:journl:v:22:y:2017:i:sp:p:233-249 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Janssens, Charlotte & Van den Broeck, Goedele & Maertens, Miet & Lambrecht, Isabel, 2018. "Mothers’ non-farm entrepreneurship and child secondary education in rural Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1705, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Deininger, Klaus & Savastano, Sara & Xia, Fang, 2017. "Smallholders’ land access in Sub-Saharan Africa: A new landscape?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 78-92.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income; Non-farm employment; Agriculture; Africa; LSMS;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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