Pathways from research on improved staple crop germplasm to poverty reduction for smallholder farmers | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
décembre 2017
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
Copyright details: 

Innovations to improve staple crop germplasm can reduce poverty and otherwise improve farmer livelihoods through complex and multiple pathways. This paper reviews the evidence for one prominent pathway—through increased incomes (in cash and kind) for poor farmers who adopt the technology.

An important determinant of poverty reduction is the ability of poor producers to adopt productivity-enhancing varieties, and the paper analyzes recent household-level data from two African countries to examine if poor producers face unique barriers to adoption. A second determinant of poverty reduction is the area available to plant these varieties and whether the intensity of adoption is great enough to significantly reduce poverty. The paper uses a double-hurdle estimation framework to model the adoption/area planted joint decision for maize farmers in Ethiopia and sweet potato farmers in Uganda. The focus of the analysis is the effect of poverty-related variables on adoption/area planted decisions. Farmer wealth, landholding, education, location, and access to support and information services are included to understand how correlates of poverty affect adoption decisions.

We find evidence that landholding size is an important barrier to poverty reduction; poor farmers are able to adopt improved varieties, but their intensity is constrained by land availability. In Uganda, farmers at the 95th percentile of adoption area received about $0.13 per person per day from the incremental yield, covering < 50% of the mean household poverty gap. This gain only comes under optimistic assumptions and most adopters do not have sufficient area for the direct income effect to be large. The evidence suggests that direct, short-term impacts of increased productivity to increased income may be limited in magnitude. Nonetheless, we recognize that other, less direct pathways may be important, particularly over longer times. Impacts through indirect pathways are, however, more difficult to measure. This has implications for the design of M&E and the crafting of appropriate targets for outcomes of research on staple crops which should focus perhaps on the other pathways where poverty reduction is more probable.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Alwang, Jeffrey
Gotor, E.
Thiele, G.
Hareau, G.
Chamberlain, J.

Corporate Author(s): 
International Potato Center logo

The International Potato Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIP, was founded in 1971 as a root and tuber research-for-development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty, and the degradation of natural resources. CIP is truly a global center, with headquarters in Lima, Peru and offices in 20 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Working closely with our partners, CIP seeks to achieve food security, increased well-being, and gender equity for poor people in the developing world.

Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization. We have a vision – that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.

We deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security.

We work with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural and tree biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.


Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals.

All knowledge begins as uncommon—unrecognized, undervalued, and sometimes unaccepted. But with the right perspective, the uncommon can become the exceptional.

Fournisseur de données


CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.

Concentration géographique

Catégories apparentées

Partagez cette page