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Investigating the Sources of Agricultural Growth in Africa: Factor Accumulation, Total Factor Productivity, and Technology Absorption


  • Nkamleu, Guy Blaise


This paper investigates sources and determinants of agricultural growth in Africa, concentrating on the growth path during the last three decades. The analysis employs the broader framework provided by empirical growth literature and recent developments in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) measurement to search for fundamental determinants of growth in African agriculture. One main contribution and new findings in this analysis is the quantification of the contribution of the productivity growth and the contribution of different inputs such as land, labor, tractor and fertilizer in the agricultural growth. Growth accounting computation highlights the fact that factor accumulation rather than TFP accounts for a large share of agricultural output growth and fertilizer has been the most statistically important physical input contributor to agricultural growth. The study also highlights the extent to which agricultural growth contributors vary in relation with different country conditions, institutions and politico-historical factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Nkamleu, Guy Blaise, 2008. "Investigating the Sources of Agricultural Growth in Africa: Factor Accumulation, Total Factor Productivity, and Technology Absorption," 2007 Second International Conference, August 20-22, 2007, Accra, Ghana 52108, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaae07:52108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yasmina Reem Limam & Stephen M. Miller, 2004. "Explaining Economic Growth: Factor Accumulation, Total Factor Productivity Growth, and Production Efficiency Improvement," Working papers 2004-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Guy Nkamleu, 2004. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress and Efficiency Change in African Agriculture," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 16(1), pages 203-222.
    3. Fulginiti, Lilyan E. & Perrin, Richard K. & Yu, Bingxin, 2004. "Institutions and agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 169-180, December.
    4. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Exenberger & Andreas Pondorfer, 2011. "Rain, temperature and agricultural production: The impact of climate change in Sub-Sahara Africa, 1961-2009," Working Papers 2011-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

    More about this item


    Growth accounting; TFP; Factor accumulation; Capital absorption; Africa; Agricultural and Food Policy; Agricultural Finance; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Demand and Price Analysis; Farm Management; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; International Relations/Trade; Land Economics/Use; Livestock Production/Industries; Marketing; Productivity Analysis; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; N50; O47; D24;

    JEL classification:

    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity


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