Almost a decade after large land-based investment for agriculture increased sharply, opinions on its impact continue to diverge, partly because (positive or negative) spillovers on neighboring smallholders have never been rigorously assessed. Applying methods from the urban literature on Mozambican data suggests that changes in the number and area of large farms within 25 or 50 kilometers of these investments raised use of improved practices, animal traction, and inputs by small farmers without increasing cultivated area or participation in output, credit, and nonfarm labor markets; or, once these factors are controlled for, yields. The limited scope and modest size of the estimated benefits point toward considerable unrealized potential. The paper discusses ways to systematically explore the size of such potential and the extent to which it is realized.
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