Who are those people we call farmers? Rural Kenyan aspirations and realities

Verkaart, S and Mausch, K and Harris, D (2018) Who are those people we call farmers? Rural Kenyan aspirations and realities. Development in Practice, 28 (4). pp. 468-479. ISSN 0961-4524

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Rural Kenyan households have different aspirations and income portfolio strategies, including agricultural intensification and income diversification. This article reports on a study that interviewed 624 households to explore rural aspirations and derive lessons for agricultural technology development and transfer. Though few households specialised in farming, many households self-identified as farmers and aspired to increase their agricultural income. Despite the prevalence of agricultural aspirations, few aspired for their children to have a future in farming. Combining aspirations with potential to invest, the article provides suggestions for targeting agricultural interventions. We need to start listening better to those people we call “farmers” to develop and offer innovations that meet their realities.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)
CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environment (built and natural), Agriculture, Food security, Labour and livelihoods, Poverty reduction, Technology, Sub-Saharan Africa, Rural households, Kenya, Agricultural interventions, Innovation, Agricultural technology, Agriculture development
Subjects: Others > Smallholder Farmers
Others > Innovation
Others > Rural Economy
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > East Africa
Others > Kenya
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 09:37
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2018 11:01
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10627
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2018.1446909
Acknowledgement: The authors acknowledge the CGIAR Fund Council, ACIAR (Australia), European Union, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), New Zealand, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and Thailand for funding to the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). This work was also carried out under the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions project (ASSAR). ASSAR is one of four research programs funded under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. The authors also thank the platform leaders and members at Ségou, Bougouni and Koutiala and the CCAFS team in Mali for the collaboration. They are grateful to Drs. Laura Schmitt Olabisi and Janice Jiggins and to the two reviewers for providing critical comments on earlier version of the manuscript.
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