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    What is the effectiveness of agriculture interventions on agricultural investment, yields and income for smallholder farmers in Africa?


    This project led by the University of London, investigated the effects of training, innovation and new technology on African smallholder farmers' wealth and food security.


    A large proportion of the world's poor live in rural areas, dependent on subsistence farming for their survival. Smallholder farmers constitute the majority of Africa's farmers, and include many of the continent's poorest and most marginalized people. Smallholder farmers have been credited with providing up to 80% of food in developing countries and have the potential to feed themselves and supply urban markets, ultimately improving health and nutrition.

    We conducted a 3-stage systematic review in order to:

    Stage 1: Review published and on-going systematic reviews with overlapping remits to maximise learning and identify knowledge/research gaps;

    Stage 2: Develop a database (map) of evidence from Africa on agricultural interventions for smallholder farmers, highlighting those that target younger farmers;

    Stage 3: Conduct focussed syntheses on appropriate areas identified in Stage 2 including causal pathway development to identify how impacts might be achieved and in what circumstances.

    Funded by DFATD and managed through the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

    The systematic map can be found in: Stewart, R. et al (2014) The size and nature of the evidence-base for smallholder farming in Africa: a systematic map. Journal of Developmental Effectiveness 6:58-68.

    The full review 'The effects of training, innovation and new technology on African smallholder farmers' economic outcomes and food security: A systematic review' can be found on the Campbell Collaboration Library website.

    This project forms part of the work carried out by the Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture based at Harper Adams University.


    Funding Body

    Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada (DFATD, formerly CIDA), managed through the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

    Lead Organisation

    University of London, Institute of Education


    University of Johannesburg and Harper Adams University

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