Blog Category


Search Blog Posts

Smallholders & Avocados in Kenya

Mar 24th, 2020 • by Sara Gustafson

By Mulubrhan Amare and Julia Wilson

Kenya is the world’s third largest producer of avocados. It’s also Kenya’s leading fruit export, accounting for nearly one-fifth of its total horticultural exports.

But Kenya only exports 10% of its total avocado production. By comparison , Chile exports 55% and South Africa exports 60%.

Avocado is grown in several parts of Kenya and about 70% of avocado production is by small-scale growers. They grow it for subsistence, local markets, and export purposes.

Credit Constraints, Skills, and Smallholders' Agricultural Production

Aug 1st, 2017 • by Antoine Bouët

This blog originally appeared in the AGRODEP Bulletin .

By Antoine Bouët , Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI

Smallholder farmers play a crucial role in global food security. However, smallholders also often do not meet their production potential, engaging in subsistence-level agriculture instead of producing excess outputs to then sell at market. Such farmers frequently do not have access to the capital they need to reach this higher level of production, nor are they trained in the skills required to successfully manage what is in effect a small business.

Adapting to Climate Change

Jul 7th, 2017 • by Jenn Campus

Agriculture, much of it rain-fed, provides the main source of livelihoods in rural communities in Ethiopia. Drought has long been a challenge for Ethiopia’s farmers, but rural communities are facing new adverse effects due to climate change. A new study published in Agriculture & Food Security investigates how smallholder farmers perceive climate change, what adaptation practices they use, and what factors influence farmers’ adaptation decisions.

Smallholders and Seeds: How Private Sector Companies Are Improving Access

Mar 9th, 2016 • by Sara Gustafson

An estimated 80 percent of farmers in eastern Africa are smallholders, according to the first Access to Seeds Index released by the Access to Seeds Foundation .  Most of these farmers rely on rain-fed irrigation, use minimal inputs, and produce mostly low-yield staple food crops. Traditionally, the majority of seeds used have been obtained informally (either saved from previous harvests, exchanged with neighbors, or bought in informal markets), the report says.

Climate Change and Smallholder Agriculture in Africa south of the Sahara

Mar 30th, 2015 • by Sara Gustafson

Smallholder farmers produce 80 percent of the food in Africa south of the Sahara, playing an important part in the region’s economy. But climate change is placing greater constraints on traditional agricultural methods, and farmers, both large and small, must find ways to adapt to this new environment.