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close this bookAfrican Agriculture: The Critical Choices (UNU, 1990, 227 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
close this folder1. The agricultural revolution and industrialization
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View the documentThe failure of the modernization strategies
View the documentThe agricultural revolution, but how?
View the documentThe alternative strategy
close this folder2. The role of the export sector
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View the documentThe decline in agricultural production
View the documentFailure of the export model
View the documentAlternative strategies: Algeria and Ethiopia
View the documentSocial relations and agricultural development
close this folder3. Food self-sufficiency: Crisis of the collective ideology
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View the documentThe Lagos plan of action: A critique
View the documentWorld bank 'counter-plan'
View the documentThe United Nations' plan (PPERA)
View the documentFood self-sufficiency strategies: Problems of implementation
close this folder4. Algeria: Agriculture and industry
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View the documentThe Algerian economy: development choices
View the documentIndustrialization: Effects on agriculture
View the documentAgriculture and industry: Interaction
close this folder5. Mauritania: Nomadism and peripheral capital
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View the documentPastoral production
View the documentIntegration of the pastoral world into the market economy
View the documentEvolution of the social and political framework of nomadism
View the documentConclusion
close this folder6. Nigeria and the Ivory Coast: Commercial and export crops since 1960
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentAgricultural production trends in both countries
View the documentIvory Coast: Development strategy and commercial and export agriculture
View the documentHow the state intervenes
View the documentNigeria: Commercial and export agriculture
View the documentConclusion
close this folder7. Ivory Coast: Agricultural and industrial development
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe role of agriculture in Ivorian industrial development
View the documentThe industrialization strategy
View the documentConclusion
close this folder8. Tanzania: Imperialism, the state and the peasantry
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentImperialism and rural development
View the documentRural development policies in Tanzania: Post-independence
View the documentSocial consequences of rural policies
View the documentFailure of villagization projects
View the documentConclusion
close this folder9. Tunisia: The state, the peasantry and food dependence
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View the documentThe state and the peasantry
View the documentConsequences of state agricultural policy
close this folder10. The state and rural development 1960-85
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentManagement of rural development
View the documentStructural causes of the crisis
View the documentProspects for a different rural development strategy
View the documentConclusion
close this folder11. Agricultural development without delinking: Lessons to be drawn
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentThe nature of the problem
View the documentAlgeria
View the documentTanzania
View the documentExperiences of Algeria and Tanzania: Lessons to be drawn
View the documentConclusion
View the documentAbbreviations

(introductory text...)

Hamid Aït Amara

The objective of providing full employment for the population has profoundly affected the basic options in the development of the Algerian economy. It led to stress on the rapid expansion of industry in order to create conditions for modernizing agriculture. By creating jobs in the secondary and tertiary sectors it was hoped to gradually reduce unemployment and under-employment and to have a significant impact on the size of the agricultural population in order to reduce pressure on the land.

The stress on industry, in an initial phase of development, gave ample scope to the building-up of the sectors producing the production goods necessary for the modernization of agriculture, principally machinery, chemicals and petrochemicals. In a second phase, agriculture would become more integrated into the economy, and increase its capacity to develop its purchases from industry and its deliveries of agricultural raw materials to processing industries.

Such a pattern of autocentred development is built on the hypothesis of a growth in peasant incomes fuelled by the growth of agricultural productivity, which was necessary 1) to raise the standard of living in the rural areas, and 2) to finance agriculture's demand from industry.

To carry out such a process of growth and intensify relations between agriculture and industry requires three major conditions:

1) That the global growth of agricultural production must be more than proportional to that of the numbers employed in agriculture. In other words, there must be net growth per person employed, and this is the source of improvements in incomes, ensuring a rise in both the standard of living of agricultural workers and agriculture's demand for industrial goods.

2) It must be possible to carry through the modernization of agriculture in conditions of productivity in the employment of the factors that ensure a minimum of profitability to capital invested. In other words, agriculture must be able to pay for what it buys from industry, not artificially, through continually rising agricultural prices, or subsidies from the state, but through the advances it achieves in productivity.

3) Finally, what is produced must be at price levels sufficient to meet the needs of extended reproduction, but also compatible with consumers' purchasing power. If the opposite happens, the state is forced to act massively to keep consumer prices up at the expense of investment.

To make agriculture meet these three conditions may require phasing. Distortions may appear that must be corrected to enable agriculture gradually to adjust its relations with the rest of the economy but, in due course, agriculture must satisfy these key variables of the dynamic of its relations with industry.

The first variable is largely dependent on the pace of job creation outside agriculture, the capacity of industry and services to absorb the rural labour surplus. The quantities produced may have no effect on labour productivity if they are accompanied by a proportionate increase in the population employed in agriculture.1

In Algeria, the increase in output per worker cannot be obtained by increasing the area cultivated per unit of labour, as was partly the case in Europe, but must be the fruit of an improvement in the physical yields of crops and livestock farming. In that way the profitability of investment in production factors will be assured and hence that of backward-linked industrial sectors. In fact, as analysis of the Algerian case shows, in an autocentred development model, the growth of yields is the key to the whole dynamic of relations between agriculture and industry.

In the absence of advances in agricultural productivity, the rise in agricultural prices consequent upon the global stagnation of agricultural production may still fuel agriculture's demand for industrial goods, but at the price of a fall in real wages and the standard of living of the great mass of urban workers. To avoid this spiral, the state has to import food products that are in short supply on the market and subsidize producer prices for commodities in order to protect agriculture from external competition.

The evolution of agricultural productivity rests essentially on agronomic and technical advances, the improvement of animal and plant species, and the introduction of new production methods. It requires that the state not only has the capacity to develop agronomic research and agricultural education and training programmes successfully but also be able to define and establish the social forms of agricultural modernization: in short, to define a path to the modernization of agriculture that meets the conditions of development.