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Ten striking facts about agricultural input use in Sub-Saharan Africa

Megan Sheahan and Christopher Barrett ()

Food Policy, 2017, vol. 67, issue C, 12-25

Abstract: Conventional wisdom holds that Sub-Saharan African farmers use few modern inputs despite the fact that most poverty-reducing agricultural growth in the region is expected to come largely from expanded use of inputs that embody improved technologies, particularly improved seed, fertilizers and other agro-chemicals, machinery, and irrigation. Yet following several years of high food prices, concerted policy efforts to intensify fertilizer and hybrid seed use, and increased public and private investment in agriculture, how low is modern input use in Africa really? This article revisits Africa’s agricultural input landscape, exploiting the unique, recently collected, nationally representative, agriculturally intensive, and cross-country comparable Living Standard Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) covering six countries in the region (Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda). Using data from over 22,000 households and 62,000 agricultural plots, we offer ten potentially surprising facts about modern input use in Africa today.

Keywords: Improved seed; Fertilizer; Agro-chemical; Machinery; Irrigation; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 O33 Q16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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