Seasonality and farm/non-farm interactions in Western Kenya

This article considers the distributional consequences of seasonality by analysing the links between non-farm incomes, commercialization within agriculture, and variations in consumption burdens and expenditures at the household level. The common focus in the literature on non-farm incomes as levellers of seasonality and sources of risk minimization is complemented by perspectives which consider how seasonality affects and is handled by households depending on their broader livelihood situations. To this perspective is also added a consideration of in-kind transfers and transactions. The article uses a mixed methods approach, drawing on data from two villages in Western Kenya. The lack of non-farm sources of income and the variation over time in consumption burdens aggravate the seasonal aspects of the agricultural production cycle for poorer households. By contrast, the interaction between farm and non-farm sources of income enables wealthier households to profit from seasonality in relation to agricultural markets, while providing the basis for meeting both farm and non-farm expenditures. Bibliogr. notes, sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Seasonality and farm/non-farm interactions in Western Kenya
Author: Djurfeldt, Agnes Andersson
Year: 2012
Periodical: Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Volume: 50
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-23
Language: English
Geographic term: Kenya
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41474957
Abstract: This article considers the distributional consequences of seasonality by analysing the links between non-farm incomes, commercialization within agriculture, and variations in consumption burdens and expenditures at the household level. The common focus in the literature on non-farm incomes as levellers of seasonality and sources of risk minimization is complemented by perspectives which consider how seasonality affects and is handled by households depending on their broader livelihood situations. To this perspective is also added a consideration of in-kind transfers and transactions. The article uses a mixed methods approach, drawing on data from two villages in Western Kenya. The lack of non-farm sources of income and the variation over time in consumption burdens aggravate the seasonal aspects of the agricultural production cycle for poorer households. By contrast, the interaction between farm and non-farm sources of income enables wealthier households to profit from seasonality in relation to agricultural markets, while providing the basis for meeting both farm and non-farm expenditures. Bibliogr. notes, sum. [Journal abstract]

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