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Working Paper 253 - Climate Change Challenges, Smallholder Commercialization and Progress out Poverty in Ethiopia


Given the livelihood options outside smallholder farming for the largest set of the population in developing countries and in recognition of the potential for market to unlock economic growth and development gave rise to market led rural development paradigm during the 1980s (Timmer, 1997). For this purpose policies were once again trending in favor to support smallholder farmers and their livelihood development as a key driver of poverty reduction. For several decades, attention was given to the improvement of production and productivity so as to pave the ways for smallholder commercialization. That was based on the evidences from around the word that smallholder farming, which is the predominant source of livelihoods was seen to be as efficient as larger farms when farmers have received similar support services and inputs (seed, fertilizer, and credit) so as to improve their production and productivity (World bank, 2007). That is why many countries and international development agencies were giving due concern to intensification and commercialization of smallholder farming as a means of achieving poverty reduction in their official policies (Leavy, and Poulton, 2007).

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