Agriculture and poverty reduction : a critical assessment of the impact of avocado industry on small-scale farmers in Giheta-Burundi.
The role of agriculture in rural development is widely documented in literature. Many analysts regard agriculture, specifically small-scale agriculture, as the cornerstone for viable and sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, the agricultural sector is seen as an effective instrument for poverty reduction, particularly in rural communities of developing countries where a large amount of poor people are concentrated. Indeed, analysts now agree that developing the agricultural sector is perhaps one of the most effective ways to address high levels of poverty evident in the developing world, and call on the world leaders to commit themselves to direct more investment into this sector. Using the avocado industry in Giheta-Burundi, this dissertation argues that some emerging crops (such as avocados) present enormous opportunities to income generation for small-scale farmers with the potentiality of diversifying cash crop farming in Burundi, an area currently dominated by coffee, tea and cotton. This study further suggests that avocado farming presents the economic, market and health potentiality to contribute to a viable and sustainable rural economy in Giheta Burundi, thereby reducing levels of poverty in this area. The main research question is as follows: “To what extent does the production of avocados benefit the income and wellbeing of small-scale farming households in Giheta?” Accordingly, the main policy concern is that if avocados are playing a crucial role for income generation, wellbeing and diet of the small-scale farmers in Giheta, the avocado sector needs to be substantially supported by both the private and public sectors in order to increase the capacity of avocado production in this area and subsequently enable small-scale farmers to gain greater income from this sector. All of which will contribute significantly to reducing levels of poverty in Giheta. This dissertation is 42 266 words in length excluding references and appendices.
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