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Cash crops and food security: Evidence from Ethiopian smallholder coffee producers

Tadesse Kuma, Mekdim Dereje, Kalle Hirvonen () and Bart Minten
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Mekdim Dereje Regassa

No 95, ESSP working papers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract: One of the key questions in food policy debates in the last decades has been the role of cash cropping for achieving food security in low income countries. We revisit this question in the context of smallholder coffee production in Ethiopia. Using unique data collected by the authors on about 1,600 coffee farmers in the country, we find that coffee income improves food security, even after controlling for total income and other factors and after addressing the endogeneity of coffee income. Further analysis suggests that the pathway for achieving this improved food security is linked to being better able to smooth consumption across agricultural seasons. In contrast with food crops, coffee sales take place almost throughout the whole year, providing farmers with cash income also during the lean season.

Keywords: ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; agriculture; agricultural policies; food policies; seasonality; coffee; smallholders; food security; O12 Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development; O13 Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Product; Q18 Agricultural Policy; Food Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-dev
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:esspwp:95