Intensify or diversify? Agriculture as a pathway from poverty in eastern Kenya, Series Paper Number 40

Verkaart, S and Orr, A and Harris, D and Claessens, L (2017) Intensify or diversify? Agriculture as a pathway from poverty in eastern Kenya, Series Paper Number 40. [Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series]

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Rainfed agriculture’s potential as a pathway from poverty was explored through a comparative study of Embu and Kitui districts in eastern Kenya. Using survey data from 680 households, livelihood diversification was measured by developing a typology based on the contribution of different sources to household income and by a Herfindahl Index. Intensification was measured by an aggregate adoption index and indicators reflecting the adoption of individual agricultural technologies. More diversified households had higher incomes. Households specializing in farming in Embu earned enough income from agriculture to stay above the poverty line, but not in Kitui. Agricultural intensification appears a potential pathway from poverty in high-potential rainfed agriculture in Embu, while income diversification seems a more realistic strategy in low-potential areas like Kitui. This highlights the importance of agro-ecology and household livelihood strategies in determining the potential uptake of new technology and the benefits from intensification.

Item Type: Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
Series Name: Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series
Uncontrolled Keywords: Livelihood diversification; intensification; technology adoption; poverty; Kenya
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > African Agriculture
Others > Poverty
Others > Kenya
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 06:38
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 05:11
Acknowledgement: Funding for this research was provided by the Dryland Systems CGIAR Research Programme, ICRISAT partnership funding and the Netherlands Junior Professional Officer Programme. Erwin Bulte, Kees Burger, Ken Giller, Kai Mausch and two anonymous reviewers provided useful comments. The authors are responsible for any remaining errors and omissions.
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