Publication: Does Agricultural Intensification Pay?
Modern inputs and mechanization are promoted across Africa to raise smallholder labor productivity and broker the structural transformation. Yet, adoption has remained low and the implications for returns to labor and labor allocation remain poorly understood. This paper explores the effects of different intensification packages on farm performance, market orientation, and food security using data from lowland rice farmers in Côte d'Ivoire. Employing a multinomial treatment effect model, the findings reveal that intensification increases land and labor productivity, especially when agro-chemicals and mechanized land preparation are combined. Returns to labor double to triple, inducing specialization and greater market orientation as well as greater food security, while productively releasing agricultural labor for other activities. Labor in agriculture becomes more waged. The gender balance remains the same. Child labor input does not decrease. The findings call for greater attention to labor productivity and confirm that agricultural intensification can pay, and enhance rural transformation.
“Aihounton, Ghislain; Christiaensen, Luc. 2023. Does Agricultural Intensification Pay?. Jobs Working Paper; Issue No. 73. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/39701 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”