Agricultural and Food Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Political Economy of Reform
Since the 1990s, sub-Saharan African countries have initiated agricultural and food policy reforms to increase producer incentives, stimulate growth and boost trade but with mixed success. Agricultural growth rates after the reforms have been uneven, despite higher commodity prices, and the reduction in rural poverty has been much slower than in Asia and Latin America. Clearly something has to change. However, political economy challenges associated with overcoming vested interests will have to be met in achieving further reforms.
We are pleased to invite you to presentations of two papers which address the political economy of agricultural reform in sub-Saharan Africa from different perspectives. The first paper, by Ataman Aksoy and Anil Onal, using cash crops as examples, provides a framework to interpret the reform outcomes. It attributes the success of agricultural policy reforms to the degree of consensus around the reform programs, which in turn, creates the institutions that can accommodate unexpected shocks. It differentiates between short run growth accelerations and sustained growth episodes. Second, it analyzes the impact of international prices which increased during the early 1990 and collapsed around 2000. Finally, it links the support institutions that evolved after the reforms back to the political economy of the stakeholders and their interests.
The second forthcoming paper, by Paul Brenton, argues that there is enormous potential for reform in food staples at the regional level to contribute to food security and growth in sub-Saharan Africa but this is not being exploited. Regulatory barriers to trade and competition persist along the whole value chain due to political economy considerations that seriously constrain the implementation of open regional trade.
Read the papers here:
Ataman Aksoy and Anil Onal: Consensus, Institutions, and Supply Response: The Political Economy of Agricultural Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa