Drivers of household food availability in sub-Saharan Africa based on big data from small farms

Frelat, Romain, Lopez-Ridaura, Santiago, Giller, Ken E., Herrero, Mario, Douxchamps, Sabine, Djurfeldt, Agnes Andersson, Erenstein, Olaf, Henderson, Ben, Kassie, Menale, Paul, Birthe K., Rigolot, Cyrille, Ritzema, Randall S., Rodriguez, Daniel, van Asten, Piet J. A. and van Wijk, Mark T. (2016) Drivers of household food availability in sub-Saharan Africa based on big data from small farms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 2: 458-463. doi:10.1073/pnas.1518384112


Author Frelat, Romain
Lopez-Ridaura, Santiago
Giller, Ken E.
Herrero, Mario
Douxchamps, Sabine
Djurfeldt, Agnes Andersson
Erenstein, Olaf
Henderson, Ben
Kassie, Menale
Paul, Birthe K.
Rigolot, Cyrille
Ritzema, Randall S.
Rodriguez, Daniel
van Asten, Piet J. A.
van Wijk, Mark T.
Title Drivers of household food availability in sub-Saharan Africa based on big data from small farms
Journal name Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1091-6490
0027-8424
Publication date 2016-01-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1518384112
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 113
Issue 2
Start page 458
End page 463
Total pages 246
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract We calculated a simple indicator of food availability using data from 93 sites in 17 countries across contrasted agroecologies in sub-Saharan Africa (>13,000 farm households) and analyzed the drivers of variations in food availability. Crop production was the major source of energy, contributing 60% of food availability. The off-farm income contribution to food availability ranged from 12% for households without enough food available (18% of the total sample) to 27% for the 58% of households with sufficient food available. Using only three explanatory variables (household size, number of livestock, and land area), we were able to predict correctly the agricultural determined status of food availability for 72% of the households, but the relationships were strongly influenced by the degree of market access. Our analyses suggest that targeting poverty through improving market access and off-farm opportunities is a better strategy to increase food security than focusing on agricultural production and closing yield gaps. This calls for multisectoral policy harmonization, incentives, and diversification of employment sources rather than a singular focus on agricultural development. Recognizing and understanding diversity among smallholder farm households in sub-Saharan Africa is key for the design of policies that aim to improve food security.
Keyword Farm size
Food security
Resource scarcity
Smallholder farmers
Yield gap
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
 
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