Jann Lay / Kerstin Nolte / Kacana Sipangule

Large-Scale Farms and Smallholders: Evidence from Zambia

GIGA Working Paper, No. 310, February 2018

Abstract
In light of the surge in large‐scale farms in developing countries, concerns have been raised that smallholders may be negatively affected. There is, however, very little evidence beyond case studies to support these claims. Drawing on nationally representative household data sets and an inventory of large‐scale farms in Zambia, this study investigates the relationship between large‐scale farms and smallholders. First, we analyse the geographical contexts of wards that host large-scale farms and show that large-scale farms are found in wards with good infrastructure and soil quality. Second, we adopt a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impacts of large‐scale farms on smallholders’ area cultivated, maize yields, and access to fertiliser. We find that smallholders in wards with large-scale farms increase their area cultivated and maize yields, but have lower fertiliser usage. This hints at positive spillovers at the extensive and intensive margins but not at improved access to agricultural inputs. It is likely that these results are also driven by the emergence of medium‐scale farms in these regions.

Related Research at the GIGA

Related Research Tabs

GIGA Authors

Apl. Prof. Dr. Jann Lay heads the “Growth and Development” research programme at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA). He is also an adjunct professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen. His work ­focuses on various facets of economic development, including firm dynamics and ­labour markets, poverty and the distributional impact of economic reforms; the ­impacts of commercial agricultural expansion; and issues related to energy, ­climate, and development.

Dr. Kerstin Nolte is a postdoctoral researcher at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs and Speaker of the Research Team Sustainable Development of GIGA Research Programme 3: Growth and Development.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Jann Lay / Kerstin Nolte / Kacana Sipangule

Large-Scale Farms in Zambia: Locational Patterns and Spillovers to Smallholder Agriculture

World Development, forthcoming

Insa Flachsbarth / Jann Lay / Kerstin Nolte / Angela Harding / Ward Anseeuw / Jeremy Bourgoin

Responsible Large-Scale Agricultural Investments in and by G20 Countries: A Call for more Transparency

Policy Brief, Task Force 10: Sustainable Energy, Water, and Food Systems, 2020

Tabea Lakemann / Jann Lay / Tevin Tafese

Africa after the Covid-19 Lockdowns: Economic Impacts and Prospects

GIGA Focus Africa, 06/2020

Kerstin Nolte

Doomed to Fail? Why Some Land-Based Investment Projects Fail

Applied Geography, 11, 2020, 102268