Document Type : Original Article


1 National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, PMB 7006 Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria

2 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Regional Hub for Eastern Africa 25, Light Industrial Area, Mikocheni B, PMB 34441, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

3 Centre National d Recherche Appliquee au Developpement Rural (FOFIFA) Ambatobe, B.P. 1690 101 Antananarivo, Madagascar


Labour productivity affects food security, but quantifying this relationship has been scarce with respect to empirical literature. The Central Madagascar dataset explores the influence of labour productivity and related variables on the food security status of cassava farmers. Drawing on both theory and empirical evidence, this paper argues that fundamental effects of links between labour productivity and food security are most times often overlooked currently in policy analyses. The study used a probit regression analytical procedure to explain the effect of labour productivity on food security of 180 Malagasy smallholder cassava farmers selected through a multi-stage random sampling technique. Results showed that 25% of the cassava farmers were food in-secure. Labour productivity had a direct relationship with food security status of farmers at 1% level of probability as well as membership of cooperatives and farm size. Aged farmers were more food insecure at 10% level of probability than their younger counterparts. Households with high dependency ratio and family labour tend to be food insecure at 1% and 10% level of probability respectively among the farmers sampled. The results therefore call for land re-distribution and re-form policies aimed at encouraging younger farmers who seem to be more labour productive by allocating more land to these group (as cooperatives) to increase cassava
cultivation thereby giving a boost to food security.

Graphical Abstract

Analyses of Labour Productivity among Small-Holder Cassava Farmers for Food Security and Empowerment in Central Madagascar


