Citation
Food in Sub-Saharan Africa

Material Information

Title:
Food in Sub-Saharan Africa
Series Title:
Food in Africa series
Creator:
Hansen, Art
McMillan, Della E
Place of Publication:
Boulder Colo
Publisher:
Lynne Rienner Publishers
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xvi, 410 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Food supply -- Africa, Sub-Saharan ( lcsh )
Nutrition policy -- Africa, Sub-Saharan ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Africa, Sub-Saharan ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographies and index.
Funding:
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
Statement of Responsibility:
edited by Art Hansen and Della E. McMillan.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services (UFDC@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027006921 ( ALEPH )
14152375 ( OCLC )
AEG6753 ( NOTIS )
85028260 ( LCCN )

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Full Text
TO:8460988 P.2
MAY-17-2007 02:17P FROM::846088 P.2





LYNNE
RIENNER
PUBLISHERS



May 14, 2007



/ Della McMillan
S1905 NW 7h Lane
Gainesville, FL 32603"
Art Hansen
2494 Brookdale Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30345

Food in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dear Della and Art:

It seems impossible that it has been so long since I've seen the two of you-especially since so
many things bring one or the other of you to mind!

In response to Art's message, which made its way to me in a circuitous fashion, of course we will
return the rights to Food in Sub-Saharan Africa. To make it official:

All rights granted to Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. (LRP) in the June 21, 1985, publishing
agreement between Art Hansen, Della E. McMillan, and LRP revert to Art Hansen and Della E.
McMillan as of the date of this letter.

Business aside, I do hope that our paths will cross again. For now, I send warmest regards,

Sincerely,




Lynne Rienner


1800 30ii STRfkr, Su im 314 Rou Inil. COIORAno 80301 THi 303 444-6684 IAX 303 444-0824 WWW.RIFNNFR.COM







*ISIsp


I =







Della E. McMillan
FOOD IN1905 NW 7th Lane
F O IN Gainesville, FL 32603

SUB-SAHARAN

AFRICA










FOOD IN AFRICA SERIES *


Series Editor: Art Hansen
Center for African Studies
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida


* Africa's Agrarian Crisis: The Roots of Famine *
Stephen K. Commins, Michael F. Lofchie, and Rhys Payne, editors

* Food in Sub-Saharan Africa *
Art Hansen and Della E. McMillan, editors






FOOD IN
SUB-SAHARAN
AFRICA
edited by
Art Hansen and Della E. McMillan


Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Boulder, Colorado











Figure 3.5 reprinted with permission from John M. Pritchard.
1979. Africa: A Study Geography for Advanced Students. Revised
metric edition. London: Longman Inc. P. 65.



Figure 6.10 reprinted with permission from John M. Pritchard. 1979.
Africa: A Study Geographyfor Advanced Students. Revised metric
edition. London: Longman Inc. P. 64.
















Published in the United States of America in 1986 by
Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc.
948 North Street, Suite 8, Boulder, Colorado 80302

01986 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Main entry under title:

Food in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Includes bibliographies and index.
1. Food supply-Africa, Sub-Saharan-Addresses,
essays, lectures. 2. Nutrition policy-Africa, Sub-
Saharan-Addresses, essays, lectures. 3. Agriculture-
Africa, Sub-Saharan-Addresses, essays, lectures.
I. Hansen, Art. II. McMillan, Della E.
HD9017.S82F66 1986 338.1'9'67 85-28260
ISBN 0-931477-59-X
ISBN 0-931477-58-1 (pbk.)


Casebound edition distributed outside of North and South America and Japan by
Frances Pinter (Publishers) Ltd, 25 Floral Street,
London WC2E 9DS England UK ISBN 0-86187-598-2


Printed and bound in the United States of America






















Contents



List of Tables

List of Figures

Preface


1 Overview: Food in Sub-Saharan Africa
Della E. McMillan and Art Hansen 1
An Integrated Understanding 3
Outline of the Book 6


PART 1 OVERVIEW

2 Food as a Focus of National and Regional Policies in
Contemporary Africa S. K. B. Asante 11
The Concept of Food Policy 12
The Politics of Economic Intervention 14
The Regional Approach 20
Policy Reforms 21
Summary 23
Suggested Further Readings 24

3 The Political Economy of Food Issues Rent Lemarchand 25
The Roots of Economic Vulnerability:
The Legacy of Colonial Rule 26
The View from Below: The Peasant Mode of Production





vi CONTENTS


Reexamined 29
Socialist Versus Capitalist Models: An Interim
Assessment 32
The Incidence of External Constraints 38
Notes 41
Suggested Further Readings 41

4 Agricultural Development Ideas in Historical Perspective
John M. Staatz and Carl K. Eicher 43
The Role of Agriculture in Development Economics,
1950-1969 44
The Growth-with-Equity Era Since 1970 52
Notes 61
Suggested Further Readings 63

5 Social Science Perspectives on Food in Africa Sara Berry 64
Searching for the Evidence-What Do We Know About
Agricultural Performance? 65
African Agriculture and the World Economy 66
The Role of the State 68
Environmental Constraints and Technological Development 70
Rational Peasants and Imperfect Structures 72
Domestic Organization and Farming Practices 74
Differentiation and Social Change 76
Conclusion 80
Suggested Further Readings 81


PART 2 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND

6 The African Environment Charles Guthrie 82
Size and Regions 82
Climate and Vegetation 84
Patterns of Agriculture 89
Demographic Patterns 92
Economic Patterns 97
Sources and Patterns of Identity 101
Suggested Further Readings 105

7 Climate, Drought, and Famine in Africa
Sharon E. Nicholson 107
The Course of African Climate During Historic Time 111
African Climates in Recent Times 120
Causes of African Drought 122





CONTENTS vii


Prognosis for the Future 123
Implications for Policy and Planning 125
Suggested Further Readings 128

8 Subsistence Strategies and Systems of Land Use in Africa
DanielMcGee 129
Hunting and Gathering 129
Fishing 131
Pastoralism 131
Cultivation 133
Dynamism and Complexity 134
Notes 135
Suggested Further Readings 135

9 Traditional Social Formations Ronald Cohen 136
The Individual in Traditional African Society 137
Political Organization in Traditional Africa 145
Conclusion 149
Notes and Acknowledgments 149
Suggested Further Readings 150

10 Agriculture, Food, and the Colonial Period
R. Hunt Davis, Jr. 151
Early Agriculture in Africa 153
The Precolonial Century 154
The Colonial Period 156
The Colonial Legacy 165
Notes 166
Suggested Further Readings 168


PART 3 FOOD PRODUCTION

11 African Soils: Opportunities and Constraints Hugh Popenoe 169
Soil and Management Problems 170
Improving Soil Fertility 172
Soil Erosion and Conservation 173
Fire as an Agricultural Tool 174
Sustainable Agriculture, Farm Size, and Labor 174
Conclusion 176
Suggested Further Readings 176

12 Major Domesticated Food Crops
Clifton Hiebsch and Stephen K. O'Hair 177





viii CONTENTS


Cereal Grain Crops Clifton Hiebsch 184
Farinaceous Crops Stephen K. O'Hair 191
Legume Grain Crops Clifton Hiebsch 197
Suggested Further Readings 205

13 Livestock in the Economies of Sub-Saharan Africa
James R. Simpson and Robert E. McDowell 207
Economic Importance 207
Domestic Livestock 209
Livestock Production Systems 215
Constraints, Problems, and Prospects for Livestock
Production 218
Suggested Further Readings 221

14 Undomesticated Animals and Plants Michael E. McGlothlen,
Paul Goldsmith, and Charles Fox 222
Indigenous Animals Excluding Fish Michael E. McGlothlen 223
Fish Paul Goldsmith 229
Undomesticated Plants as Food Charles Fox 234
Summary 236
Suggested Further Readings 237



PART 4 POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGY, DISTRIBUTION, AND NUTRITION

15 Postharvest Considerations in the Food Chain
Robert P. Bates 239
A Balanced Strategy 240
Conservation 240
Conversion 246
Complementation 248
Innovation 249
Implementation 250
Suggested Further Readings 253

16 Fuelwood Olivia Webley 254
Impact on Agriculture 255
Remedying the Situation 257
Suggested Further Readings 258

17 Distribution of Resources and Products in Mossi Households
Della E. McMillan 260
Reservations about the Household Concept 261





CONTENTS ix


Intrahousehold Organization of Food Production,
Consumption, and Distribution in the Central Mossi Plateau 263
Changing Patterns in a Settlement Project 268
Summary and Conclusions 271
Notes 272
Suggested Further Readings 273

18 Meeting Human Nutritional Needs Patricia A. Wagner 274
Nutrition, Health, and Functional Performance 275
Human Nutritional Needs and Dietary Patterns 281
Nutrition Policies and Programs 290
Suggested Further Readings 290


PARTS WORKING TOWARD SOLUTIONS

19 The Role of International Agricultural Research Centers
in Africa Donald L. Plucknett, Nigel J. H. Smith, and
Robert W. Herdt 292
History of CGIAR 292
Current Work in Africa 297
Impact on African Food Production 300
Outlook 302
Suggested Further Readings 303

20 Farming Systems Research and Extension:
An Approach to Solving Food Problems in Africa
Louise O. Fresco and Susan V. Poats 305
General Concepts and Features 306
Historical Roots and Development in Africa 309
Francophone Approaches in Africa 311
Anglophone Approaches in Africa 318
Major Obstacles to Implementation in Africa 327
The Future of FSR/E in Africa: Is It an Appropriate
Solution? 329
Notes 330
Suggested Further Readings 331

21 Women Farmers and Food in Africa:
Some Considerations and Suggested Solutions
Anita Spring 332
African Women are Farmers 332
The Sexual Division of Labor 334
Household Income and Food Supply 337





X CONTENTS


New Technologies Bypass Women 341
Working Toward Solutions 342
Conclusion 348
Suggested Further Readings 348

22 Prospects for Long-Term African Changes:
Lagos Plan of Action Versus The Berg Report
Robert S. Browne and Robert J. Cummings 349
Background 349
Policy Analyses and Prescriptions 351
Assumptions Underlying Both Documents 358
Pragmatism, Feasibility, and Appropriateness of the
Documents 360
Notes and Acknowledgements 362
Suggested Further Readings 363

REFERENCES 364

CONTRIBUTORS 397


INDEX





















Tables and Figures



STABLES*

1.1 Crisis Indicators for Sub-Saharan African Countries 4
3.1 Classification of Sub-Saharan Africa According to
Agricultural Production Performance, 1961-1981 33
6.1 Percentage of Population Under Fifteen Years of Age in
Selected Countries, 1984 97
7.1 Types of Data Useful for Historical Climatic Reconstructions 109
7.2 Rainfall at Nine Stations in 1950, 1972 and 1983 and Mean
Rainfall for 1950-1959 and 1970-1984 121
10.1 Principal Export Cash Crops from Africa During the
Colonial Period 160
10.2 Colonial European Settler Population in Africa 167
11.1 Share of Total Commercial Energy Used in the Fertilizer and
Agricultural Sectors of Developed and Developing Countries 173
12.1 Average Annual Production and Per Capita Production Index,
1981-1983, and Caloric Intake, 1972-1974, for Staple Food
Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa 179
12.2 Average Annual Production, 1981-1983, and Estimate of
Supplies for Consumption, 1975-1977, in Sub-Saharan
Africa 181
12.3 Average Nutritional Composition of Major Food Crops and
Three Animal Products of Sub-Saharan Africa 182





xii TABLES AND FIGURES


12.4 Legume Grain Crop Environmental Preference and
Plant Characteristics 200
13.1 Classification of Contributions of Livestock to
Human Welfare 209
13.2 Cattle, Sheep and Goat Production in Africa and Selected
Areas, 1983 212
13.3 Swine and Poultry Production in Africa and Selected
Areas, 1983 214
13.4 Major Characteristics of Livestock Production Systems
in Mali 216
15.1 Food Spoilage Categories 242
15.2 Some Key Appropriate Food Technology Needs 251
16.1 Fuelwood Dependency in Selected Countries of
Sub-Saharan Africa 255
18.1 Indicators of Nutritional and Health Status in Relation to
Measures for Poverty Incidence for 32 Sub-Saharan
African Countries 278
18.2 Three Major Functions of Nutrients 281
18.3 Major Functions of Macronutrients 282
18.4 Micronutrients 286
19.1 Centers Supported by the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research (CGIAR), 1985 294
19.2 Number of International Agricultural Research Center
(IARC) Senior Staff, Visiting Scientists and Staff on
Deputation, Posted in Each Region in 1984 298
20.1 Levels and Units of Analysis in R-D (Recherche
D6veloppement) Approach to Farming Systems Research 314
21.1 Contribution of Ivory Coast Women to Food Supply 338
21.2 Cash Income and Expenditures of Married and Unmarried
Cameroonian Women 340
21.3 Time Allocation by Sex and Village in the Central
African Republic 343
22.1 Comparison of Topics in Berg Report and Lagos Plan 352
22.2 A Comparison of Some Highlights of Berg Report and
the Lagos Plan 354





TABLES AND FIGURES xiii


FIGURES


6.1 The Size of Africa 83
6.2 African Countries and Political Regions 84
6.3 The Intertropical Convergence Zone: Winds and Rains
in January and July 86
6.4 African Vegetation Zones 88
6.5 Annual Rainfall Distribution Patterns 90
6.6 Traditional Agricultural Systems in Africa 91
6.7 Comparative Indices of Food Production Per Capita,
1950 to 1984 93
6.8 National Population Estimates 94
6.9 Comparative Population Growth Rates, 1950 to 2000 95
6.10 Comparative Age-Sex Population Pyramids 96
6.11 African Countries Now Classified Among World's Least
Developed 99
6.12 Economic Islands in Africa 100
6.13 General Ethnic Territories in Africa 102
6.14 European Colonial Territories in Africa 103
6.15 Distribution of Islam in Africa 105
7.1 Fluctuations of Lake Levels and Climate in Africa
During the Last 4000 Years 110
7.2 Variations in the Level of Lake Chad During the Last
1000 Years 112
7.3 Flooding and Rainfall Patterns in North and West Africa,
1555 to 1900 113
7.4 Variations in African Lake Levels Since 1700 114
7.5 Schematic of Continental Rainfall Anomalies
c. 1820 to 1840, 1870 to 1895, 1895 to 1920 116
7.6 Trends of African Climatic Indicators (Lakes, Rivers,
Rainfall and Harvests), 1880 to 1920 117
7.7 Rainfall Fluctuations in Three Regions of West Africa, 1900
to 1984 118





xiv TABLES AND FIGURES


7.8 Rainfall Fluctuations in Three Regions of East and Southern
Africa, 1900 to 1970 119
7.9 Rainfall Departures from Normal in West and Northeast
Africa, 1981 to 1984 (Percentage) 120
7.10 Rainfall Departures from Normal for Africa, 1950 to 1959,
1968 to 1973 (Percentage) 124
12.1 Suitable Areas for Rainfall Production of Millet, Sorghum,
Corn (Maize), and Cassava in Africa 178
13.1 Distribution of Cattle in Africa 210
15.1 Postharvest Food Pipelines 241
16.1 Fuelwood Scarcity in Africa 256
17.1 Land Tenure in Home Village 1979-Percentage of Land
Acquired for Cultivation Using Various Rights 264
17.2 Land Allocation to Various Groups and Individuals and
Labor Allocation to Cooperative and Private fields in the
Home Village, 1979 264
17.3 Percentage of Land Cultivation by Various Groups and
Individuals in Home Village, 1979, and in Project Village,
1983 269
20.1 Communication among Researchers, Farmers, and
Development Workers 315
20.2 Interactions Between Station-Based Technical Research and
On-Farm Adaptive Research 321





















Preface



The idea for this book grew out of a recognized need at the University of
Florida for faculty and students to have a better understanding of the perspectives
of their colleagues in other disciplines who were involved in the same overseas
development projects or who were conducting research on related problems, often
in the same Third World countries. Although there was a confluence of goals-
usually related to increasing the food production and income of small farmers-
there were wide differences in the assessments of priorities and in disciplinary ac-
quisition of the necessary skills and experiences needed for the design of sound
policies and programs.
In 1977 various faculty members began to explore ways to strengthen interdis-
ciplinary dialogue on development issues. One of the outcomes of this effort was
an informal lunch seminar-Social, Agricultural, and Food Scientists Working
Group-in which faculty and graduate students from different disciplines met on
a weekly basis to discuss research interests and opportunities and to present re-
search results and theoretical models dealing with Third World agriculture. This
group became interested in a mode of research called farming systems research,
and some of these people became involved in establishing at Florida one of the
first formal programs for university-level training in farming systems research and
extension. Another outcome was a conscientious effort on the part of the univer-
sity's Center for African Studies to develop research, teaching, and public events
on African agriculture. The center established a Food in Africa Program to encour-
age and coordinate these activities.
In 1983 the Center for African Studies began an annual spring seminar on Af-
rican food issues. Faculty were invited to present survey papers dealing with some
of the critical food issues of concern to their own discipline, the evolution of this
disciplinary concern over time, and their estimation of future research directions.
Important topics, pertinent interested disciplines, experts in various fields, and
critical readings were identified through this seminar, and then served as the basis





xvi PREFACE


for the present book.
We encourage readers who have comments, suggestions, or questions to send
them to the Food in Africa Program, Center for African Studies, 470 Grinter Hall,
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.
We would like to thank a number of people who have contributed directly to
the production of the book. R. Hunt Davis, Jr., director of the Center for African
Studies at the University of Florida, has been an invaluable force behind the de-
velopment of interdisciplinary studies in general and the development of the Food
in Africa Program and this book in particular; we extend him a special note of
thanks for his steady support throughout the entire project. Our publisher, Lynne
Rienner, and her staff have been very encouraging and helpful. Paul Monaghan
has performed his job of verifying the chapter citations and bibliography with en-
thusiasm and precision. Paul R. Stayert and Randy Pearsall deserve recognition
for the excellent maps and figures. Carol Lauriault and Robin Sumner of the
Center for African Studies should be thanked for the tables and general administra-
tive assistance. We would also like to thank Akim Hansen, Anita Spring, and
David Wilson for their support. We have learned a great deal.

