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Agricultural Development And Pro Poor Economic Growth In Sub Saharan Africa: Potential And Policy

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

There is widespread concern at continuing, and indeed deepening, poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and the lack of processes of rapid and broad based economic growth to combat this. There is also debate about the role agriculture in driving pro-poor economic growth with some arguing that it has a critical role in this while others see it is as largely irrelevant. This paper examines these arguments. We summarise and critique what we term the Washington Consensus on Agriculture (a consensus that appears to be eroding) and alternative positions opposing investment in agriculture. We suggest that both sets of arguments pay insufficient attention to important institutional issues in development, and, having taken these into account, we conclude that agriculture has a critical role to play, largely by default as there are no other candidates with the same potential for supporting broad based pro-poor growth. However, there are immense challenges to agricultural growth, challenges that in some cases may be too great to be economically viable. In considering economic viability, however, regard must be taken of the economic and social costs of rural stagnation and of providing safety nets in situations of enduring poverty. Policy needs to focus more on agriculture, and recognise and address the diversity of institutional, trade, technological and governance challenges to poverty reducing growth in Africa.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10920
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Paper provided by Imperial College at Wye, Department of Agricultural Sciences in its series ADU Working Papers with number 10920.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ags:icwywp:10920
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/agriculturalsciences/

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  1. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2002. "A Policy Agenda For Pro Poor Agricultural Growth," ADU Working Papers 10923, Imperial College at Wye, Department of Agricultural Sciences.
  2. Naseem, Anwar & Kelly, Valerie A., 1999. "Macro Trends and Determinates of Fertilizer Use in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54671, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  3. Partha Dasgupta, 1998. "The Economics of Poverty in Poor Countries," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 09, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
  5. Thomas Reardon & J. Edward Taylor & Kostas Stamoulis & Peter Lanjouw & Arsenio Balisacan, 2000. "Effects of Non-Farm Employment on Rural Income Inequality in Developing Countries: An Investment Perspective," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 266-288.
  6. 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).
  7. Larson, Bruce A. & Frisvold, George B., 1996. "Fertilizers to support agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa: what is needed and why," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 509-525, December.
  8. Dasgupta, Partha, 1998. " The Economics of Poverty in Poor Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 41-68, March.
  9. Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Does aggregation hide the harmful effects of inequality on growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-77, October.
  10. 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.
  11. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966, March.
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