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

By Jennifer Clapp (auth.)

With the adoption of a global Bank-sponsored structural adjustment programme within the mid-1980s, Guinea underwent a dramatic swap in its monetary and agricultural rules. The country's adventure during the last decade illustrates probably the most urgent difficulties encountered by way of African nations pursuing financial reform. This booklet analyses those problems via studying the adjustment event in Guinea because it affected the country's total political economic system and the rural region particularly. It additionally locations this example in the broader context of African adjustment.

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Sample text

The Berg Report claimed that it was unlikely that export crops would be favoured over food crops, as their production should grow together. 69 However, by 1989 the Bank admitted that export crops had in some cases been favoured over food crops in the 1986-7 period. " Furthermore, he stressed Africa, Agriculture and World Bank 29 that most of the variation in agricultural performance between countries could not be adequately explained. While producer prices and exchange rates were found to be statistically significant factors, they did not have as large an impact as, for example, the level of government intervention in input supply, population growth, or the percentage of public investment in GDP.

The coastal region was first taken in 1893 as part of French West Africa for the purpose of protecting the interests of French trading companies which were located there. By 1896, colonial authority was installed in Middle Guinea and by 1899 Upper Guinea also came under French command. 3 The boundaries of Guinea, like most African countries, are arbitrary. The shape of the country is such that the major town of the Forest Zone, N'Zerekore, is 1200 km from Conakry, the capital, but only 360 km from Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Along with these shifts in the Bank 's thinking on agricultural transformation in the 1980s, its agricultural project focus also changed. The Berg report only briefly mentioned integrated rural development projects, indicating that they were not always economically efficient. As the extent of their failure became more evident, subsequent reports called for increased attention to adjustment lending rather than to project lending. Despite the insufficiencies of integrated rural development projects, the Bank continued funding many of them in the 1980s, hoping that new policy environments would improve their efficiency.

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