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Agricultural technology in Sub-Saharan Africa: a workshop on research issues

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Gnaegy Suzanna (main author / Winrock International), Anderson, Jock R. (author / Winrock International)
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
Africa, agricultural development, agriculture research, decision making, development, development issues, extension, extension services, farmers, information issues, innovations, policies, productivity, rural development, technological advancement, technology transfer, research issues
World Bank Discussion Paper 126. Washington, D.C. 158 pages., Studies from a workshop. Includes evidence that research and extension had contributed to a decline in agricultural production. "There is a broad consensus about the many factors that have contributed to failures to boost land and labor productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Both technological options and agroecological and socioeconomic circumstances in this vast region are diverse, thus creating a complex matrix of impacts and explanations. The central explanation is that research and development activities, whether public or private, national or international, have produced innovations that farmers find variously unprofitable, too risky, or impossible to implement in a timely and useful fashion. These problems lead, in turn, to often declining agricultural productivity and a deteriorating agricultural resource base, particularly of soil and forest resources. Stepping back further from the farmers themselves to the institutions that are supposed to have assisted, the difficulties are several including the poor (often irrelevant for resource-poor farmers) siting of much past experimental and testing endeavor, inadequate and temporally inconsistent staff and budget support for national research and extension organizations.