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Agriculture, Diversification, and Gender in Rural Africa

Longitudinal Perspectives from Six Countries



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Agriculture, Diversification, and Gender in Rural Africa

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Agriculture, Diversification, and Gender in Rural Africa uses a longitudinal cross-country comparative approach to contribute to the understanding of smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Relying on unique household level data collected in six African countries since 2002, it addresses the dynamics of intensification and diversification within and outside agriculture in contexts where women have much poorer access to agrarian resources than men. Despite a growing interest in smallholder agriculture in Africa, this interest has not been matched by the research on the subject. While recent policies focus on reducing poverty through encouraging smallholder agriculture, there are few studies showing how livelihoods have changed since this time, and especially how such changes may have affected male and female headed households differently. Moreover, agriculture is often viewed in isolation from other types of income generating opportunities, like small scale trading. Agriculture, Diversification, and Gender in Rural Africa looks at how livelihoods have changed over time and how this has affected the relationship between agricultural and non-agricultural sources of livelihoods. In general, women have much poorer access to agricultural sources of income, and for this reason the interplay between farm and non-farm sources of income is especially important to analyse. Providing suggestions for more inclusive policies related to rural development, this edited volume outlines current weaknesses and illustrates potential opportunities for change. It offers a nuanced alternative to the current dominance of structural transformation narratives of agricultural change through adding insights from gender studies as well as village-level studies of agrarian development. It positions change in relation to broader livelihood dynamics outside the farm sector and contextualises them nationally and regionally to provide a necessary analytical adaption to the unfolding empirical realities of rural Africa.

Author Biography

Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt is Team Leader of the Afrint group, an interdisciplinary group of researchers from six research institutions in Africa, and the Departments of Human Geography, Statistics, Sociology and Economic History at Lund University. Agnes' research interests focus on rural based processes of transformation within and outside agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa involving changing rural and multi-spatial livelihoods, gender based access to productive resources within and outside agriculture, consumption, and intra-household division of labor and income. She uses a mixed-methods approach combining the use of panel level data from the Afrint database with qualitative field work at the individual, household, and village level. Fred Mawunyo Dzanku is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana. His interests span a range of research areas including the economics of rural households, applied econometric modelling, agricultural production economics, food security, and project impact evaluation. He has extensive experience in the implementation of household surveys, and multi-country longitudinal surveys in rural areas of developing countries including Mali, Uganda, and Ghana. Aida Cuthbert Isinika is currently based at the Institute of Continuing Education at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. Her research interests include production economics, resource use efficiency, value chain analysis, land tenure studies, and development and rural development in general. Under the Afrint research project, Aida has led the Tanzanian research team since 2002, and has edited two Afrint publications.
Release date NZ
January 18th, 2018
Edited by Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt Edited by Aida C. Isinika Edited by Fred Mawunyo Dzanku
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Oxford University Press
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