Diverging developments in African and Asian agriculture?
WU School of Social Sciences
Africa: different from Asia?
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)
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?
Climate and geography pose special challenges, but can be mitigated by technology response
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
Changes in governance, transparency and participation are emerging
Positive micro-evidence on the adoption of new varieties
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