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Sources of Growth in East African Agriculture

Uma Lele

World Bank Economic Review, 1989, vol. 3, issue 1, 119-44

Abstract: A Dynamic agricultural sector is critical for alleviating sub-Saharan Africa's current economic crisis, and for laying the foundations of sustained future growth. In recent years, however, agriculture has performed poorly in many African countries. Efforts to assist its recovery, often through structural adjustment lending, have suffered from inadequate information about country- and region-specific factors, and from an emphasis on macroeconomic policies without complementary interventions at the sector level. The article describes the patterns of agricultural growth in Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania, and examines price and nonprice aspects of three sets of factors: initial endowments and subsequent exogenous developments, general economic influences, and sectoral issues and policies. It suggests that government action at the sectoral and subsectoral levels in such critical areas as land policy, smallholders' access to inputs, and agricultural research needs to be combined with macroeconomic reforms to achieve sustained and broadbased agricultural growth. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1989
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