Adding value through the mechanization of post-harvest cassava processing, and its impact on household poverty in north-eastern Zambia uri icon

abstract

  • This article investigates the impact of adopting a mechanized cassava processing system on household poverty levels in Zambia. An Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) poverty measure was used to compare poverty levels among households using a mechanized cassava processing system against those households using a nonmechanized process. Based on the FGT poverty measure's specifications, a significantly lower poverty status of 49% was found among households using the mechanized process when compared to the 58% found among households using the nonmechanized process. The significant factors contributing to these differences in poverty levels include whether households are using a mechanized process or not, the number of years' schooling among household members, the number of years' farming experience, household income and membership of associations. The study concludes that the mechanization of cassava processing, particularly if done on the right scale, can transform primary production activities, in turn leading to higher incomes and reduced poverty levels in rural villages. Thus, policies should be introduced aimed at encouraging the promotion of mechanized post-harvest cassava processing technologies among rural households, so as to enhance crop productivity and household income levels, as well as reduce poverty among rural households.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017