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The Impact of Agricultural Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Oehmke, James F
  • Crawford, Eric W

Abstract

Despite considerable investment in African agricultural technology development and transfer (TDT) activities, it is commonly perceived that TDT has had little impact. This paper summarizes and interprets recent evidence on the impact of agricultural TDT in sub-Saharan Africa, and draws lessons to improve the efficiency of future investment in African TDT. The evidence suggests that rates of return to TDT activities are often positive and in excess of the opportunity costs of capital, indicating that these activities have had significant impact on human well-being. However, improvements can be made by including demand-side considerations into TDT activities, particularly off-farm constraints in processing, storage, and distribution that inhibit the farm-level demand for improved technology. Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Oehmke, James F & Crawford, Eric W, 1996. "The Impact of Agricultural Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(2), pages 271-292, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:5:y:1996:i:2:p:271-92
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    Cited by:

    1. Dostie, B. & Haggblade, S. & Randriamamonjy, J., 2002. "Seasonal poverty in Madagascar: magnitude and solutions," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 493-518.
    2. Pardey, Philip G. & Andrade, Robert S. & Hurley, Terrance M. & Rao, Xudong & Liebenberg, Frikkie G., 2016. "Returns to food and agricultural R&D investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1975–2014," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-8.
    3. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    4. World Bank, 2005. "Managing Food Price Risks and Instability in an Environment of Market Liberalization," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8264, The World Bank.
    5. Boughton, Duncan & Crawford, Eric W. & Howard, Julie A. & Oehmke, James F. & Shaffer, James D. & Staatz, John M., 1995. "A Strategic Approach to Agricultural Research Program Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54702, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Jayne, T.S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2016. "Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs in Africa: An Assessment of Recent Evidence," Food Security International Development Working Papers 245892, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Haggblade, Steven, 2003. "Successes in African agriculture," MSSD discussion papers 53, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Kelly, Valerie A., 2005. "Farmers' Demand for Fertilizer in Sub-Saharan Africa," Staff Papers 11612, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    9. Boughton, Duncan & Crawford, Eric W. & Howard, Julie A. & Oehmke, James F. & Shaffer, James D. & Staatz, John M., 1996. "Une approche stratégique pour la planification du programme de recherche agricole en Afrique sub-saharienne," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11384, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    10. Kelly, Valerie A. & Carpenter, Janet & Diall, Oumar & Easterling, Tom & Kone, Moctar & McCornick, Peter G. & McGahuey, Mike, 2005. "Options for Economic Growth in Mali through the Application of Science and Technology to Agriculture," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56243, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    11. Tomo, Alda & Crawford, Eric W. & Donovan, Cynthia & Lloyd, James W. & Udo, Henk & Viets, Theo, 2012. "Does Village Chickens Vaccination Raise Farmers’ Income? Evidence from Rural Mozambique," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 130977, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Eicher, Carl K., 2001. "Africa'S Unfinished Business: Building Sustainable Agricultural Research Systems," Staff Papers 11802, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    13. Jayne, T.S. & Mather, David & Mghenyi, Elliot, 2010. "Principal Challenges Confronting Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1384-1398, October.
    14. Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Haggblade, Steven, 2004. "Successes in African Agriculture: Results of an Expert Survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 745-766, May.
    15. Masters, William A. & Bedingar, Touba & Oehmke, James F., 1998. "The impact of agricultural research in Africa: aggregate and case study evidence," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 81-86, September.
    16. Sumberg, James, 2005. "Systems of innovation theory and the changing architecture of agricultural research in Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 21-41, February.
    17. 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).
    18. Nkonya, Ephraim & Kato, Edward & Oduol, Judith & Pali, Pamela & Farrow, Andrew, 2013. "Initial impact of integrated agricultural research for development in East and Central Africa," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(3), September.
    19. Rukuni, Mandivamba & Blackie, Malcolm J. & Eicher, Carl K., 1997. "Crafting Smallholder-Driven Agricultural Research Systems In Southern Africa," Staff Papers 11531, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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