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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Agricultural Maladjustment in Africa: What Have We Learned After Two Decades of Liberalisation?
Author:Oya, Carlos
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:agricultural development
agricultural policy
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Abstract:The 1980s and 1990s were characterized by the dominance of agrarian neoliberalism and the concomitant agricultural adjustment reforms promoted by donor agencies and international lending institutions in most of sub-Saharan Africa. The article looks into the rationale for, and the promises and implementation of, agrarian neoliberalism in sub-Saharan Africa, and selectively reviews theory and evidence against the historical and theoretical rationale established in the early 1980s. It further addresses significant gaps in the most influential literature on the subject: the distributional consequences of agricultural reforms, with their differential impact on various rural classes; the suitability of neoliberal agricultural adjustment in contexts of other pervasive macroeconomic reforms; and the need to reassess pre-liberalization policies and State intervention in agriculture in a less dogmatic fashion. It concludes that neoliberal policies could not have worked under conditions in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s. The resultant agricultural 'maladjustment' has led to a void in current agricultural policymaking which seems to reinforce the low morale among African bureaucrats who have served under various and incoherent policy regimes to support agricultural development in their countries. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]