Investigating the relation between farming technology interventions and social differentiation in smallholder farming communities using quantitative data

Published on
January 24, 2022


Dr. Jens Andersson (PPS-WUR) –


Eva Thuijsman (PPS-WUR) –

Dr. Jens Andersson (PPS-WUR) –


Start as soon as possible

Project summary

The Africa RISING (Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) program (2011-2021) aimed to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder farming families, through sustainable intensification. In northern Ghana the program’s strategies included testing and disseminating improved crop varieties, appropriate agronomic practices (planting density, cereal-legume rotation and intercropping, and the efficient use of inputs) among others.

Inevitably, not everybody benefits equally from such interventions in smallholder farming systems. This has to do with being in- or excluded from the program, existing inequalities, and social mechanisms that regulate access to capital, land and labour in farming communities. As a result, the intervention programs and technologies have differentiated impacts among smallholder farmers.

The aim of this student project is to identify how Africa RISING addressed diversity and inequality among rural households in their target areas, by analyzing the program’s selection of beneficiaries, distribution of technologies and inputs, and data collection strategies. What can we learn from the program’s own data sources (baseline and impact survey data, reports, etc.) about the socio-economic position of participating smallholder farming families? What does this data tell us about the differentiated impacts of Africa RISING’s interventions?

The project not only tries to find answers such questions but will also identify what gaps remain in the data and contribute to the design of a complementary quantitative survey that is planned to take place mid-2022.

For this project skills some experience in using R statistics is needed.