Changing Farm Size Distributions and Agricultural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Annual Review of Resource Economics, Forthcoming

33 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2021

See all articles by T S Jayne

T S Jayne

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Ayala Wineman

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics

Jordan Chamberlin

CIMMYT

Milu Muyanga

Michigan State University

Felix Kwame Yeboah

Michigan State University - College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 15, 2021

Abstract

We review the literature on the distribution of farm sizes in sub-Saharan Africa, trends over time, drivers of change in farm structure, and effects on agricultural transformation, and present new evidence for six countries. While it is widely viewed that African agriculture is dominated by small-scale farms, we show that medium-scale farms of 5 to 100 hectares are a non-trivial—and rapidly expanding—force which is influencing the nature and pace of food systems transformation in many countries. The increased prevalence of medium-scale holdings is associated with farm labor productivity growth and underappreciated benefits to smallholder farmers. However, the rise of African investor farmers may also be contributing to escalating land prices and restricted land access for local people. A better understanding of these trends and linkages, which requires new data collection activities, could help resolve longstanding policy debates and support strategies that accelerate agricultural transformation.

Keywords: agricultural transformation, farm size distribution, land policy, medium-scale farms, farm-household surveys

JEL Classification: O13, Q12, Q15, Q18, Q24, R14

Suggested Citation

Jayne, Thomas S and Wineman, Ayala and Chamberlin, Jordan and Muyanga, Milu and Yeboah, Felix Kwame, Changing Farm Size Distributions and Agricultural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa (October 15, 2021). Annual Review of Resource Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3958495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3958495

Thomas S Jayne (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-0131 (Phone)
775-415-8964 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/faculty/jayne.htm

Ayala Wineman

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics ( email )

MI
United States

Jordan Chamberlin

CIMMYT ( email )

Village Market 00621
Gigiri
Nairobi
Kenya

Milu Muyanga

Michigan State University

Felix Kwame Yeboah

Michigan State University - College of Agriculture and Natural Resources ( email )

East Lansing, MI
United States

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