Main Subjects

1- Aidoo, R., Mensah, J.O., &Tuffour, T. (2013). Determinants of household food security in the Sekyere-Afamplains district of Ghana. Proccedings of the 1stAnnual International Interdisciplinary Conference, AIIC 24-26th April (Pp. 514-529), Azores,Portugal.
2- Amaza, P.S., Abdoulaye, T., Kwaghe, P.V., &Tegbaru, A. (2009). Changes in household food security and poverty status in PROSAB area of Southern Borno State, Nigeria. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Promoting Sustainable Agriculture in Borno State (PROSAB).Pp 1- 40.
3- Amsalu, B., Kindie, G., & Belay, K (2013). Determinants of household demand for and supply of farm labour in Rural Ethiopia. Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 6(3), 351-367.
4- Arene, C.J.,&Anyaeji, R.C. (2010).Determinants of food security among households in Nsukka Metropolis of Enugu State, Nigeria. Pakistan Journalof Social Sciences, 30(1), 9-16.
5- Asenso-Okyere, K., Aragon, C., Thangata, P., Andam, K., & Mekonnen, D.A. (2010). HIV and AIDS and farm labour productivity: A review of recent evidence in Africa. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, 2(12), 406-415.
6- Babatunde,R.O., Omotesho, O.A., Olorunsanya, E.O., &Owotoki, G.M. (2008). Determinants of vulnerability to food insecurity: A gender-based analysis of farming households in Nigeria. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 63(1), 116-125.
7- Barrett, C.B., Reardon, T., & Webb, P. (2001). Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in Rural Africa: Concepts, dynamics, and policy implications. Food Policy, 26(4), 315−331.
8- Bashir, M.K., Steven, S., & Pandit, R. (2012b). The determinants of rural household food security in the Punjab, Pakistan: An econometric analysis. Working Paper 1203, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia, Crawley,  Australia.
Pp. 1-30.
9- Bashir, M.K., Schilizzia, S., & Pandita, R. (2012a). The determinants of rural household food security for landless households of the Punjab, Pakistan. Working Paper 1208, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia. Pp. 13.
10- Beckmann, V. (2000). Transaction costs and institutional choice in agriculture. Berlin: Edition Sigma, Germany, Pp 1 14.
11- Bockel, L., & Dabat, M.H. (2001). Improve labor productivity in rice cultivation in the fight against poverty. Paper presented at the seminar on Poverty in Madagascar: inventory, explanatory factors and policies to reduce, February 2001, 14pp.
12- Chambo, S.A. (2009). Agricultural co-operatives: Role in food security and rural development. Paper Presented to Expert Group Meeting on Co-operatives Held on 28 – 30 April, 2009 New York, 13pp.
13- Coleman, B.E. (2009). The impact of group lending in Northeast Thailand. Journal of Development Economics, 60,105-141.
14- Diallo, Y., Etiene, A., & Mehran, F. (2013). Global child labour trends 2008 to 2012. International Labour Organization Retrieved from http://www. PUB_23015 /lang- en/index.htm. Pp 1-68.
15- Dorward, A. (1999). Farm size and productivity in Malawian Smallholder Agriculture. Journal of Development Studies, 35(5), 141-161.
16- Dorward, A.R. (2012). Agricultural labour productivity and food prices: Fundamental development, impacts and indicators. Food Policy, 39, 40-50.
17- Dostie, B., Randriamamonjy, Jet., & Rabenasolo, L. (2000). The cassava sector: Shock forgotten vulnerable. Antananarivo National Institute of Statistics, Antananarivo, Madagascar, Pp. 23.
18- Ezedinma, C.I (2000). Farm resource allocation and profitability of arable crop enterprises in the Humid Forest Inland Valley Ecosystem: A case study of OzuAbam in southern Nigeria. UNISWA Journal of Agriculture, 9, 48-56.
19- Ezedinma, C.I., Okafor, C., Asumugha, G.N., & Nweke, F. (2006). Trends in farm labour productivity and implications for cassava industrialization in Nigeria. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the 40th Agricultural Society of Nigeria held, Oct. 16th – 20th (p. 109-115), NRCRI Umudike, Abia State. 20- FAO-ILO-IUF (2005). Agricultural workers and their contribution to sustainable agriculture and rural development. FAO-ILO-IUF. Geneva: ILO. 102pp. ISBN: 9789221187097
21- FEWSNET (2012). Famine Early Warning Systems Network.Madagascar Desk review. Retrieved from MG_deskreview_ 2012_en_0.pdf. 15pp
22- Francis, E. (2002). Gender, Migration and Multiple Livelihoods: Cases from Eastern and Southern Africa. Journal of Development Studies, 38(5), 167-191.
23- Gul Unal, F. (2008). Small is beautiful: Evidence of an inverse relationship between farm size and yield in Turkey. Working paper No. 551, The Levy Economics Institute P.O. Box 5000 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000. Pp 1-48
24- Gurkan, A.A. (1995). The Mathematics of Hunger. California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES), 27(2), 31-33.
25- Haddad, L., Kennedy, E., & Sullivan, J. (1994). Choices of indicators for food security and nutrition monitoring. Food Policy, 19(3), 329-343.