Art Hansen
Della E. McMillan






FOOD IN
SUB-SAHARAN
AFRICA








*1-


Overview: Food in Sub-Saharan
Africa

DELLA E. McMILLAN
ART HANSEN





A fricans are experiencing a series of short-term and long-term food crises.
Short-term crises are more evident to foreign observers and the news media than
long-term ones, but the two types of crises are fundamentally linked in Sub-
Saharan Africa. Short-term, or acute, crises are characterized by the sudden ap-
pearance somewhere in Africa of large numbers of starving people or people
weakened by undernutrition who, consequently, are dying of diseases and expo-
sure. Quite often these sufferers are also embroiled in a war or fleeing as refugees
or as drought-driven migrants. Examples of acute crises during the past two dec-
ades include the Biafran famine of the late 1960s, the Sahelian and Ethiopian
drought and famine of the late 1960s and early 1970s, wars and refugees in many
countries (Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, among others), and
the Ethiopian and Sahelian drought and famine in the mid-1980s. Sometimes the
onset of an acute crisis is more gradual than the sudden realization or recognition
of the crisis by observers might imply. A recent instance is the 1984 Ethiopian
famine with its accompanying exodus into Sudan of hundreds of thousands of
people. Although official reports had anticipated this disaster for some time, the
crisis burst almost unheralded into the U.S. public consciousness with a single
television special in October 1984.
The long-term, or chronic, food crises are less dramatic, less immediate, and
less obvious to the casual observer. They are characterized by gradual-over a
period of years or decades--changes and trends in economic or ecological factors
or relationships. In the beginning these trends are merely worrisome, but their
continuation threatens the stability and existence of the societies and economies
because the systems are obviously failing to cope. These chronic crises starve na-
tional and local food systems by depleting reserves that would otherwise be availa-
ble to individuals, families, villages, and countries to help improve living stand-
ards or, at least, to serve as buffers from the effects of acute crises. Examples of
chronic crises include decreasing food production per capital, desertification, de-





2 OVERVIEW


forestation, increasing foreign debt, and increased importation of staple foods.
Acute crises often seem to be independent of these long-term trends; identifi-
able and immediate events are seen as sufficient to cause the acute crises. A war
begins in the Ogaden between Somalia and Ethiopia, then hundreds of thousands
of refugees appear-a recognizable rapid cause and effect. The same occurs with
wars in Chad and Mozambique. The rains fail for one or two years in northern
Ethiopia or the West African Sahel, and people are driven by drought to cluster
around the capital cities and towns and even to flee to Sudan, Cameroon, and
Nigeria in search of food-immediate cause and effect. Famine of drought and
famine of war are both acute crises. Yet the severity of the popular responses, the
deaths and dislocations, and the inadequacy of national food systems to cope with
acute crises are directly linked with the more deeply rooted long-term crises. The
linkage of acute and chronic crises is often overlooked and many observers naively
believe that the acute crises are the only crises. As Robert MacNamera recently
noted, "Ironically this avalanche of compassion for the open and visible suffering
of the victims of famine-genuine as it is-has tended to obscure the more funda-
mental problems not only of the Sahelian zone itself, but of much of Sub-Saharan
Africa as a whole" (1985:12).
Although the rains may begin in northern Ethiopia, the food crisis is not over.
Even if the Eritrean war were over; the Tigrean and Ogaden regions, Angola, Chad,
and Mozambique peaceful; all of the parties to the conflicts satisfied; and all of the
refugees repatriated; the food problems in Africa would continue. Spaceship Earth
has sprung a leak in Africa. The relationships of population, food production, natu-
ral resources, reserve capital, and political and technical expertise still spell disas-
ter. The lifeboat is riding very low in the water, and the next wave-a war, drought,
locusts, disease-will sweep more people away.
Africa's population is growing faster than that of any other continent. With its
current annual growth rate of approximately 3.0 percent, the population will dou-
ble in approximately twenty-three years. Agriculture is the single largest employer
of this population. Sixty-three percent of Africa's economically active labor force
were still engaged in agriculture in 1984. This percentage has been steadily de-
creasing over the years as more people move to towns and cities or as those remain-
ing in the rural areas become involved in nonagricultural work. In many African
countries-particularly the poorer ones with less industry, mining, and other off-
farm sources of employment-80 percent or more of the labor force remains de-
voted to agriculture (see Table 1.1). Even though the percentage of the labor force
in agriculture is slowly decreasing, the rapid increase in the total size of the popula-
tion means that the total number of workers relying directly on agriculture for their
living will increase in the years to come. This statistic does not include, of course,
the additional noneconomically active people (young children, the sick and aged)
who also rely directly on agriculture for their livelihood.
Although this book focuses on problems and problemsolving, we must not
forget that the vast majority of African farmers continue to be productive. Food
production has actually increased over the years in most Sub-Saharan African





OVERVIEW: FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 3


countries, as shown by the index of food production (see Table 1.1). This index is
based on each country's domestic production of food during the 1974-1976 period.
The average annual production during these years is the baseline for comparison
and has been given the value of 100; the index shows the relationship of 1984 food
production to that earlier period. A few countries have not maintained the level of
food production that they attained almost ten years ago, although a few others have
made significant increases. The real measure of self-sufficiency is not in food pro-
duction per se but in production per capital. Comparing these statistics (see Table
1.1) shows that many countries have not managed to maintain or improve their pro-
duction per capital. Many countries have failed to keep up with their increase in
population, which is a primary reason for the increase in food imports. On the other
hand, imports (and the reasons for imports) may have caused the poor performance
of the agricultural sector (see Asante and Lemarchand in this book).
Food production is obviously an essential element of the food crises, but wealthy
countries can afford to purchase the food they need. Unfortunately, Sub-Saharan
African countries are not wealthy and have already accumulated large external
debts, especially in relation to their Gross National Products, so food imports are
not a satisfactory long-term solution. These statistics are disheartening, and they
reveal some of the systemic weaknesses and long-term trends that further diminish
the stability and integrity of Africa's food systems.


SAN INTEGRATED UNDERSTANDING *

How do we address these fundamental problems, and how may we better under-
stand the relationship between Africa's acute and chronic food crises? The com-
plexity of the problems and linkages demands a multifaceted and interdisciplinary
approach that is able to probe deeply into or work intensively with individual fac-
tors and relationships without losing sight of how these pieces fit together. Unfortu-
nately, such an approach is rarely, if ever, encountered. The usual research and
development approaches to food issues in Africa and elsewhere are specialized,
compartmentalized, and not integrated. National planning, research, and develop-
ment units are often in separate ministries and work independently, without any
coordination. Agricultural research and extension units are not only administra-
tively separate but often opposed and competitive, rather than cooperative.
Foreign aid is similarly fragmented. Emergency relief for acute crises is zeal-
ously guarded to prevent its use for long-term development. Development assist-
ance is packaged in projects, each of which is usually focused on one locale, as-
pect, or level and restricted to one recipient unit or ministry. The multiplicity of
projects and donors commonly overwhelms the administrative ability of the de-
veloping country and actually diminishes the effectiveness of the small number of
skilled, experienced administrators who are a critical and limited resource.
Research scientists based in universities are similarly uncoordinated in their
research efforts. Each discipline generally carries out its work independently of







TABLE 1.1. Crisis Indicators for Sub-Saharan African Countries


1984 1984 Labor in 1984 Index of 1984 Index of Food 1983 Ratio of External
Region and Population Agriculturea Food Production Production per Capita Dept to GNPb
Country (millions) (percentage) (1974-1976=100) (1974-1976=100) (percentage)


West Africa (17)
Benin 3.9 44 131 103 59
Burkina Faso 6.8 79 110 90 38
Cape Verde 0.3 54
Chad 4.9 80 107 88 44
Gambia 0.6 76 82 68
Ghana 13.0 48 96 72 28
Guinea 5.3 78 109 90 69
Guinea-Bissau 0.9 80 122 89
Ivory Coast 9.5 77 150 107 79
Liberia 2.1 67 116 86 72
Mali 7.8 85 123 99 89
Mauritania 1.8 81 122 95 158
Niger 5.9 85 130 103 49
Nigeria 92.0 50 128 95 18
Senegal 6.4 72 85 64 61
Sierra Leone 3.5 62 98 84 35
Togo 2.8 66 113 89 114

Northeast Africa (4)
Djibouti 0.4
Ethiopia 35.4 77 110 90 26
Somalia 5.4 78 110 64 62
Sudan 20.9 75 106 81 78

Central Africa (7)
Cameroon 9.5 79 101 81 27
Central Afr. Rep. 2.5 85 113 92 33
Congo 1.7 31 116 93 76
Equatorial Guinea 0.4 72





Gabon 1.1 74 119 104
Sao Tome, Principe 0.1 -- -- --
Zaire 32.1 72 123 95 92

East Africa (6)
Burundi 4.5 81 103 86 26
Kenya 19.8 76 112 77 43
Rwanda 5.9 87 139 103 14
Seychelles 0.1 -- --
Tanzania 21.7 79 128 94 59
Uganda 15.2 79 122 90 18

Southern Africa (14)
Angola 8.5 55 104 79 --
Botswana 1.0 77 84 61
Comoros 0.4 62 -- --
Lesotho 1.5 81 90 72 23
Madagascar 9.7 80 115 90 52
Malawi 6.8 81 128 97 55
Mauritius 1.0 26 96 81 --
Mozambique 13.7 60 98 70
Namibia 1.5 46 90 70
Reunion 0.6 25 128 111 --
South Africa 31.6 27 101 81
Swaziland 0.6 69 147 113 --
Zambia 6.4 64 98 74 84
Zimbabwe 8.5 57 92 67 28

Total Africa 536.9 63 116 88 52


Sources: 1984 statistics are from the 1984 FAO Production Yearbook, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, and
1983 statistics are from the World Development Report 1985 published by Oxford University Press for the World Bank.

aLabor represents the economically active sector of the population.
bGNP means the Gross National Product.





6 OVERVIEW


the others. This isolation of the disciplines is continued by the tradition of
academic departmentalization within the university system that educates profes-
sionals. Agricultural scientists focus on technical dimensions of crop and animal
production and specialize in particular species. Their work is further subdivided
by a traditional separation into breeding and genetics, soil fertility, crop production
and management, animal husbandry, and control of diseases, insects, weeds, and
nematodes. Meteorologists, foresters, ecologists, and wildlife biologists investi-
gate the weather and the state of natural resources, often in isolation from the ag-
ricultural scientists. Social scientists study socioeconomic dimensions of produc-
tion and distribution of products and income, including varying sociopolitical
access to productive resources, as well as pricing, marketing, and other national
policy issues. Food scientists and nutritionists concentrate on processing, storage,
and the real "bottom line"-food consumption and the quantitative and qualitative
adequacy of supplies. Seldom do these disciplines interact in any sustained manner
to address the complexities of African food issues, a tendency that is also evident
in most textbooks and even edited reference books on African or Third World food
and development topics. A notable exception is the multidisciplinary volume, The
Politics ofNatural Disaster: The Case of the Sahel Drought (Glantz 1976).
Although disciplinary specialization is an essential element of agricultural re-
search, it is associated with the loss of the integrated (generalist or interdiscipli-
nary) capacity to see how specialized diagnoses and proposed solutions interrelate
with one another, as well as with the wider ecological, socioeconomic, and politi-
cal context in which the production, distribution, and consumption of food take
place. This book offers an integrated multidisciplinary perspective on African food
issues. In its entirety, the volume is a message about the complexity of contempo-
rary food issues and about how different disciplines fit together to offer insights
and to provide useful information. Fifteen disciplines are represented here from
the natural, production, and social sciences. Almost all of the authors have worked
in Africa and are continuing to work there; all are concerned with Africa's people,
with what lies behind the current events and acute emergencies, with the Africa
that seldom or never makes the news. This type of broad, interdisciplinary perspec-
tive is important for anyone involved in teaching, administration, or research on
African food issues who wants a vantage point for seeing the interrelationships
among domains of expertise and policy concern.


OUTLINE OF THE BOOK *

Although the entire book is an integrated statement, it is divided into five parts,
and different readers may be most interested in using various parts or chapters as
introductions to unfamiliar data, areas, or perspectives. Each of the five parts of
the book may be used as a separate set of readings to complement a reader's current
expertise or as supplemental readings in university courses. All of the contributing
authors have written in a manner intelligible to people in other disciplines and to





OVERVIEW: FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 7


nonacademics, i.e., jargon has been minimized or eliminated. In addition to the
usual scholarly citations in the text, each author has also suggested a short list of
articles and books that are readily accessible for those readers who are new to the
material or perspective presented in that chapter; a list is appended to each chapter.
References that are cited in the text are collected into a common bibliography at the
end of the book.
In the four chapters that constitute the first part, political scientists and
economists provide a general overview at the level of policy and also compare
theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. S.K.B. Asante introduces the concept of
food policy, and four levels (global, continental, regional, and national) of policy
responses to food crises are discussed. He considers the overevaluation of national
currency exchange rates to be the most devastating national policy in terms of de-
pressing agricultural production.
Ren6 Lemarchand examines the political economy of food, beginning with
the effects of colonial policies. Various interpretations of the peasant mode of pro-
duction are contrasted, and the ideological differences between supposedly
socialist and supposedly capitalist states appear less important than the forms of
smallholder social organization, the elite manipulation of their market advantage,
and external constraints.
John Staatz and Carl Eicher describe the theoretical evolution since 1950 of
development economics, focusing on the changing perception of agriculture and
the interplay between theory and experience. From the 1950s to the 1960s, the em-
phasis was on investment in industry; agriculture was viewed as a passive cow to
be milked and smallholder labor was viewed as a free good. African leaders and
other Third World leaders based their countries' development on these theories and
were disappointed by the results-the need to develop agriculture became more
apparent. As the authors trace this evolution, we realize how much these theories
have influenced the direction that many Third World governments followed in the
design of policies and investment priorities.
Sara Berry begins her review of the social science literature on food in Africa
with a much-needed reminder about the weakness of the data on which discussions
of food crises are based (including the data in Table 1.1). She examines a broad
range of sociopolitical, socioeconomic, and ecological studies, then clarifies the
major directions and perspectives in this diverse body of knowledge.
The second part contains five chapters written by historians, anthropologists,
and a meteorologist to provide an introduction to Africa for readers who are un-
familiar with the continent, its resources, climate, and people. The heterogeneity
of Africa, the existence and relevance of historical patterns in climate and politics,
and the importance of socioeconomic factors are revealed in these chapters.
Charles Guthrie emphasizes a number of dimensions of the African environment-
size, political regions, climatic and vegetation patterns, and agricultural sys-
tems-thereby demonstrating the heterogeneity and diversity of Sub-Saharan Af-
rica. Population growth and distribution and economic patterns are described, as is
the importance of ethnicity, language, and religion to individual and group iden-





8 OVERVIEW


tity. Africa is seen to be sociopolitically dynamic.
Sharon Nicholson describes long-term climatic fluctuations in Sub-Saharan
Africa, providing an important time depth for recent drought periods. Her fascinat-
ing data reveal that droughts are "an inherent characteristic of the environment";
they must be seen as normal events that recur at irregular intervals and must be
included in development planning and policy decisions. Daniel McGee points out
that the existence of natural resources is only one dimension; another dimension is
the technology that people choose to use to exploit these resources. He outlines
four basic land-use systems or subsistence strategies-agriculture, herding, fish-
ing, and hunting and gathering--each has been associated with characteristic ways
to organize people and their labor.
The "ways of feeling, believing, and behaving" that are indigenous to Sub-
Saharan Africa are defined and described by Ronald Cohen. Although contempo-
rary African societies are complex and contain many features that are not tradi-
tional in Africa, married and family life and larger sociopolitical relationships
continue to be strongly influenced by indigenous principles and patterns. Agricul-
tural and socioeconomic development programs are usually based on the indi-
vidual or the household, but it is naive to assume that these behave entirely accord-
ing to Western economic principles and to ignore their embeddedness in traditional
social formations. R. Hunt Davis, Jr. examines in depth a controversial topic al-
luded to by many other contributors: the importance of the colonial experiences as
causes of contemporary food crises. He places the colonial period in a longer his-
torical context, documenting the precolonial origins of cash cropping and discus-
sing the postcolonial continuation of many colonial policies.
The third part gives readers from the socioeconomic and policy sciences an
opportunity to appreciate the empirical and analytical concerns of technical scien-
tists. Four chapters cover a wide range of technical issues dealing with food pro-
duction. The contributors, representing the disciplines of soil science, agronomy,
horticulture, agricultural economics, animal science, anthropology, and dairy sci-
ence, point out that there are many technical problems that have not yet been
solved. Hugh Popenoe addresses the soil types found in Africa and the interaction
of soils, plants, climate, and management. Soil fertility and erosion are major con-
cerns, as are policy questions dealing with self-sustainability, industrial inputs,
and the advantages of smaller versus larger farms. Clifton Hiebsch and Stephen
O'Hair clarify the nutritional characteristics, geographic distribution, and produc-
tion requirements and constraints of the major food crops, both by category (cereal
grains, farinaceous, and legume grains) and by individual species. James Simpson
and Robert McDowell describe the economic and nutritional importance of
domestic livestock and their byproducts, as well as the production systems and
constraints found in Africa. Michael McGlothlen, Paul Goldsmith, and Charles
Fox discuss the most underrated sources of food in Africa-undomesticated ani-
mals and plants. They document the importance of these food sources, the need
for additional research, and the integration of this information into national food
planning and development.





OVERVIEW: FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 9


The four chapters in the fourth part of this book rectify another common imbal-
ance in discussions of African food and famine. All too often the only issue dis-
cussed is production; the critical importance of distribution, storage, preparation,
consumption patterns, and nutritional needs are ignored. Robert P. Bates begins
this section by examining postharvest considerations as one element in the food
chain. OliviaWebley points out the importance of fuelwood in converting crop and
animal products into food, and she clarifies the relationship between deforestation
and food crises. One of the editors addresses questions of intra- and interhousehold
distributions. Many observers consider farmers to be organized in self-sufficient
households, so that the only distributional concern is how to move their surplus
food to the cities. Based on her research in Burkina Faso, Della McMillan details
the complexity and social embeddedness of the ways that rural people gain access
to productive resources, especially land and labor, and to the food that is produced.
She also questions the usefulness of the household concept as a basis for develop-
ment planning because of intrahousehold and suprahousehold decisionmaking and
distribution patterns. A discussion by Patricia Wagner on human nutritional needs
and the relationship of nutrition, diet, health, and performance follows.
In the final four chapters in the fifth part, ways in which Africans and interna-
tional development agencies are working toward solutions to food crises are ad-
dressed. Donald Plucknett, Nigel Smith, and Robert Herdt describe the evolution
and work of the international agricultural research centers, important resources in
themselves and designed to support and encourage strong national research and
extension programs. Louise Fresco and Susan Poats define and discuss farming
systems research and extension, an innovative approach to understanding the prob-
lems confronting African farmers and to establishing effective working relation-
ships among farmers and research and extension staffs. This approach provides a
methodology for more practical research and more integrated research and exten-
sion. Anita Spring presents another way in which a better understanding of the
socioeconomic characteristics of African agriculture will contribute to more effec-
tive policies and development programs. Women are extremely important in Afri-
can agriculture, both as laborers and as decisionmakers; yet research and develop-
ment are guided by mistaken Western beliefs about "the farmer and his wife,"
which serve to block women's access to information and other resources that would
help women increase their effectiveness as farmers.
A discussion by Robert Browne and Robert Cummings completes the book by
returning to the level of national and international policy that was the subject of the
first chapters. In this final chapter, as in others throughout the book, the clear mes-
sage is that Africans and African initiatives are the bases for progress. Africa has
problems, both acute and chronic, and these problems must be addressed by Afri-
cans in order for any meaningful policies to be formulated and implemented. The
Lagos Plan of Action is a long-range plan agreed to by the African heads of state to
restructure African economies. Browne and Cummings compare the plan to the
World Bank's program, as described in the 1981 Berg Report, which addresses
more immediate concerns.





10 OVERVIEW


The problems and constraints that Africans confront are difficult and intri-
cately interrelated. We hope that this book illuminates that there are no simple so-
lutions nor facile understandings.












Food as a Focus of National
and Regional Policies in
Contemporary Africa

S. K. B. ASANTE





T he disappointing performance of Africa's food and agricultural sector, result-
ing in what is now termed a continental African food crisis, has continued to oc-
cupy the attention of the international community, African governments,
policymakers, and academics during the 1970s and 1980s. Concern over the mag-
nitude and complexity of this crisis has evoked policy responses and declarations
at four levels. At the global level, the 1974 United Nations (UN) World Food Con-
ference was entrusted with developing ways and means whereby the international
community, as a whole, could take specific action to resolve the world food prob-
lem within the broad context of development and international cooperation. The
conference produced an impressive declaration on the eradication of hunger and
malnutrition (UN 1975:64). At the continental level, collective African policy
within the framework of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is articulated in
the very first substantial chapter of the 1980 Lagos Plan ofAction, the 1984 Harare
Declaration of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Addis Ababa
OAU Declaration, and the 1985 OAU Declaration "Africa's Priority Program for
Economic Recovery, 1986-1990" (OAU 1981, 1984, 1985; FAO 1984). At the
African regional level, groups such as the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) express their responses to the crisis in their respective food and
agricultural programs; at the national level, responses to the crises are stressed in
the development plans of individual African countries.
This four-pronged policy response reflects the magnitude of Africa's food
problem. The problem is even more alarming when it is considered that Sub-
Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where per capital food production has
declined during the past two decades. Food self-sufficiency ratios had dropped
from 98 percent in the 1960s to around 86 percent by 1980, implying that, on the
average, each African had 12 percent less home grown food in 1980 than twenty
years earlier (Economic Commission for Africa 1983:8; World Bank 1984:10-11).
This disappointing performance in agriculture and in food production reflects a





12 OVERVIEW


very serious situation because this sector, the mainstay in most African economies,
makes the single largest contribution (40 to 60 percent) to the gross domestic prod-
uct and provides over 50 percent of the export earnings of most African countries
(Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:1). Although this contribution varies among
countries, it remains, in most countries, the single most important generator of
overall economic growth and any sustained future development, including the sup-
ply of capital, raw materials, and labor for industrialization. Hence the food ques-
tion is inextricably entwined with the general problems of agriculture and eco-
nomic development in Africa, and no government can afford to ignore the social
and political disruptions caused by food production failures on this scale.
Not surprisingly, the causes and remedies of Africa's agrarian malaise have
been the subject of wide-ranging debate among experts and policymakers. This
debate has, in turn, given rise to a series of such crucial and challenging questions
as the following: How did Africa's food situation come to be in such a thoroughly
disturbing and perilous state? What are the root causes of food deficits of this mag-
nitude? Why has food proved to be so intractable a problem? Why has the "tempo-
rary" resort to food imports become a permanent feature of Africa's food trade?
How have African governments intervened in the food and agricultural sector? Put
differently, what policies have been adopted at both national and regional levels to
deal with the problem? What are the components or objectives of these policies?
Finally, what prospect for solving the crisis do these policies offer?
These questions cannot be conclusively answered here. To throw light on
some of them, this chapter focuses attention primarily on the key issue of national
and regional food policies of African countries since independence. Because re-
gional approaches to food problems in Africa are a relatively recent phenomenon,
national policies receive wider coverage and emphasis. Before considering these
policies, it seems appropriate to set the stage with a brief review of the concept of
food policy, its rationale, scope, and objectives.


