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Universität Leipzig (2020)

Poverty Impacts of Agricultural Value Chain Development – Evidence based on Poverty Exits in Rural Kenya

Heike Höffler

Titre : Poverty Impacts of Agricultural Value Chain Development – Evidence based on Poverty Exits in Rural Kenya

Auteur : Heike Höffler

Université de soutenance : Universität Leipzig

Grade : DOCTOR PHILOSOPHIAE (DR. PHIL.) 2020

Résumé
In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than two thirds of the poor live in rural areas and four out of every five households are making a living predominantly based on agricultural and livestock activities. Agriculture plays a major role in stimulating rural economic development and in driving rural households out of poverty. Hence, the sector experienced a revival in development cooperation and devel-opment research during the past decade. However, it is rarely analysed which agricultural strategies rural households undertake to successfully exit poverty. In Kenya, agriculture is key to the economy, contributing 26 % of the GDP di-rectly and another 27 % indirectly. The sector provides employment for more than 40 % of the total population and more than 70 % of the rural population. Since the Millennium, the sector experienced an average growth rate of 3 % per year, albeit high variances. Since then, many small-scale farmers in Kenya have integrated their economic activities into agricultural value chains, such as food crops, export horticulture or dairy. At the same time, rural poverty incidence re-duced from 49.9 % to 40.1 %, but is still significantly higher than urban poverty. So what was the impact of value chain development on rural poverty reduction ? This research analyses why some rural households exited poverty and to what extent these poverty exits are explained by their agricultural activities. Based on a literature review of the pro-poor growth debate, of agricultural value chain de-velopment and of poverty research along the ‘q-squared-paradigm’, the results from three different schools are combined for the design of an empirical field survey in rural Kenya applying quantitative and qualitative methods. First, the ten-year TAMPA panel data set for 1275 rural households was analysed for the identification of poverty exiting households. These poverty exiters were then sampled again for qualitative follow-up interviews in order to specifically analyse their explanation for their upward mobility. 51 households were visited and in-terviewed for their agricultural life history in 2010. The results are two-fold : first, even though the four wave panel data for all 51 households showed a clear upward trend, only 25 households turned out to have actually exited poverty between 1997 and 2007. The other 26 households had either never been poor or were still poor, or had progressed in their lifecycle and remaining resources were divided by fewer dependants. Thus, a number of con-clusions are drawn for the interpretation and further use of such panel data. Sec-ond, the interviews with ‘real’ poverty exiters confirm that the integration into agricultural value chains can offer a stable pathway out of poverty, if the agricul-ture and livestock portfolio of the households is productive, receives invest-ments and innovation, is commercially oriented and linked to markets. Against the common notion that specialisation in few activities usually marks this neces-sary productivity, here, a combined specialised and diversified pathway is ob-served to be most successful. Agricultural value chain development with a focus on horizontal cooperation and collective marketing of cash crops or dairy in combination with a diversified food crop portfolio seems to have been the most promising pathway out of rural poverty. Both result areas provide recommendations for the implementation of future ag-ricultural value chain projects as well as for future rural poverty research.

Mots clés  : Poverty Dynamics, Poverty Exits, Rural Kenya ; Q-Squared Approach

Présentation (QUCOSA)

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Page publiée le 7 avril 2020