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Macro-Micro Linkages: Structural Adjustment and Fertilizer Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Listed author(s):
  • Jean-Marc Fontaine
  • Alice Sindzingre

In the 1960s, the principle of subsidies for agricultural inputs was unquestioned. The advent of Structural Adjustment Plans led however to a re-examination of this principle, as preference moved towards liberalisation of the agricultural sector. Given the very low consumption of fertilizers in sub-Saharan Africa — a consumption level which is currently the lowest for all world regions — its agricultural development calls imperatively for an increase in the use of fertilizers. Widespread diffusion of the most modern agricultural practices is therefore a sine quo non for agricultural policies in this region. Hitherto, the cessation of subsidies has always resulted in reduced use of fertilizers. This is due to the specific nature of private demand for agricultural inputs, which is particularly sensitive to the risk factor associated with the use of fertilizers. Users must accordingly be protected against the economic hazards consequent upon the introduction of modern ... Considéré comme allant de soi pendant les années 60, le principe de subvention des intrants agricoles a été remis en cause dans le cadre des Plans d’Ajustement Structurel, au profit d’une libéralisation de ce secteur. Mais, étant donné que la consommation d’engrais en Afrique sub-saharienne, est la plus faible du monde, l’accélération du développement agricole de l’Afrique sub-saharienne impliquera un accroissement de cette consommation. Une large diffusion des pratiques agricoles modernes est donc un impératif absolu pour les politiques agricoles. Or l’arrêt des subventions s’est toujours traduit par une chute de la consommation des engrais. Ceci s’explique par les particularités de la demande privée d’intrants agricoles, extrêmement sensible au facteur-risque associé à l’utilisation des engrais. Les utilisateurs doivent donc être protégés contre les aléas économiques consécutifs à l’emploi d’intrants modernes, ce qui suppose le maintien d’un schéma de subvention ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 49.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 1991
Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:49-en
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