THE CONCEPT OF FOOD POLICY *

Food policy (variously termed national food plan, national food strategy, national
food security scheme, or national agriculture and nutrition plan) at its core consti-
tutes an integrative policy approach to food production, distribution, and consump-
tion, encompassing the broad economic and social policies and reforms that affect
the wider distribution of income and people's access to food. In other words, this
is a policy which, as a recent World Bank publication puts it, encompasses the col-
lective efforts of governments to "influence the decision making environment of
food producers, food consumers, and food marketing agents in order to further
social objectives" (Timmer et al. 1983:9). Generally, this policy serves as a
mechanism to give institutional expression to the priority for food and the elimina-
tion of hunger, transcending the sometimes sharp, sectoral demarcations in na-
tional decisionmaking.





FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 13


Food policy is first and foremost a political act. It is political to the extent that
it is aimed primarily at placing (or replacing) a country's food and nutrition prob-
lems, along with other aspects of development, on a scale of priorities-at the top
of the list if necessary. It is also a political act because the strategy is not just one
more policy document. Food policy must be designed and presented to mobilize
promotion for the policy not only in the administration, but also, and most impor-
tantly, among the first to be concerned-the peasants or food producers them-
selves. Therefore, it is important to get the rural population as involved in the de-
sign and implementation of food policy as possible. Food policy has to define and
plan the implementation of measures that give national producers, including fisher-
men and herdsmen, the economic and social incentives and the security they need
to go beyond subsistence farming and help meet the needs of the country as a
whole. Basically, food policy should involve the rural world in a development pro-
cess that will be self-sustaining in the long run.
National food policy in most societies is designed to achieve four basic objec-
tives: efficient growth in the food and agricultural sectors, job creation, a decent,
minimum standard-of-living, and security against famine or extreme food short-
ages (Timmer et al. 1983:14-15). The emphasis placed on each objective varies by
country and over time; the importance of each objective reflects the contribution of
each to a nation's health and welfare and, implicitly, to its political stability. From
this perspective, understanding the causes of Africa's food problem should lead to
better policy.
Amaryta Sen has succinctly remarked, "There is, indeed, no such thing as an
apolitical food problem" (Sen 1982:459). Regardless of the variety of perspectives
permeating the literature, it is increasingly apparent that the poor performance of
African agriculture cannot be attributed to physical constraints or infrastructural
defects. The key to Africa's agrarian malaise seems to lie ultimately in government
policies over the years. Agricultural, food, and other rural policies set by govern-
ments are crucially important in creating incentives and in shaping the economic
environment within which food producers operate. Given much needed incentives
and realistic policy directives, physical and biological constraints are not factors
that farmers are unable to transcend (Bates 1981:2; Tarrant 1980:45). Theodore
Schultz has gone as far as to argue that "incentives to guide and reward farmers are
a critical component" in food production. And, once there "are investment oppor-
tunities and efficient incentives, farmers will turn sand into gold" (Schultz
1964:5). Although this may seem a little oversimplified, the significance of
Schultz's argument may hardly be disputed. Undoubtedly, it is the "complex web
of interrelationships between Africa's agricultural markets and government
policies" that, more than anything else, has created the present agrarian malaise
(Scarlett 1981:175). Markets and government policies have not received much at-
tention in the literature, probably because they are complex and because pro-
nouncements concerning them are more "politically volatile" than are evaluations
of technical and physical problems (Scarlett 1981:175). But it is precisely within
this more controversial arena that understanding of Africa's food problems must be





14 OVERVIEW


sought and future research areas and policy reforms must be identified.


T THE POLITICS OF ECONOMIC INTERVENTION *

The food problem in Africa has deeper historical roots than are usually ap-
preciated. (For details about these roots see Davis in this volume.) Food was not a
priority area for capital investment during the entire colonial period (Eicher
1982:157-58; Tandon 1981:86-88; E. Hansen 1981:103-105; Dinham and Hines
1984:17-20). Land, labor, and other resources of the colonies were diverted away
from food and into the production of industrial raw materials. Infrastructural de-
velopments that took place in Sub-Saharan Africa during this period, and for al-
most fifteen years after independence, were mainly to service the production,
transportation, and marketing of industrial crops; after independence, develop-
ments also included the creation of import substitution industries (Tandon
1981:88). Throughout this period, little attention was paid to investments in human
capital, i.e., the training of African agricultural scientists and managers, or to re-
search on food crops or to strengthening internal market linkages. Research on ex-
port crops was more intensive and generally more productive. Virtually all the
peasants-practically the whole population-were "left pretty much to their own
devices to feed themselves" (Tandon 1981:88). There was no food policy or organi-
zation to encourage food production.
Colonial agricultural policy-indeed, the inherited structure of most
economies as a whole-has not been appreciably altered by the successive African
elites. Since independence, the agricultural strategies of almost all African coun-
tries, especially regarding the food subsector, have been generally laissez faire:
They have allowed the status quo to prevail (Dittch 1981:53). It is not suggested
that African governments have not intervened in agriculture. On the contrary, they
have intervened extensively and have exhibited a wide range of diversity in the
extent of government intervention in food systems. Despite differences in policy
choice and priorities, African countries have stressed the great importance of ag-
riculture both in their official pronouncements and in their development plans.
These plans, in almost identical terms, acknowledge the overriding need to in-
crease and diversify agricultural output, to achieve self-sufficiency in food supply,
and to raise rural income and living standards (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:6).
Although such stated policies for increasing food production reflect a growing
commitment to the agricultural sector, the implementation of these policies is often
thwarted, inter alia, by changing government priorities and developmental de-
ficiencies.
Another common factor worth stressing is related to the general approach of
African governments to the agricultural sector. Whereas the approach of developed
countries to agriculture may be called "the integrative view," which sees this sector
as more or less an equal partner with industry and other sectors of society, in the
Third World and in Africa in particular, the approach to agriculture may be called






FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 15


"the exploitative view." This perspective does not accept the agricultural sector as
an equal partner with other sectors of development. Rather, it sees this sector as a
subservient one to be exploited for urban industrialization (Clute 1982:1-2). As
Robert H. Bates observed:

To secure revenues to promote industry, African states seek taxes from agricul-
ture. By maintaining a sheltered industrial order, they generate economic benefits
for elites, as well as resources for winning the political backing of influential
groups in the urban centers. To safeguard their urban-industrial base, they seek
low-cost food. This aim therefore leads them to intervene in markets and to at-
tempt to depress the level of farm prices (Bates 1981:120).

Leaders and governments throughout Africa, whether civilian or military,
capitalist or socialist, generally view agriculture as a backward sector that should
be exploited and controlled in order to provide agricultural surpluses, taxes and
labor, and to finance structural change and industrial/urban development. There
exists, therefore, a striking similarity between the colonial policy that exploited
the resources of colonial territories to develop the metropolis and the national pol-
icy that now exploits the resources of the countryside to develop the urban cities.
This is reflected in various aspects of agricultural and food policies adopted by
African governments since attaining independence.


Public Investment in Agriculture

Allocation of public investments to the food and agricultural sector merits special
attention in any discussion of national food policy in Africa as this underscores the
low priority assigned to this sector over the years. A recent review of government
expenditure policy by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) concluded that
African governments "have not been backing up their avowed food self-
sufficiency objectives by increased allocation of public resources" (ECA 1984).
This is reinforced by the FAO's "Interim Report on Constraints on Food Produc-
tion," which shows the extent to which expenditures of African governments on
agriculture from domestic resources have tended to decline in real terms (FAO
1983a). Intercountry comparisons are not easy to come by, owing to definitional,
data, and measurement problems. However, in the 1970s around 10 percent or less
of planned development expenditure was allocated to the agricultural sectors in
Kenya and Mali, as compared with 31 percent in India during the first five-year-
plan in 1951 and 20 percent of the much larger absolute investment in the sub-
sequent three plans (Lele 1984:440). By way of contrast, in both Ghana and
Nigeria the commitment to agricultural development has been merely verbal.
Ghana allocated a mere 7 percent of public investments to the agricultural sector
during 1974-1976. Nigeria's Second (1970-1974) and Third (1975-1979) De-
velopment Plans showed a distinct industrial bias. In the latter plan, less than 6
percent of total expenditure, recurrent and capital, was reserved for agriculture,





16 OVERVIEW


despite professed belief in its important role (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:6-
8).
This relative neglect of agriculture has resulted in little research on food crops,
weakly staffed extension services for food farming, and inadequate investments in
farm-to-market transportation. Many areas of potentially significant surpluses re-
main cut off from urban consumers and, hence, producers have no incentive to
produce in surplus of family and social needs. In addition, the emphasis on exports
(the cash-crop syndrome) inherited from the colonial era has meant that the meager
public investment allocated to agriculture goes into the development of the export
sector. Overwhelming emphasis on this sector adversely affects food production.
The case of tobacco as a cash crop in Tanzania is illustrative of the adverse impact
of the cash-crop syndrome on the food-production sector. The success of the Tan-
zanian government's special program in the 1970s to encourage the growing of
tobacco in Mpanda resulted in rapid decline in local maize production from 1,110
tons in 1969-1970 to 131 tons in 1974-1975, while tobacco production increased
from 184 tons to 310 tons. Mpanda thus became dependent on imports of maize
(U.S. Department of Agriculture 1981:165, as cited in Clute 1982:10-11). A signif-
icant feature of the cash-crop syndrome is the willingness of African governments
to undercut the interests of food producers in order to promote cash cropping.
Rather than harnessing the traditional agricultural system as a tool in development,
government policies have often been exploitative and antitraditional. Nowhere is
this more clearly demonstrated than in pricing policies.


Pricing Policy

Keeping food prices low is a standard government technique generally accepted by
observers as the fundamental cause of the continent-wide problem of food deficits.
Unlike many countries in Asia where there are guaranteed floor prices for farm
produce, in most African countries producer prices for domestic food products are
not guaranteed. In Indonesia promotion of rice output is complemented and
strengthened by the government rice pricing policy, which guarantees the farmer a
minimum price for his product while also taking into consideration the limited pur-
chasing power of the consumers at large (Amat 1982:145). In most African coun-
tries, food pricing policies are consumer-oriented. Prices are fixed at a low level
that favors consumers, mostly urban consumers, and deters producers from in-
creasing their efforts. Policy motivations have been more political than economic,
reflecting the expediency of responding to urban elites who are more visible even
if less numerous than rural farmers. Low food prices are a means of maintaining
the support of the urban masses whose violent demonstrations and riots, often
against rising food prices, can provide the catalyst for a coup d'etat. The April 1979
rice riots in Monrovia led to the ousting of the Tolbert regime in Liberia in 1980
(Asante 1984); the April 1985 demonstrations in Khartoum culminated in the over-
throw of the government of President Gaafar el-Nimeiry of Sudan.





FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 17


Due to the vulnerability of governments to urban pressure, food imports are
subsidized to keep prices low, and domestic food prices are reduced through the
operation of government-controlled marketing institutions and the manipulation
of trade policies. Bates noted that:
agricultural policy is devised to cope with political problems whose immediate
origins lie outside of the agricultural sector. Pricing policy finds its origins in the
struggle between urban interests and their governments; and in the political recon-
ciliation of that struggle, it is the rural producers who bear the costs; they are the
ones who bear the burden of policies designed to lower the price of food (Bates
1981:35).
The mirror image of urban pressure for cheap food is production stagnation,
or unsatisfactory performance in the agricultural sector. Agricultural pricing
policies of African governments tend to have an adverse impact on the gap between
rural and urban incomes and on incentives to produce food. They also affect the
ability of governments to establish and maintain food reserves, and they disturb
employment opportunities in farming, processing, and rural industries (Eicher and
Baker 1982:59).
Of all the governmental policies which have had a negative impact upon the
agricultural sector, none has had more devastating consequences than the general
tendency of African governments to overvalue the exchange rates of their curren-
cies. This practice has set in motion a whole set of "powerful disincentives to ag-
ricultural growth" to which the Berg Report of the World Bank, Accelerated De-
velopment in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Agenda for Action, has drawn attention in
recent years (World Bank 1981:24-27). Overvalued currencies have made food
imports artificially cheap in relation to domestic production, and price policies
have often been criticized for failing to stimulate domestic production. These two
factors, together with a marked shift in consumer tastes in favor of "new" foods
that are not well suited to domestic production such as bread, and in some cases
rice, have led to a growing dependence on imports to satisfy the demands of politi-
cally powerful groups. Food aid, through which population groups may have been
introduced to nontraditional foods, has at times contributed to this shift in con-
sumer preferences. In some cases, imported farm inputs such as tools, machinery,
and agrochemicals have been made more expensive or restricted in their supply in
order to protect infant, domestic industries; in some cases, the incentive for farm-
ers to produce a surplus for sale has been reduced by the limited availability of
imported consumer goods, once again to protect domestic industries. The opera-
tion of government-controlled marketing agencies is another policy constraint ad-
versely affecting food production.


State Marketing Boards

Marketing boards, or parastatal institutions, in many countries have grown into
monopolies controlling agricultural input and output as well as marketing and pro-





18 OVERVIEW


cessing. These boards operate as a means of controlling trade, regulating prices,
enforcing grading standards, and directing operations within national borders.
They have incurred added costs to the consumer, reduced returns to the producer,
and also stifled initiatives to keep costs down and provide improved services.
These parastatals appear to lack the purchasing networks, pricing policies, and
other means needed to secure large quantities of foodstuffs relative to consumption
needs (Nicholson and Esseks 1978:694). Colin Leys cited the case of Kenya's
Maize and Produce Marketing Board, which proved itself unequal to the respon-
sibilities entrusted to it during the drought periods of 1965 and 1970-1971; Lynn
Scarlett stressed the tendency of marketing boards to encourage black market sales
and impede the operation of market signals regarding supply and demand (Leys
1974:106-107; Scarlett 1981:181). The widespread appearance of state farms, the
government-directed cooperatives, and the so-called green revolution have not im-
proved the food production situation.


State Farms and Crash Programs

State farms and crash programs proliferated in the past two decades as means of
promoting agricultural production by pooling rural resources, introducing farming
inputs and techniques, and improving rural incomes. Evidence suggests that none
has realized its objectives (Delancey 1980:109-122; Gusau 1981:19-22; Clute
1982:12). Barry Munslow recently studied Mozambique's huge investments in the
state farm sector that failed to produce the hoped-for bumper harvests (Munslow
1984:211). Ghana launched state farms in the 1960s with a total work force of
20,800 and a budgetary allocation of approximately 90 percent of the total agricul-
tural development budget; they were a gigantic failure. The Agricultural Develop-
ment Corporation, which managed most of the 135 state farms, accumulated a loss
of $4 million by 1964, $7 million by 1965, and over $9 million by 1966 (Bates
1981:46-47; Dittch 1981:54). State, community, and cooperative farms and settle-
ments are often inappropriate, expensive, and not directed at the productive forces
in the economy-the peasant farmers. Large-scale schemes divert attention and
cash from the underlying problems of rural poverty and inadequate infrastructure,
which affect the majority of Africa's farming population. A classic example of this
process in Zambia was illustrated by Barbara Dinham and Colin Hines (Dinham
and Hines 1984:146-147). Crash programs such as Nigeria's "Operation Feed the
Nation" or Ghana's "Operation Feed Yourself" are launched with great fanfare and
end in "crash failure" (E. Hansen 1981:99-115).
In theory, the small farmer is the cornerstone and major beneficiary of the var-
ious crash programs. In practice, however, there is a distinct bias against the small-
holder sector, comprising over 90 percent of all producers, because of a wide-
spread belief among planners and policymakers that peasant farmers cannot
achieve the desired overall increases in output and keep pace with population
growth. Instead of tackling the underlying causes of the problems facing peasant






FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 19


farmers-low farm prices and poor marketing, storage, and distribution systems-
many African governments choose to initiate crash programs that are not based on
an analytical understanding of the problems at hand. These programs have great
emotional and political appeal, especially if cast in a rhetoric for mass consump-
tion that oversimplifies complex problems. Yet food problems are extraordinarily
complicated, and politically expedient short-term interventions frequently have
devastating long-term consequences. The greater the short-term pressures to im-
plement a program, the greater the probability that the program will have effects
just opposite to those intended. Crash programs tend to crash.
Although the small farmer is neglected, public food production schemes tend
to confer benefits on and promote the fortunes of a few privileged farmers. Ghana's
"Operation Feed Yourself," launched in February 1972, promoted the rise of a
wealthy "farmer" class of military men and high-ranking bureaucrats and their bus-
iness friends who owned large-scale enterprises. In contrast, the smallholder sec-
tor was discriminated against and suffered heavily from the increasingly unfavora-
ble food pricing policy and many other aspects of the program. Yet experience in
Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and other countries demonstrates that smallholders
respond to economic incentives with significant production increases if they have
access to markets, services, and improved cultivation technology (Williams
1983:24).
State farms are established to produce food as well as other agricultural prod-
ucts; however, evidence shows that food is seldom a priority. The cash-crop syn-
drome still dominates. Emmanuel Hansen analyzed the case of Ghana's state farms
and found that they devoted only 40 percent of acreage to food crops and paid seri-
ous attention only to rice and maize (E. Hansen 1981:107). Similarly, despite pub-
lic declarations to the contrary, the priority of Ghana's "Operation Feed Yourself"
was still on export and industrial crops. Moreover, although Ghana's state farms in
the 1960s consumed a significant proportion of the public agricultural budget, they
nonetheless supplied a small fraction of the total market. John Dadson showed that
they provided less than two percent of the total marketed output of most com-
modities (Dadson 1970, as cited in Bates 1981:49).
The emphasis on large-scale, capitalized, and mechanized farms since the
mid-1970s introduces a more serious problem to Africa's food production policies.
The scarcity of high-quality management and imported inputs has led to an in-
creased dependence on foreign expertise and diverse foreign involvement
in capital-intensive food production in many African countries, notably Benin,
Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, and Togo.
Hence, transnational agribusiness has been brought into the domestic food sector
in Africa (Dinham and Hines 1984:144). In Nigeria, for example, transnational
corporations are invited to participate in large-scale food production envisaged in
the Green Revolution launched in 1981. The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Act
was amended in 1981 to encourage private, foreign investment in agriculture to as
much as 60 percent of the equity (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:91). Africa may
be moving towards deepening dependency in the food sector. Against this back-





20 OVERVIEW


ground, the regional approach based on the strategy of collective self-reliance, as
espoused in both the Lagos Plan ofAction and the July 1978 FAO Regional Food
Plan for Africa, merits special attention (OAU 1981: FAO 1978b:ii-ix).


