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Strategies for sustainable agricultural development in the East African highlands:

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  • Pender, John L.
  • Place, Frank
  • Ehui, Simeon K.

Abstract

Low agricultural productivity, land degradation and poverty are severe interrelated problems in the East African highlands. While the proximate causes of such problems are relatively well known, the underlying causes are many and complex, and depend upon many site-specific factors that vary greatly across the diverse circumstances of the region. In this paper, we argue that the appropriate strategy for sustainable development depends greatly upon the “pathways of development” that are feasible in a given location. We argue that such development pathways will be largely determined by three factors determining comparative advantage: agricultural potential, access to markets, and population density. We conclude the paper with hypotheses about the priorities for policy intervention to achieve sustainable development in the East African highlands. Among these, we suggest that the highest priority for road and irrigation development should be areas close to urban markets with high agricultural potential; that development of input and output markets and credit systems will be most critical in such areas; that increasing food security through increased food crop production or other means is likely to be a key to realizing the potential for more commercial production; that subsidies on the costs of transporting fertilizer to remote, high-potential, food deficit areas should be considered as a lower cost alternative to food aid; and that intensified and more private use of hillsides and grazing areas for sustainable uses such as tree planting may have potential to achieve more rapid and sustainable development of lower potential areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Pender, John L. & Place, Frank & Ehui, Simeon K., 1999. "Strategies for sustainable agricultural development in the East African highlands:," EPTD discussion papers 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:41
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    1. Benin, Samuel & Mogues, Tewodaj & Cudjoe, Godsway & Randriamamonjy, Josee, 2009. "Public expenditures and agricultural productivity growth in Ghana," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51634, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. V. M. Manyong & I. Okike & T. O. Williams, 2006. "Effective dimensionality and factors affecting crop-livestock integration in West African savannas: a combination of principal component analysis and Tobit approaches," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(2), pages 145-155, September.
    3. Fan, Shenggen & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2004. "Returns to investment in less-favored areas in developing countries: a synthesis of evidence and implications for Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 431-444, August.
    4. Concheda, G & Berhe, K & Jabbar, Mohammad A., 2001. "A GIS-based Analysis of the Likelihood of Adoption of Some Multi-purpose Tree species in East Africa," Research Reports 183001, International Livestock Research Institute.
    5. Pender, John L. & Jagger, Pamela & Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Sserunkuuma, Dick, 2001. "Development pathways and land management in Uganda: causes and implications," EPTD discussion papers 85, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Wood, Stanley & Sebastian, Kate & Nachtergaele, Freddy & Nielsen, Daniel & Dai, Aiguo, 1999. "Spatial aspects of the design and targeting of agricultural development strategies:," EPTD discussion papers 44, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Mugonola, Basil & Vranken, Liesbet & Maertens, Miet & Deckers, Jozef & Taylor, Daniel B & Bonabana-Wabbi, Jackline & Mathijs, Erik, 2013. "Soil and water conservation technologies and technical efficiency in banana production in upper Rwizi micro-catchment, Uganda," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(1), July.
    8. John Pender & Berhanu Gebremedhin & Saumuel Benin & Simeon Ehui, 2001. "Strategies for Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Ethiopian Highlands," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1231-1240.
    9. Kristjanson, Patricia & Radeny, Maren & Baltenweck, Isabelle & Ogutu, Joseph & Notenbaert, An, 2005. "Livelihood mapping and poverty correlates at a meso-level in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5-6), pages 568-583.
    10. Jagger, Pamela & Pender, John & Gebremedhin, Berhanu, 2005. "Trading Off Environmental Sustainability for Empowerment and Income: Woodlot Devolution in Northern Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1491-1510, September.
    11. Pender, John L., 1999. "Rural population growth, agricultural change and natural resource management in developing countries: a review of hypotheses and some evidence from Honduras," EPTD discussion papers 48, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Ruben, Ruerd & Pender, John, 2004. "Rural diversity and heterogeneity in less-favoured areas: the quest for policy targeting," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 303-320, August.
    13. Patti Kristjanson & Nelson Mango & Anirudh Krishna & Maren Radeny & Nancy Johnson, 2010. "Understanding poverty dynamics in Kenya," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 978-996.
    14. Tushemereirwe, Wilberforce K. & Kikulwe, Enoch M. & Rufino, Mariana & Kuyvenhoven, Arie & Ruben, Ruerd & Bagamba, Fredrick & Kalyebara, Robert, 2004. "Determinants Of Resource Allocation In Low Input Agriculture: The Case Of Banana Production In Uganda," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20147, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. Kruseman, Gideon & Ruben, Ruerd & Tesfay, Girmay, 2006. "Diversity and development domains in the Ethiopian highlands," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 75-91, April.
    16. Wang, Xiaobing & Hockmann, Heinrich, 2012. "Technical Efficiency Under Producer’S Individual Technology: A Metafrontier Analysis," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126755, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Nin-Pratt, Alejandro & Johnson, Michael & Magalhaes, Eduardo & Diao, Xinshen & You, Liang & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2009. "Priorities for realizing the potential to increase agricultural productivity and growth in Western and Central Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 876, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Springer-Heinze, Andreas & Hartwich, Frank & Henderson, J. Simon & Horton, Douglas & Minde, Isaac, 2003. "Impact pathway analysis: an approach to strengthening the impact orientation of agricultural research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 267-285, November.
    19. Pender, John L. & Scherr, Sara J. & Durón, Guadalupe, 1999. "Pathways of development in the hillsides of Honduras: causes and implications for agricultural production, poverty, and sustainable resource use," EPTD discussion papers 45, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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