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Paving the way for development?: The impact of transport infrastructure on agricultural production and poverty reduction in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Author

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  • Ulimwengu, John
  • Funes, Jose
  • Headey, Derek
  • You, Liangzhi

Abstract

Given its vast land resources and favorable water supply, the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC's) natural agricultural potential is immense. However, the economic potential of the sector is handicapped by one of the most dilapidated transport systems in the developing world (World Bank 2006). Road investments are therefore a high priority in the government's investment plans and those of its major donors. Although these are encouraging signs, very little is known about how the existing road network constrains agricultural and rural development, and how proposed new road investments would address these constraints. To inform this issue, the present paper primarily employs geographic information system (GIS)-based data to assess the impact of market access on agricultural and rural development in the DRC. Compared to existing work, however, the paper employs a number of innovations to improve and extend the generic techniques used to estimate the importance of market access for agricultural and rural development. We then use our derived results to run simulations of how proposed infrastructure investments would affect market access, and how market access would in turn affect agricultural production and household wealth. We find highly significant and negative elasticities between travel times to sizable cities (50,000 or 100,000 population), although we also find that these elasticities are small relative to those of similar cross-country tests. Moreover, city access by itself is less important than access to cities and ports. This finding strongly suggests that increasing investment in ports in the DRC should be a priority in the infrastructure investment portfolio.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulimwengu, John & Funes, Jose & Headey, Derek & You, Liangzhi, 2009. "Paving the way for development?: The impact of transport infrastructure on agricultural production and poverty reduction in the Democratic Republic of Congo," IFPRI discussion papers 944, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:944
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ecker, Olivier & Breisinger, Clemens & McCool, Christen & Diao, Xinshen & Funes, Jose & You, Liangzhi & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Assessing food security in Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 982, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Li, Man & De Pinto, Alessandro & Ulimwengu, John M. & You, Liangzhi & Robertson, Richard D., 2012. "Impacts of Paving Roads for Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Deforestation and Biological Carbon Loss," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126672, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Funes, Jose & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Food as the basis for development and security: A strategy for Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 1036, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Ejaz Ghani & Arti Grover Goswami & William R. Kerr, 2016. "Highway to Success: The Impact of the Golden Quadrilateral Project for the Location and Performance of Indian Manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 317-357, March.
    5. Ogunleye Olusogo & Ajibola Akinyemi & Enilolobo Oluwafemi & Shogunle Olufolakemi, 2018. "Influence of road transport infrastructure on agricultural sector development in Nigeria," Logistics & Sustainable Transport, Sciendo, vol. 9(1), pages 39-50, February.
    6. Richard Damania & Alvaro Federico Barra & Mathilde Burnouf & Jason Daniel Russ, 2016. "Transport, Economic Growth, and Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24044, The World Bank.
    7. Marivoet, Wim, 2016. "Food markets and nutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2004–2005):," IFPRI discussion papers 1566, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Lisa Daniels & Nicholas Minot, 2021. "Do remote areas benefit from economic growth? Evidence from Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(3), pages 545-568, April.
    9. Ali,Rubaba & Barra,Alvaro Federico & Berg,Claudia N. & Damania,Richard & Nash,John D. & Russ,Jason Daniel, 2015. "Infrastructure in conflict-prone and fragile environments : evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7273, The World Bank.
    10. Man Li & Alessandro Pinto & John M. Ulimwengu & Liangzhi You & Richard D. Robertson, 2015. "Impacts of Road Expansion on Deforestation and Biological Carbon Loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(3), pages 433-469, March.

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