THE REGIONAL APPROACH *

The 1974 world food crisis and its severe impact on Africa have strengthened in-
terest in regional approaches to the food problem. Hence, the regional integration
schemes established in Africa since then have each devoted special attention to
food. Among these regional schemes is ECOWAS, which was established in Lagos
in May 1975 to bring together sixteen West African countries. Besides ECOWAS
there are the nine-member Southern African Development Coordination Confer-
ence (SADCC), which was formally inaugurated in Lusaka, Zambia, in April
1980; the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA),
which was also concluded in Lusaka in December 1981 by nine out of the potential
eighteen states; and the Economic Community of the States of Central Africa
(CEEAC), established in Libreville, Gabon, in October 1983.
In response to the target of self-sufficiency in food production contained in
the Lagos Plan ofAction, ECOWAS adopted in May 1980 an elaborate agricultural
program comprising four sectors. In order of priority these sectors are: food crops,
livestock, fisheries, and forestry. The main program objectives are to fight the seri-
ous subregional food problems, improve rural incomes and living conditions, and
provide necessary inputs to the community's industrial program. The 1982
ECOWAS summit in Cotonou, Benin, reinforced this program by adopting the
ECOWAS Agricultural Development Strategy, a blueprint for agricultural develop-
ment in the subregion. This was given a further impetus by the May 1983 Conakry,
Guinea, ECOWAS meeting and, especially, by the November 1984 ECOWAS
Heads of State and Government summit in Lome, Togo, which, in an important
resolution on economic recovery in West Africa, adopted measures to rationalize
regional production so as to achieve food self-sufficiency (ECOWAS 1984).
The question that poses itself is this: To what extent have the West African
countries attempted to transform the food policies and programs of ECOWAS from
a political slogan into a framework for policy and action? Although ECOWAS
began initiating food strategies in 1980, the Community has not implemented any
of its food policies, and no conscious effort has been made at the regional level to
link recognition of problems with the measures and resources required for their
solution (Asante 1985).
Although PTA, which was finally launched in Harare in July 1984, has not yet
advanced much beyond ratification of its treaty, SADCC seems to have made some
substantial progress towards implementing its projects for "enhancing the produc-
tivity of the land on a permanent basis, and towards national and regional food
policies" (SADCC 1984:9). The SADCC food security program includes three
main objectives: (1) satisfying the basic need for food for the region's population,





FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 21


and progressively improving food supplies to all the people, irrespective of their
specific economic situation or their position in society; (2) achieving national self-
sufficiency in food supplies in order to free the region from constraints imposed by
the present situation of external dependence; and (3) eliminating the periodic food
crises in the region that have catastrophic social consequences and reinforce de-
pendency and underdevelopment (Mafeje 1985).
Given the region's present stage of development, SADCC's economic strategy
aims to reinforce national and regional production capacity. Particular attention fo-
cuses on the following: regionally producing and distributing seeds; reproducing
livestock; producing tools, agricultural equipment, agrochemicals, and other in-
puts; and improving infrastructure necessary for input distribution at national and
regional levels. The second aim is to improve systems for delivery, conservation,
processing, and storage of food. SADCC has initiated policies for the prevention
of food crises. These involve five main elements: implementing an early-warning
system, preventing plagues and diseases, creating regional food security reserves,
creating seed stocks for basic food crops, and, finally, establishing regional
mechanisms to coordinate external support in times of emergency (Asante 1986).
On the whole, SADCC is much more advanced in implementing its regional food
policies than any of the other existing African regional integration schemes. It has
made detailed studies of regional food marketing and a regional resources informa-
tion system, and is coordinating its technical assistance program for agrarian
issues.
Nevertheless, African regional schemes have not been as dynamic and pro-
gressive in adopting and implementing regional food policies as have been those
schemes in other developing areas such as Asia. By the mid-1970s, for example,
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had agreed to establish an
emergency food supply facility known as the ASEAN Food Security Reserve. Be-
cause the international community has failed to establish such a facility at the
global level, although the United Nations World Food Conference in Rome in 1974
recommended establishing one, such a facility organized by ASEAN represents a
particularly innovative step towards international food security (Hanpongpandh
1982:281-306). Are the African regional schemes able to learn from the ASEAN
experience?


POLICY REFORMS *

Evidence suggests that food policies in contemporary Africa, at both the national
and regional levels, have not been designed to deal effectively with the issues of
food production, rural-employment generation, domestic-food price formation,
and efficient storage, transportation, and processing. A thorough reform of policies
toward agriculture in Africa is long overdue. Policy change is required in the area
of public-investment allocations to agriculture. Government inputs into agricul-
ture and rural development are extremely low, rarely designed to assist the tradi-





22 OVERVIEW


tional farmer, and tend to favor so-called modem schemes such as state farms,
cooperatives, and large-scale mechanized farms, which have not been viable or
productive. There is a need to allocate adequate resources to support agricultural
production at all levels, especially because a higher government priority to agricul-
ture is a requirement for more assistance from the international community.
Whereas there is indiscriminate government intervention in some policy
areas, others are neglected, namely agricultural research, extension networks, de-
velopment of trained manpower, and establishment of effective institutions and de-
livery systems to assist in distribution and marketing. Food policies will not be
successfully implemented over the long term unless adequate institutions and
trained manpower are available to monitor and oversee policy implementation.
Lack of sufficient manpower and institutions has often been the bottleneck in slow-
ing down the implementation process. Any program, no matter how beautifully
designed, is only as good as the ability to make it work in the field. Increased atten-
tion to training, public management, and sustained institutional support are, there-
fore, top priorities.
An option for policy change that is likely to offer the highest returns in a rela-
tively short time is an incentive policy package that combines establishment of
improved incentive systems through more remunerative producer prices, more effi-
cient marketing systems, and sufficient and timely supplies of inputs and con-
sumer goods. In this regard, pricing policy merits special attention. Effective price
policy is the most essential element in a program to increase agricultural produc-
tion. There is no substitute for positive price incentives to the agricultural sector
based on long-term opportunity costs (Timmer et al. 1983:290). The first element
of an agricultural policy, therefore, is to fix guaranteed agricultural prices and set
up a system that ensures that the peasant farmer will, in fact, obtain these prices.
Such an incentive policy package would probably contribute more to domestic
food self-reliance than an infusion of crash food production projects that risk falter-
ing in the absence of sound policies.
The need to strengthen the fragile subsistence sector may not be overem-
phasized. Too often in the past the needs of the subsistence farmer have been over-
looked by policymakers. Yet the peasant farmer is, and will remain, the principal
participant in any agricultural policy and the principal organizer of the rural sector.
The development of smallholder agriculture is therefore essential. Because of its
share in national output and total employment, this subsector holds the key to ag-
ricultural and overall progress. Increasingly, it is being recognized that African
smallholders respond to economic opportunities and, given the right incentives
and income generating opportunities, he and she are quite prepared to change and
modernize (Pallangyo and Odero-Ogwel, in press).
Policy change is also required at the regional level. There are a number of im-
portant activities in support of food and agricultural development that lend them-
selves to easier forms of cooperation at the regional level. These include the de-
velopment of regional natural resources such as river basins, transfer of technol-
ogy, food storage, marketing, agricultural research and training, and investment





FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 23


and finance. Regional schemes offer considerable potential for action to increase
food production through intergovernmental organizations for land-and-water-
resources development, particularly where lakes and river basins transcend na-
tional boundaries. Priority attention is needed by regional organizations to assist
national governments to strengthen and adapt their production structures. Above
all, African regional planners should learn from recent experiences of the Carib-
bean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). This regional scheme
created the Caribbean Food Corporation to implement a regional food plan aimed
specifically at stemming the trend of the large and rapidly growing regional food
import bill, which rocketed to $500 million in 1974. The plan will mobilize funds
and technical and managerial skills from within and without the region to promote,
finance, and implement agricultural production schemes (Axline 1979:165-166).


SSUMMARY *

Governmental policies during the colonial period and since national independence
have contributed to the current African food crisis. The colonial tradition of
exploiting the agricultural sector, especially the small farmers and their families
who comprise the majority of the population in most African countries, continued
after African elites replaced Europeans and continues even today. As John Staatz
and Carl Eicher point out in another chapter, this exploitation agreed with the for-
merly prevailing idea that developing countries should emphasize industrialization
by taxing agriculture. The traditional agricultural sector would provide capital
from taxation, labor from the underemployed rural population, and raw materials
from its production to fuel industrial growth.
Even after the errors of this approach became evident and world food crises
appeared, contemporary African governments did not adopt adequate and realistic
policies for food production, marketing, and consumption. All or almost all Afri-
can countries stress the importance of the agricultural sector in public pronounce-
ments and official development plans, but per capital production continues to
decline because effective action is not taken. Some countries and regional organi-
zations have now devised food policies to encourage self-sufficiency and promote
domestic production, but this political act antagonizes important political actors,
particularly the urban elites and masses who desire artificially low food prices and
continued reliance on imports. Pricing policies and currency exchange rates pro-
vide disincentives to farmers, but favor the urban minority. State farms and other
large-scale schemes receive the scarce managerial time and development funding
that smallholder agriculture needs. Undue emphasis is still given to export crops
for the world market, and too little emphasis is given to food for Africa.





24 OVERVIEW


SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS *

Asante, S. K. B. 1986. The Political Economy of Regionalism in Africa: A Decade of the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). New York: Praeger.
Balaam, David N., and Michael J. Casey, eds. 1981. Food Politics: The Regional Conflict.
Totowa, New Jersey: Allanheld, Osmun Publishers.
Bates, Robert H. 1981. Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis ofAg-
ricultural Polihies. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Clute, Robert E. 1982. The Role of Agriculture in African Development. African Studies
Review 25:4:1-20.
Delancey, Mark W. 1980. Cameroon National Food Policies and Organizations: The Green
Revolution and Structural Proliferation. Journal ofAfrican Studies 7:2:109-122.
Hansen, Emmanuel. 1981. Public Policy and the Food Question in Ghana. African De-
velopment 6:3:99-115.
Nicholson, N. K., and John D. Esseks. 1978. The Politics of Food Scarcities in Developing
Countries. International Organization 32:3:679-719.
OAU (Organization of African Unity). 1985. Africa's Priority Programme for Economic
Recovery, 1986-1990. Adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the Organi-
zation of African Unity at its 21st Ordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, Ethopia,
18-20 July 1985. Addis Adaba: African Heads of Government, Declaration No. 1.
Sen, Amaryta. 1982. The Food Problem: Theory and Practice. Third World Quarterly 4:3.









.3-

The Political Economy
of Food Issues

RENE LEMARCHAND






A frica's famine has entered the American consciousness as a dramatic media
event; it has yet to enter the U.S. consciousness as a political event. Behind the
agonies of hundreds of thousands of Africans dying of starvation lies more than a
natural catastrophe of unprecedented severity. Humanitarian concern for, and
public awareness of, this massive affliction have yet to be accompanied by a clear
understanding of the tragic incapacity of African governments to cope with food
scarcities. Even where climatic and environmental perturbations are most pain-
fully evident, as in the Sahel, a reasonable case may be made that African hunger
has as much to do with political conditions as with weather conditions.
The magnitude of Africa's food crisis is well established. Africa is the only
continent where food output per capital has declined over the last two decades. With
a population growth of approximately 3 percent per annum, recorded per capital
agricultural production declined by 1.5 percent annually in the 1970s and early
1980s. Precisely when grain prices are going up and African currency reserves are
shrinking, the demand for food imports is increasing dramatically. A total of ap-
proximately 150 million Africans are directly threatened by famine and malnutri-
tion. In the Sudan alone, 10 million are said to be at risk of starvation. According
to UNICEF estimates, the number of Sudanese children dying each year of malnu-
trition now reaches 750,000 (as compared with 200,000 in "normal" years!). The
statistics for Chad and Ethiopia are equally alarming. Not just people but entire
communities and ways of life are faced with extinction.
What remains open to debate are the underlying causes and implications of
the crisis. The devastating effects of natural calamities cannot be overlooked any
more than the severe physical constraints of the African environment; yet these
factors alone are not enough to explain the existence of a "continent-wide agricul-
tural breakdown" (Lofchie and Commins 1984:2). The constraints of the interna-
tional economy, the deterioration of Africa's terms of trade, the setting of wrong
sectoral priorities, and inept agricultural policies have all had a powerful multiplier





26 OVERVIEW


effect on the adversities of nature. In brief, the basic questions that lie in the back-
ground of the current food crisis-how much food to grow, what kinds of food, at
what cost, by what means, by whom and for whom-are preeminently political
questions.
The following pages explore the relationship between food and politics from
the three-dimensional perspective of local, national, and international arenas. The
first dimension involves a critical look at the so-called peasant mode of production
as a key dimension of the social environment of African states. The second brings
into focus the ongoing debate about the relative merits or demerits of socialist ver-
sus capitalist experiments. The third draws attention to external constraints arising
from the international parameters within which food policies are formulated and
put into practice. In looking at these dimensions of analysis we proceed on the
assumption that the relationship between politics and agricultural output is a recip-
rocal one. Just as political choices have a decisive bearing on the structure and
volume of food production, the resulting patterns of agricultural production, distri-
bution, and consumption are bound to affect the way in which power and wealth
are distributed in society.


STHE ROOTS OF ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY:
THE LEGACY OF COLONIAL RULE *

The issue of the relationship between food and politics did not arise with independ-
ence; it lies at the heart of the policy choices made by European powers in their
attempt to cushion the costs of their political hegemony and maximize the returns
on their capital investments. Fiscal autonomy, the key corollary of colonial rule,
presupposed a taxable income, and both in turn came to depend on the ability of
the colonial state to bring about the so-called mise en valeur, or development of
human and economic resources. In a way that few of its advocates anticipated, the
imperative of mise en valeur has had a determining impact on the structure of Afri-
can agricultural economies.
To blame African hunger on the perverse effects of colonial rule seems
scarcely compatible with the statistical evidence available. At the time of independ-
ence in the 1960s, Africa produced roughly 95 percent of its food requirements.
Today virtually every African state, with the exception of South Africa and Zim-
babwe, must import food. Statistics alone do not tell the full story, however, and
they may be made to tell very different stories. A closer examination of the colonial
record provides ample proof of food crises originating not just from adverse climat-
ic conditions but also from policy decisions that, directly or indirectly, profoundly
undermined the viability of indigenous food systems. Clearly, the benefits derived
from the development of new productive forces and infrastructures must be asses-
sed against the human and environmental costs involved, including "the loss of
life, the loss of reliable and nutritious sources of food, and, more generally, the
loss of many skills with which the inhabitants had learnt to turn their harsh environ-





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 27


ment to their advantage" (Coulson 1982:32).
Among the several areas of economic vulnerability created by colonial rule,
none has been more potentially damaging to African food systems than the decline
of peasant commodity production under the combined pressures of cash cropping
and industrial capitalism. The introduction of cash crops proved the quickest way
to meet the revenue-generating needs of the nascent colonial state. Only by subject-
ing African peasants to stringent fiscal obligations could the state generate enough
cash to pay its own way into the avenues of colonization. Compulsory cultivation
of cash crops thus became the standard policy through which African peasants
were forced to earn a taxable income. Though implemented on different scales and
with varying degrees of severity, this policy lies at the root of what Michael Lof-
chie referred to a decade ago as "Africa's agrarian paradox": "A continent unable to
produce sufficient food to provide the majority of its citizens with even a barely
minimal diet has been able to record sharp increases in its annual production of
agricultural goods destined for external markets" (Lofchie 1975:554). While the
priority given to cash crops by the European colonizer is still very much in evi-
dence in most African states,' so also are the discriminating effects of pricing and
marketing policies. Just as the prices paid to producers of food crops remain abys-
mally low compared to the prices fetched by export crops, the highly skewed distri-
bution of marketing and storage facilities, agricultural extension services, and
technological inputs tend to put the food-producing sectors at a striking disadvan-
tage.
Critically related to the decline of indigenous food crops was the development
of mining and industrial activities; both made increasingly heavy demands on Afri-
can labor while creating a situation in which "the wages paid to men who worked
on the mine were subsidized by the rural areas" (Seidman 1977:414). In Zimbabwe
(formerly Southern Rhodesia), Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), and Zaire
(formerly Congo), the expansion of labor recruitment networks into the rural sec-
tors led to massive migrations of African peasants into the mining areas. Through
the enforcement of discriminatory policies against the marketing of African pro-
duce, additional pressures were applied on the rural sectors to insure a regular flow
of cheap labor. By keeping the prices paid to African producers at an artificially
low level, entry into the wage labor force of industrial capitalism became the only
alternative to starvation. Where European commercial farming was allowed to de-
velop, as in Zambia and Zimbabwe, further steps were taken to reduce the competi-
tiveness of African agriculture, for example, "through the subsidy and encourage-
ment given to settler-farmers, through capturing of the African grain market, and
by refusing to exchange cash in return for African produce" (Riddell 1978:6). Illus-
trative of the effects of such policies on African agriculture was the situation pre-
vailing in the Rhodesian (Zambian) Copperbelt in 1911:

The whole country is in a state of starvation, and we are a long way from the next
season's harvest. The village people are in a miserable state, and for the time being
are subsisting on roots and anything edible they can find in the bush. In many of





28 OVERVIEW


the villages all one sees are a few old women and children. The men have disap-
peared (Perring 1979:20).
In sum, the involvement of the colonial state in the expansion of industrial
capitalism, first as a labor-recruiting agency, then as a price-setting authority, and
ultimately as the ally of European settlers, must be seen as the central factor behind
the decline and dislocations suffered by African food systems.
Bolstered by the full panoply of colonial policies and land regulations, the
spread of European settlement resulted in massive alienations of agricultural land
in states such as Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, thus posing additional threats to
African commodity producers. By far the most serious threat to African agriculture
stemmed from the need for a cheap labor supply to bring the European estates into
the sphere of capitalist production. This meant that "the settler had to compete
against alternative uses of African labor in commodity production as well as sub-
sistence agriculture" (Berman and Lonsdale 1980:62). To improve the competitive-
ness of European commercial farming, African "reserves" were created in both
Kenya and Zimbabwe in which land was set aside for the sole use of African pro-
ducers, but with the ultimate intention of converting them into vast reservoirs of
agricultural labor. As the population pressure on the reserves increased, and as
local production barely reached subsistence levels, more and more Africans were
driven into wage labor. As R. C. Riddell noted, "cheap labor supplies from the
reserves could only be forthcoming 'voluntarily' if reserve farming was carried
out at, or better, below subsistence levels and if the reserves were reasonably full"
(Riddell 1978:7). As a result, major distortions in the structure of rural economies
were created, with a commercial farming sector heavily dependent on a continuing
influx of cheap labor that coexisted side by side with a subsistence sector in which
population pressures and land hunger combined to perpetuate rural poverty. These
distortions are still visible today in both Kenya and Zimbabwe. In neither state is
there much room for an uncapturedd peasantry," to use Goran Hyden's phrase
(1980). The key fact, whose roots lie in the history of European settlement, is that
the respective peasantries are at a serious competitive disadvantage, politically and
financially, relative to medium- and large-scale commercial farms owned by the
state or private enterprise, and the peasantries are unable to act as a significant
countervailing force.
Just as there are important connections between colonial policies and the mul-
tiplicity of issues associated with the land problem, both are in turn intimately re-
lated to the dynamics of political protest in colonial Africa. The drastic restructur-
ing of African rural economies under the impact of the colonial state, and most
importantly through the commercialization of agriculture, holds crucial implica-
tions for an understanding of anticolonial rural protest. From tax-payers' revolts in
nineteenth century Ghana to the Mau-Mau Emergency in Kenya, from the rural
radicalism of the Bataka Association in Uganda to the Pende revolt in the Belgian
Congo, the grievances generated by the commercialization of agriculture emerge
as the dominant theme of anticolonial rural-based protest movements (Bates
1979).





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 29


This is not the place for a sustained inquiry into the history of these pro-
tonationalist manifestations. What needs to be stressed is that colonial authorities
have often responded to these threats by instituting land reforms, which in turn
created the conditions for new forms of social conflict. A case in point is the Swyn-
nerton Plan, devised as a political counterweight to the Mau-Mau insurgency. In-
tended to provide the basis for the emergence of a sizable rural African middle
class enjoying access to individual freehold titles, the Swynnerton Plan ended up
creating a very different type of social pyramid, characterized by a substantial con-
centration of landholdings among individuals with access to off-farm cash income.
As Angelique Haugerud has ably demonstrated, "land is being accumulated not
necessarily for agricultural development but to hold for speculative purposes, for
sons' future inheritance, and to increase one's borrowing power for loans on the
security of title deeds" (Haugerud 1983:84). In Kenya, as in many other parts of
Africa, land reform has done relatively little to alter existing patterns of rural in-
equality. The reasons for this lack of effect lie in part in the questionable priorities
set by urban elites in the allocation of land and agricultural technology, and in part
in the patterns of articulation between local peasant communities and the wider
political frameworks within which they are encapsulated.


STHE VIEW FROM BELOW: THE PEASANT MODE OF
PRODUCTION REEXAMINED *

Is the "peasant mode of production" a short-hand formula for an economy in which
affective ties, based on kinship, are so prevalent as to enable peasant communities
to effectively resist the assaults of the state? Or does it incorporate a nascent class
conflict between rural capitalists and peasant producers? These questions lie at the
heart of the ongoing debate among Africanists about the relevance of the mode of
production in historical and contemporary analysis. Although no definitive answer
has yet emerged from the exchange, there is nonetheless a widespread agreement
about the centrality of the peasant mode (however defined) in the structuring of
rural communities. Where opinions differ is in the extent to which the peasant
mode may be said to effectively block state intervention or, alternatively, to facili-
tate its penetration into the fabric of rural communities. At the root of this dissent
lie radically different conceptions of the types of normative orientations and articu-
lations associated with peasant modes of production.
The case for looking at African peasantries as uncapturedd," i.e., as basically
resistant to state pressures, is nowhere more forcefully argued than by Goran
Hyden (1980) in his classic study of villagization (ujamaa) in Tanzania. The "econ-
omy of affection," according to Hyden, incorporates a logic of social solidarity
that departs fundamentally from that of capitalism or socialism:

In the economy of affection, economic action is embedded in a range of so-
cial considerations that allow for redistribution of opportunities and benefits in a





30 OVERVIEW


manner which is impossible where modem capitalism or socialism prevails and
formalized state action dominates the process of redistribution (Hyden 1980:19).

