Agriculture, poverty, and policy reform in Sub-Saharan by Kevin M. Cleaver

By Kevin M. Cleaver

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When farming is no longer viable, people migrate to establish new farms on land previously not used for farming in semi-arid areas and in tropical forests where soil and climatic conditions are poorly suited to annual cropping. In some countries, land continues to be more abundant in relation to current population. But in some of these land-abundant counties, much of this land is under tropical forests which need to be preserved. In most of Africa, rapid population growth is pushing settlers to extend farming and grazing into areas that are agro-ecologically unsuited to these forms of land use.

Two remaining frameworks for action in Eastern Africa, and in the humid and sub-humid zones of Western and Central Africa are expected to be finished by the end of 1994. The frameworks are being used to improve the management of research in Tanzania and Mali. Progress has begun in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Progress in reforming agricultural extension is more advanced. Several countries have moved to consolidate the numerous agricultural extension projects created by donors into a more efficient and lower-cost national agricultural extension system.

Progress has begun in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Progress in reforming agricultural extension is more advanced. Several countries have moved to consolidate the numerous agricultural extension projects created by donors into a more efficient and lower-cost national agricultural extension system. Recent evaluations of the Kenya and Burkina Faso extension systems show extremely high economic rates of return. 17 Similar progress has been made in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

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