IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/wdevel/v38y2010i10p1375-1383.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Role of Agriculture in African Development

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Thurlow, James, 2010. "The Role of Agriculture in African Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1375-1383, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:1375-1383
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305-750X(10)00100-2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Simon Maxwell & Rachel Slater, 2003. "Food Policy Old and New," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(5-6), pages 531-553, December.
    3. Shenggen Fan & Xiaobo Zhang, 2008. "Public Expenditure, Growth and Poverty Reduction in Rural Uganda," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 20(3), pages 466-496.
    4. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2006. "The role of agriculture in development: implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. 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: a spatial, economy-wide model analysis for 2004-2015," DSGD discussion papers 20, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    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. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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).
    12. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Verner, Dorte, 1999. "Sector growth and the dual economy model - evidence from Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Zimbabwe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2175, The World Bank.
    13. 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).
    14. 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.
    15. Gillian Hart, 1998. "Regional Linkages in the Era of Liberalization: A Critique of the New Agrarian Optimism," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 29(1), pages 27-54, January.
    16. Diao, Xinshen & Fan, Shenggen & Yu, Bingxin & Kanyarukiga, Sam, 2007. "Agricultural growth and investment options for poverty reduction in Rwanda," IFPRI discussion papers 689, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    17. World Bank, 2006. "World Development Indicators 2006," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 8151, December.
    18. 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, May.
    19. Caroline Ashley & Simon Maxwell, 2001. "Rethinking Rural Development," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 19(4), pages 395-425, December.
    20. Steven Haggblade & Jeffrey Hammer & Peter Hazell, 1991. "Modeling Agricultural Growth Multipliers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(2), pages 361-374.
    21. Birdsall, Nancy & Ross, David & Sabot, Richard, 1995. "Inequality and Growth Reconsidered: Lessons from East Asia," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 9(3), pages 477-508, September.
    22. Ross, D. & Sabot, R. & Birdsall, N., 1995. "Inequality and Growth Reconsidered," Center for Development Economics 142, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    23. 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.
    24. 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, May.
    25. 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.
    26. Spencer, Dunstan S. C., 1994. "Infrastructure and technology constraints to agricultural development in the humid and subhumid tropics of Africa:," EPTD discussion papers 3, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    27. Unknown, 1961. "The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development," International Journal of Agrarian Affairs, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 1-1, April.
    28. 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, vol. 15(4), pages 603-625, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2006. "The role of agriculture in development: implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Andersson Djurfeldt, Agnes, 2013. "African Re-Agrarianization? Accumulation or Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 217-231.
    3. Diao, Xinshen & Fan, Shenggen & Headey, Derek & Johnson, Michael & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Yu, Bingxin, 2008. "Accelerating Africa's food production in response to rising food prices: Impacts and requisite actions," IFPRI discussion papers 825, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Bezemer, Dirk & Headey, Derek, 2008. "Agriculture, Development, and Urban Bias," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1342-1364, August.
    5. Xinshen Diao & Derek Headey & Michael Johnson, 2008. "Toward a green revolution in Africa: what would it achieve, and what would it require?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 539-550, November.
    6. Diao, Xinshen & Dorosh, Paul A. & Rahman, Shaikh Mahfuzur, 2007. "Market opportunities for African agriculture: A General Equilibrium examination of demand-side constraints on agricultural growth in East and Southern Africa," Research reports 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Delgado, Christopher L. & Hopkins, Jane & Kelly , Valerie & Hazell, P. B. R. & McKenna, Anna A. & Gruhn, Peter & Hojjati, Behjat & Sil, Jayashree & Courbois, Claude, 1998. "Agricultural growth linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa:," Research reports 107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Lipton, Michael, 2010. "From Policy Aims and Small-farm Characteristics to Farm Science Needs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1399-1412, October.
    9. Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen, 2008. "Economic transformation in theory and practice: What are the messages for Africa?," IFPRI discussion papers 797, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Mellor, John W. & Dorosh, Paul A., 2010. "Agriculture and the economic transformation of Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 10, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Diao, Xinshen & Fekadu, Belay & Haggblade, Steven & Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu & Wamisho, Kassu & Yu, Bingxin, 2007. "Agricultural growth linkages in Ethiopia: Estimates using fixed and flexible price models," IFPRI discussion papers 695, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Paul A. Dorosh & John W. Mellor, 2013. "Why Agriculture Remains a Viable Means of Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ethiopia," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(4), pages 419-441, July.
    13. Mellor, John W. & Malik, Sohail J., 2017. "The Impact of Growth in Small Commercial Farm Productivity on Rural Poverty Reduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-10.
    14. Poulton, Colin & Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: New Directions for Services, Institutions, and Intermediation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1413-1428, October.
    15. Kamenya, Madalitso A. & Hendriks, Sheryl L. & Gandidzanwa, Colleta & Ulimwengu, John & Odjo, Sunday, 2022. "Public agriculture investment and food security in ECOWAS," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    16. Fan, Shenggen & Johnson, Michael E. & Saurkar, Anuja & Makombe, Tsitsi, 2007. "Investing in African agriculture to halve poverty by 2015," ReSAKSS issue notes 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    17. Paul J. Block & Kenneth Strzepek & Mark W. Rosegrant & Xinshen Diao, 2008. "Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 171-181, September.
    18. Bigsten , Arne & Levin, Jörgen, 2000. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty: A Review," Working Papers in Economics 32, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    19. Fofana, Ismaël & Omolo, Miriam W. O. & Goundan, Anatole & Magne Domgho, Léa Vicky & Collins, Julia & Marti, Estefania, 2019. "NAIP toolkit for Malabo domestication: Economic modeling of agricultural growth and investment strategy, case study of Kenya," IFPRI discussion papers 1813, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:1375-1383. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.