Unlike capitalism or socialism, the economy of affection "is primarily concerned
with problems of reproduction rather than production" (Hyden 1980:18). The profit
motive is conspicuously absent from such economies; social solidarity provides
the basic mechanisms through which resources are redistributed among members
of the community. The implications are two-fold. On the one hand, the economy
of affection offers peasant communities enough autonomy and self-reliance to
evade the encroachments of the state. On the other hand, because it serves as a
survival mechanism in conditions of relative scarcity, "it dampens the revolution-
ary potential of the peasants" (Hyden 1980:192).
On both counts there are major reservations about the Hyden thesis. For one
thing, the line of demarcation between the economy of affection and the market
economy is not as easily traced as the foregoing might suggest. Marxist analysts
are basically correct in stressing the transitional character of the peasant mode of
production, and, in some instances, its tendency "more and more to become mere
aspects of the capitalist mode of production" (Leys 1975:172). The least that may
be said is that the economy of affection, as articulated by Hyden, is far too static a
concept to provide meaningful analytic leverage. Just as one may conceptualize
this economy in very different ways, shown by comparing Hyden's characteriza-
tion with the more sophisticated and contrasting efforts of James Scott (1976) and
Samuel Popkin (1979), one may also visualize fundamental differences in the ex-
tent to which Africans have in fact remained uncaptured by the advances of rural
capitalism. In addition, how far the economy of affection acts as a disincentive to
revolutionary upheavals is by no means self-evident.2 The susceptibility of African
peasants to radical protest is well established, and where rural protest failed to
materialize, the reasons may not lie exclusively with the dampening effects of af-
fection.
Whereas Hyden tends to reduce African modes of production to a single affec-
tive denominator, contemporary Marxist analysts look at these realities through a
variety of analytic lenses. Nothing like a consistent definition of the peasant mode
of production emerges from the work of people such as Claude Meillassoux, Em-
manuel Terray, Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Gervase Clarence-Smith, or Mar-
tin Klein.3 This lack of consistency, in a sense, reflects a greater sensitivity to the
historical particularities of African peasantries as well as to their different modes
of incorporation in wider capitalist economies. These authors call attention to the
classic distinction between the forces of production and the relations of produc-
tion. The first of these concepts throws into relief the extremely low level of
technology available to most African societies, the forbidding constraints of the
environment, the rudimentary character of the division of labor, and ultimately the
Sisyphean task of harnessing these extraordinarily feeble and fragmented forces to
a cohesive organizational framework. This is particularly true of attempts to con-
vert African peasants into socialist producers. As one observer noted: "The idea





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 31


that a disciplined vanguard party could force the course of history and get socialism
now, whatever the level of development of the forces of production, led people to
ignore or trivialize the vital question of economic productivity" (Clarence-Smith
1985:20).
The question of the relations of production, on the other hand, directs attention
to a range of possible links between peasant communities and the state. Although
state-peasant relations are implicitly defined in the terms commonly used to desig-
nate land-tenure systems, to categorize African peasants in terms of smallholders,
communal farmers, tenants, and squatters leaves out a crucial variable in defining
relations of production: the role of the state or its agents in providing access to land
resources, technology, labor, and credit facilities. It is the state in Zimbabwe that
defines the status of "legitimate squatter," i.e., "genuine and deserving illegal oc-
cupants"-a category that includes "those who moved on to vacant commercial
farms during the war, farm workers who lost their jobs when owners abandoned
their farms, and returning refugees" (Cheater 1983:79). It is the state in Rwanda
that allocates plots to the b6n6ficiaires (recipients of land) in newly settled areas
(Lemarchand 1982). It is the state in Tanzania that makes it possible for rich peas-
ants (the so-called kulaks) to have access to conveniently located plots, extension
services, and technology (Hyden 1980). It is the state in Kenya that organizes and
regulates land registration and consolidation, and it is the state that enables certain
privileged recipients to secure loans and import licenses from the Industrial and
Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), thereby allowing the accumula-
tion of large holdings in a few private hands (Haugerud 1983).
In this context the "state" involves specific actors, more often than not politi-
cians and bureaucrats who trade (sometimes literally) on their access to strategic
resources, including land and credit, to build rural clienteles. The result in many
instances has been to force relations of production into highly politicized and per-
sonalized circuits of exchange, in which aid is given (or withdrawn) as an unplan-
ned and sometimes unproductive benefit.
This state of affairs is consistent with the mechanisms of internal dependency
generally subsumed under the rubric of "political clientelism," a phenomenon that
fragments peasant communities along vertical lines, facilitates the control of a pa-
tron class, concentrates resources in relatively few hands, and ultimately contrib-
utes to the reproduction of rural inequalities (Lemarchand 1981). Whether rural
clientelism operates within the context of marketing cooperatives, ujamaa vil-
lages, paysannats (settlement schemes), individual land holdings, or commercial
farms, the evidence points to its ubiquity as a relation of production. Despite im-
portant variations in the balance of exchange between rural clients and their pa-
trons, the basis of the extensive literature dealing with clientelistic phenomena in
East and Central Africa, there is every reason to believe that the overall impact of
local hierarchies has been to severely compromise the equity goals of rural de-
velopment schemes, to lower productivity, and to shift peasant activities away
from food production to export crops.
This last point is central to the argument advanced by Robert Bates in his





32 OVERVIEW


analysis of how markets have been manipulated by political elites to maximize the
extraction of export commodities from agrarian societies. Though argued from the
perspective of class-based collective actions, the Bates thesis is fully compatible
with a clientelistic view of rural poverty. In the system that he so convincingly
describes, "the losers are those who are not located in positions of access to (scarce
resources) and who nonetheless must purchase imported goods;" the beneficiaries,
on the other hand, are the members of the patron class who "become enormously
powerful because they control the allocation of a scarce and valuable resource"
(Bates 1984:235), in this case, foreign exchange. His argument is that market ma-
nipulation creates the very conditions that force peasants out of market circuits and
into the subsistence economy. We shall return to the Bates thesis. Note that, insofar
as one may generalize from his analysis, it raises some obvious questions about the
pertinence of capitalist and socialist models for evaluating the performance of Afri-
can states.


SOCIALIST VERSUS CAPITALIST MODELS:
AN INTERIM ASSESSMENT -

Assessing the respective contributions of agrarian socialism and capitalism to the
current food crisis is risky: some may even be tempted to dismiss the exercise as
pointless. Each of these labels covers a wide range of policies and experiments.
Because of their holistic connotations, the labels fail to convey an appropriate pic-
ture of the changes that have taken place over time in the formulation and im-
plementation of these policies. Nor are the labels particularly helpful in describing
such notoriously hybrid cases as Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Mali. Further com-
plicating the task of analysis is the incidence of factors and circumstances (civil
wars, liberation struggles, refugee problems, and so on) that have had a direct im-
pact on the agricultural performance of African states, regardless of their commit-
ment to socialist or capitalist models. Finally, the absence of clear-cut correlations
between ideological preferences and agricultural production (see Table 3.1) raises
the question of whether socialist or capitalist options have anything to do with the
seeds of famine.
Although these are serious reasons to exercise caution, available evidence
suggests the following broad generalizations: (1)The egregious failure of socialist
experiments in countries such as Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Angola is
traceable not just to political crises and external attempts at destabilization but to
certain fundamental shortcomings in the strategies associated with agrarian
socialism. (2) Capitalist models show a very mixed track record, ranging from
poor (Nigeria) to disastrous (Zaire), and seldom anywhere has rural capitalism gen-
erated a pattern of self-sustaining growth. Even though the reasons for this out-
come are varied and complex, in Zaire and Nigeria the plundering of state re-
sources for personal enrichment emerges as the most plausible explanation for the
failure of capitalist strategies. (3) The deficiencies discernible in the socialist and





TABLE 3.1. Classification of Sub-Saharan Africa According to Agricultural Production Performance, 1961-1981


Total Agricultural Productiona Increase > 105 Stagnant > 95-< 105 Decrease < 95


Strong Increase > 130

Increase > 105-< 130


Stagnant > 95-< 105


Swaziland

Burundi
Cameroun
Ivory Coast
Malawi
Rwanda


Botswana
Sudan


(152,142)

(111.111)
(127,120)
(116,112)
(127,119)
(128,127)

(102,112) Central African R. ( 99,101)
(99,112) Gabon (101,101)
Sierra Leone ( 99,99 )
Zambia (100,101)


Decrease > 80-< 95 Chad ( 82,81)
Congo ( 85,84)
Ethiopia ( 85,84)
Ghana ( 83,83)
Guinea ( 92,89)
Lesotho ( 87,94)
Mali ( 91,88)
Mozambique ( 81,85)
Niger ( 82,82)
Nigeria ( 87,88)
Somalia ( 85,85)
Tanzania ( 90,93)
Upper Volta ( 95,93)
Zaire ( 90,91)


Strong Decrease < 80 Zimbabwe ( 75,99 ) Angola (70,94)
Gambia ( 79,79)
Mauritania ( 74,74)
Namibia ( 77,77)
Senegal ( 71,70)
Uganda ( 76,90)


Source: J. Hinderink and J.J. Sterkenburg. 1983. Agricultural Policy and Production in Africa: The Aims, the Methods
and the Means. Journal of Modern African Studies XII:1:2.

aThe figures in brackets give the index for total agricultural production pr capital followed by the index for food
production per capital. They are based on 5-yearly averages for the period 1976-1980, in comparison with the base period
of 1961-65 = 100.


Kenya
Liberia


( 99,91)
(104,90)


---





34 OVERVIEW


capitalist modes of development have been further aggravated by the manipulation
of markets by the political class, resulting in a drastic decline of material incentives
available to the food-producing sectors. At this level the effect of ideological op-
tions on peasant behavior appears far less decisive than the inability of the state to
generate minimally attractive pricing policies and other incentives to encourage
the production of food crops.
Agrarian socialism presupposes a major shift in the relationships between the
state and the peasantry, a shift from what is usually described as an exploitative
relationship to one in which, over time, self-reliant village communities will come
into being, obviate the need for state intervention, and hence eliminate a major
source of capitalist exploitation. In Julius Nyerere's formulation:

Most of our farming will be done by groups of people who live as a community
and work as a community. ... The activities of the village, and the type of pro-
duction they undertake, as well as the distribution of crops and other goods they
produce will all be determined by the village members themselves (Nyerere
1975).

The contrast between Nyerere's vision and the stark realities of Tanzanian
socialism requires little elaboration. In bothTanzania and Mozambique, "villagiza-
tion" policies have resulted in a catastrophic decline in agricultural output, making
both countries more dependent than ever on outside aid.
The failure of villagization policies reflects a number of fundamental con-
tradictions between the assumptions and exigencies of agrarian socialism, on the
one hand, and the cultural and political parameters of state intervention, on the
other. Between the official view of precapitalist African societies as inherently pre-
disposed to endorse socialist ideas and the sociocultural realities of the Tanzanian
setting exists a chasm of such proportions that it was only bridged by the applica-
tion of coercive measures. Forced villagization emerged as the only alternative to
voluntarism. Forcing the peasants to join registered communal villages on com-
mand went hand in hand with the bureaucratization of village communities; thus,
an "authoritarian, managerial approach" (Hyden 1980:106) was substituted for the
principles of self-reliance and decentralized decisionmaking. At this point yet
another contradiction emerged, involving the relations of rural cooperatives to the
state. Initially viewed as a crucial element in the elaboration of rural redistribution
strategies, and therefore as a necessary complement of villagization, the coopera-
tives were eventually seen as a major obstacle between the state and the village
communities and, indeed, as a threat to state supremacy. The elimination of volun-
tary cooperatives and their replacement by state-run marketing boards and trading
corporations spelled the abandonment of the single most important operative prin-
ciple in Nyerere's dream of bringing together "people who live as a community and
work as a community."
Though carried through on a lesser scale, villagization in Mozambique ran
into much of the same kinds of problems, including resistance to state intervention
and bureaucratic rule, but with an additional calamitous consequence-by forcing





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 35


people into villages the state unwittingly turned villagers into recruits for the
Mozambican National Resistance (MNR). Where the case of Mozambique differs
from that of Tanzania is in the heavy investments made in the state-farm sector,
officially viewed as "the quickest way of responding to food needs because of the
size of the areas they cover, their rational organization of human and material re-
sources, and the immediate availability of machinery" (Hanlon 1984:100).
The state farms, as it turned out, proved the quickest way to disaster, which is
why priority is now being given to cooperatives and family farms. The failure of
state farms may be attributed in part to the dramatic lack of managerial and techni-
cal skills required to run such large-scale farming units (covering 350,000 square
miles in 1981) and in part to the total breakdown of distributive networks caused
by the massive flight of Portuguese traders after national independence. The sud-
den evaporation of consumer commodities from the rural markets led to a situation
in which "peasants had huge amounts of money in their hands and nothing to spend
it on" (Hanlon 1984:111). In the absence of consumer commodities, a barter sys-
tem quickly supplanted the official marketing networks, pushing the Mozambican
economy into the most primitive type of exchange and eventually prompting the
Central Committee of the National Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO)
to recognize the need "to re-establish the market economy" (Hanlon 1984:111)-
an appropriate epitaph to the Mozambican version of agrarian socialism.
The cases of Tanzania and Mozambique sound like horror stories, but the
examples of Zaire and, in a qualified sense, Nigeria show that this genre is by no
means a monopoly of socialist economies. The balance sheet of rural capitalism in
Zaire "is not just negative-it is catastrophic" (Young and Turner 1985:322). A
thoroughly inadequate infrastructure, consistently low level of public investments,
producer prices and fiscal pressures designed to discourage food production, ineffi-
cient and corrupt marketing parastatals-these are only some of the most obvious
factors that explain the disastrous performance of Zairian agriculture. At the root
of the agrarian crisis in Zaire lies a clientelistic distributive system in which access
to land is largely the privilege of the state bourgeoisie. In such a system the extrac-
tion of a marketable surplus from the peasant sectors is the prime reward expected
by land owners. Just as traditional land rights may be conveniently disregarded for
the sake of profit, so may the basic needs of rural workers be neglected. The logic
of the profit motive is a cruel one indeed for the plantation worker whose daily
wage approximates $0.20, and whose only escape route is to go back to a
subsistence-type economy (McGaffey 1982:103). When carried to the point of ex-
tortion, profit maximization becomes counterproductive for both patrons and
clients. As one observer noted: "The productivity of capital in Zaire has always
been low because large numbers of men are able to avoid the pressure to offer their
labor in exchange for wages; it is often both possible and more productive to go
fishing or to grow one's own food" (McGaffey 1982:103). Zaire's growing food
deficits bear testimony to this law of diminishing returns.
Although the Nigerian case is more complex, the trend towards a Zairian pat-
tern is unmistakable. The shift from "nurture" capitalism to "pirate" capitalism, to





36 OVERVIEW


use Sayre Schatz's felicitous phrasing (Schatz 1984:55), underscores the preemi-
nent role of the state as a source of personal enrichment. In Nigeria, as in Zaire,
land figures prominently in the array of prebends available from the state, but it is
incorporated into a radically different policy framework. Beginning in the 1970s,
there has been a concerted effort on the part of Nigerian authorities to increase
food production through generous state subsidies, integrated development
schemes, state food farms, and large-scale irrigation projects. A critical compo-
nent of this policy was the Integrated Rural Development Projects (IRDP), which
were aimed at raising agricultural productivity through technological inputs, im-
proved infrastructure, credit, marketing, and extension facilities. The trend toward
large-scale capitalist farming was further accelerated by President Shagari's Green
Revolution. All this, however, did not prevent massive food shortages and, as food
imports began to compete with domestic food crops, many farmers responded to
market pressures by switching to commercial crops, thereby aggravating the condi-
tions that initially spurred the imports. What was missing from these grandiose
schemes was a recognition of the potential contribution that small farmers could
make to food self-sufficiency. Monumental profits were reaped by bureaucrats and
speculators of various stripes through importing farm technology and food com-
modities (as the Dikko affair plainly demonstrated), or in short, through "pirate"
capitalism; at the very same time, very little was done to apply the remedies of
"nurture" capitalism to the small and poor farmers. As one knowledgeable ob-
server noted:

Poor farmers are forced to sell grain immediately after harvest at low prices to
meet taxes, debt repayments and ceremonial expenditure on manufactured items.
Later in the season they work as wage labor for middle and rich farmers in order
to obtain food at high prices, thereby neglecting their own farms. The market
therefore does not allocate resources. It articulates a whole system of inequality
which involves control over commodities, money, labor power and means of pro-
duction (Forrest 1981:247).
What has been referred to as "the emergence of the inert economy" (Schatz
1984:56) in the Nigerian context is not just a reflection of "pirate" capitalism;
much of the inertia currently affecting Nigerian agriculture is also traceable to the
persistence of rural inequality as a byproduct of this kind of capitalism.
This necessarily brief excursus into the ideological background of agricultural
policy choices requires a few additional comments. (1) Whether inspired by
socialist or free market principles, agricultural production in Africa is directly af-
fected by the types of social organization available to smallholders, a point excel-
lently argued by Michael Bratton in his recent discussion of self-managed farmers'
associations in Zimbabwe (Bratton 1985). His conclusions apply to other states as
well. Majangano (reciprocal labor exchange) in Zimbabwe, umuganda (self-help)
in Rwanda, and ton (youth association) in Mali designate certain forms of social
organization that are significant in mobilizing human and material resources, even
though largely unrelated to socialist or capitalist options. (2) Ideological prefer-
ences are also irrelevant in terms of the perverse effects of market manipulation by





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 37


urban-based elites. As Bates has shown, the distortions that such manipulation en-
tails inevitably work against the interests of agricultural producers and to the ben-
efit of the urban sector. (3) Ideology is again reduced to a rather indeterminate
status when viewed against the background of the external constraints under which
African economies are laboring.
Before turning to a more detailed analysis of these external impediments, let
us briefly consider the more salient points made by Bates in his groundbreaking
study, Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981). Not only has he provided the
most convincing set of arguments for an "internalist" explanation of Africa's agrar-
ian crisis; his arguments also constitute the most devastating critique of the part
played by African governments in bringing the crisis into existence.
If food policies in Africa are generally unresponsive to nutritional needs, it is
because these policies are overwhelmingly geared to furthering the economic and
political interests of the urban elites, most conspicuously the elite of the political
class. By keeping producer prices for food crops well below the level of world
market prices, African governments have consistently favored urban consumers
while discriminating against peasant producers.4 Furthermore, by setting official
exchange rates at artificially high levels, governments have succeeded in both cut-
ting down the cost of imported commodities (including food imports for urban con-
sumers and agricultural technology for rich farmers) and reducing the effective
prices paid to producers of export crops and food crops. By subsidizing agricul-
tural inputs-fertilizer, seeds, tractors, and so on-they tend to promote the in-
terests of "coteries of privileged, modern farmers" (Bates 1981:49) at the expense
of small-scale agricultural producers. The cumulative effect of these policies and
practices has been to create almost limitless opportunities for profit and corruption
among the political class (mainly through the control of marketing boards and
other parastatals) and to drastically reduce incentives for increased food produc-
tion.
Bates' tightly argued critique also helps us understand the factors that lie be-
hind (1) the rapidly expanding scope of parallel economies and (2) the informal
deals that, at this level, bring together politicians and peasants as they jointly seek
to evade official price controls and marketing regulations.

Whereas at the level of official policy the interests of the peasants and the bureau-
crat are in conflict, at the level of unofficial practice they are often consonant,
given the structure of the incentives to which the official policy gives rise. To put
it bluntly, the policies offer joint gains through corruption. The bureaucrat can
offer protection against the very policies he is mandated to impose: for a portion
of the gains, he can help the peasant evade market controls. And the peasant,
rather then attacking government policy directly, can often do better by seeking to
become an individual exception to it; he can do this by offering bribes (Bates
1981:42).

