The policy of developing smallholdings as well as the basic needs
strategy of which it formed an essential feature were widely publicized by the
World Bank, with all its vast financial power, which made itself their leading
promoter. They raised hopes that were sometimes sincere, as well as many
illusions. They left nobody indifferent, whether researchers or decision-makers.
Given that Africa is in this regard the region in the world most implicated
because it has the largest percentage of poor and rural-dwellers, we feel it
necessary to look more closely at this policy as well as the strategy underlying