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PIM Webinar: Changing Farm Structure and Rural Transformation in Africa
October 24, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Presenter: Thomas Jayne, University Foundation Professor of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University
The rise of medium-scale farms in Africa is affecting the region in diverse ways that are difficult to generalize. Many such farms are a source of technical change and commercialization of African agriculture; they attract agribusiness investment and improve market access conditions for all nearby smallholders. However, medium-scale land acquisitions may exacerbate land scarcity in favorable rural areas, raise land prices, and crowd out young peoples’ access to land for farming. While much more research is necessary to effectively guide African governments, our findings indicate that medium-scale commercialized farms can be a dynamic driver of agricultural transformation but this does not reduce the importance of agricultural ministries maintaining a clear commitment to supporting smallholder farms. Strengthening land tenure security of indigenous rural people to maintain land rights and support productivity investments by smallholder farm household remains crucial.