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The Role of Agriculture in African Development

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  • Diao, Xinshen
  • Hazell, Peter
  • Thurlow, James

Abstract

Summary Widespread rural poverty in Africa and the success of Asia's Green Revolution suggest that agriculture is a key sector for African development. However, in response to recent skepticism, this paper examines whether the conventional wisdom about agriculture's contribution to the development process can still be applied to Africa today. We first outline the debate between the proponents of agriculture and its skeptics before presenting a series of case studies reflecting the heterogeneity of initial conditions facing low-income African countries. Drawing on economy-wide modeling, these case studies contrast the effectiveness of alternative growth strategies in reducing poverty. The findings indicate that while Africa does face many new challenges unlike those faced by Asian countries, there is little evidence to suggest that these countries can bypass a broad-based agricultural revolution to successfully launch their economic transformations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 1375-1383

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:1375-1383

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

Related research

Keywords: agriculture rural development poverty Africa;

References

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  1. Benin, Samuel & Thurlow, James & Diao, Xinshen & Kebba, Allen & Ofwono, Nelson, 2008. "Agricultural growth and investment options for poverty reduction in Uganda:," IFPRI discussion papers 790, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Diao, Xinshen & Pratt, Alejandro Nin, 2007. "Growth options and poverty reduction in Ethiopia - An economy-wide model analysis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 205-228, April.
  3. Christiaensen, Luc & Demery, Lionel & Kuhl, Jesper, 2006. "The role of agriculture in poverty reduction an empirical perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4013, The World Bank.
  4. Simon Maxwell & Rachel Slater, 2003. "Food Policy Old and New," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(5-6), pages 531-553, December.
  5. Steve Wiggins, 1995. "Change in African farming systems between the mid‐1970s and the mid‐1980s," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(6), pages 807-848, November.
  6. Hazell, P. B. R. & Roell, Ailsa, 1983. "Rural growth linkages: household expenditure patterns in Malaysia and Nigeria," Research reports 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, P. B. R. & Reardon, Thomas, 2002. "Strategies for stimulating poverty-alleviating growth in the rural nonfarm economy in developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Barrett, Christopher B. & Reardon, Thomas, 2000. "Asset, Activity, And Income Diversification Among African Agriculturalists: Some Practical Issues," Working Papers 14734, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  9. Diao, Xinshen & Pratt, Alejandro Nin & Ghautam, Madhur & Keough, James & Chamberlin, Jordan & You, Liangszi & Puetz, Detlev & Resnick, Danielle & Yu, Bingxin, 2005. "Growth options and poverty reduction in Ethiopia," DSGD discussion papers 20, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2004. "A Policy Agenda for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-89, January.
  11. Thurlow, James & Kiringai, Jane & Gautam, Madhur, 2007. "Rural investment to accelerate growth and poverty reduction in Kenya:," IFPRI discussion papers 723, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Xinshen Diao & Paul Dorosh, 2007. "Demand Constraints on Agricultural Growth in East and Southern Africa: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(3), pages 275-292, 05.
  13. Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer & Christopher B. Barrett & Julio Berdegué, 2003. "The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1140-1146.
  14. Wiggins, Steve, 2000. "Interpreting Changes from the 1970s to the 1990s in African Agriculture Through Village Studies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 631-662, April.
  15. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, P.B.R. & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2007. "The role of agriculture in development: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," Research reports 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  16. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, Peter & Brown, James, 1989. "Farm-nonfarm linkages in rural sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1173-1201, August.
  17. James Thurlow & Peter Wobst, 2006. "Not All Growth is Equally Good for the Poor: The Case of Zambia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 603-625, December.
  18. Colin Poulton & Jonathan Kydd & Andrew Dorward, 2006. "Overcoming Market Constraints on Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 243-277, 05.
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  20. Birdsall, Nancy & Ross, David & Sabot, Richard, 1995. "Inequality and Growth Reconsidered: Lessons from East Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(3), pages 477-508, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wiebelt, Manfred & Pauw, Karl & Matovu, John Mary & Twimukye, Evarist & Benson, Todd, 2011. "Managing future oil revenue in Uganda for agricultural development and poverty reduction: A CGE analysis of challenges and options," IFPRI discussion papers 1122, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Dorosh, Paul & Thurlow, James, 2012. "Can Cities or Towns Drive African Development? Economy-wide Analysis for Ethiopia and Uganda," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Pauw, Karl & Thurlow, James, 2011. "Agricultural growth, poverty, and nutrition in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 795-804.
  4. Ecker, Olivier & Breisinger, Clemens, 2012. "The food security system: A new conceptual framework," IFPRI discussion papers 1166, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Mugonola, Basil & Vranken, Liesbet & Maertens, Miet & Deckers, Jozef & Taylor, Daniel B & Bonabana-Wabbi, Jackline & Mathijs, Erik, 2013. "Soil and water conservation technologies and technical efficiency in banana production in upper Rwizi micro-catchment, Uganda," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(1), July.
  6. Otsuka, Keijiro, 2012. "Presidential Address at 27th International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil : Food Insecurity, Income Inequality, and the Changing Comparative Advantage in World Agricultu," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 127068, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Deininger, Klaus & Byerlee, Derek, 2011. "The rise of large farms in land abundant countries : do they have a future ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5588, The World Bank.
  8. Ecker, Olivier & Mabiso, Athur & Kennedy, Adam & Diao, Xinshen 22905, 2011. "Making agriculture pro-nutrition: Opportunities in Tanzania," IFPRI discussion papers 1124, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Hazell, Peter B.R., 2007. "Transformations in Agriculture and their Implications for Rural Development," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 4(1).

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