Original Research

The labour supply conditions for the transformation of peasant agriculture in Africa: Lessons from a Malawian experience

Pacharo H. Simukonda
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 3, No 2 | a2608 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v3i2.2608 | © 2018 Pacharo H. Simukonda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 July 2018 | Published: 30 June 2000

About the author(s)

Pacharo H. Simukonda, Department of Public and Development Administration, University of Venda for Science and Technology, South Africa

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In implementing rural development projects, African states expect that the otherwise poor peasantry would respond positively by maximising use of the productivity-enhancing technologies available to them, in order to improve their income status. The basic requirement is that the producer must supply significantly higher levels of productive labour-time, mainly from subsistence production and other traditional activities. The Malawi experience suggests that this process revolves around the critical role of both the physical and psychological dimensions of labour-time application. Therefore, the transformation of peasant commodity-surplus producers is unlikely to be effectively achieved, unless attainable commodity income is sufficient to at least support both customary production and subjectively defined socio-economic goals.


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