Is Africa's future necessarily rooted in peasant agriculture? The title of this book is deliberately intended to challenge the widely held view that Africa is the world's reserve for peasant farming. African rural populations are themselves moving away from reliance on agriculture. "De-agrarianization" takes the form of urban migration as well as the expansion of non-agricultural activities in rural areas, providing new income sources, occupations and social identities for rural dwellers. Using recent case study evidence from locations throughout the continent, the authors assess the impact of de-agrarianization on household welfare, business performance and national development. The authors' findings reveal new economic and social trajectories during a period of accelerated change. The empirical and theoretical insights aim to prompt awareness of the inadequacy of current policies and the significance of de-agrarianization for Africa's future place in the world division of labour.



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Deborah Fahy Bryceson and Vali Jamal
African Studies Centre Leiden