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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Green Gold'? Burley Tobacco, Smallholder Agriculture, and Poverty Alleviation in Malawi
Author:Orr, Alastair
Periodical:World Development
Geographic term:Malawi
small farms
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Economics and Trade
Labor and Employment
Abstract:The abolition in 1990 of the estate monopoly on cultivation of burley tobacco in Malawi was expected to play an important role in reducing poverty among smallholders. This paper argues that, while this change in agricultural strategy is undoubtedly necessary for a serious commitment to poverty alleviation, cash crops in general, and burley in particular, are not sufficient to reduce poverty among the majority of rural households. Although a nationwide survey conducted in the 1993/1994 crop year showed that smallholder households cultivating burley also grow more hybrid maize, use more fertilizer, and are more food secure, resource-poor households - particularly those headed by women - face land and labour constraints on burley adoption. Burley and hybrid maize increase the demand for hired labour, but not enough to absorb the growth in the rural labour force. Broad-based poverty alleviation requires technology and programmes targeted at the majority of smallholders with holdings of 0.5 hectares or less. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.