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Is production intensification likely to make farm households food-adequate? A simple food availability analysis across smallholder farming systems from East and West Africa

Author

Listed:
  • R. S. Ritzema

    (International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI))

  • R. Frelat

    (International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
    International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
    University of Hamburg)

  • S. Douxchamps

    (International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI))

  • S. Silvestri

    (International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
    Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI))

  • M. C. Rufino

    (Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), C/O World Agroforestry Centre
    Lancaster University)

  • M. Herrero

    (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO))

  • K. E. Giller

    (Wageningen University)

  • S. López-Ridaura

    (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT))

  • N. Teufel

    (International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI))

  • B. K. Paul

    (International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Tropical Forages Program
    Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Farming Systems Ecology)

  • M. T. Wijk

    (International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI))

Abstract

Despite considerable development investment, food insecurity remains prevalent throughout East and West Africa. The concept of ‘sustainable intensification’ of agricultural production has been promoted as a means to meet growing food needs in these regions. However, inadequate attention has been given to assessing whether benefits from intensification would be realized by farm households considering highly diverse resource endowments, household and farm characteristics, and agroecological contexts. In this study, we apply a simple energy-based index of food availability to 1800 households from research sites in 7 countries in East and West Africa to assess the food availability status of each of these households and to quantify the contribution of different on- and off-farm activities to food availability. We estimate the effects of two production intensification strategies on food availability: increased cereal crop production from crop-based options, and increased production of key livestock products from livestock-based options. These two options are contrasted with a third strategy: increased off-farm income for each household from broader socioeconomic-based options. Using sensitivity analysis, each strategy is tested against baseline values via incremental production increases. Baseline results exhibit considerable diversity within and across sites in household food availability status and livelihood strategies. Interventions represented in the crop and livestock options may primarily benefit food-adequate and marginally food-inadequate households, and have little impact on the most food-inadequate households. The analysis questions what production intensification can realistically achieve for East and West African smallholders, and how intensification strategies must be augmented with transformational strategies to reach the poorest households.

Suggested Citation

  • R. S. Ritzema & R. Frelat & S. Douxchamps & S. Silvestri & M. C. Rufino & M. Herrero & K. E. Giller & S. López-Ridaura & N. Teufel & B. K. Paul & M. T. Wijk, 2017. "Is production intensification likely to make farm households food-adequate? A simple food availability analysis across smallholder farming systems from East and West Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(1), pages 115-131, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-016-0638-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-016-0638-y
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    5. Adelhart Toorop, Roos & Ceccarelli, Viviana & Bijarniya, Deepak & Jat, Mangi Lal & Jat, Raj Kumar & Lopez-Ridaura, Santiago & Groot, Jeroen C.J., 2020. "Using a positive deviance approach to inform farming systems redesign: A case study from Bihar, India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 185(C).
    6. Charlotte L. R. Payne & Athanase Badolo & Sioned Cox & Bakary Sagnon & Darja Dobermann & Charlotte Milbank & Pete Scarborough & Antoine Sanon & Fernand Bationo & Andrew Balmford, 2020. "The contribution of ‘chitoumou’, the edible caterpillar Cirina butyrospermi, to the food security of smallholder farmers in southwestern Burkina Faso," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 12(1), pages 221-234, February.
    7. Jindo, Keiji & Schut, Antonius G.T. & Langeveld, Johannes W.A., 2020. "Sustainable intensification in Western Kenya: Who will benefit?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    8. Falconnier, Gatien N. & Descheemaeker, Katrien & Traore, Bouba & Bayoko, Arouna & Giller, Ken E., 2018. "Agricultural intensification and policy interventions: Exploring plausible futures for smallholder farmers in Southern Mali," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 623-634.
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    10. Ecker, Olivier, 2018. "Agricultural transformation and food and nutrition security in Ghana: Does farm production diversity (still) matter for household dietary diversity?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 271-282.
    11. Lopez-Ridaura, Santiago & Frelat, Romain & van Wijk, Mark T. & Valbuena, Diego & Krupnik, Timothy J. & Jat, M.L., 2018. "Climate smart agriculture, farm household typologies and food security," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 57-68.
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    13. Ecker, O., 2018. "Agricultural Transformation and Food and Nutrition Security: Does Farm Production Diversity (Still) Matter for Dietary Diversity among Ghanaian Farm Households?," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276999, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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