Smallholders’ agricultural commercialisation, food crop yield and poverty reduction: Evidence from rural Burkina Faso

Sugrinoma Aristide Ouedraogo

This paper analyses the extent to which an increase in food crop yield strengthens the relationship between agricultural commercialisation and rural poverty reduction in Burkina Faso. Based on data collected in 2011 from a sample of 1 178 smallholder farm households in rural Burkina Faso, a logit model, which includes an interaction term between crop commercialisation index and food crop yield, is estimated. The results show that, at a low yield of food crops, commercialisation can result in welfare loss, while the intensity of crop supply becomes a crucial factor of poverty reduction with a high level of yield. This suggests that structural transformation of the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to bring about significant growth in rural income, particularly when staple crops are the driver of this transformation. Therefore, to enhance the contribution of agricultural commercialisation to poverty reduction, policy should also be designed to promote the
growth of food crop yield.