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African Crop Science Journal

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Markets and institutions for promoting rice for food security and poverty reduction in Sub-Sahara Africa

E Tollens

Abstract


This paper presents aspects of promotion of rice (Oryza sativa) among markets and institutions as a key commodity for food security and poverty reduction. Rice is viewed as a central focus in all this. In fact, we are looking at rice as a driver of development in a broad sense. “Drivers of development” is an old concept and it goes back to a generation of development economists in the sixties. The publications of the U.S. based Agricultural Development Council and in particular Arthur Mosher raised the issue of drivers of development. Even
Walter Rostow in his famous book on the “Five Stages of Economic Growth” discussed the drivers of development - the locomotive that will pull everything ahead - and concluded that agriculture under certain conditions could be a driver. This was against the popular conception of the 1950s with labour, surplus models (“development with unlimited supplies of labour”) with agriculture as an unlimited pool of costless labour, waiting to be transferred to the industrial sector. Drivers of development are activities with large positive multiplier effects,
producing a large value surplus, leading to a certain accumulation of wealth (savings) which can be the source of new investments, increasing (land and labour) productivities, with many forward and backward linkages throughout the economy, resulting in a continued process of positive cumulative changes in the economy and in people’s
living conditions. In this review article, issues of rural poverty, food security and agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa in general and how they relate to rice production and marketing are addressed.



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