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Information for 14640IIED

Smallholder agriculture in Africa. An overview and implications for policy

Douglas Gollin

Working paper

Smallholder agriculture has long served as the dominant economic activity for people in sub-Saharan Africa, and it will remain enormously important for the foreseeable future. But the size of the sector does not necessarily imply that investments in the smallholder sector will yield high social benefits in comparison to other possible uses of development resources. Large changes could potentially affect the viability of smallholder systems, emanating from shifts in technology, markets, climate and the global environment. The priorities for development policy will vary across and within countries due to the highly heterogeneous nature of the smallholder sector.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 14640IIED
  • Published: Oct 2014 - IIED
  • Theme: Food and agriculture
  • ISBN: 978-1-78431-091-2
  • Language: English

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Most rural Africans now live and farm in liberalised markets, which most African and international policy forums assume to be the best basis for economic activities. But there is considerable debate about these developments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

More at www.iied.org:
Africa’s evolving food systems

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