Is Sustainable Intensification Pro-Poor? Evidence from Small-Scale Farmers in Rural Tanzania
The transition of farming systems to higher levels of productivity without overusing natural resources is of rising interest especially in African countries, where population growth has often been larger than past productivity increases. This paper aims to contribute to the debate on whether environmentally friendly agricultural practices are compatible with economic interests. In the context of small-scale farm households in Tanzania, the analysis focuses on Conservation Agriculture (CA) at
... iculture (CA) at different levels of agricultural output, as CA is a promising toolbox for sustainable intensification. The results are based on a household survey conducted in 2014 with 900 randomly selected small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania, i.e., in semi-arid Dodoma and in semi-humid Morogoro region. We find that mulching is most frequently applied, followed by crop rotation, fallowing, intercropping and tree planting. Logit regressions show that CA adoption is influenced by socio-economic factors, farm characteristics and the regional context. Quantile regressions explain different levels of agricultural output through variables related to the extent of using CA. They indicate that marginalized farmers have the strongest crop income effect from an increased use of mulching. With increasing levels of agricultural output, the use of mulching remains beneficial for farmers, but the effect appears less pronounced.