Agriculture for Development in Africa: Business-as-Usual or New Departures?
de Janvry, Alain, and Elisabeth Sadoulet. 2010. “Agriculture for Development in Africa: Business-as-Usual or New Departures?” Journal of African Economies 19 (Supplement 2): ii7-ii39.
The world of agriculture is in a state of crisis. And nowhere is this more important than for Africa where economies depend heavily on agriculture and hunger is on the rise. Agriculture is in the headlines, but for the wrong reasons: failures instead of successes. It is receiving rare political attention and financial commitments by governments and donors. This creates unique opportunities in using agriculture for development. But will opportunities be seized? Governments and donors have increasingly turned their backs on agriculture over the last 20 years, contributing to the current food crisis. Will African governments and donors respond by successfully using agriculture for development, or, after a brief concern with agriculture motivated by food riots and human distress, are we to witness a return to business as usual? This paper attempts to answer that question, identifying causes that have led to the crisis, opportunities for new departures, and forces that could be mobilized in order to avoid the business-as-usual scenario and promote instead the agriculture-for-development outcome.
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