oa South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - The labour supply conditions for the transformation of peasant agriculture in Africa: lessons from a Malawian experience

Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-8812
  • E-ISSN: 2222-3436



In implementing rural development projects, African states expect that the otherwise poor peasantry would respond positively by maximising use of the productivity-enhancing technologies available to them, in order to improve their income status. The basic requirement is that the producer must supply significantly higher levels of productive labour-time, mainly from subsistence production and other traditional activities. The Malawi experience suggests that this process revolves around the critical role of both the physical and psychological dimensions of labour-time application. Therefore, the transformation of peasant commodity-surplus producers is unlikely to be effectively achieved, unless attainable commodity income is sufficient to at least support both customary production and subjectively defined socio-economic goals.

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