26- Harvey, C. A., Rakotobe, Z. L., Rao, N. S., Dave, R., Razafimahatratra, H., Rabarijohn, R. H., & MacKinnon, J. L. (2014). Extreme vulnerability of smallholder farmers to agricultural risks and climate change in Madagascar. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences, 369, 16-39.
27- IFPRI – FOFIFA, (1998). Structure and Conduct of Major Agricultural Input and Output Markets and Response to Reforms by Rural Households in Madagascar, Part 1, Final Report, International Food Policy Research Institute - FOFIFA Project, 1997.
28- Minten, B., & Barret, C. (2008). Agricultural technology, productivity and poverty in Madagascar.World Development, 36(35), 1335-1347.
29- Minten, B., & Zeller, M. (2000). Beyond market liberalization: Welfare, income generation and environmental sustainability in Rural Madagascar. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate. Pp1-272
30- Mordi. C., & Mmieh, F. (2008), divided labour and divided in-firm markets in the Nigerian petroleum sector. Brunel University, UK. Pp. 8
31- Nweke, F. (2004). New challenges in the cassava transformation in Nigeria and Ghana. DiscussionPaper No. 118, Environment and Production Technology Division International Food Policy Research, Washington, D.C. Pp 1-118.
32- Odurukwe, S.N., Matthews-Njoku, E.C., & Ejioku-Okereke, N. (2006). Impact of the Women- In-Agriculture (WIA) extension programme on women’s lives: Implications for subsistence agricultural production of women in Imo State, Nigeria. LivestockResearch for Social Development, 18(2), 1-10.
33- Oluyole, K.A., Usman, J.M., Oni, O.A., & Odu wole, O.O. (2013). Input use efficiency of cocoa farmers in Ondo State, Nigeria. Journal of Finance and Economics, 1(1), 8-10.
34- Omonona, B.T., & Agoi, G.A. (2007). An analysis of food security situation among Nigerian Urban Households: Evidence from Lagos, Nigeria. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 8(3), 397-406.
35- Onianwa, O.O., & Wheelock, G.C. (2006). An analysis of the determinants of food insecurity with severe hunger in selected Southern States. Southern Rural Sociology, 21, 80-96.
36- Otunaiya, O.A. (2014). The food security profile of farming households in Rural Areas of Ogun State, Nigeria. climate change, agriculture and food security in Nigeria. Proceeding of the 14th Annual National Conference of the Nigeria Association of Agricultural Economics 24th – 27th Feb (Pp. 762-768), Federal  University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.
37- Page, H. (2013). Global governance and food security as global public good. Centre for International Cooperation, New York University. Pp 1-32
38- Ramaroson, R.V., Arvisenet, G.,& Valentin, D. (2014). Studying the nutritional beliefs and food practices of malagasy school children parents. A contribution to the understanding of malnutrition in Madagascar. Appetite, 81, 67-75.
39- Randrianarisoa, C. (2001). Determinants of rice productivity in Madagascar, Michigan State University. Unpublished thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan Sate University, East Lansing, MI.
40- Randrianarisoa, J.C., & Minten, B (2001). Agricultural production, agricultural land and rural poverty in Madagascar. Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program Working Paper No. 112, Pp. 46.
41- Randrianarison, L. (2003). Off-farm income of rural households and poverty. Minten, B., Randrianarisoa, J.C., Randrianarison, L. (Eds). Agriculture, Rural Poverty and Economic Policies in Madagascar, Cornell University/ INSTAT / FOFIFA. Pp 56-59.
42- Ravallion, M., Chen, S.,& Sangraula, P. (2007). New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty. Policy Research Working Paper (No. 4199) Washington, World Bank, Pp. 33.
43- Reardon, T. (1997). Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa. World Development, 25 (5), 735-748.
44- Reardon, T., Delgado, C., & Matlon, P. (1992).Determinants and effect of income diversification amongst farm households in Burkina Faso. Journal of Development Studies, 28(2), 264-296.
45- Sangha, K. (1964). Productivity and economic growth. Asia Publishing House, London
46- Smith, L.C., & Subandro, A. (2007). Measuring food security using household expenditure survey method. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, USA.Pp 1-147
47- Titus, O.B., & Adetokunbo, A.G. (2007). An analysis of food security situation among nigerian urban households: Evidence from Lagos State, Nigeria. Journal of Central European Agriculture,
8(3), 397-406.
48- Ukoha, O.O. (2000). Determinants of labour productivity on small-holder sole crop farm: A Case study of waterleaf enterprise (Taliniumtriangulare). Nigerian Journal ofAgribusiness and Rural Development, (3), 10-18.
49- UN-MDP (2005).United Nations millennium development project halving hunger: It can be done. Summary version of the report of the Task Force on Hunger.The Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, USA.Pp 44.
50- USAID (1992). Definition of food security. USAID policy determination Retrieved from http:// pd19.pdf, 1992. Pp 1-3.
51- WFP (2014). World Food Programme Madagascar Country Brief. Oct-Dec 2014.Pp. 2. Retrived from