Root Causes of the Food Crisis: Technological Progress and Productivity Growth in African Agriculture


G. Nkamleu
African Develop. Bank, Tunis-Belvedère, Tunisia

Series: African Political, Economic, and Security Issues

During the past decades, the performance of the agricultural sector in Africa and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been distressing. Rapid annual population growth has led to declining per-capita food production and consumption levels and incomes have not risen fast enough to permit market imports to offset the decline. More alarming, the prognosis for the immediate future is quite bleak. The recent food crisis has again drawn attention to the African tragedy and exposed the fragility of sub-Saharan agricultural and economic progress. Though some of the effects are no longer visible, the food crisis is still a sword of Damocles hanging over Africa’s head. Africa has experienced food crisis in the past and there is no reason to believe that there will be no more food crisis in the future, for its root causes have not been addressed: technological progress and productivity growth. This book explores the missing links in the technology transfer segment of the innovation-diffusion-utilization complex. The text also critically reviews the current state of knowledge and research, examines the main drivers of technology adoption in African agriculture, and explores the causes of success and failure in technology dissemination.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Louis Kasekende


Part I: State of Technological Change and its Impact on African Agriculture

Chapter 1. Technological Progress: Insights and Numbers, 1970-2000

Chapter 2. Quantifying the Contribution of Technology on Agriculture Growth

Part II: From Innovation Diffusion to Technological Progress: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives

Chapter 1. Roots of Innovation Orthodoxy

Chapter 2. Contemporary Economics of Technology Diffusion

Part III: Bringing Technology to African Farmers: The Missing Links

Chapter 1. Profiling the Technology Adopters

Chapter 2. Lifting Exogenous Constraints




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