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Resource degradation, low agricultural productivity, and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa: pathways out of the spiral

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  • Simeon Ehui
  • John Pender

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the lowest agricultural productivity in the world, while almost half of the population lives below US$1 per day. The biggest development policy challenge is to find appropriate solutions to end hunger and poverty in the region. Building on several years of empirical research conducted in East Africa, this paper identifies potential strategies for sustainable development in this region. In general, the empirical evidence reviewed confirms that different strategies are needed in different development domains of SSA. Nevertheless, some elements will be common to all successful strategies, including assurance of peace and security, a stable macroeconomic environment, provision of incentives through markets where markets function, development of market institutions where they do not, and public and private investment in an appropriate mix of physical, human, natural, and social capital. The differences in strategies across these domains mainly reflect differences in the mix of those investments as influenced by different comparative advantages. Copyright 2005 International Association of Agricultural Economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2005)
Issue (Month): s1 (01)
Pages: 225-242

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Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:32:y:2005:i:s1:p:225-242

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Cited by:
  1. Nkamleu, Guy Blaise, 2003. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress and Efficiency Change in African Agriculture," MPRA Paper 11380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kassie, Menale & Holden, Stein & Köhlin, Gunnar & Bluffstone, Randy, 2009. "Economics of Soil Conservation Adoption in High-Rainfall Areas of the Ethiopian Highlands," Working Papers in Economics 400, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Reynolds, Travis W., 2012. "Institutional Determinants of Success Among Forestry-Based Carbon Sequestration Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 542-554.
  4. Reynolds, Travis W. & Farley, Joshua & Huber, Candice, 2010. "Investing in human and natural capital: An alternative paradigm for sustainable development in Awassa, Ethiopia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2140-2150, September.
  5. Chamberlin, Jordan & Pender, John & Yu, Bingxin, 2006. "Development domains for Ethiopia: capturing the geographical context of smallholder development options," EPTD discussion papers 159, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele & Pender, John, 2004. "Non-farm income, household welfare, and sustainable land management in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 369-392, August.
  7. Hanjra, Munir A. & Ferede, Tadele & Gutta, Debel Gemechu, 2009. "Pathways to breaking the poverty trap in Ethiopia: Investments in agricultural water, education, and markets," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1596-1604, November.
  8. Waithaka, M.M. & Thornton, P.K. & Herrero, M. & Shepherd, K.D., 2006. "Bio-economic evaluation of farmers' perceptions of viable farms in western Kenya," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 243-271, October.

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