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Diverging developments in African and Asian agriculture?

Arie Kuyvenhoven

WU School of Social Sciences

Africa: different from Asia? 

Geographical divide?

Gloomy picture true?

Something inevitable about Africa?

Agriculture first, as in Asia?

New developments and initiatives


Geography, institutions, governance

Low population density, weak infrastructure

Diverse geography, agro-ecology and climate

Slavery, poor colonial legacies, fractionalisation

Cold war politics, HIV/AIDS

Political elites undermining markets (rents) and capturing public services (patronage)

Poor economics

Lack of market openness and rural social capital

High cost of risk and volatility

Deficient public services and infrastructure

Overregulated economies, biased against rural interests, aggravated by a resource curse

Gloomy and inevitable?

ď Ž

Climate and geography pose special challenges, but can be mitigated by technology response

ď Ž

Adverse policies, weak institutions, and inappropriate governance matter more, but being man-made, can be changed

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Reality I 

Roughly 300 million people are chronically hungry; 40% of the population is outright poor

Two thirds of SSA is rural and home to three quarters of the poor

33 million small farmers make up 80% of all farms and supply 90% of agricultural produce

Yields in SSA much below China and India


Yields and poverty in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

Source: WDR 2008

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Reality II 

During the 80s and 90s donors and African governments pulled out of agricultural investment, in favour of Short-term emergency and humanitarian food aid Realization that agriculture matters in early development: because of its size, its poverty reducing effect, and its trade creation

Africa’s main challenge 

Extensificaton rational and easy

Agro-ecology makes R&D expensive

Complementary action and policies problematic: the co-ordination issue

Challenge: how to raise productivity by locally adapted interventions in packages of private and public investment: intensification

Asia and Africa compared  

Modern varieties are adopted in Africa, but often not sustained Asia’s Green revolution: state-led, market-driven, small-farmer based; food self-sufficiency for geopolitical reasons; legitimacy based on progress in rural areas; policy contagion Africa’s dilemma: extensification conventional wisdom; diverse agro-ecology; initial selfsufficiency; legitimacy linked to urban demands and large-scale cash crop farming

African advances are emerging

ď Ž

Changes in governance, transparency and participation are emerging

ď Ž

Positive micro-evidence on the adoption of new varieties

ď Ž

Macro data show a positive trend: 5% GDP and 3 % agricultural growth during 2000-08

Modern variety diffusion by decade

Source: InterAcademy Council

CAADP, AGRA, CGIAR, World Bank  

 

Focus on policy and institutional incentives to make intensification work A range of technical options for sustainable, highyielding and more resilient African farming systems; imperative to maintain R&D Pay attention to: infrastructure, micro-finance and rural credit, seed and fertilizer markets Diversification out of agriculture? Different views


Special features: yes; inevitable: no; gloomy picture: overdone

Prominent role governance and aid efforts

Two lessons Green Revolution: (1) location- and time-specific packages of complementary interventions (2) apply the right mix of disciplines

Presentatie Kuyvenhoven, symposium 2011  

Diverging developments in African and Asian agriculture? Arie Kuyvenhoven WU School of Social Sciences Africa: different from Asia?  Geogra...