SP D1: Smallholder Participation and Household Welfare

Around 75% of the world's poor and hungry people live in rural areas of developing countries, where they directly or indirectly depend on agriculture. The agri-food system transformation is one of the mega-trends that will have profound implications for rural development, but these implications are not yet sufficiently understood. Positive effects can occur among farm households that participate in high-value chains through price advantages, productivity gains, or mitigation of market failures. But there is also the risk that disadvantaged smallholder farmers are bypassed by such developments. Related aspects are analyzed in Subproject D1, focusing on concrete value chain examples. Beyond examining possible market access constraints, impacts of participation on farm productivity, household income, and poverty are scrutinized. Econometric models are developed and estimated, building on survey data collected in different developing countries.

Possible topics for doctoral research:


  • Towards a smallholder-friendly design of contracts and certification schemes
  • Supermarkets, sustainability standards, and impacts on gender and nutrition in smallholder farm households
  • High-value markets, income dynamics, and rural development



Doctoral researchers involved:

Doctoral researchers of the first cohort:
Brian Chiputwa
Christine Gacheri Chege Kiria

Doctoral researchers of the second cohort:
Eva-Marie Meemken
Dennis Ochieng
Haruna Ahmad Sekabira

Doctoral researchers of the third cohort:
Anette Ruml

Principal investigators/supervisors:
Matin Qaim