IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Endemic diseases and agricultural productivity: Challenges and policy response


  • Martine AUDIBERT

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))


Contrary to Asian countries, the agricultural sector in Africa had not benefited from the green revolution success. After a long time of disinterest in the agriculture sector in Africa, several voices arise now in favour of greater efforts towards this sector. Several studies tend to show the crucial role of agriculture in African countries’ growth and highlight the huge need of increasing the productivity in this sector. If increase in agriculture productivity requires both an expansion of irrigated areas and the adoption of high yield varieties, those innovations and their high development could be the source of negative health (and environmental) effects. Using a mega-analysis, this paper highlights first the links between health, disease and development and then agricultural productivity. The literature review shows that the negative effect of bad health was not systematically checked, and that the intensity of this effect depends of the disease, but also of the work productivity and the existence or not of a coping process. The second part of the paper focused on the development of high intensive agriculture as a risk factor for farmers’ and rural inhabitants’ health. This survey shows that whether irrigation and fertilizer and pest intensive use could be considered as highly health (and environmental) risk factors, appropriate control measures (such as for examples systematic maintenance of irrigation canals, alternate wetting and drying of irrigated fields or integrated pest management) considerably reduce this risk, while at the same time, increase the agriculture productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Martine AUDIBERT, 2008. "Endemic diseases and agricultural productivity: Challenges and policy response," Working Papers 200823, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1035

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Audibert, Martine, 1986. "Agricultural non-wage production and health status : A case study in a tropical environment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 275-291, December.
    2. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    3. Brenton, Paul & Hoppe, Mombert, 2006. "The African Growth and Opportunity Act, exports, and development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3996, The World Bank.
    4. Lachaud, Jean-Pierre, 2007. "HIV prevalence and poverty in Africa: Micro- and macro-econometric evidences applied to Burkina Faso," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 483-504, May.
    5. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
    6. Gin, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2009. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidencefrom Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-11, May.
    7. Christiaensen, Luc & Demery, Lionel & Kuhl, Jesper, 2006. "The role of agriculture in poverty reduction an empirical perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4013, The World Bank.
    8. Martine AUDIBERT, 1996. "Technical inefficiency effects among paddy farmers at the 'Office du Niger', Mali, West Africa," Working Papers 199613, CERDI.
    9. Audibert, Martine & Mathonnat, Jacky & Henry, Marie-Claire, 2003. "Social and health determinants of the efficiency of cotton farmers in Northern Côte d'Ivoire," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1705-1717, April.
    10. Bera, Anil K. & Kelley, Timothy G., 1990. "Adoption of high yielding rice varieties in Bangladesh : An econometric analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 263-285, October.
    11. Rosenfield, P. L. & Golladay, F. & Davidson, R. K., 1984. "The economics of parasitic diseases: Research priorities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1117-1126, January.
    12. Munshi, Kaivan, 2008. "Information Networks in Dynamic Agrarian Economies," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Mwabu, Germano, 2008. "Health Economics for Low-Income Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    14. Christiaensen, Luc & Hoffmann, Vivian & Sarris, Alexander, 2007. "Gauging the welfare effects of shocks in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4406, The World Bank.
    15. Wang'Ombe, Joseph K. & Mwabu, Germano M., 1993. "Agricultural land use patterns and malaria conditions in Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1121-1130, November.
    16. Audibert, Martine & Etard, Jean-Francois, 2003. "Productive Benefits after Investment in Health in Mali," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 769-782, April.
    17. van der Velde, M. & Green, S.R. & Vanclooster, M. & Clothier, B.E., 2007. "Sustainable development in small island developing states: Agricultural intensification, economic development, and freshwater resources management on the coral atoll of Tongatapu," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 456-468, March.
    18. Schultz, T. Paul & Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Wage and labor supply effects of illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana: instrumental variable estimates for days disabled," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 251-286, August.
    19. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2003. "The long-run economic costs of AIDS : theory and an application to South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3152, The World Bank.
    20. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2004. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: A Production Function Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    21. Maumbe, Blessing M. & Swinton, Scott M., 2003. "Hidden health costs of pesticide use in Zimbabwe's smallholder cotton growers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1559-1571, November.
    22. Liu, Gordon G. & Dow, William H. & Fu, Alex Z. & Akin, John & Lance, Peter, 2008. "Income productivity in China: On the role of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 27-44, January.
    23. Sahn, David E. & Alderman, Harold, 1988. "The effects of human capital on wages, and the determinants of labor supply in a developing country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 157-183, September.
    24. Azam, Jean-Paul, 1996. "The impact of floods on the adoption rate of high-yielding rice varieties in Bangladesh," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 179-189, February.
    25. Reddy, V. Ratna & Behera, Bhagirath, 2006. "Impact of water pollution on rural communities: An economic analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 520-537, June.
    26. Stuart Gillespie & Suneetha Kadiyala, 2005. "HIV/AIDS and Food and Nutrition Security: Interactions and Response," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1282-1288.
    27. Umeh, J. Chinedu & Amali, O. & Umeh, E. U., 2001. "Impact of urinary schistosomiasis on rural land use: empirical evidence from Nigeria," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 293-303, January.
    28. Kawagoe, Toshihiko & Hayami, Yujiro & Ruttan, Vernon W., 1985. "The intercountry agricultural production function and productivity differences among countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 113-132.
    29. Bell, Clive & Bruhns, Ramona & Gersbach, Hans, 2006. "Economic growth, education, and AIDS in Kenya : a long-run analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4025, The World Bank.
    30. Foster, Andrew D. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2008. "Economic Development and the Decline of Agricultural Employment," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Martine Audibert & Pascale Combes Motel & Alassane Drabo, 2013. "Health capital depreciation effects on development: theory and measurement," Working Papers halshs-00832877, HAL.
    2. Martine AUDIBERT & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Alassane DRABO, 2010. "Global Burden of Disease and Economic Growth," Working Papers 201036, CERDI.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1035. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vincent Mazenod). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.