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Cash crops and food security: Evidence from Ethiopian smallholder coffee producers

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  • Kuma, Tadesse
  • Dereje, Mekdim
  • Hirvonen, Kalle
  • Minten, Bart

Abstract

One of the key questions in food policy debates in the last decades has been the role of cash cropping for achieving food security in low income countries. We revisit this question in the context of smallholder coffee production in Ethiopia. Using unique data collected by the authors on about 1,600 coffee farmers in the country, we find that coffee income improves food security, even after controlling for total income and other factors and after addressing the endogeneity of coffee income. Further analysis suggests that the pathway for achieving this improved food security is linked to being better able to smooth consumption across agricultural seasons. In contrast with food crops, coffee sales take place almost throughout the whole year, providing farmers with cash income also during the lean season.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuma, Tadesse & Dereje, Mekdim & Hirvonen, Kalle & Minten, Bart, 2016. "Cash crops and food security: Evidence from Ethiopian smallholder coffee producers," ESSP working papers 95, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:esspwp:95
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    10. Mazhar Mughal & Charlotte Fontan Sers, 2020. "Cereal production, undernourishment, and food insecurity in South Asia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 524-545, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; agriculture; agricultural policies; food policies; seasonality; coffee; smallholders; food security; O12 Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development; O13 Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Product; Q18 Agricultural Policy; Food Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D - Microeconomics

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