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Agriculture in Africa – Telling myths from facts: A synthesis ☆

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Stylized facts drive research agendas and policy debates. Yet robust stylized facts are hard to come by, and when available, often outdated. The 12 papers in this Special Issue revisit conventional wisdom on African agriculture and its farmers’ livelihoods using nationally representative surveys from the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture Initiative in six African countries. At times they simply confirm our common understanding of the topic. But they also throw up a number of surprises, redirecting policy debates while fine-tuning others. Overall, the project calls for more attention to checking and updating our common wisdom. This requires nationally representative data, and sufficient incentives among researchers and policymakers alike. Without well-grounded stylized facts, they can easily be profoundly misguided.

No MeSH data available.


Modern input use in SSA is not uniformly low.Note: Agro-chemicals include pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
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f0005: Modern input use in SSA is not uniformly low.Note: Agro-chemicals include pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Mentions: African farmers do in fact use modern inputs, even though not always efficiently. According to common wisdom, farmers in Africa hardly use modern inputs such as inorganic fertilizer and other agro-chemicals, or mechanization and water control. Using data from over 22,000 households and 62,000 agricultural plots from the six LSMS-ISA countries, Sheahan and Barrett (2017) revisit this record, offering a number of “potentially surprising” facts. They find that fertilizer and agro-chemical use is more widespread than is often acknowledged. One third of the cultivating households in the LSMS-ISA countries apply inorganic fertilizer and the average unconditional nutrient application rate is 26 kg/ha (corresponding to 57 kg of total fertilizer/ha). This is twice the SSA average of 13 kg of nutrients/ha during the same period, even though still only one fifth of the OECD average.7 But rates vary considerably across countries (and also across regions within countries). Use is highest in Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria, where more than 40 percent of cultivating households apply inorganic fertilizer, but much lower in Niger and Tanzania (17%) and Uganda, where inorganic fertilizer use is virtually nonexistent (Fig. 1).


Agriculture in Africa – Telling myths from facts: A synthesis ☆
Modern input use in SSA is not uniformly low.Note: Agro-chemicals include pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384436&req=5

f0005: Modern input use in SSA is not uniformly low.Note: Agro-chemicals include pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Mentions: African farmers do in fact use modern inputs, even though not always efficiently. According to common wisdom, farmers in Africa hardly use modern inputs such as inorganic fertilizer and other agro-chemicals, or mechanization and water control. Using data from over 22,000 households and 62,000 agricultural plots from the six LSMS-ISA countries, Sheahan and Barrett (2017) revisit this record, offering a number of “potentially surprising” facts. They find that fertilizer and agro-chemical use is more widespread than is often acknowledged. One third of the cultivating households in the LSMS-ISA countries apply inorganic fertilizer and the average unconditional nutrient application rate is 26 kg/ha (corresponding to 57 kg of total fertilizer/ha). This is twice the SSA average of 13 kg of nutrients/ha during the same period, even though still only one fifth of the OECD average.7 But rates vary considerably across countries (and also across regions within countries). Use is highest in Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria, where more than 40 percent of cultivating households apply inorganic fertilizer, but much lower in Niger and Tanzania (17%) and Uganda, where inorganic fertilizer use is virtually nonexistent (Fig. 1).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Stylized facts drive research agendas and policy debates. Yet robust stylized facts are hard to come by, and when available, often outdated. The 12 papers in this Special Issue revisit conventional wisdom on African agriculture and its farmers’ livelihoods using nationally representative surveys from the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture Initiative in six African countries. At times they simply confirm our common understanding of the topic. But they also throw up a number of surprises, redirecting policy debates while fine-tuning others. Overall, the project calls for more attention to checking and updating our common wisdom. This requires nationally representative data, and sufficient incentives among researchers and policymakers alike. Without well-grounded stylized facts, they can easily be profoundly misguided.

No MeSH data available.