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close this bookThe Crisis in African Agriculture - Studies in African Political Economy (UNU, 1987, 99 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contents1: The performance of African agriculture, 1950-1980
View the document2: Precolonial African societies
View the document3: The appropriation of peasant surplus labour
View the document4: The export-oriented system
Open this folder and view contents5: The second post-independence decade: The food crisis
View the document6: Forms of control
Open this folder and view contents7: The alternative and its prerequisites
View the documentConclusion
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix: Complaints of the rice-growers of San (Mali)
View the documentSelected bibliography


In this book, we have endeavoured to demonstrate that the crisis in African agriculture affects virtually the whole continent, even if it is true that some countries are managing better than others. In the attempt to understand the causes of this crisis which is affecting not only agriculture but the whole society and economy, we have felt it necessary to go back to precolonial societies to see if their forms of organization and level of development could prevent the victory of the aggression mounted by the capitalist mode of production.

Capitalism having succeeded in ensuring its domination, we have attempted to grasp the forms of exploitation which developed during that era, and their consequences for the subject peoples. Facts and observation show clearly that there is no possibility of survival in the framework of the present world system. Is the alternative, which can materialize only in the form of a delinking from the system, possible today and on what conditions?

These are the issues we raised, without being sure of providing definitive conclusions. Societies need to be reorganized on the basis of transformations of class relations. Such a prospect is not foreseeable in the immediate future but it is the condition for the alternatives that can liberate the African peoples, make them masters of their fate and liberate their creative initiative.

M. L. Gakou