Agrifood Economics

Africa’s unique transformation from a household livelihood strategies perspective

Year: 2023
Author(s): FAO

FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief, No. 66.

Livelihood diversification continues to be the norm rather than the exception globally. This means that, to be successful, livelihood support interventions need to consider households’ decisions in terms of the distribution of labour, time and risk management strategies. The main message of this policy brief is that, at similar levels of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and of agricultural value-added in GDP, rural households in sub-Saharan African countries show greater specialization in on-farm activities and lower participation in non-agricultural wage employment. Therefore, for African households to shift to opportunity-led pathways, there is urgent need to boost social protection and invest in education, while enhancing the agricultural productivity of small-scale producers and value addition.

The findings of this brief have been adapted from the FAO Agricultural Development Economics Working Paper 23-05 Economic transformation and diversification towards off-farm income in rural and urban areas – A global update with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
Publication type: Policy brief
Region: Africa
ISSN: 2520-6540 (online) / ISSN 2520-6532 (print)