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Afrint III continues the work of Afrint I and II, through the collection of a third round of survey data among the Afrint households in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

The research is now focused into three sub-projects in rural areas:  

  • one in Ghana and Kenya (Poverty effects of income diversification in Kenya and Ghana) funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) 2011-2013
  • one in Malawi and Zambia (The possibilities and challenges for gender neutral pro-poor agricultural growth in Malawi and Zambia) funded by Sida  2012-2014
  • one in Mozambique and Tanzania (Gender and pro-poor agricultural growth: nonfarm/farm linkages and village dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa), funded through the DEGRP and by Vetenskapsrådet. 2014-2018

These projects build on the work of Afrint I and II and will resample 2500 households in the villages covered by Afrint I and II. The aims of the projects are complementary, while they are united by a common format for the survey used for data collection in late 2012 and 2013. Methodologically we use a mixed methods approach.

The projects constitute the continuation of a decade long co-operation with research institutes in the four countries in question, while new team members have been added to the Swedish team.

Below you can find a brief summary of the Afrint III projects.

Poverty effects of income diversification in Kenya and Ghana (2011-2013)

African poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon and the key to improving the livelihoods of the poor must be sought in the rural areas of the continent. While most of the poor are engaged in small-scale, semi-subsistence farming they also earn income from non-farm activities.

The importance of non-farm income for the livelihood strategies of rural people has attracted much attention among development scholars, policymakers and donors during the past decade. Although non-farm incomes on an aggregate level are important in the rural economies of SSA, the distribution of such incomes is generally skewed in favour of the better-off.  

The bulk of studies on income diversification out of agriculture into the non-farm sector have therefore focused on mechanisms that can lower entry barriers and increase the participation of the poor in such income generation.  Much less attention has been devoted to the question of how non-farm activities affect farming even though the great majority of rural Africans still source most of their income from agricultural production. Disregarding the household level linkages between farm and non-farm activities severely limits the scope for designing policies and interventions capable of reducing rural poverty.

The aim of the project is to analyze the impact of non-farm income on farm production among smallholders in four regions in Ghana and Kenya.

The purpose of the project is to answer some central questions:

  • How are non-farm incomes affecting farm production strategies measured as investments in land, labor and capital?
  • What if any are the regional differences in the level of development of the non-farm sectors of the rural economy? Are, for example, smallholders in more agriculturally dynamic regions deriving more or less income from non-farm income sources than those in more stagnant regions?
  • What are the implications of income diversification on the distribution of assets and incomes at the village level?
  • How can institutional frameworks encourage dynamic as well as equitable linkages from the non-farm sector to agriculture?

The possibilities and challenges for gender neutral pro-poor agricultural growth in Malawi and Zambia (2012-2014)

Recent interest in smallholder agriculture as the key to African development has sought to democratize growth in the smallholder sector through the vague but politically appealing concept of “pro-poor agricultural growth”.

Two main criteria are considered important in this respect: firstly, pro-poor agricultural growth should be inclusive, and secondly, it rests on the gradual commercial integration of smallholders into national and sometimes global market chains, through the growth of a broad based class of commercially oriented smallholders.  The role of women and gendered access to resources as part of this process need to be better understood. This is especially relevant in sub-Saharan Africa where women constitute 49 per cent of the agricultural labour force while female control of productive resources is limited.

The purpose of the project is to consider the local level conditions for pro-poor agricultural growth in relation to gendered access to productive resources and markets and the institutional challenges for achieving gender based inclusivity in this process.

The project uses a comparative approach departing from diverging national political frameworks in which smallholder productivity and commercialization in the staple crop sector – and maize especially - have been emphasized as major political goals, but where policies in practice have varied greatly.

Treatment of data from Afrint II, suggests that what can be described as pro-poor agricultural growth (savings ability has increased in combination with agricultural commercialization) between 2002 and 2008 is heavily concentrated to a small number of villages in Zambia and Malawi (even when compared with the other countries) (see Andersson Djurfeldt (2012)). Local level gender dynamics of particular crop patterns, livestock rearing, land tenure systems, access to irrigation and extension services constitute relevant points of comparison.

Against these national and regional contexts, the project seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Can gendered differences in access to resources both within and among households  encourage pro-poor agricultural growth?
  • Does broad based commercialization accentuate or level socio-economic structures and gender roles that advantage men over women at the household and village level?
  • How can local level institutional structures, such as property rights and extension services contribute to enhancing or restricting female inclusivity in the process of pro-poor agricultural growth?
  • How does the interaction between nonfarm and farm sources of income affect gender relations within agriculture?

Gender and pro-poor agricultural growth: nonfarm/farm linkages and village dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa (2014 onwards)

Analytically, this project considers the interaction between the farm and the nonfarm sectors during processes of agricultural growth, while sharpening the gender analysis and in this sense builds on the first two projects. The project adds Tanzania and Mozambique to the quantitative dataset and produces a two-wave panel (2002 to 2008 and 2008 to 2013/15 respectively) for six countries, opening opportunities for advanced statistical analysis. In addition collection of qualitative data in villages that have experienced pro-poor agricultural growth, as well as stagnation, during the second panel wave (2008-2013/15), will enable comparing the two periods (2002-2008 and 2008-2013/15 respectively) with respect to gendered growth dynamics, both within and outside agriculture.  Finally, the addition of a GIS component to the qualitative analysis will enable comparing physical, household level and institutional impediments to female market participation.

The project aims to analyse broad based agricultural growth from a gender perspective, and to situate these processes locally, against the backdrop of national agricultural policies and broader demographic, socio-economic changes. The objective of the study is to assess under what social and institutional conditions pro-poor agricultural growth entrenches or redresses gender based differences in access to agrarian resources, and what consequences this has for linkages to the nonfarm sector. This inquiry will be approached from the village, household and individual levels through three key research questions:

  • How can the consequences of gender differentiated access to productive and institutional resources during processes of broad based agricultural growth be understood?
  • How can linkages between agriculture and the nonfarm sector be analysed from a gender perspective, given that nonfarm income may be important in alleviating inferior access to agrarian resources among women in particular?
  • What village level characteristics are relevant to understanding the dynamics of broad based agricultural growth and nonfarm/farm interaction from a gender perspective?

This project is part of the DEGRP programme (grant number ES/L012014/1). 

Researcher teams

Afrint III, like its two predecessors, is an African-Swedish research project, building on more than a decade of co-operation between Lund University and a number of research institutes in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.

Swedish team

Ghanaian team

  • Associate Professor Daniel Bruce Sarpong. Dept. of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana
  • Dr. Fred Dzanku, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana

Kenyan team

Malawian team

Mozambican team

  • Dr Peter Coughlin, Econpolicy Research Group, Maputo

Tanzanian team

  • Professor Aida Isinika, Institute of Continuing Education, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro
  • Dr Elibariki Msuya, Faculty of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro

Zambian team

  • Mr. Mukata Wamulume, Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia
  • Miss Charlotte Wonani, Department of Development Studies, University of Zambia

Advisers to the programme


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