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Vol. 067: Canz, Stefan: Linking Small-Scale Farmers to Markets

A Multi-Level Analysis with Special References to Malawi, Kenya and South Africa

The international development targets for poverty alleviation have shifted attention to specific linkages between trade liberalisation and poverty with the growing importance of the WTO. This fact also shifts the overall attention from a micro-oriented approach to the commercialisation of the developing countries’ agricultural sector towards a macrooriented viewpoint. The linkages between trade and poverty are generally interpreted in two perspectives. Mainstream economists take an aggregate macro-economic approach and are generally positive about the impact on trade liberalisation on poverty. On the other hand, a micro-level approach, focussing on a wider socio-economic perspective on livelihood level displays the alternative. The two perspectives occupy different “domains” and are not easily integrated. 

This study aims to confront these two approaches and relates the findings to the general discussion regarding appropriate development strategies of the small-scale farming sector in developing countries. On the basis of numerous case studies collected in Malawi, Kenya and South Africa, the author documents the potentials and pitfalls of linking smallscale farmers to markets on a global, regional (national), and household level. He furthermore displays the fact that under insecure conditions subsistence agriculture should be considered as a passive adaptation, as it can play an important role in stabilising fragile economies. Still, there are a number of farmers with better factor endowments which have the potentials of improving their living standards with cash crop production. Hence, there is the need to distinguish between these two categories of farmer households in rural areas and therefore align support initiatives according to the different needs of the farmers.

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Kommunikation und Beratung, Band 67
ISSN 0947-0352
2005; XVI + 230pp.; 21 x 15 cm; paper

25.60 EUR
Artikelnr.: 978-3-8236-1468-5
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