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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.

No MeSH data available.


Share of rural households’ transfer income, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.
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f0040: Share of rural households’ transfer income, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.

Mentions: Turning to income shares (Table 2, Fig. 5, Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8, Fig. 9, Fig. 10), the countries in our African sample show a tendency towards on-farm sources of income (i.e. agricultural income minus agricultural wages): they have higher shares of on-farm income (63 percent) and lower shares of non-farm wage income (8 percent), compared with countries of other regions (33 and 21 percent respectively), including those at similar levels of GDP. All the countries from Sub-Saharan Africa in this sample earn at least 55 percent of their income from agricultural sources, reaching approximately 80 percent in a number of countries (Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, and Nigeria in 2004). Similarly, on-farm income accounts for more than 50 percent in all but one country (Kenya, at 48 percent). Combined with the observation above on the virtually universal level of participation in agricultural activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa subsample, this reinforces the message of agriculture still dominating the rural economy on the continent. Despite the fact that non-agricultural activities are ubiquitous (70 percent participation), they still account on average for only about one third of total earnings.


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

f0040: Share of rural households’ transfer income, by per capita GDP in 2005 PPP dollars.
Mentions: Turning to income shares (Table 2, Fig. 5, Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8, Fig. 9, Fig. 10), the countries in our African sample show a tendency towards on-farm sources of income (i.e. agricultural income minus agricultural wages): they have higher shares of on-farm income (63 percent) and lower shares of non-farm wage income (8 percent), compared with countries of other regions (33 and 21 percent respectively), including those at similar levels of GDP. All the countries from Sub-Saharan Africa in this sample earn at least 55 percent of their income from agricultural sources, reaching approximately 80 percent in a number of countries (Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, and Nigeria in 2004). Similarly, on-farm income accounts for more than 50 percent in all but one country (Kenya, at 48 percent). Combined with the observation above on the virtually universal level of participation in agricultural activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa subsample, this reinforces the message of agriculture still dominating the rural economy on the continent. Despite the fact that non-agricultural activities are ubiquitous (70 percent participation), they still account on average for only about one third of total earnings.

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.