Agricultural development is key to food security and poverty reduction in much of the developing world, including Sub-Saharan Africa. However agriculture is only likely to contribute to sustainable and intensive growth if productivity gains on the ground are matched by growth in non-farm employment.
Rural dwellers are unable to benefit from agricultural development if they are landless, uninvolved in agricultural production, and as they are increasingly displaced by agricultural development. Therefore rural non-farm employment – linking non-farm employment and agricultural development – plays a vital role in ensuring broad-based, inclusive and sustainable growth.
Despite this, the impact of different patterns of agricultural growth on rural livelihoods and poverty are often poorly understood. Furthermore, supporting non-farm employment is often neither an explicit nor a prominent concern of much agricultural policy.
This project seeks to build awareness of the relationship between farm and non-farm activities in rural economies. It aims to examine the institutional and spatial articulation of markets, settlements and employment in three Southern African countries, to create a clearer picture of how agriculture can support a diverse local economics and broad based economic growth. The project findings will be carefully disseminated and workshopped with relevant groups of stakeholders.
More information on Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development.