Thursday, 25 October 2007

Topical issues: Agriculture

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London-UK has posted a set of new resources to complement the release of the World Bank's World Development 2008, Agriculture for Development.
Much of ODI's current work on agriculture takes place in association with partners in the Future Agricultures Consortium. Research focuses on the political economy of policy reform, social protection and agriculture, and pathways of commercialisation for small farmers. Hereafter some references linked to agricultural issues in Africa.
Opinion papers
Funding agriculture: not 'how much?' but 'what for?' (PDF, 146kb)
'Before calling for an increase in the volume of funding to agriculture, we need a better understanding of how resources are being used'
ODI Opinions 86 - October 2007

The first Millennium Development Goal, agriculture and climate change (PDF, 70kb)
'Over 60% of people in sub-Saharan Africa are reliant on agriculture for their income. However, the potential impacts of climate change pose two key questions for current agriculture-led strategies to reduce poverty.'
ODI ODI Opinion 85 - 19 October 2007

Making contract farming work with co-operatives (PDF, 74kb)
A greater focus on strengthening market-orientated producer organisations and dispute-resolution mechanisms between farmers and firms may increase the chances of win-win outcomes from this form of institutional innovation'
ODI Opinion 87 - October 2007

Farm Subsidies: a problem for Africa too (PDF, 66kb)
'The level of farm subsidies in rich countries is now a well-recognised barrier to Africa's development. But are Africa's own farm subsidies also a barrier to development?'
ODI Opinions 47 - September 2005

Growth in African Agriculture (PDF, 56kb)
'Interest in African agriculture is being rekindled after two decades of relative neglect by both governments and donors - and corresponding slow growth of the sector. For most countries, agriculture has to grow if the economy is to develop, if rural poverty is be alleviated. It is now clear that getting the ‘Washington Consensus' conditions right for business may be necessary, but is certainly not sufficient to get agriculture moving. So what more needs to be done?' ODI Opinions 45 - July 2005

ODI Briefing Papers

Climate change, agricultural policy and poverty reduction – how much do we know? (PDF, 166kb) Projections suggest that, by the end of the 21st century, climate change could have had substantial impact on agricultural production and thence on the scope for reducing poverty.
Climate change, agricultural policy and poverty reduction – how much do we know?

The Millennium Villages Project – a new approach to ending rural poverty in Africa? (PDF, 149kb)
Proponents of the Millennium Villages Project argue that the complex problems facing rural development in Africa require a ‘big push’ if substantive progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to be made – and propose the simultaneous introduction of improvements in agriculture, health, transport, energy, technology, telecommunications and internet connectivity, costing US$110 per person per year over 5 years, and funded mainly from aid flows. This paper examines the challenges this initiative faces, and the questions it raises, in its search for ‘quick wins’ to reach the MDGs.
Natural Resource Perspective 101 - August 2006

Narratives of Agricultural Policy in Africa: What Role for Ministries of Agriculture? (PDF, 55kb) Which of the different models for Ministries of Agriculture make sense today.
Future Agricultures Briefing Paper - 2006

The enabling environment for agricultural technology in Sub-Saharan Africa and the potential role of donors (PDF, 34kb)
To improve agricultural technology development in Africa requires strengthening of the enabling environment, including policies, public institutions and regulations. Various types of market failure imply that markets, by themselves, will not elicit the optimum amount of technology for Africa’s farmers. Priorities include more responsive regulations for input supply, support for emerging enterprises, strengthening input marketing, establishing adequate intellectual property protection, and addressing the challenges of biotechnology. Donors can play an important role, but short-term project interventions must give way to longer-term strategies for support to institutions including formal policies and regulations and informal rules and procedures that encourage indigenous organisational innovation.
Natural Resource Perspective 84 - April 2003

You can find more on the ODI agriculture thematic page

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