From this dismal rendering of African food policies one can hardly avoid the
conclusion that rural poverty is fundamentally related to the powerlessness of the
peasant sectors. Not only do the rural poor lack minimal control over their im-





38 OVERVIEW


mediate environment and economic circumstances, they also lack all opportunities
for taking part in the elaboration of the policies that affect their livelihood most
directly. This situation is true not only of the domestic policies fashioned by Afri-
can governments but also of the decisions affecting world commodity prices and
market structures. That power relationships have a significant bearing on problems
of poverty and hunger is undeniable; what remains uncertain is whether such re-
lationships may be decisively altered at the domestic or international level.


THE INCIDENCE OF EXTERNAL CONSTRAINTS *

The question of the relationship of external constraints to food production invites
consideration of at least two major schools of thought, one associated with depend-
ency theory and the other with the principle of comparative advantage. Although
they each provide logically coherent explanations of rural poverty, they both leave
out critically important features of the international environment. The fatality of
external capitalist controls is just as open to doubt as the Ricardian blessings of
specialization of production in free market conditions.
Dependency theory was the dominant theme in the 1960s and 1970s, but is
now pronounced "dead in the water" even by radical analysts (Rogowski 1985).
Whether there is any basis for such claims is beyond the scope of the present discus-
sion; suffice it to note that only marginal analytic returns have been gained from
various attempts at testing its applicability to the African scene. Reduced to its
simplest expression, dependency theory argues that Third World poverty is dialecti-
cally linked to the expansion of capitalism into the periphery. Only through the
extraction of an economic surplus from the periphery, that is, through the
wholesale exploitation of Third World resources, could capitalism gather momen-
tum while creating the conditions of peripheral misery and underdevelopment. De-
spite countless variations on this theme, its shortcomings are all too evident. (1)
Patterns of dependency cover a wide spectrum of relationships and cannot be re-
duced to a simple dualism between core and periphery. (2) Some of the so-called
dependent countries have in fact shown a surprising ability to reverse or at least
decisively alter their relationship of dependency vis-d-vis core countries. (3) The
terms of exchange between core and periphery are by no means eternally fixed but
are susceptible to mutually beneficial adjustments. These are only some of the
more problematic issues raised by dependency theory. Although there can be little
question that rural poverty is historically linked to the processes of capital accumu-
lation inaugurated under the auspices of the colonial state, today's market struc-
tures and prices call attention to an entirely different set of parameters.
From the standpoint of comparative advantage theory, rural poverty is only
the most tragic symptom of the inability of African states to make effective use of
their resources. Specifically, the roots of hunger and poverty are traceable to the
failure of African governments to place sufficient emphasis on export crops, which
they can produce at a comparatively low cost. Their comparative advantage lies in





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 39


the full utilization of their productive potential as producers of tea, cocoa, coffee,
cotton, peanuts, and so forth within the context of a free market economy. Rather
than switch to food crops, a more rational course would be to use the foreign ex-
change derived from the sale of cash crops to import food from the West; thus, the
opportunity costs of achieving nutritional self-sufficiency are avoided. The as-
sumption, in brief, is that "the income generated by the sale of export
crops would make it possible to purchase far greater amounts of wheat and
corn than could have been produced domestically with the same inputs" (Lofchie
and Commins 1984:9).
The problems with this line of reasoning are that it: (1) overlooks the consider-
able elasticity of consumer demand for tropical exports; (2) assumes a situation of
competitive bidding among foreign buyers, when in fact a near monopsony ob-
tains; and (3) underestimates the extreme competitiveness among producers of
tropical crops, in stark contrast with the near absence of competition among corpo-
rate buyers. There are indeed basic limitations to the applicability of competitive
advantage to Africa, as excellently demonstrated by Michael Lofchie and Stephen
Commins. If producers of tropical commodities are unable "to gain price leverage
in the international market place," it is critically related to such factors as the
"ready availability of synthetic or substitute products for such commodities," the
dominant position occupied by "a handful of powerful multinational trading corpo-
rations (such as) General Foods, Nestle, Lipton and Brooke Bond," and the
emergence of export crop production as "an enormously competitive field" (Lof-
chie and Commins 1984:11-12). What Lofchie and Commins refer to as "market
failure" is largely responsible for the sharp deterioration of Africa's terms of trade,
a process that shows no sign of coming to an end, Lome III notwithstanding.
Yet another facet of the current food crisis i Africa's mounting debt burden,
perhaps the most dramatic illustration of the propensity to spend more on imports
than is being earned from exports. To cite one example, although Mozambique
spends an estimated $568 million annually in hard currency to cover the cost of
imported fuel, spare parts, and other commodities, its total earnings from exports
barely reach $110 million (May 1985). The growing indebtedness of African states
imposes upon them debt-servicing obligations that tend to further restrict the pool
of financial resources needed to improve agricultural production. Furthermore, the
austerity measures, including the elimination of food subsidies, forced upon Afri-
can states by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition for the exten-
sion of new loans entail political repercussions that few governments are able to
face. The elimination of government subsidies that hold down the price of bread
and other commodities inevitably tends to trigger explosions of popular discon-
tent, as happened in Khartoum in 1985, in Tunis in 1984, and in Cairo in 1977. In
each case urban rioting (sometimes referred to as IMF riots) came about as a result
of major increases in the price of bread (33 percent overnight in Khartoum, 100
percent in Tunis, and 50 percent in Cairo). Whether to comply with IMF guidelines
at the cost of political instability or to reject such guidelines and go into receiver-
ship is the basic dilemma currently facing a number of African states.





40 OVERVIEW


Equally serious is the dilemma confronting donor states as they must choose
between treating the symptoms of rural poverty or attacking its root. Food aid may
indeed perpetuate the very conditions that make for poverty and hunger, surely one
of the most ironic facts about the massive relief operations organized under the
auspices of private and international organizations. In the short run, of course,
hundreds of thousands of human lives have been saved by the joint efforts and ded-
ication of relief workers and donor agencies, and this may be seen as ample justifi-
cation for this monumental outpouring of cash and commiseration. On the other
hand, the drawbacks are equally clear. As Kevin Danaher pointed out, "food aid
can undermine local food production by flooding local markets and depressing
food prices; it can also create dependencies on foreign aid or be used by recipient
governments to manipulate the poor" (Danaher 1985:3). Furthermore, if the case
of Zaire is any index, food aid may not even reach those who need it most, but end
up being sold on the open market for the benefit of strategically placed
businessmen and politicians.
Reflecting on "why much of the money spent on agricultural development in
Africa has simply not paid off," Clifford May (1985:74) suggested that

a large part of the explanation may be that aid organizations must work with gov-
ernments that helped create the problems in the first place, and the granting of any
aid, relief or development, to regimes fighting civil wars frees resources that can
be used to intensify and prolong those wars. Because war is a cause of famine, aid
can in that way indirectly contribute to the spread of hunger. To deny aid on that
basis, however, punishes the innocent far more than the guilty.

The alternative to working with African governments while ignoring their
share of responsibility in creating famine conditions is to withhold development
aid unless and until appropriate economic reforms are implemented. This course is
the thrust of the 1981 World Bank Study, Accelerated Development in Sub-
Saharan Africa, better known as the Berg Report, and is also a major feature of
Ronald Reagan's Economic Policy Initiative for Africa (EPI), intended to provide
$500 million in aid over a five-year period to those countries that are willing to
initiate fundamental changes in their agricultural policies. Whether such pressures
and inducements may effectively promote local enterprise and break the hold of
parastatal agencies on the production and marketing of agricultural commodities
remains unclear.
Clearly, the alternatives facing African governments are not reducible to
single options such as acceptance of external dependency versus going it alone,
free enterprise versus state-controlled economies, and concentration on food crops
versus specialization in the production of cash crops. Behind these alternatives lie
more fundamental choices. At what cost and through which strategies may the
weight of external constraints be mitigated? Which mix of private enterprise and
state controls is best suited to improve the productivity of the rural sectors? What
proportion of cash-crop earnings must be given up for the sake of long-term sav-
ings in the area of food production?





THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 41


That there are no simple answers to these questions does not make them any
less pertinent as an academic concern; that these questions transcend the bound-
aries of any single discipline is equally clear. If nothing else, these questions
should prompt us to seek out the answers at the level of interdisciplinary collabora-
tion. In Africa as elsewhere, agriculture is far too important to be left to the produc-
tion scientists. Only through a genuine and sustained collaborative effort among
social and production scientists may one begin to address the multiple causes of
poverty and hunger in Africa and help mitigate the devastating effects of this mas-
sive affliction.



NOTES

1. Twenty-six African countries earn more than half their foreign exchange from a
single mineral or export crop; 37 countries depend on one or two items for as much as 80
percent of their overseas earnings. By the late 1970s, for example, 75 percent of Senegal's
export earnings came from peanuts, and four-fifths of Chad's were generated by the sale of
raw cotton.
2. The contradictory implications of the economy of affection are symptomatic of the
imprecision surrounding its meaning. On the one hand, the economy of affection is viewed
as having a dampening effect on "the revolutionary potential of peasants and workers". On
the other hand, it is described as "the most important factor that facilitated the liberation or
the struggle for independence in African countries." According to Hyden:
Without access to the economy of affection as a hinterland, if you want to use that
analogy, many of those brave fighters that actually challenged colonial rule would
have found it very difficult to pursue their struggle. And, may I add here, it was
probably the lack of appreciation of this economy among the colonial powers that
actually made them in the long run lose the battle (Hyden 1985:55).
Why the economy of affection should both stimulate and restrain the "liberation efforts" of
African peasantries remains unclear.
3. For a sample of divergent conceptualizations, see the 1985 special issue of the
Canadian Journal of African Studies entirely devoted to "Mode of Production: The Chal-
lenge of Africa" (XIX: 1).
4. The case of Tanzania is not atypical. According to a 1982 World Bank report, the
government paid coffee farmers less than half of the fair market value for their production;
rice farmers received less than one third of market value for their produce.


SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS *

Barker, Jonathan, ed. 1984. The Politics of Agriculture in Tropical Africa. Beverly Hills,
California: Sage Publications.
Bates, Robert H. 1981. Markets and States in TropicalAfrica: The Political Basis ofAgricul-
tural Policies. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Eicher, Carl, and John Staatz, eds. 1984. AgriculturalDevelopment in the ThirdWorld. Bal-
timore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Gran, Guy. 1983. Development by People. New York: Praeger Publishers.






42 OVERVIEW


Heyer, Judith, Pepe Roberts, and Gavin Williams, eds. 1981. Rural Development in Tropical
Africa. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Hopkins, Raymond, and Donald Puchala. 1978. The Global Political Economy of Food.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Hopkins, Raymond, Donald Puchala, and Ross Talbot, eds. 1979. Food, Politics and Ag-
ricultural Development. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Lappe, Francis Moore, Joseph Collins, and David Kinley. 1980. Aidas Obstacle. San Fran-
cisco, California: Institute for Food and Development Policy.
Moyana, Henry. 1980. The Political Economy of Land in Zimbabwe. Harare, Zimbabwe:
Mambo Press.
Young, Crawford, Neil Sherman, and Tim Rose. 1981. Cooperatives and Development.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.








.4.


Agricultural Development Ideas
in Historical Perspective

JOHN M. STAATZ
CARL K. EICHER





A although economists have been concerned with growth and development
since at least the time bf the mercantilists, development economics has existed as
a separate branch of economics just since about 1950. The history of the field can
roughly be divided into two periods: (1) the economic growth and modernization
era of the 1950s and 1960s, when development was defined largely in terms of
growth in average per capital output; and (2) the growth-with-equity period since
around 1970, when the concern of most development economists broadened to in-
clude income distribution, employment, nutrition, and a host of other variables.
The prevailing view of agriculture's role in development changed profoundly dur-
ing these two periods.'
This chapter presents an outline of the changing view of agriculture in eco-
nomic development since 1950. The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the
evolution of agricultural development theory and practice during the growth and
modernization era of the fifties and sixties. The relatively passive role assigned to
agriculture in the economic growth models of the 1950s, the increasing recognition
of the interdependence between agricultural and industrial growth during the
1960s, the lessons learned from the agricultural development experience of the
1950s and 1960s, and the contribution of radical and dependency scholars to an
improved understanding of the process of agricultural and rural development are
examined. The next section is a discussion of the increased emphasis given to ag-
ricultural and rural development during the growth-with-equity period that began
around 1970. During this period there was a sharp increase in microeconomic re-
search on agricultural production and marketing, intersectoral linkages, rural-
factor markets, migration, and rural small-scale industry; and there was a policy
This chapter is based on an earlier article (with the same title) by the authors that ap-
peared in Agricultural Development in The Third World, edited by Carl K. Eicher and John
M. Staatz (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1984), pp. 3-30. Used with permis-
sion of the publisher.





44 OVERVIEW


shift to integrated rural development and basic-needs programs.


THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN DEVELOPMENT
ECONOMICS, 1950-1969 *

Western Development Economists' Perspectives on Agriculture

Most Western development economists of the 1950s did not view agriculture as an
important contributor to economic growth.2 Development was often equated with
the structural transformation of the economy, that is, with the decline in agricul-
ture's relative share of the national product and of the labor force. The role of de-
velopment economics, as seen by these economists, was to facilitate that transfor-
mation by discovering ways to transfer resources, especially labor, from traditional
agriculture to industry-the presumed engine of growth. Agriculture itself was
often treated as a "black box from which people, and food to feed them, and
perhaps capital could be released" (Little 1982:105).
Development economics throughout the 1950s and 1960s was strongly influ-
enced byW. Arthur Lewis's 1954 article, "Economic Development with Unlimited
Supplies of Labour." Seldom has a single article been so instrumental in shaping
the work of an entire subdiscipline of economics. In the article, Lewis presented a
general equilibrium model of expansion in an economy with two sectors: a modern
capitalist exchange sector and an indigenous noncapitalist sector, which was domi-
nated by subsistence farming.3 The distinguishing characteristics of the capitalist
sector were its use of reproducible capital, its hiring of labor, and its sale of output
for profit. "Capitalist" enterprises could be owned privately or by the state. The
subsistence sector was pictured as the "self-employment sector," which did not
hire labor or use reproducible capital. Lewis's model focused on how the transfer
of labor from the subsistence sector (where the marginal productivity of a laborer
approached zero as a limiting case) to the capitalist sector facilitated capitalist ex-
pansion through reinvestment of profits. The labor supply facing the capitalist sec-
tor was described as "unlimited" for the following reason: "When the capitalist
sector offers additional employment opportunities at the existing wage rate, the
numbers willing to work at the existing wage rate will be greater than the demand:
the supply curve of labor is infinitely elastic at the ruling wage" (Meier 1976:158).
In Lewis's model, expansion in the capitalist sector continued until earnings in the
two sectors were equated, at which point a dual-sector model was no longer relev-
ant; growth proceeded as in a one-sector neoclassical model. Lewis's analysis was
later extended by Gustav Ranis (1963, 1964), Ranis and John Fei (1961), and Dale
Jorgenson (1961).
Lewis pointed out that the capitalist sector did not need to be industry (it could
be mining or plantations) and that the noncapitalist sector could include handi-
crafts. Most analysts, however, equated the capitalist sector with industry and the
noncapitalist sector with traditional agriculture; they argued that "surplus" labor





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 45


and other resources should be transferred from agriculture to industry in order to
promote growth.4 Many development economists concluded that since economic
growth facilitated the structural transformation of the economy in the long run, the
rapid transfer of resources (especially "surplus" labor) from agriculture to industry
was an appropriate short run economic development strategy.5 But Bruce Johnston
observed that "This preoccupation with 'surplus labor' often seems to have encour-
aged neglect of the agricultural sector as well as a tendency to assume too readily
that a surplus can and should be extracted from agriculture, while neglecting the
difficult requirements that must be met if agriculture is to play a positive role in
facilitating overall economic growth" (Johnston 1970:378).
The propensity of development economists to give relatively little attention to
agriculture's potential "positive role in facilitating overall economic growth" was
based in part on the empirical observation that agriculture's share of the economy
inevitably declines during the course of development for at least two reasons.
First, the income elasticity of demand for unprocessed food is less than unity and
declines with higher incomes; hence, the demand for raw agricultural products
grows more slowly than consumption in general. Second, increasing labor produc-
tivity in agriculture means that the same farm output can be produced with fewer
workers, implying a transfer of labor to other sectors of the economy. Because ag-
riculture's share of the economy was assumed to be declining, many economists
downplayed the need to invest in the agricultural sector in the short run.
The relative neglect of agriculture in the 1950s was reinforced by two other
developments. In 1949 Raul Prebisch and Hans Singer independently formulated
the thesis that there is a secular tendency for the terms of trade to turn against coun-
tries that export primary products and import manufactures. From this they con-
cluded that the scope for growth through agricultural and other primary product
exports was very limited. Prebisch and his colleagues at the Economic Commis-
sion for Latin America (ECLA) of the United Nations therefore advocated that
priority be given to import substitution of manufactured goods rather than to pro-
duction of agricultural exports.6 The "secular-decline hypothesis" became an arti-
cle of faith for some development economists and planners; thus the tendency to
downplay agriculture's potential role in development was reinforced.
The second important event affecting development economists' view of ag-
riculture was the publication of Albert Hirschman's influential book, The Strategy
of Economic Development (1958). In this book, Hirschman introduced the concept
of linkages as a tool for investigating how, duringthe course of development, in-
vestment in one type of economic activity induced subsequent investment in other
income-generating activities. Hirschman defined the linkage effects of a given
product line as the "investment-generating forces that are set in motion, through
input-output relations, when productive facilities that supply inputs to that line or
utilize its output are inadequate or nonexistent. Backward linkages lead to new
investment in input-supplying facilities and forward linkages to investment in
output-using facilities" (Hirschman 1977:72). Hirschman argued that government
investment should be concentrated in activities where the linkage effects were





46 OVERVIEW


greatest, since this would maximize indigenous investment in related or "linked"
industries. Hirschman asserted that "agriculture certainly stands convicted on the
count of its lack of direct stimulus to the setting up of new activities through link-
age effects-the superiority of manufacturing in this respect is crushing" (Hirsch-
man 1958:109-10). Therefore, Hirschman argued, investment in industry would
generally lead to more rapid and more broadly based economic growth than would
investment in agriculture. Hirschman's analysis thus reinforced ECLA's policy
recommendation that priority be given to import substitution of manufactures.
Ironically, Lewis's two-sector growth model, which led many development
economists to focus heavily on the role of industry in economic development, led
others, in the early 1960s, to stress the interdependence between agricultural and
industrial growth. In an article comparing a Lewis-type "classical" model with a
neoclassical growth model, Jorgenson (1961) argued that growth in nonfarm em-
ployment depended on the rate of growth of the agricultural surplus. Jorgenson's
analysis and similar analyses by Ranis (1963, 1964), Ranis and Fei (1961), and
Stephen Enke (1962a, 1962b) showed that food shortages could choke off growth
in the nonfarm sector by making its labor supply less than infinitely elastic. These
authors therefore concluded that in order to avoid falling into a low-level equilib-
rium trap, in the early stages of development a country probably needed to make
some net investment in agriculture to accelerate the growth of its agricultural
surplus.
Many agricultural economists found it "shocking that general econo-
mists such as Jorgenson and Enke felt it necessary to argue the case for some
investment in agriculture" (Johnston 1970:378). In a seminal article entitled "The
Role of Agriculture in Economic Development" (1961), Johnston and JohnW. Mel-
lor drew on insights from the Lewis model to stress the importance of agriculture
as a motive force in economic growth. They argued that, far from playing a passive
role in development, agriculture could make five important contributions to the
structural transformation of Third World economies: It could provide labor, capital,
foreign exchange, and food to a growing industrial sector and could supply a mar-
ket for domestically produced industrial goods. They argued further that the nature
of the interrelationships between agriculture and industry at various stages of de-
velopment had important implications for the types of agricultural and industriali-
zation strategies that would be most likely to succeed.
Johnston and Mellor's article and William H. Nicholls's influential article,
"The Place of Agriculture in Economic Development" (1964), were instrumental
in encouraging economists to view agriculture as a potential positive force in de-
velopment, and they helped to stimulate debate on the interdependence of agricul-
tural and industrial growth. This in turn led to a growing interest in the empirical
measurement of intersectoral resource transfers during the course of development.
The work of neoclassical agricultural economists during the 1960s stressed
not only the interdependence of agriculture and industry and the potentially impor-
tant role that agriculture could play in economic development but also the impor-
tance of understanding the process of agricultural growth per se if that potential





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 47


was to be exploited.7 The need for a better understanding of the process of agricul-
tural growth was further emphasized by some of the agricultural development ex-
periences of the 1950s and early 1960s.


