Is small still beautiful? The farm size-productivity relationship revisited


Strategies for poverty and inequality Goals in the post-2015 development agenda (especially the proposed Goals 1 and 10)


  • Milu Muyanga
  • TS Jayne

Download paper (1.03 MB)


Analyzing the efficiency of smallholder farmers in the context of declining farm sizes and limited off farm opportunities has never been more important than at this time in sub-Saharan Africa. This is important especially in the context of changing farm structure that has witnessed a rising proportion of cultivated cropland in Africa being under the control of medium-scale farms. Medium-scale farm landholdings of 5 to 100 hectares now appear to account for more land than that controlled by farms under 5 hectares (Jayne et al., 2014). Are these important changes in farm structure promoting national goals of agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction? Who is more productive/efficient between small-scale and larger-scale farms? And if productivity is indeed associated with farming scales that are larger than most smallholder farms, what should be the focus of land institutions and policies to accelerate agricultural development and poverty reduction in a continent where over 70 percent of the farmers are currently smallholders? 

Conference Venue

African Union Building and Government Hotel, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

AEC Partners

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