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On the Institutional Details that Mediate the Impact of Cash Crops on Food Crop Intensification: The Case of Cotton


  • Tschirley, David L.
  • Theriault, Veronique


The surge in basic food commodity prices in 2007/08 and again in 2011, have led to a renewed focus among governments and donors on agricultural growth, especially in staple food production in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is widely agreed that smallholder-led agricultural growth would contribute most to improved food security and reduced poverty. Yet, how to achieve broader and more sustainable access by smallholder farmers to productivity enhancing inputs for food crop production remains a largely unsolved riddle. In light of the great institutional diversity across cotton sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, this study investigates whether cotton market structures can be used to spur the intensification of smallholder food production. Especially, it examines how the particular institutional structure of a cotton sector might affect its ability to spur such growth in food crop intensification and productivity. With this aim, a conceptual framework linking cotton institutional structures to food crop intensification is first developed. Drawing on the literature, country experience is then reviewed and predictions from the conceptual framework are compared with empirical evidence.

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  • Tschirley, David L. & Theriault, Veronique, 2013. "On the Institutional Details that Mediate the Impact of Cash Crops on Food Crop Intensification: The Case of Cotton," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151263, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:151263

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Mbata, 2001. "Determinants of animal traction adoption in traditional agriculture: An application of the multivariate probit procedure to the case of Lesotho," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 309-325.
    2. Ellis, Frank & Manda, Elizabeth, 2012. "Seasonal Food Crises and Policy Responses: A Narrative Account of Three Food Security Crises in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1407-1417.
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    4. Poulton, Colin & Gibbon, Peter & Hanyani-Mlambo, Benjamine & Kydd, Jonathan & Maro, Wilbald & Larsen, Marianne Nylandsted & Osorio, Afonso & Tschirley, David & Zulu, Ballard, 2004. "Competition and Coordination in Liberalized African Cotton Market Systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 519-536, March.
    5. Veronique Theriault & Renata Serra, 2014. "Institutional Environment and Technical Efficiency: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis of Cotton Producers in West Africa," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 383-405, June.
    6. Jayne, Thomas S. & Chapoto, Antony & Minde, Isaac J. & Donovan, Cynthia, 2008. "The 2008/09 Food Price and Food Security Situation in Eastern and Southern Africa: Implications for Immediate and Longer Run Responses," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54556, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    9. Nicole M. Mason & Thomas S. Jayne, 2014. "Fertiliser subsidies and smallholder commercial fertiliser purchases: crowding out, leakage, and policy implications for Zambia," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 527-528, June.
    10. Takamasa Akiyama & John Baffes & Donald Larson & Panos Varangis, 2001. "Commodity Market Reforms : Lessons of Two Decades," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13852.
    11. Michael Morris & Valerie A. Kelly & Ron J. Kopicki & Derek Byerlee, 2007. "Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture : Lessons Learned and Good Practice Guidelines," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6650.
    12. Minot, Nicholas & Benson, Todd, 2009. "Fertilizer subsidies in Africa: Are vouchers the answer?," Issue briefs 60, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Intensification; Institutional details; cotton; food crops; conceptual framework; Crop Production/Industries; Food Security and Poverty;

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