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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What is the matter with African agriculture? Veterans' visions between past and future
Editors:Mutsaers, Henk J.W.ISNI
Kleene, Paul W.M.
City of publisher:Amsterdam
Publisher:KIT Publishers
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
agricultural development
development cooperation
Abstract:Though still driven by noble intentions of creating a better and more prosperous world, the development industry has also become a business of its own, with mixed objectives. A wide gap is therefore often encountered between 'official' statements about the success record of African agricultural development, and what field workers say 'officiously' about what has really been happening. The official narrative is often biased or even disingenuous in order to serve institutional or personal interests and keep the development vessel afloat. Veterans of agricultural development, on the other hand, no longer constrained by institutional requirements, are more likely to speak their mind about what they see as the real achievements and failures, as well as their causes. A number of veterans' views have been brought together in this volume as a basis for an assessment of agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. According to wide-spread public opinion, agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa since 1960 has largely failed. If that is true, what has gone wrong and can the causes of failures be identified, as well as the factors responsible for the fewer successes? And what is needed to help African agriculture move forward in the coming years? These were the questions put to the authors, all of them experienced veterans of African agricultural development. The book has three parts. Part I: 'The context', presents an overview of the historical and contemporary context in which the episodes covered by the authors are embedded, as well as three early cases of development projects. Part II: 'The veterans' contributions', contains the contributions of 40 authors in response to the questions raised by the editors. After an introduction, the contributions in this part are arranged under five headings: General agricultural development; Smallholder and family farm development; Commodity-based (cotton, rice, irrigated crops) production; Animal production, beekeeping; and, Agricultural services (research, extension, training). In Part III 'Successes, failures and challenges: a synthesis of veterans' views', the editors present an analysis of the different visions. [ASC Leiden abstract]