The authors collated a unique dataset covering land use and production data of more than 13,000 smallholder farm households in 93 sites in 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The study quantifies the importance of off-farm income and market conditions across sites differing strongly in agroecology and derives generally applicable threshold values that determine whether farm households have enough food available to feed their families.
The results show there is a strong need for multisectoral policy harmonization and incentives and improved interconnectedness of people to urban centers and diversification of employment sources, rather than a singular focus on agricultural development of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Frelat, Romain; Lopez-Ridaur, Santiago; Giller, Ken E.; Herrero, Mario; Douxchamps, Sabine; Djurfeldt, Agnes Andersson; Erenstein, Olaf; Henderson, Ben; Kassie, Menale; Paul, Birthe; Rigolot, Cyrille; Ritzema, Randall S.; Rodriguez, Daniel; Van Asten, Piet J.A.; Van Wijk, Mark T. 2016. Drivers of household food availability in sub-Saharan Africa based on big data from small farms. PNAS 113(2): 458-463.. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1518384112