Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 2/13

The Impacts of Wage Employment on a Jatropha Plantation on Income and Food Security of Rural Households in Madagascar
– A Panel Data Analysis

Christine Bosch and Manfred Zeller
University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany



Jatropha projects have been set up worldwide as solution to reduce competition between food and biofuel production. Jatropha is mostly produced on marginal land in developing countries and production is labour-intensive. The subject of this study is an existing Jatropha plantation in central Madagascar. The aims are to assess whether large-scale Jatropha plantations offer sufficient income possibilities to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security. The results show that incomes and food security improved in 2008 due to income generated on the plantation, but deteriorated between 2008 and 2010 mostly due to a decline in agricultural yields for climatic reasons. We find weak evidence that households working for the plantation experienced less reduction in incomes and expenditures than control households. The majority of households did not reduce agricultural production; plantation workers are mostly poorer farmers who need an additional income source.

Keywords: difference-in-difference, propensity score matching, income inequality, poverty reduction

JEL: C23, Q12, I32

Vol. 52 (2013), No. 2: 119-140