Following the 2008 global food crises, the agricultural development agenda has gained renewed international attention. Though this observed price instability reflects largely short-term disequilibria between supply and demand, many - especially major food importing countries - consider it an indicator of a new era that is characterised by much more unstable food prices on the international markets. Consequently, investors from these countries were encouraged to lease farm lands in relatively land and water abundant countries in Africa and other parts of the developing world. This study tries to generate insights that improve our understanding of ways in which small scale farming may become commercialised, and the prospects and challenges for further commercialization. The study also looks at other factors that drive the commercialization process and how these vary vis-à-vis key household characteristics and objectives like food security. As commercialisation of agriculture is identified in Ethiopia as a means to reduce poverty among small farmers, the study also looks at some key outcomes of the intervention that indicate the effect of commercialization interventions on poverty and the incomes of participant farm households.
Gebreselassie, S. Creating New Markets via Smallholder Irrigation: The Case of Irrigation-led Smallholder Commercialization in Lume District, Ethiopia, FAC Working Paper 18, Brighton: Future Agricultures Consortium, June 2010, 22 pp