The Influence of the Agricultural Development Programs of the 1950s and
1960s on Western Development Thought

Debates among Western economists about the role of agriculture in development
did not take place in a vacuum; they were strongly influenced by the rural develop-
ment experiences of Third World nations. Indeed, an important characteristic of
the literature on agricultural development since the 1950s has been its movement
from a priori theorizing toward empirical research.
Despite the emphasis that development economists placed on industrialization
during the 1950s, governments of many low-income countries and donor agencies
undertook a number of activities aimed at increasing agricultural output and rural
incomes. The experience gained in these efforts was important in developing a bet-
ter understanding of intersectoral relationships and the constraints on agricultural
growth.
During the 1950s the approach of European and North American agricultural
economists to development was colored by the historical experiences of their own
countries and by their training in the then current theories of development econom-
ics. For example, most Western agricultural economists working on problems of
Third World agriculture during this period believed that the problem of rural
surplus labor could be resolved by transferring "excess" rural workers to urban in-
dustry. It was also widely assumed that Western agricultural advisers could directly
transfer agricultural technology and models of agricultural extension from high-
income countries to the Third World, that community development programs could
help rural people overcome the shackles of traditional farming and inequitable
land-tenure systems, and that food aid could serve humanitarian needs and provide
jobs for rural people.
Agricultural development efforts of the 1950s placed heavy emphasis on the
direct transfer of agricultural technology from high-income countries to the Third
World and on the promotion of the U.S. model of agricultural extension. These
efforts were based on what Hayami and Ruttan (1971) called the "diffusion model"
of agricultural development. The diffusion model assumed that Third World farm-
ers could substantially increase their agricultural productivity by allocating exist-
ing resources more efficiently and by adopting agricultural practices and
technologies from the industrial countries.
Like the diffusion model, the community development effort of the 1950s and
early 1960s assumed that small farmers were often poor decisionmakers who re-
quired outside assistance in planning local development projects (Stevens
1977b:5). Community development grew out of the cold-war atmosphere of the
1950s, when Western foreign assistance programs were searching for a non-





48 OVERVIEW


revolutionary approach to rural change. Community development advocates as-
sumed that villagers, meeting with community development specialists, would ex-
press their "felt needs" and unite to design and implement self-help programs
aimed at promoting rural development. The community development effort also
implicitly assumed that rural development could be achieved through the direct
transfer of Western agricultural technologies and social institutions, such as local
democracy, to the rural areas of the Third World.8
The failure of many agricultural extension programs to achieve rapid increases
in agricultural output and the inability of community development projects to solve
the basic food problem in many countries (particularly India in the mid-1950s) led
to a reevaluation of the diffusion model of agricultural development. Two elements
were critical in this reappraisal. First, it became apparent that in many countries
there were important structural barriers to rural development, such as highly con-
centrated political power and asset ownership. The research by economists such as
Doreen Warriner (1955), Wolf Ladejinsky (see Walinsky 1977), Thomas F. Carroll
(1961), Philip M. Raup (1967), and Solon Barraclough (1973) on land tenure and
land reform in Asia, North Africa, and Latin America documented how institu-
tional barriers inhibited the expansion of agricultural output. These authors argued
that, in some countries, basic institutional reforms were prerequisites to effective
agricultural extension and community development. The second element leading
to a reevaluation of the diffusion model was research by scholars such as W. O.
Jones (1960), Raj Krishna (1967), and Jere R. Behrman (1968) that documented
the responsiveness of Third World farmers and consumers to economic incentives
and helped to demolish the myth of the "tradition-bound peasant." The findings of
these studies suggested that if farmers were not responsive to agricultural exten-
sion efforts, perhaps it was because extension workers had few profitable innova-
tions to extend. This viewpoint was advanced most forcefully in T. W. Schultz's
highly influential book, Transforming Traditional Agriculture (1964).
Schultz's book was iconoclastic. Schultz argued that Third World farmers and
herders, far from being irrational and fatalistic, were calculating economic agents
who carefully weighed the marginal costs and benefits associated with different
agricultural techniques. Through a long process of experimentation, these farmers
had learned how to allocate efficiently the factors of production available to them,
given existing technology. This implied that "no appreciable increase in agricul-
tural production is to be had by reallocating the factors at the disposal of farmers
who are bound by traditional agriculture. An outside expert, however skilled
he may be in farm management, will not discover any major inefficiency in the
allocation of factors" (Schultz 1964:39).
Schultz's argument that traditional agriculture was characterized by allocative
efficiency, despite low levels of per capital output, became known as the "efficient-
but-poor hypothesis." Citing evidence from Guatemala (Tax 1953) and India (sum-
marized in Hopper 1965) to support this hypothesis, Schultz argued that major in-
creases in per capital agricultural output in the Third World would come about only
if farmers were provided new, more productive factors of production, that is, new





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 49


agricultural technologies and the new skills needed to exploit them. The cause of
rural poverty, in other words, was the lack of profitable technical packages for
Third World farmers and the lack of investment in human capital needed to cope
with rapidly changing agricultural technologies. Schultz later attributed the low
levels of investment in agricultural research and rural education in most Third
World countries to national policies that undervalued agriculture (Schultz
1978:1981).
Transforming TraditionalAgriculture called for a major shift from agricultural
extension toward investment in agricultural research and human capital. The book,
which appeared five years after the establishment of the International Rice Re-
search Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and one year after the establishment of
the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) in
Mexico, reinforced the increasing emphasis being given to agricultural research by
the Rockefeller and Ford foundations and other donors in the 1960s. As a result of
IRRI's and CIMMYT's success in developing high-yielding dwarf varieties of rice
and wheat, which were rapidly adopted in many areas of the Third World during
the 1960s, the Green Revolution, or high-payoff input model, replaced the diffu-
sion/community development model as the dominant agricultural development
model for field practitioners (Hayami and Ruttan 1971).
The appearance of the high-yielding grain varieties had important effects on
the theory as well as on the practice of agricultural development. Several authors,
such as Kazushi Ohkawa (1964), Mellor (1966), and Ohkawa and Johnston (1969),
noted that the new grain-fertilizer technologies were highly divisible and scale neu-
tral, allowing them to be incorporated into existing systems of small-scale agricul-
ture. Therefore, these authors argued, intensification of agricultural production
based on high-yielding cereal varieties offered the opportunity to provide produc-
tive employment for the rapidly growing rural labor force, and it also produced the
wage goods needed for an expanding industrial labor force. The high-yielding vari-
eties, it was argued, made it possible to achieve both employment and output
objectives.'
The early enthusiasm for the Green Revolution was met by a barrage of criti-
cism by Francine Frankel (1971), Keith Griffin (1974), and others. These authors
argued that the new varieties often benefited mainly landlords and larger farmers
in ecologically favored areas, but they frequently impoverished small farmers and
tenants, particularly those in upland areas, by inducing lower grain prices and evic-
tions from the land as landlords found it profitable to farm the land themselves
using mechanization.
Although some authors, such as Lester Brown (1970), did tend to oversell the
accomplishments of the Green Revolution, in Asia the impact of the new varieties
was substantial. They have had a smaller effect in Latin America, however, where
a high percentage of small farmers live in poor natural resource zones (Pineiro et
al. 1979), and they have had little impact in Sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, high-
yielding varieties accbunted for about half the area planted to wheat and rice in the
Third World in the early 1980s (Dalrymple 1985).





50 OVERVIEW


Grant Scobie and Rafael Posada (1984) and Yijiiro Hayami (1984) have
evaluated some of the income distribution effects of the new varieties. These au-
thors find that within villages there has been little difference between small farm-
ers' and large farmers' rates of adoption of the modem varieties. Farmers in upland
areas, however, may have been hurt relative to farmers in irrigated areas because
the new varieties are more suited to irrigated conditions. Low-income consumers,
who spend a high proportion of their income on foodgrains, have been major ben-
eficiaries of the larger harvests and lower prices made possible by the Green Revo-
lution. One of the important lessons of the 1950s and 1960s is that, with rising
population pressure on land throughout the Third World, technological change
must be included as a central component in both the theory and practice of agricul-
tural and rural development.


Radical Political Economy and Dependency Perspectives on Agriculture

Western development economics was challenged in the 1960s and 1970s by the
emergence and rapid growth of radical political economy and dependency models
of development and underdevelopment. The radical political economy models
have their roots in the writings of Lenin on imperialism and Karl Kautsky on ag-
riculture, and in the post-World War II writings of Paul Baran and other Marxist
economists. Baran, in an important article entitled "On the Political Economy of
Backwardness" (1952), argued that in most low-income countries it would be im-
possible to bring about broad-based capitalist development without violent
changes in social and political institutions. Although Baran was clearly ahead of
his time in identifying institutional and structural barriers to development and the
need to put effective demand at the center of development programs, he tended, as
did many of the Western development economists he was criticizing, to see small-
scale agriculture as incapable of making major contributions to economic growth.
For example, Baran accepted the view that the marginal product of labor often
approached zero in agriculture, and therefore "there is no way of employing it
[labor] usefully in agriculture." Farmers "could only be provided with oppor-
tunities for productive work by transfer to industry." Baran, like many economists
of the time, believed that "very few improvements that would be necessary in order
to increase productivity can be carried out within the narrow confines of small-
peasant holdings" and that, therefore, farm consolidation was necessary.
Marxist analysis of agricultural and rural development was further advanced
in the 1950s and 1960s by several Latin American scholars, who often blended
Marxian analyses with dependency theory. 1 The dependency interpretation of un-
derdevelopment was first proposed in the 1950s by the Economic Commission for
Latin America, under the leadership of Raul Prebisch. The basic hypothesis of this
perspective is that underdevelopment is not a stage of development but the result
of the expansion of the world capitalist system. Underdevelopment, in other
words, is not simply the lack of development; it is a condition of impoverishment





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 51


brought about by the integration of Third World economies into the world capitalist
system. Although a number of different views of dependency have been put for-
ward by scholars such as Osvaldo Sunkel (1972), Celso Furtado (1970), Andr6
Gunder Frank (1966), J. Galtung (1971), and others, the following definition of
dependency by T. Dos Santos has been widely cited: "By dependency we mean a
situation in which the economy of certain countries is conditioned by the develop-
ment and expansion of another economy to which the former is subjected" (Dos
Santos 1970:231)."
Dependency theorists implicitly argued that trade was often a zero-sum
game-that low-income countries ("the periphery") were pauperized through both
a process of unequal exchange with the industrialized world ("the center") and re-
patriation of profits from foreign-owned businesses. Capitalist growth in the
periphery was not self-sustaining; it was stunted by policies favoring import sub-
stitution of luxury goods and export of agro-industrial products, often produced on
large estates. These policies limited the internal market for consumer goods (in-
cluding food and other agricultural products) and led to impoverishment of the
mass of small farmers. Meaningful reform was blocked by an alliance of the landed
elite, local bourgeoisie, and multinational firms, all of which benefited from the
dependency relationship.
In the 1960s, dependency theory was imported into Africa from Latin
America. Since the mid-1960s Samir Amin has provided leadership in developing
a Marxist version of dependency theory. In Accumulation on a World Scale (1974b)
and Unequal Development (1976) Amin presented an analytical framework of un-
derdevelopment in Africa based on surplus extraction and the domination of the
world capitalist system. Amin has provided valuable insights into the development
process, but his prescriptions for African agriculture have vacillated over time.
During the 1960s Amin favored animal traction, promoted industrial crops, and
argued that traditional social values were a serious constraint on development at
the village level. He also argued that the transition to privately owned small farms
was a precondition for socialism (Amin 1965:210-11, 231). By the early 1970s
Amin had reversed himself and recommended the collectivization of agricultural
production, and he abandoned his support for animal traction and industrial crops
(Amin 1971:231; 1973:56).
These criticisms notwithstanding, the radical scholars made several important
contributions to the understanding of agriculture and rural development. First,
they helped demolish the myth of "a typical underdeveloped country" by stressing
that each country's economic development had to be understood in the context of
that country's historical experience. For example, they argued that Schultz's con-
cept of "traditional agriculture"-a situation where farmers have settled into a low-
level equilibrium after years of facing static technology and factor prices-
abstracted from the historical process of integration of individual Third World
economies into the world capitalist system, and therefore was not a very useful
analytical concept. Second, in arguing that rural poverty in the Third World re-
sulted from the functioning of a global capitalist economy, the radical writers fo-





52 OVERVIEW


caused attention on the relationships between villagers and the wider economic sys-
tem. Unlike Schultz, who attributed rural poverty to the lack of productive agricul-
tural technologies and human capital, radical scholars stressed the importance of
the linkages and exchange arrangements that tied villages to the rest of the econo-
my. Third, the radical economists directly attacked what Hirschman (1981a:3) has
called the "mutual benefit claim" of development economics, the assertion that
economic relations between high-income and low-income countries (and among
groups within low-income countries) could be shaped in a way to yield benefits for
all. In disputing this claim, the radical scholars stressed that economic develop-
ment was more than just a technocratic matter of determining how best to raise per
capital GNP. Development involved restructuring institutional and political re-
lationships, and the radicals urged neoclassical economists to include these politi-
cal considerations explicitly in their analyses. In Alain de Janvry's words, "Eco-
nomic policy without political economy is a useless and utopian exercise" (de Jan-
vry 1981:263).
Both the radical analyses and the Western dual-sector models of the 1960s suf-
fered from some of the same shortcomings: abstract theorizing, inadequate atten-
tion to the need for technical change in agriculture, lack of attention to the biologi-
cal and location-specific nature of agricultural production processes, and lack of a
solid micro foundation based on empirical research at the farm and village level.
Recognition of some of these shortcomings was an important element leading to a
reevaluation of the goals and approaches of development economics and of the
role of agriculture in reaching those goals in the period following 1970.


STHE GROWTH-WITH-EQUITY ERA SINCE 1970 *

The Broadening of Development Goals

Around 1970, mainstream Western development economics began to give greater
attention to employment and the distribution of real income, broadly defined. This
shift in emphasis came about for at least three reasons. The first was ideological, a
response to the radical critique of Western development economics, especially the
critique of the "mutual benefit claim" discussed previously. The goal of economic
growth for Third World countries was seriously questioned by this critique, and
some development economists may have felt the need to redefine the goals of de-
velopment more broadly in order to preserve the legitimacy of their subdiscipline.
Second, from the 1960s onwards it became apparent that rapid economic
growth in some countries, such as Pakistan, Nigeria, and Iran, had deleterious,
and in some cases disastrous, side effects. Hirschman argued that development
economists were forced to reevaluate the goals of their profession because

the series of political disasters that struck a number of Third World countries from
the sixties on were clearly somehow connected with the stresses and strains





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 53


accompanying development and "modernization." These development disasters,
ranging from civil wars to the establishment of murderous authoritarian regimes,
could not but give pause to a group of social scientists who, after all, had taken up
the cultivation of development economics in the wake of World War II not as nar-
row specialists, but impelled by the vision of a better world. As liberals, most of
them presumed that "all good things go together" and took it for granted that if
only a good job could be done in raising the national income of the countries con-
cerned, a number of beneficial effects would follow in the social, political, and
cultural realms.
When it turned out instead that the promotion of economic growth entailed
not infrequently a sequence of events involving serious retrogression in those
other areas, including the wholesale loss of civil and human rights, the easy self-
confidence that our subdiscipline exuded in its early stages was impaired
(Hirschman 1981a:20-21).

The third reason for the reevaluation of development goals was the growing
awareness among development economists that even in countries where rapid eco-
nomic growth had not contributed to social turmoil, the benefits of economic
growth often were not trickling down to the poor and that frequently the income
gap between rich and poor was widening (see, for example, Fishlow 1972; Nugent
and Yotopoulos 1979; and Streeten 1979). Even where the incomes of the poor
were rising, often they were rising so slowly that the poor would not be able to
afford decent diets or housing for at least another generation.
Rather than simply waiting for increases in average per capital incomes to
"solve" the problems of poverty and malnutrition; economists, political leaders in
the Third World, and the leaders of major donor agencies argued in the early 1970s
that greater explicit attention needed to be paid to employment, income distribu-
tion, and "basic needs," such as nutrition and housing. For example, when Robert
McNamara was president of the World Bank, he called on it to redirect its activities
toward helping people in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution scale in
low-income countries (McNamara 1973).
These growth-with-equity concerns stimulated a number of important theoret-
ical and policy debates during the 1970s. The first debate concerned the interac-
tions between income distribution and rates of economic growth. A number of
economists during the 1970s included income distribution explicitly in their
frameworks of analysis, and several examined the interdependence between in-
come growth, income distribution, and other development goals, such as literacy
and health.2 These analyses focused on changes not only in the size distribution of
income during the course of development (for example, Chenery et al. 1974; Adel-
man and Morris 1973) but in the functional distribution. For example, attention
was given to the impact of economic growth on small farmers (Stevens 1977a; Fei
et al. 1979) and on women (Boserup 1970; Tinker and Bramsen 1976; Spencer
1976).
A second debate centered on employment generation and the possible exist-
ence of employment-output trade-offs in industry and agriculture. Although Folke
Dovring (1959) had shown that the absolute number of people engaged in agricul-





54 OVERVIEW


ture in developing countries would probably continue to grow for several decades,
most economists during the 1960s still assumed that urban industry would absorb
most of the new entrants to the labor force. By 1970, however, it had become appar-
ent that urban industry in most countries could not expand quickly enough in the
short run to provide employment for the expanding rural labor force. Hence, the
concern of development planners shifted to finding ways to hold people in the
countryside (Eicher et al. 1970).
The concern about creating rural jobs raised a number of questions in both
agriculture and industry about the relative output and employment-generation
capacities of large and small enterprises. In agriculture, debate centered on how
much emphasis should be given to improving small farms as opposed to creating
larger and more capital- intensive farms, ranches, and plantations. Empirical evi-
dence from the late 1960s and early 1970s revealed that the economies of size in
tropical agriculture were more limited than previously believed and that the im-
provement of small farms often resulted in greater output and employment per hec-
tare than did large-scale farming. In industry, the small-versus-large debate led to
a number of empirical studies of rural small-scale enterprises (see Chuta and
Liedholm 1984). In both agriculture and industry the concern with possible
employment-output trade-offs also stimulated research on the choice of appropri-
ate production techniques.
During the 1970s economists and planners also began to give explicit consider-
ation to the impact of development programs on nutrition. Empirical studies re-
vealed that increases in average per capital income did not always lead to improved
nutrition and that at times malnutrition actually increased with growing incomes
(Berg 1973; Reutlinger and Selowsky 1976). Therefore, many analysts argued that
nutrition projects targeted to the poor and malnourished were needed to supple-
ment other development activities (Pinstrup-Anderson 1981).


Implications for Agriculture

The change in orientation of development economics in the early 1970s implied a
much greater role for agriculture in development programs. Because the majority
of the poor in most Third World countries live in rural areas and because food prices
are a major determinant of the real income of both the rural and urban poor, the low
productivity of Third World agriculture was seen as a major cause of poverty. Fur-
thermore, because urban industry had generally provided few jobs for the rapidly
growing labor force, development planners increasingly concentrated on ways to
create productive employment in rural areas, if only as a holding action until the
rate of population growth declined and urban industry could create more jobs.
(Nonetheless, investment policies in many countries continued to favor urban
areas [see Lipton 1977].) The need to create productive rural employment was un-
derlined by a growing awareness of the increasing landlessness in many parts of
the Third World, particularly South Asia (Singh n.d.), Latin America (de Janvry





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 55


1981), and a few countries in Africa (Ghai and Radwan 1983).
It soon became apparent that if agriculture was to play a more important role
in development programs, policymakers needed a more detailed understanding of
rural economies than that provided by the simple two-sector models of the 1950s
and early 1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a rapid expansion of
micro-level research on agricultural production and marketing, farmer decision-
making, the performance or rural-factor markets, and rural nonfarm employ-
ment. "This micro-level research documented the complexity of many Third World
farming and marketing systems and complemented the macro-level work begun in
the 1950s on modeling agricultural growth and intersectoral relationships.


