Bryceson, Deborah and Sarkar, Prabirjit and Fennell, Shailaja and Singh, Ajit (2010): Globalization, structural adjustment and african agriculture: analysis and evidence. Published in: Centre for Business Research No. Working paper 414
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A major purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of poor governance or ‘state fragility’ in African countries on their overall economic and agrarian performance. The results of our econometric analysis show that a higher level of public security is conducive to lower levels of conflict, whether of an ethnic, religious and regional nature. It also corresponds with greater agricultural value-added per capita. The analysis further indicates that trade openness and aid do not have a substantial impact on agricultural development.
Our institutional and historical examination of the structural adjustment programmes in African countries suggest that African agriculture’s poor performance is not necessarily due to the negative influence of African governments, but could also, in large part, be attributed to the policies advocated by the international financial institutions and donor countries. The resolution of the problems associated with these policies lies in improving the ability of African farmers to benefit from new agrarian technologies that raise staple food productivity and thereby enhance food security and national stability.
The paper also provides, inter alia, a nuanced analytical description, based upon available aggregate statistics, of the short and long-term performance of African economies and their agricultural sectors during the last 25 years.