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September 5, 2017Knowledge Portal
Trade-offs between environment and livelihoods: Bridging the global land use and food security discussions

This article connects the discussion on the trade-offs between agricultural production and environmental concerns, including the asserted need for global land use expansion, and the issues of rural livelihoods and food security. »

January 3, 2017Knowledge Portal
Can commercial farming promote rural dynamism in sub-Saharan Africa?: Evidence from Mozambique

This working paper by UNU-WIDER, aims to bring evidence to the debate around the impact of large commercial farms on neighbouring smallholders in low-income sub-Saharan Africa. The findings point to significant heterogeneity in the local economic effects of commercial farms rather than any kind of automatic spillover effects. The implication is that a more nuanced policy position is demanded with respect to promoting rural dynamism through new commercial models. In particular, the creation of suitable incentives for and regulation of outgrower schemes needs to be a priority. »

November 8, 2016Knowledge Portal
Under what policy and market conditions will Malawi’s smallholder farmers switch from tobacco to soyabean?

This policy note explores key findings from a farm-level analysis of smallholders’ crop choice under different policy and risk scenarios. Smallholder farmers planting decisions are examined for five major crops – maize, tobacco, common bean, groundnut, and soyabean – using a farm-level risk model. The policy scenarios include: (a) reducing the volatility of farm gate soyabean prices by 25 percent; and (b) introducing a loan package for soyabean inputs. These simulations were conducted both without and in the presence of a loan package for tobacco inputs. »