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Abstract

The recent high food price environment is an opportunity for Africa’s smallholder farmers. This paper assesses the relationship between agricultural productivity and market participation/performance in smallholder response to a high food price environment in Mozambique. We use panel data before and after the change in price regime to identify the relative importance of market access/participation versus household and farm-level factors in explaining productivity differences. Conversely, we look at the relative importance of productivity investments and outcomes versus marketing investments in explaining household market performance. Results suggest that creating an enabling environment for greater access to markets can have important effects on productivity of cereals and groundnuts/beans, but direct investments that lead to increased adoption of productivity enhancing technologies are also important to maximize market access benefits. Finally, we highlight investment priorities to strengthening agricultural market participation and performance and improve productivity.

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