Adjustment and Agriculture in Africa: Farmers, the State and by Jennifer Clapp (auth.)

By Jennifer Clapp (auth.)

With the adoption of an international Bank-sponsored structural adjustment programme within the mid-1980s, Guinea underwent a dramatic switch in its monetary and agricultural regulations. The country's adventure during the last decade illustrates one of the most urgent difficulties encountered by means of African nations pursuing financial reform. This booklet analyses those problems by way of interpreting the adjustment adventure in Guinea because it affected the country's total political financial system and the rural region specifically. It additionally areas this example in the broader context of African adjustment.

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Additional resources for Adjustment and Agriculture in Africa: Farmers, the State and the World Bank in Guinea

Example text

The World Bank was not an absent player in the development of this crisis. ' But the Bank in the 1960s, like many African governments, failed to invest heavily in the agricultural sector. " At the time it was hoped that the investment in infrastructure projects would produce growth and that the benefits would 'trickle down' to poor farmers in the rural areas. ' By the late 1960s it was evident that the triekle down strategy failed to raise rural sector incomes. This realisation led to a shift in the focus of Bank lending toward the rural poor.

This put further downward pressure on the external terms of trade for many SSA countries, especially non-oil exporters, most of which rely on exports of one or two commodities for the bulk of their foreign exchange. In addition to the vagaries of world markets, severe droughts plagued first the Sahel region of West Africa in the early 1970s, and then the Eastern part of the continent in the early 1980s, reducing agricultural production and increasing the need for imported food-stuffs. Internal factors, such as excessive state intervention in the economy, also contributed to the Africa's poor economic and agricultural performance.

Weak reformers, no c1ear trend of agricultural performance on the basis of strong vs. " The authors of the report chose instead to focus on rem oval of taxation because it gives marginally better statistical results to support its case. The report did stress, however, that aggregate agricultural performance can only be expected to improve over the long run, which accounts for the weak results. " It is interesting to note that whereas the Bank was quick to find a causal link between policy reform and macroeconomic indicators in this report, at the same time was highly sceptical of any such link between macroeconomic reform and any clecline in environmental quality.

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