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Agriculture in African Development: A Review of Theories and Strategies

  • Stefan Dercon
  • Douglas Gollin

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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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2014-22.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2014-22
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