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Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households ’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa ☆

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ABSTRACT

This paper uses comparable income aggregates from 41 national household surveys from 22 countries to explore the patterns of income generation among rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to compare household income strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa with those in other regions. The paper seeks to understand how geography drives these strategies, focusing on the role of agricultural potential and distance to urban areas. Specialization in on-farm activities continues to be the norm in rural Africa, practiced by 52 percent of households (as opposed to 21 percent of households in other regions). Regardless of distance and integration in the urban context, when agro-climatic conditions are favorable, farming remains the occupation of choice for most households in the African countries for which the study has geographically explicit information. However, the paper finds no evidence that African households are on a different trajectory than households in other regions in terms of transitioning to non-agricultural based income strategies.

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Share of rural households specializing in non-agricultural wage, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.
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f0070: Share of rural households specializing in non-agricultural wage, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.

Mentions: When rural households in non-African countries do specialize, they mostly specialize in on-farm activities, although the percentages become lower as the per capita GDP increases. At higher GDP levels, specialization in non-agricultural wage labor becomes more important for both African and non-African countries (Fig. 14). No distinct association between GDP levels and specialization in agricultural wage or self-employment is apparent for non-African countries, while for African countries the share appears to increase (Fig. 15). Taken together, these observations suggest a gradual transition from heavy reliance on farming to a greater reliance on non-farm wage employment, with non-farm self-employment the activity of choice for a more or less constant share of households as development occurs. This essentially confirms the trends observed based on the crude income shares data (Fig. 5, Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8, Fig. 9, Fig. 10, Fig. 11 above).


Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households ’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa ☆
Share of rural households specializing in non-agricultural wage, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384437&req=5

f0070: Share of rural households specializing in non-agricultural wage, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.
Mentions: When rural households in non-African countries do specialize, they mostly specialize in on-farm activities, although the percentages become lower as the per capita GDP increases. At higher GDP levels, specialization in non-agricultural wage labor becomes more important for both African and non-African countries (Fig. 14). No distinct association between GDP levels and specialization in agricultural wage or self-employment is apparent for non-African countries, while for African countries the share appears to increase (Fig. 15). Taken together, these observations suggest a gradual transition from heavy reliance on farming to a greater reliance on non-farm wage employment, with non-farm self-employment the activity of choice for a more or less constant share of households as development occurs. This essentially confirms the trends observed based on the crude income shares data (Fig. 5, Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8, Fig. 9, Fig. 10, Fig. 11 above).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

This paper uses comparable income aggregates from 41 national household surveys from 22 countries to explore the patterns of income generation among rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to compare household income strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa with those in other regions. The paper seeks to understand how geography drives these strategies, focusing on the role of agricultural potential and distance to urban areas. Specialization in on-farm activities continues to be the norm in rural Africa, practiced by 52 percent of households (as opposed to 21 percent of households in other regions). Regardless of distance and integration in the urban context, when agro-climatic conditions are favorable, farming remains the occupation of choice for most households in the African countries for which the study has geographically explicit information. However, the paper finds no evidence that African households are on a different trajectory than households in other regions in terms of transitioning to non-agricultural based income strategies.

No MeSH data available.