n Agrekon - The impact of integrated agricultural research for development on food security among smallholder farmers of southern Africa

Volume 54, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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This article addresses the impact of Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) on food security among smallholder farmers in three countries of southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi). Southern Africa has suffered continued hunger despite a myriad of technological interventions that have been introduced in agriculture to address issues of food security, as well as poverty alleviation. IAR4D is a new approach that was recently introduced by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa through the sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme as an alternative strategy to address the challenges that the conventional Agricultural Research and Development (ARD) approach has been facing. Data for this article has been derived from two sources: baseline and endline surveys of the sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme that were implemented in southern Africa.The findings of the study showed reduced food insecurity in the intervention sites when compared with counterfactual (clean and conventional) sites. This is a clear evidence that IAR4D has had some impact, as food insecurity has been reduced in the intervention villages where the programme was implemented, unlike the control villages where the programme was not implemented. The results also show that IAR4D has improved the quality of food dietary diversity and smallholders' coping strategies when compared with control sites. However, these results are not robust across sites. Given the positive impact, this article recommends the adoption of IAR4D over ARD as an alternative approach to addressing household food security by increasing agricultural production.

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