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Priorities and Preconditions for Successful Investment in Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Poulton, Colin
  • Dorward, Andrew
  • Jowett, A.
  • Peacock, C.
  • Urey, Ian

Abstract

In the past couple of years, there has been resurgence in interest in smallholder agriculture as a potential driver for growth and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there remains considerable skepticism as to whether public investment in smallholder agriculture will lead to the desired growth and poverty reduction, given a general pessimism about "absorptive capacity" for (public) investment in Africa, the perception of failure of past agricultural investment and the observation that current conditions are unconducive to agricultural growth in Africa. This paper combines experiences of two UK-based NGOs dedicated to promoting smallholder agriculture and strengthening rural livelihoods in Africa with insights from academic literature on African agriculture and rural markets to set out an agenda for investment in smallholder agriculture in Africa. It identifies priorities for public investment, but also key issues related to "absorptive capacity" that need to be addressed if such investment is to succeed in generating agricultural growth and poverty reduction. Particular emphasis is placed on: a) investment in human and organisational capacity of smallholder farmers; b) investment in coordinated service provision to equip producers to respond to evolving market opportunities; c) the process of developing and implementing credible agricultural development strategies at both national and local level, and; d) reform of Ministries of Agriculture to support this process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) in its series 2004 Inaugural Symposium, December 6-8, 2004, Nairobi, Kenya with number 9516.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaaeke:9516

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Keywords: International Development;

References

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  1. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2002. "A Policy Agenda For Pro Poor Agricultural Growth," ADU Working Papers 10923, Imperial College at Wye, Department of Agricultural Sciences.
  2. Jayne, Thomas S. & Yamano, Takashi & Weber, Michael T. & Tschirley, David L. & Benfica, Rui M.S. & Neven, David & Chapoto, Antony & Zulu, Ballard, 2002. "Smallholder Income And Land Distribution In Africa: Implications For Poverty Reduction Strategies," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19692, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  4. Jayne, Thomas S. & Rubey, Lawrence & Tschirley, David L. & Mukumbu, Mulinge & Chisvo, Munhamo & Santos, Ana Paula & Weber, Michael T. & Diskin, Patrick K., 1996. "Effects of Market Reform on Access to Food by Low-Income Households: Evidence from Four Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11456, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  5. Owens, Trudy & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "The Impact of Agricultural Extension on Farm Production in Resettlement Areas of Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 337-57, January.
  6. Takamasa Akiyama & John Baffes & Donald Larson & Panos Varangis, 2001. "Commodity Market Reforms : Lessons of Two Decades," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13852, October.
  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. Bingen, Jim & Serrano, Alex & Howard, Julie, 2003. "Linking farmers to markets: different approaches to human capital development," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 405-419, August.
  9. Jayne, T. S. & Govereh, J. & Mwanaumo, A. & Nyoro, J. K. & Chapoto, A., 2002. "False Promise or False Premise? The Experience of Food and Input Market Reform in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1967-1985, November.
  10. Alston, Julian M. & Wyatt, T. J. & Pardey, Philip G. & Marra, Michele C. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2000. "A meta-analysis of rates of return to agricultural R & D: ex pede Herculem?," Research reports 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Crawford, Eric & Kelly, Valerie & Jayne, T. S. & Howard, Julie, 2003. "Input use and market development in Sub-Saharan Africa: an overview," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 277-292, August.
  12. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364.
  13. Sheldrick, William F. & Lingard, John, 2004. "The use of nutrient audits to determine nutrient balances in Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 61-98, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Konlambigue, Abdou, 2008. "Financing agricultural inputs in Northern Togo through an inventory credit system: an economic analysis of institutional response," 2007 Second International Conference, August 20-22, 2007, Accra, Ghana 52100, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).

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