Marginality is multifaceted and much more broadly defined than poverty.
Photo: J. Boethling
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The Center for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn seeks to identify opportunities for marginalised rural farming communities to escape poverty by means of appropriate technologies in agriculture. With the aid of overlapping maps of marginality and poverty, the researchers can demonstrate where the greatest need for action is.

Marginality is one of our core research programmes which focuses on people living at the edge of society and having no or limited access to markets or networks to fulfil their basic needs. Through hotspot mapping, poor and marginal areas can be identified where innovations in agricultural technologies could potentially improve rural livelihoods faced by degrading soils, lack of capital or limited access to markets. By mapping regions with low endowments of important factors of a livelihood, we are highlighting areas where more research is necessary to improve rural lives, especially in cases where they can be enhanced by better agricultural productivity.

The dimensions of marginality

Marginality is not equal to poverty. It is more about the underlying causes of poverty. Referring to Gatzweiler et al. 2011, Graw & Ladenburger (2012) described different dimensions of marginality represented by an economic, demographic, quality of life, landscape design, infrastructure, ecological and a public domain dimension.

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