Author: John H. Sanders,Barry Ira Shapiro,Sunder Ramaswamy
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
Category: Business & Economics
View: 9437Most researchers on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa have become pessimistic about future potential after observing the decline of food output per capita over the past two decades. Although the authors of this study identify factors that have resulted in this stagnation, they also document technological successes and then develop a strategy for increasing the effectiveness of future research and development. This strategy is evaluated using field studies and modeling from the major agroecological zones of crop production. The authors address the higher-input, yield-increasing strategy from the perspective of risk, sustainability, and the impact on women. They also consider alternative approaches to increasing output through area expansion and livestock-crop integrated systems. The strategy emphasizes the combined effects of water availability, soil fertility, and new cultivars. It requires public support for adaptive research, higher input purchases by farmers, and increased foreign-exchange expenditures. However, there have already been successes with this strategy, and a more rapid adoption is expected to accelerate the growth of agricultural output and to increase the efficiency of agricultural research. The authors maintain that it is now appropriate to be more optimistic about the potential of Africa to feed itself and to maintain its resource base.
Theory and Evidence
Author: Marcel Fafchamps
Publisher: MIT Press
Category: Business & Economics
View: 5917In Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, Marcel Fafchamps synthesizes the results of recent surveys of indigenous market institutions in twelve countries, including Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, and presents findings about economics exchange in Africa that have implications both for future research and current policy. Employing empirical data as well as theoretical models that clarify the data, Fafchamps takes as his unifying principle the difficulties of contract enforcement. Arguing that in an unpredictable world contracts are not always likely to be respected, he shows that contract agreements in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the absence of large hierarchies (both corporate and governmental) and as a result must depend to a greater degree than in more developed economies on social networks and personal trust. Fafchamps considers policy recommendations as they apply to countries in three different stages of development: countries with undeveloped market institutions, like Ghana; countries at an intermediate stage, like Kenya; and countries with developed market institutions, like Zimbabwe.Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa caps ten years of personal research by the author. Fafchamps, in collaboration with such institutions as the Africa Division of the World Bank and the International Food Policy Research Institute, participated in the surveys of manufacturing firms and agricultural traders that provide the empirical basis for the book. The result is a work that makes a significant contribution to research on the continuing economic stagnation of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is also largely accessible to researchers in other fields and policy professionals.