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Ten striking facts about agricultural input use in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Sheahan, Megan
  • Barrett, Christopher B.

Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that Sub-Saharan African farmers use few modern inputs despite the fact that most poverty-reducing agricultural growth in the region is expected to come largely from expanded use of inputs that embody improved technologies, particularly improved seed, fertilizers and other agro-chemicals, machinery, and irrigation. Yet following several years of high food prices, concerted policy efforts to intensify fertilizer and hybrid seed use, and increased public and private investment in agriculture, how low is modern input use in Africa really? This article revisits Africa’s agricultural input landscape, exploiting the unique, recently collected, nationally representative, agriculturally intensive, and cross-country comparable Living Standard Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) covering six countries in the region (Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda). Using data from over 22,000 households and 62,000 agricultural plots, we offer ten potentially surprising facts about modern input use in Africa today.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheahan, Megan & Barrett, Christopher B., 2017. "Ten striking facts about agricultural input use in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 12-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:12-25 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.09.010
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0090-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:agisys:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:168-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Komarek, Adam M. & Drogue, Sophie & Chenoune, Roza & Hawkins, James & Msangi, Siwa & Belhouchette, Hatem & Flichman, Guillermo, 2017. "Agricultural household effects of fertilizer price changes for smallholder farmers in central Malawi," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, pages 168-178.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Improved seed; Fertilizer; Agro-chemical; Machinery; Irrigation; Sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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