Poor farmers Agricultural and poverty reduction in Ethiopia and Kenya

PhD defence

Poor farmers Agricultural and poverty reduction in Ethiopia and Kenya

PhD candidate ms. S (Simone) Verkaart MSc
Promotor prof.dr.ir. EH (Erwin) Bulte
Co-promotor prof.dr. KE (Ken) Giller
Organisation Wageningen University, Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS), Development Economics

Fri 1 June 2018 11:00 to 12:30

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


Providing poor farmers with agricultural innovations is often portrayed as a solution to end both poverty and hunger. This thesis explores whether agricultural technology transfer can improve the welfare of ‘poor farmers’ using two case studies. First, the relation between agricultural intensification, livelihood diversification and household aspirations is analysed in Kenya. Second, the determinants and impacts of improved chickpea adoption are explored in Ethiopia. The findings suggest that farmers can benefit from profitable innovations that fit their context and aspirations. Agricultural interventions also need to distinguish between ‘poor farmers’ in terms of household welfare, and ‘poor farmers’ in terms of agricultural performance. This suggests that ending poverty and hunger can go hand-in-hand, but do not need to, and that agricultural interventions can be justified by either objective. This is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but aims to be realistic about the potential contribution of agricultural research to development.