Agricultural Intensification as a Poverty Reduction Strategy

The AgCenter has research sites in a diverse portfolio of agro-ecological zones and farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Data and insights from this ongoing research, which include three-round panel data on the socioeconomic status, demographics, agricultural practices, and spatial characteristics of more than 3000 households, help interrogate the connections among environmental conditions, local agricultural and non-agricultural enterprises, household characteristics, and household transitions in and out of poverty.


Current research questions related to poverty and agricultural intensification include:

  • What household characteristics are associated with the adoption of new agricultural practices? What are the near and medium-term dynamics of agricultural technology adoption and how do these dynamics relate to households’ starting welfare and natural capital endowments?
  • How and when do farmers transition from subsistence and staple crop production to cash crop production and/or market participation and what are the associated changes on household food security and income?
  • What are the environmental attributes and agricultural practices of households that transition into and out of poverty?
  • What are the patterns across various agro-ecological zones in the relationship between agricultural development and changes in household welfare?