Agricultural commercialization improves farmers’ welfare
Food insecurity, child malnutrition, and rural poverty remain key issues that sub-Saharan Africa continues to deal with. This is partly because most smallholder farmers are engaged in low-intensity, subsistence-oriented farming, resulting in low yields and insufficient income to access nutritious foods. Sustained agricultural productivity growth and commercialization are required to address these challenges.
Against this background, Julius Manda, an Agricultural Economist for the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) East and Southern Africa (ESA) project and other IITA–CGIAR researchers conducted some studies related to agricultural commercialization, food security, and nutrition in smallholder farm households. Their research tested the hypothesis of a positive correlation between commercialization and household dietary diversity, food security, and child nutrition in Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania. Presenting the findings of the research in a seminar moderated by Leena Tripathi, IITA Director for Eastern Africa Hub, Manda stated that the results revealed how agricultural commercialization increased household dietary diversity and food security in the three countries—Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania