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Agricultural development and pro-poor economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa: potential and policy

  • Jonathan Kydd
  • Andrew Dorward
  • Jamie Morrison
  • Georg Cadisch

There is widespread concern at continuing and deepening poverty and food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and the lack of broad-based economic growth. There is also debate about agriculture's role in driving pro-poor economic growth, some arguing it has a critical role while others see it is as largely irrelevant. We suggest that both sets of arguments pay insufficient attention to important institutional issues, and that agriculture has a critical role to play, largely by default, as there are few other candidates with the same potential for supporting broad-based pro-poor growth. There are, however, immense challenges to agricultural growth. In considering the costs and benefits of investment in agricultural growth, however, regard must also be given to the economic and social costs of rural stagnation and to providing safety nets in situations of enduring poverty. Policy needs to focus more on agriculture, and recognize and address the diversity of institutional, trade, technological and governance challenges to poverty-reducing growth in Africa.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 32 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 37-57

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:32:y:2004:i:1:p:37-57
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  1. Jayne, Thomas S. & Shaffer, James D. & Staatz, John M. & Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Improving the Impact of Market Reform on Agricultural Productivity in Africa: How Institutional Design Makes a Difference," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54684, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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