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Interactions Between the Agricultural Sector and the HIV/AIDS Pandemic: Implications for Agricultural Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Jayne, Thomas S.
  • Villarreal, Marcela
  • Pingali, Prabhu L.
  • Henrich, Gunter

This paper considers how the design of agricultural policies and programmes might be modified to better achieve policy objectives in the context of severe HIV epidemics and underscores the central role of agricultural policy in mitigating the spread and impacts of the epidemic. Based on projections of future demographic change in the hardest-hit countries of eastern and southern Africa, HIV/AIDS is likely to have the following effects on the agricultural sector: (1) increased rural inequality caused by disproportionately severe effects of AIDS on relatively poor households; (2) a reduction in household assets and wealth, leading to less capital-intensive cropping systems for severely affected communities and households; and (3) problems in transferring knowledge of crop husbandry and marketing to the succeeding generation of African farmers. It is argued that -- even though the absolute number of working age adults in the hardest-hit countries is projected to remain roughly the same over the next two decades -- the cost of labour in agriculture may rise in some areas as increasing scarcity of capital (notably, animal draft power for land preparation and weeding) will increase the demand for labour in agricultural production or shift agricultural systems to less labour- and capital-intensive crops. The paper suggests that the most effective means for agricultural policy to respond to HIV/AIDS will entail focusing on: (1) investing in agricultural research to generate improved technologies capable of raising the productivity of crop and livestock systems; (2) rehabilitating agricultural extension services; (3) instituting crop and input marketing systems that contribute to small scale farmers productivity and food security. Finally, the paper provides some elements of a framework for governments and donors to assess and potentially modify existing agricultural programmes, policies, and investment strategies for achieving their agricultural and rural development objec

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/11454
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Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses with number 11454.

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Date of creation: 2004
Handle: RePEc:ags:midips:11454
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Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039

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  1. Loevinsohn, Michael & Gillespie, Stuart, 2003. "HIV/AIDS, food security and rural livelihoods," FCND discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Yamano, Takashi & Jayne, T. S., 2004. "Measuring the Impacts of Working-Age Adult Mortality on Small-Scale Farm Households in Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 91-119, January.
  3. Cuddington, John T, 1993. "Further Results on the Macroeconomic Effects of AIDS: The Dualistic, Labor-Surplus Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 403-417, September.
  4. Govereh, Jones & Jayne, T. S., 2003. "Cash cropping and food crop productivity: synergies or trade-offs?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 39-50, January.
  5. Cuddington, John T. & Hancock, John D., 1994. "Assessing the impact of AIDS on the growth path of the Malawian economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 363-368, April.
  6. Eicher, Carl K., 1995. "Zimbabwe's maize-based Green Revolution: Preconditions for replication," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 805-818, May.
  7. Umali, Dina L & Feder, Gershon & de Haan, Cornelis, 1994. "Animal Health Services: Finding the Balance between Public and Private Delivery," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 71-96, January.
  8. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
  9. Pillai, Vijayan K. & Sunil, T. S. & Gupta, Rashmi, 2003. "AIDS Prevention in Zambia: Implications for Social Services," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 149-161, January.
  10. Jayne, T. S. & Jones, Stephen, 1997. "Food marketing and pricing policy in Eastern and Southern Africa: A survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1505-1527, September.
  11. Lawrence Haddad & Stuart Gillespie, 2001. "Effective food and nutrition policy responses to HIV|AIDS: what we know and what we need to know," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 487-511.
  12. Donovan, Cynthia & Bailey, Linda & Mpyisi, Edson & Weber, Michael T., 2003. "Prime-Age Adult Morbidity and Mortality in Rural Rwanda: Effects on Household Income, Agricultural Production, and Food Security Strategies," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55387, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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