Book Chapter
Policy Options for African Agriculture

This chapter examines the stagnation and decline of sub-Saharan Africa's agriculture. It identifies four genres of constraints: rural infrastructure, research and technology, harmful pricing policies, and institutional arrangements. It criticizes the persistent ambiguity regarding the role of the government in African agriculture, and argues that in many instances donor agencies have only succeeded in making bad situations worse. The chapter emphasizes the needs of rural households as producers-consumers as well as the need for a proper sequencing of policy interventions. To transform Africa's agriculture, a wide range of policy options are presented which focus on the need to promote the food entitlement of the rural population. It is argued that to understand the policy alternatives, a demand-side approach rather than the traditional supply-side approach is required.