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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Coercion and Incentives in African Agricultural Development: Insights from the Sudanese Experience
Author:Bernal, Victoria
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:agricultural projects
agricultural policy
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524420
Abstract:A dialectic running through the literature on agricultural development in Africa is that between coercion and incentives. The coercion approach presumes that peasants lack the capacity or will to develop agriculture and therefore must be forced. The incentives approach assumes that peasants will choose development if given the opportunity. Both theories fail to recognize the structural constraints faced by contemporary peasants and overestimate the progressive role of elites. This paper examines Sudanese irrigated schemes, as an example of the coercion approach. Although much land, labour and capital have been invested in the schemes, they failed to develop Sudanese agriculture. The structural causes of this failure lie in the fact that the irrigated schemes destroyed the preexisting base for indigenous agricultural development, brought peasant production under the control of another class, and facilitated the intensification of labour in agriculture, as well as transfers from peasant producers to the dominant classes, without significantly improving the productivity of peasant agriculture. Production relations on the irrigated schemes thus actually inhibit development. Bibliogr., notes, ref.