|Agricultural Growth Linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa - Research Report 107 - Abstract (IFPRI, 1998, 4 p.)|
|AGRICULTURAL GROWTH LINKAGES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA|
Sustained growth in rural incomes that is widely distributed across households is capable of unlocking significant additional growth. By focusing on tradability issues, the report shows that widespread growth in the incomes of rural households in Africa can play a major role in mobilizing underused resources and encouraging employment in nontradable sectors. The effect of broad increases in spending on the kinds of non-tradables that rural people consume - dairy products, fruits, vegetables, some starches, services, local agricultural implements, and so forth - can mobilize labor, capital, and land outside peak periods, creating viable income opportunities. According to the report, even small increments to rural incomes that are widely distributed can make large net additions to growth and improve food security.
Only growth in exports, probably originating in the farm sector, is likely to provide the widespread and recurring income growth needed for economically sustainable rural growth. For growth linkages to be part of a sustained pattern of economic development, the initial income shock from the tradable sectors must be regularly reproduced. Only the sustained production and sale of tradable commodities can do this. Groundnuts, cotton, and animal products have traditionally played this role in the countries studied, but nontraditional exports of high-value fruits and vegetables could also contribute.
Conversely, technological change, investment, or other stimuli to the nontradable consumer sectors, such as handicrafts and service provision, are likely to be one-shot, unsustainable ventures unless the tradable sectors are also expanding. Without regularly recurring sources of demand inside the local area, stemming from recurring injections of income from outside the local zone, increases in the supply of nontradable consumer items will only lead to unsold products. The report indicates that demand for these items was strongest in those areas where outside income sources were most evident.