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Promoting farm/non-farm linkages for rural development

Case studies from Africa and Latin America









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    Book (stand-alone)
    Strengthening farm-agribusiness linkages in Africa
    Summary results of five country studies in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa
    2004
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    Over the past decade, Africa and other developing regions have been in the midst of tremendous changes. Market liberalisation and governmental decentralisation policies have interfaced with globalisation and urbanisation trends to dramatically transform social, political, economic and cultural lives. Agriculture can no longer remain behind-serving only to meet subsistence food needs. Agriculture has to become a dynamic and integral part of the market economy. If African agriculture is by-passed by the economic transformation going on world wide, then large numbers of Africans and perhaps all of Africa will remain poor and food insecure. The fundamental purpose behind the FAO initiative to strengthening farm-agribusiness linkages is to help transform the agricultural sector in order to accelerate productivity growth, increase income and employment generation, improve food security, and increase competitiveness in regional and international trade. In 2001 and 2002 five country case studies on farm-agribusiness linkages were undertaken in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. The main purpose of the studies was to get an insight into current farm-agribusiness linking arrangements. This included identifying and analysing successful linkages highlighting different methods and practices as well as exploring key factors that have led to successful partnerships. The country studies also contained a brief agribusiness sector overview. The work in Africa began with preparation of five case studies which are presented as summary results as well as individually. FAO work on farm-agribusiness linkages emerged from a broader cross-regional study on farm-agribusiness linkages launched in 2000. The first stage was a series of country studies and a regional consultation in Asia. During 2001 and 2002, case studies and a regional workshop on agribusiness linkages were carried out in Latin America. This was followed by a workshop on strategies for improving neg otiation and compliance capabilities, held in November 2002 in Peru. An expert consultation on strengthening farm-agribusiness linkages in Africa was held in March 2003 in Nairobi, Kenya.
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    Africa’s Evolving Employment Structure: Causes and Consequences 2016
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    We document the evolving trends in sectoral composition of Africa’s workforce, with particular attention to youth and rural/urban areas using nationally representative data from nine countries. Trends are similar when examining employment in terms of counts of jobs vs. full-time equivalents, but the share of the workforce in non-farm employment is considerably higher using the latter measure. Employment trends observed for the youth are also remarkably similar to that of the total working-age po pulation, regardless of whether we define youth as between 15-24 or 15-35 years of age. While acknowledging variability across countries, we generally observe a sharp exit of labor from farming to off-farm activities in the last decade indicative of the economic transformation underway in the region. The pace of labor exit from farming is more pronounced in countries that experienced relatively strong agricultural productivity growth. There is a corresponding rapid percentage growth in employmen t shares in the off-farm sectors both within the agri-food system and the non-farm sector. However, the off-farm segment of the agri-food system is particularly growing from an initial low base and hence will not generate as many new jobs as farming and the non-farm sector. Despite its declining employment share, farming remains the single largest employer and extremely important for livelihoods and economic growth due to its strong linkages with other sectors. Strategies that effectively raise the returns to labor in farming will be thus be crucial to building broad-based and inclusive economic growth and fostering successful economic transformation.
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    Linkages and rural non-farm employment creation: Changing challenges and policies in Indonesia 2003
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    Increasing problems of rural unemployment in Indonesia are at the core of this report. Numbers of unemployed increased dramatically after the 1997 economic crisis and millions of people searched to be reabsorbed in rural labour markets. Agricultural land is scarce, however, and entry barriers are often high in non-farm businesses. Access to capital and information is limited for the rural poor and uneducated people. During successful periods of economic growth in Indonesia, various linkages in f actor and commodity markets were created. Any return to the state-dominated economy and substantial government interventions in markets is unrealistic, but linkages may nevertheless be manipulated for political ends like employment creation. Policy instruments may still be applicable for reducing market failures and to facilitate commercial transactions in an economy characterised by disintegration and sectoral and geographical disconnection. This paper aims to assess experiences from former lin kage strategies for rural non-farm employment creation and to point at new policies suitable in various and changing economic, political and cultural contexts of Indonesia. A conclusion is that linkages and rural employment creation strategies should aim towards mobilising the variety of local natural and cultural resources and encourage horizontal communication and economic transactions between regions and peoples.

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