Development Aid and Agriculture
AbstractThis chapter is motivated by the question of whether development assistance directed at agriculture ("agricultural aid") is effective. It argues that development assistance is continually changing as the ascendant visions of strong global leaders interact with theories of economic growth and evidence on the impact of past aid, and that agricultural aid has reflected similar continual changes in its composition and mode of delivery. The chapter briefly summarizes evidence on the contribution of aid to overall economic growth, then reviews the evidence of whether agricultural aid accelerates agricultural or economic development. It reviews evaluations of projects and sets of projects related to agricultural credit, integrated rural development, irrigation, research, extension, and higher education. However, except for the World Bank's Operations Evaluation Department (OED) work, most studies of agricultural aid fail to estimate economic rates of return or contributions to incomes of farmers or national economies. It is impossible to conclude, from the evaluation literature, whether agricultural aid accelerates economic development or not. The chapter shows that donors change the object of their assistance with great frequency. Economic growth takes time, and donors have not stayed committed to key activities for a sufficiently long time to achieve results. Aid to agriculture from nearly all donors fell precipitously beginning in the mid-1980s despite clear evidence that there was a continuing need for broad, long-term support for agriculture in sub-Sahara Africa. This review suggests that those with responsibility for allocating assistance across sectors do not understand the crucial importance of agriculture at the early stages of development, because the urge to fund new approaches dominates decisions rather than judgment of what is needed and what is likely to be effective. However, one may also understand the unwillingness of aid decision makers to place too much credence in the results of impact evaluation studies because there are few consistent results, whether on national economic growth or agricultural growth, and most studies stress the difficulty of attributing agricultural production growth to development assistance.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
This chapter was published in:
This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Agricultural Economics with number 6-63.
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description
development effectiveness; impact evaluation; aid impact; agricultural aid; economic growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O19 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
- O22 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.