Space, markets and employment in agricultural development: Malawi
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Agriculture plays a significant role in Malawi’s national economy, contributing 35% to gross domestic product, 90% to foreign exchange earnings and providing employment to more than 80% of the labour force. Particularly in such agricultural-based economies, growth in the agricultural sector has long been assumed to benefit the rural non-farm sector. Agriculture potentially benefits the non-farm sector through various production or consumption expenditure ‘linkages’, including local expenditure by farmers and their workers (Haggblade et al., 2010). However, the economic and employment benefits of agriculture crucially depend on the spatial patterns of agricultural production, processing and marketing (and their linkages to local markets). These are considered in what follows.
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