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Agriculture in African Development: A Review of Theories and Strategies

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  • Stefan Dercon
  • Douglas Gollin

Abstract

Agriculture is the largest sector in most sub-Saharan economies in terms of employment, and it plays an important role in supplying food and export earnings. Rural poverty rates remain high, and labor productivity is strikingly low. This paper asks how these factors shape the role of agriculture in African development strategies. Is agricultural growth a prerequisite for growth in other sectors? Or will urbanization and non-agricultural export markets ultimately be the forces that pull the rural economy into higher productivity? We argue that agricultural development strategies will vary widely because of heterogeneity across and within countries.

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  • Stefan Dercon & Douglas Gollin, 2014. "Agriculture in African Development: A Review of Theories and Strategies," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2014-22
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; structural transformation; sub-Saharan Africa; rural development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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