PIGEONPEA REDUCES POVERTY: EVIDENCE FROM MALAWI

F. Simtowe
Pigeonpea is an important multi-use shrub legume for the tropics and subtropics. Widely grown for its grain, it is also grown as a vegetable for some of the poorest regions of the world. In recent years, a number of improved cultivars of pigeonpea have been released and are being disseminated to increase productivity. ICRISAT has been particularly instrumental in developing and releasing improved cultivars of pigeonpea in Malawi which include two of long duration type (‘ICP 9145’ and ‘ICEAP 00040’) and two of short duration type (‘ICPL 93027’ and ‘ICPL 87105’). Short duration pigeonpea is largely consumed fresh as a vegetable but also fetches good prices on the market. This study examines the relationship between pigeonpea cultivation and poverty using data from the Malawi’s second Integrated Household Survey (IHS2) of 2004. A descriptive analysis shows that more non-pigeonpea growers (61%) than growers (55%) earned annual incomes that fell below the poverty line. However, based on such a descriptive analysis it is not possible to capture the intrinsic impact of pigeonpea on poverty due to problems of selection bias, as well as that of non-compliance. Results based on the counterfactual outcome framework which corrects for the bias (selection, and non-compliance) reveal that the cultivation of pigeonpea reduces the propensity to be poor by 40%. Furthermore, the fact that more female-headed households (24%) than male-headed households (20%) grew the crop, suggests that pigeonpea can be a strategic crop for reducing poverty among female-headed households and hence contribute towards achieving the millennium development goals on poverty.
Simtowe, F. (2011). PIGEONPEA REDUCES POVERTY: EVIDENCE FROM MALAWI. Acta Hortic. 911, 285-293
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.911.32
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.911.32
pigeonpea, poverty, counterfactual, Malawi
English

Acta Horticulturae