Research Findings of The 1970s

Modeling Agricultural Growth
As policymakers looked to agriculture to provide more employment and wage
goods for the rapidly expanding labor force, attempts to model the process of ag-
ricultural growth assumed increased importance. Hayami and Vernon Ruttan's
induced-innovation model of agricultural development was a major contribution
of the 1970s. Hayami and Ruttan (1971) argued that there are multiple technologi-
cal paths to agricultural growth, each embodying a different mix of factors of pro-
duction, and that changes in relative-factor prices can guide researchers to select
the most "efficient" path for a country. This argument implied that countries with
different-factor endowments would have different efficient growth paths and that
the wholesale importation of agricultural technology from industrialized countries
to the Third World could lead to highly inefficient patterns of growth. Hayami and
Ruttan argued that relative-factor prices not only affected technological develop-
ment but often played an important role in guiding the design of social institu-
tions.'4
Other major efforts to model the process of agricultural growth included de-
tailed agricultural-sector analyses (such as in Thorbecke and Stoutjesdijk 1971,
and Mantesch et al. 1971); the work of Mellor and of Johnston and Peter Kilby dis-
cussed below; and the attempt by some radical scholars, notably de Janvry (1981),
to move from a purely global, abstract explanation of rural poverty to a neo-
Marxist analysis on a micro level.

Intersectoral Relationships
The 1970s also witnessed a great expansion in the theoretical and empirical re-
search begun by economists in the 1960s on the interdependence between agricul-
tural and nonagricultural growth. Particularly noteworthy was the work of Mellor
and of Johnston and Kilby (1975).15 Mellor argued that it was possible to design
employment-oriented strategies of development based on the potential growth link-
ages inherent in the new high-yielding grain varieties."6 Mellor's analysis drew
heavily on empirical evidence from India. Unlike many authors who mainly stres-





56 OVERVIEW


sed how the new varieties could increase total food supplies, Mellor emphasized
that the new varieties could also raise the incomes of foodgrain producers, thereby
generating increased effective demand for a wide variety of labor-intensive prod-
ucts. Indeed, Mellor saw most of the potential growth in employment being out-
side the foodgrain sector itself, in sectors producing labor-intensive goods such as
dairy products, fruit, other consumer products, and agricultural inputs. This ex-
panded employment was made possible by the simultaneous increase in the effec-
tive demand for these products and in the supply of inexpensive wage goods in the
form of foodgrains. Much of Mellor's analysis focused on the types of agricultural
and industrial policies needed to exploit these growth linkages of the new grain
varieties.
Johnston and Kilby analyzed "the reciprocal interactions between agricultural
development and the expansion of manufacturing and other nonfarm sectors"
(Johnston and Kilby 1975:xv). In particular, they focused on the factors affecting
the rates of labor transfer between sectors and the level and composition of inter-
sectoral commodity flows. Drawing on empirical evidence from England, the
United States, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, Johnston and Kilby
argued that the size distribution of farms was a critical determinant of the demand
for industrial products in a developing economy. They showed that broad-based
agricultural growth was more effective than estate production in stimulating the
demand for industrial products and hence in speeding the structural transformation
of the economy. Johnston and Kilby's analysis strongly supported the view that
concentrating agricultural development efforts on the mass of small farmers in
low-income countries, rather than promoting a bimodal structure of small and large
farms, would lead to faster growth rates of both aggregate economic output and
employment.


Factor Markets and Employment Generation
Concern for creating jobs stimulated research during the 1970s on rural labor mar-
kets and employment. Krishna (1973) addressed the basic methodological problem
of defining underemployment and unemployment in rural economies. Noting that
most unemployment studies use definitions appropriate to industrial economies,
Krishna identified four different criteria commonly used to classify people as un-
deremployed or unemployed: (1) a time criterion, according to which a person is
underemployed if he or she is gainfully occupied for less time than some full-
employment standard; (2) an income criterion, by which an individual is underem-
ployed or unemployed if he or she earns less than some desired minimum; (3) a
willingness criterion, which defines a person as underemployed or unemployed if
he or she is willing to work longer hours at the prevailing wage; and (4) a productiv-
ity criterion, which defines a worker as unemployed if the worker's marginal prod-
uct is zero. Krishna showed that different policy measures were appropriate for
dealing with each type of underemployment.
During the 1970s several economists, particularly those associated with the





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 57


International Labour Office (ILO), spoke of dethroning GNP as the target and indi-
cator of development and replacing growth strategies with employment-oriented
approaches (see, for example, Seers 1970). During the first half of the 1970s the
ILO dispatched missions to Colombia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, the Philippines, and
Sudan to draw up programs to expand employment (ILO 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974,
1976b). The ILO missions "studied just about everything-population, education,
income distribution, appropriate technology, multinationals" (Little 1982:214),
but they frequently lacked the detailed information needed to evaluate where and
to what degree employment-output trade-offs existed in these countries. The im-
pact of the ILO studies was further limited as research during the 1970s dem-
onstrated that, because 60-80 percent of the poor in most Third World countries
were employed in some fashion, the critical policy issue was not one of creating
jobs per se but one of increasing the productivity of workers already employed in
small-scale agriculture and nonfarm enterprises. The ILO studies were, nonethe-
less, important in stimulating research on labor markets and on the impact of
factor-price distortions on output and employment.
A large number of studies during the 1970s that evaluated the performance of
labor markets in low-income countries generally found that at peak periods of the
agricultural cycle there was little unemployment in rural areas, although at other
periods of the year there were labor surpluses. The studies also documented that
earlier researchers had frequently overestimated the size of these surpluses because
they had failed to take account of the considerable time devoted to rural nonfarm
enterprises and to walking to and from fields. Studies also confirmed that labor
markets in most countries were generally competitive, with wage rates, particu-
larly in rural areas, following seasonal patterns of labor demand (see Berry and
Sabot 1978).
The labor-market research also documented that when labor was misallocated,
in many situations the misallocation was due not only to imperfections in labor
markets, but to poorly functioning markets for other factors of production as well.
Overvalued exchange rates and subsidized credit, for example, often encouraged
excessive substitution of capital for labor in low-wage economies. Concern about
the impact of such factor-price distortions on output and employment stimulated
research on the choice of technique in agricultural production and processing (see
Byerlee et al. 1983) and on the functioning of rural financial markets in low-
income countries (Adams and Graham 1984).
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the concern for employment generation led
to questions about the productivity and labor-absorption capacity of large farms
and ranches versus those of small farms. A large number of scholars (for example,
Dorner and Kanel 1971; Barraclough 1973; Berry 1975; and Berry and Cline 1979)
documented the strong economic case for land reform in many Third World coun-
tries because of the higher employment and land productivity potential of small
family farms. The higher land productivity was largely due to greater use of labor
(mainly family labor) per unit of land. Although there was widespread agreement
among these scholars that land reform was an attractive policy instrument for rais-





58 OVERVIEW


ing farm output, increasing rural employment, and improving the equality of in-
come distribution, political support for land reform waned during the 1970s (de
Janvry 1984).


Rural-to-Urban Migration
Rural-to-urban migration was a major area of research during the 1960s and 1970s
because the rate of rural-to-urban migration in most Third World countries far out-
stripped the rates of growth of urban employment. This led to rising levels of open
urban unemployment. The concern of policymakers therefore shifted quickly from
trying to transfer surplus labor from agriculture to industry to trying to reduce "ex-
cessive" rates of urbanization.
Research by economists on migration in the Third World was sparked by
Michael Todaro's attempt in the late 1960s to explain the apparently paradoxical
phenomenon of accelerating rural-to-urban migration in the context of continu-
ously rising urban unemployment in Kenya. Todaro (1969) proposed a model (later
extended by John Harris and Todaro 1970) in which a potential migrant's decision
to migrate is motivated primarily by the difference between his or her expected
(rather than actual) urban income and the prevailing rural wage. The Harris-Todaro
model implied that attempts to reduce urban unemployment by creating more
urban jobs could paradoxically result in more urban unemployment rather than
less. By leading potential migrants to believe that their chances of getting an urban
job had increased, urban employment programs induced greater rural-to-urban
migration. Harris and Todaro therefore argued that urban unemployment could best
be addressed by reducing the incentives to migrate to the cities, for example, by
raising rural incomes via a broad range of agricultural and rural development pro-
grams. 1
The second approach to studying migration was spearheaded by several radi-
cal political economists who focused on the social, as opposed to the private,
benefits and costs of migration. Samir Amin, for example, argued that although
rural-to-urban migration might be privately profitable for the migrant, it imposed
important social costs on the sending area, including the loss of future village
leadership and the instability of rural families. Amin argued that these costs ex-
ceeded possible gains to the area from wage remittances to the home villages.
Although the net welfare impact of migration is obviously an important ques-
tion, many of the studies by radical scholars lacked empirical data to support their
conclusions. In a balanced and constructive assessment of both neoclassical and
radical political economy studies of migration in southern Africa, Knight and
Lenta (1980) concluded that there was not a clear picture of the net welfare impact
of migration in the countries supplying labor to the mines in South Africa.


Product Market Performance
Rapid income growth and urbanization put increasing pressures on markets for ag-





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 59


ricultural products, particularly food, during the 1960s and 1970s. In response,
economists undertook a number of studies to evaluate the performance of agricul-
tural product markets and suggest improvements.' These studies generally found
little support for allegations of widespread collusion and extraction of monopoly
profits by private merchants in Third World countries. They did, however, docu-
ment how insufficient infrastructure and the lack of reliable public information sys-
tems and other public goods often reduced market efficiency and lowered farmers'
incentives to specialize for market production. The studies were often critical of
state monopolies in the domestic food trade, citing the frequent high costs of state
marketing agencies. The studies identified important roles for the state in providing
public goods (better information systems, standardized weights and measures, and
so on) to facilitate private trading, price stabilization, and regulation of interna-
tional trade. More recently, there has been discussion of ways the state can ensure
adequate food supplies to the poor without disrupting normal market channels.


Farming Systems Research and Farmer Decisionmaking
During the late 1960s and the 1970s economists increasingly investigated the fac-
tors that influenced farmers' decisions concerning whether to adopt new crop vari-
eties and farming practices. This work eventually led to the development of farm-
ing systems research. Farming systems research attempts to incorporate farmers'
constraints and objectives into agricultural research by involving farmers in prob-
lem identification, on-farm agronomic trials, and extension (CIMMYT Econom-
ics Staff 1984).
Interest in farming systems research and the new household economics also
led to efforts to model the farm household as both a production and a consumption
unit (see Singh et al. n.d.). Inspired by A. V. Chayanov's (1966) work on the be-
havior of Russian peasants in the early 1900s, the farm-household models stressed
the need to understand how government policies could simultaneously affect both
the production and the consumption decisions of small farmers. For example,
these models showed that marketed surplus of a crop might, in some cir-
cumstances, actually decline as the crop's price was increased (even if production
of the crop rose) because the price increase would raise farm family income, and
some of this increased income would be spent on the good whose price had risen.



Summary: Research in the 1970s
The results of microeconomic research during the 1970s contributed to an accumu-
lation of knowledge about the behavior of farmers; constraints on the expansion of
farm and nonfarm production, income, and employment; the linkages between ag-
ricultural research and extension institutions; and the complexity and location-
specific nature of the agricultural development process. One of the major ac-
complishments of the 1970s was a large increase in knowledge about agricultural





60 OVERVIEW


development in Sub-Saharan Africa, an area often ignored by development
economists during the 1950s and early 1960s (see Eicher and Baker 1982). But the
increased orientation to micro-level research may have resulted in relatively less
attention being paid to macroeconomic research on food policy and the role that
agriculture can play in the structural transformation of Third World economies. A
major challenge, therefore, is to incorporate the micro-research findings into mod-
els that examine agriculture's role in a general equilibrium (or disequilibrium) con-
text.


Development Programs of the 1970s: Integrated Rural Development and Basic
Needs

Reacting to some of the disappointments of the Green Revolution and the agricul-
tural growth-oriented programs of the 1960s, donors andThird World governments
turned increasingly their attention to integrated rural development and basic-needs
projects in the 1970s. Integrated rural development attempts to combine in one pro-
ject elements to increase agricultural production and to improve health, education,
sanitation, and a variety of other social services. Like the community development
projects of the 1950s, integrated rural development projects of the 1970s some-
times expanded social services much faster than they expanded the economic base
to support them, and they often proved to be extraordinarily complex and difficult
to implement and administer. Moreover, the inability of integrated rural develop-
ment projects to increase rapidly agricultural production often stemmed from the
lack of appropriate technical packages. Uma Lele (1975) reviewed seventeen in-
tegrated rural development projects in Africa and found that most of the projects
were based upon inadequate knowledge of local technical possibilities, small-
farmer constraints, and local institutions. The projects also tended to have very
high administrative costs, making them difficult to replicate over broader areas.
By 1980 many donors, such as the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for Interna-
tional Development, had retreated from integrated rural development projects or
had redesigned these projects to give greater emphasis to agricultural production. 9
The rise and decline of integrated rural development (1973-1980) was in some
ways very similar to the fate of community development between 1950 and 1957
(Holdcroft 1984).
In the mid-1970s the basic-needs approach was popularized by the Interna-
tional Labour Office (ILO 1976a) and subsequently spearheaded by a group of
economists within the World Bank under the leadership of Paul Streeten. The
basic-needs approach holds that development projects should give priority to in-
creasing the welfare of the poor directly through projects to improve nutrition, edu-
cation, housing, and so on, rather than focus mainly on increasing aggregate
growth rates.2"The basic-needs advocates supported their case by citing impressive
gains in life span, literacy, and nutrition in Cuba, Sri Lanka, and the People's Re-
public of China-countries that had emphasized basic needs. But the constraints





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 61


on the basic-needs approach were highlighted by Sri Lanka's inability during the
mid-1970s to continue to finance the centerpiece of its program, universal free rice
rations, which forced the government to shift to a more growth-oriented strategy.
Likewise, the rising cost of food subsidies in China raises questions about China's
ability to sustain its policy of cheap food for urban consumers (Lardy 1984).
Although investments in health, nutrition, education, and housing can con-
tribute importantly to the welfare of the poor and to the rate of economic growth,
the experience with the basic-needs approach suggests that low-income countries
also need to emphasize building the economic base to finance these investments.
By the early 1980s many economists were once again giving greater emphasis to
economic growth and to the sequence of different types of development activities,
such as investments in irrigation and health facilities. This shift in emphasis did
not imply a rejection of the growth-with-equity philosophy of the 1970s. Rather, it
reflected an increasing recognition of the impossibility of achieving a decent living
standard for the bulk of the rapidly growing populations in poor countries simply
by redistributing existing assets. This recognition led the World Bank to shift to a
more growth-oriented strategy in the early 1980s and the basic-needs approach
faded into the background.2
The research results and development experiences of the 1970s suggest that in
order to attain more rapid, more broad-based agricultural growth and rural develop-
ment, the following components will have to be emphasized in the coming decades:
strengthening of institutions in low-income countries for agricultural research, ad-
ministration, policy analysis, and training; renewed emphasis on analyzing ag-
ricultural development issues in broader macroeconomic frameworks; reevalua-
tion of the roles of international trade, food aid, and agricultural specialization in
an increasingly interdependent world food economy; and movement towards more
interdisciplinary approaches to problemsolving. All these require expansion of the
human-capital base of Third World countries. One of the clearest lessons of the
1960s and 1970s is that agricultural and rural development require strong local in-
stitutions and well-trained individuals. International research centers and expa-
triate advisers are at best complements to, not substitutes for, domestic research
systems and policy analysts. Because problems in the food system are typically
multifaceted, there is also a need to move toward more interdisciplinary ap-
proaches to problemsolving. Food policy research and farming systems research
(see Fresco and Poats in this book) are examples of areas where such interdis-
ciplinary approaches are proving useful.


NOTES

Larry Lev, Carl Liedholm, Michael Morris, and Robert Stevens offered insightful com-
ments on an earlier draft of this paper. Bruce Johnston (1970) extensively reviewed the liter-
ature of the 1950s and 1960s on the role of agriculture in development.
1. Development economics began to emerge as a subdiscipline of economics in the
post-World War II period with the work of Nurkse, Mandelbaum, Rosenstein-Rodan,





62 OVERVIEW


Singer, Prebisch, and others. The first major text on economic development was W. Arthur
Lewis's influential The Theory ofEconomic Growth (1955). Lewis's emphasis on economic
growth set the tone for work in development economics during the "growth era" of the 1950s
and 1960s. In the introduction Lewis wrote, "The subject matter of this book is growth of
output per head of population and not distribution" (p. 9). Lewis did, however, include
an appendix entitled "Is Economic Growth Desirable?" For reviews of the history of de-
velopment economics, see Hirschman (1981a), Streeten (1979), Reynolds (1977, chap. 2),
and Little (1982).
2. This section draws heavily on Johnston's excellent review of the literature through
1970 on the role of agriculture in economic development.
3. For an excellent summary of the Lewis model, see Meier (1976:157-63); see also
Lewis (1972). For an analysis of the impact of Lewis's model on development economics,
see Gersowitz et al. (1982).
4. Lewis's statement that the marginal productivity of laborers in the noncapitalist
sector approached zero as a limiting case stimulated a large number of efforts to measure the
extent of surplus labor in agriculture. For a review of these efforts, see Kao, Anschel, and
Eicher (1964). For a critique of the concept of surplus labor in agriculture, see Schultz
(1964, chap. 4).
5. William H. Nicholls (1964) was one of the first critics of the rapid transfer of
surplus labor as a short-run strategy.
6. For a summary of this thesis, see Prebisch (1959). For critical reviews, see Kravis
(1970) and Little (1982, chap. 4). In recent years Prebisch has modified his views about
import substitution (see Prebisch 1981).
7. The 1960s literature on agricultural development is captured in the volumes edited
by Eicher and Witt (1964), Southworth and Johnston (1967), and Wharton (1969).
8. The community development approach emphasized the provision of social serv-
ices, which presaged the basic-needs approach to development in the late 1970s, described
later in this chapter. By emphasizing social services, community development differed from
other Western development efforts of the 1950s and 1960s, which focused mainly on in-
creasing average per capital incomes.
9. These arguments were most fully developed by Mellor and by Johnston and Kilby
in the 1970s. See the discussion of these authors' work in the second section of this chapter.
10. French scholars also made important contributions to the Marxist analysis of ag-
ricultural development during the 1960s and 1970s (see Petit 1982).
11. For critiques of the dependency school of thought in Latin America, see Cardoso
and Faletto (1979), and de Janvry (1981).
12. A standard reference is the influential book Redistribution With Growth by Chen-
ery et al. (1974). See also Seers (1970), and Adelman (1975).
13. See, for example, the volumes edited by Stevens (1977a); and Jones (1972).
14. For attempts to test the induced-innovation hypothesis empirically, see
Binswanger and Ruttan (1978).
15. See also the volume edited by Reynolds (1975).
16. Mellor's views are articulated in The New Economics of Growth: A Strategy for
India and the Developing World (1976). See also Mellor and Lele (1973).
17. The major extensions of the Harris-Todaro model and the empirical tests of it are
summarized in Todaro (1980).
18. Many of these studies are reviewed by Lele (1977) and Riley and Staatz (1981).
For a critique of some of these studies see Harriss (1979).
19. For excellent reviews of integrated rural development, see Ruttan (1975), de Jan-
vry (1981), and Johnston and Clark (1982).
20. The basic-needs approach is not simply a call for increased social welfare spend-
ing, however; it is also based on recognition of the importance of investment in human cap-





AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 63


ital in economic growth and of the synergism of nutrition, health, and family-planning deci-
sions. For an excellent discussion of basic-needs projects and their relationships to rural
development, see Johnston and Clark (1982, chap. 4).
21. The World Bank's experience with basic needs is summarized by Streeten (1981).


SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS *

Amin, Samir. 1974. Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underde-
velopment. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Dalrymple, Dana G. 1985. The Development and Adoption of High Yielding Varieties of
Wheat and Rice in Developing Countries. American Journal ofAgricultural Econom-
ics 67:5:1067-1073.
Eicher, Carl K., and Doyle C. Baker. 1982. Research on Agricultural Development in Sub-
Saharan Africa:A Critical Survey. MSU International Development Paper No. 1. East
Lansing: Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University.
Eicher, Carl K., and John M. Staatz, eds. 1984. Agricultural Development in the Third
World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Hayami, Yujiro, and Vernon W. Ruttan. 1971. Agricultural Development:An International
Perspective. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Johnston, Bruce F. 1970. Agriculture and Structural Transformation in Developing Coun-
tries: A Survey of Research. Journal of Economic Literature 3:2:369-404.
Johnston, Bruce E and Peter Kilby. 1975. Agriculture and Structural Transformation: Eco-
nomic Strategies in Late-Developing Countries. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lele, Uma. 1975. The Design ofRural Development: LessonsfromAfrica. Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press for the World Bank.
Lewis, W. Arthur. 1954. Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour. Man-
chester School of Economic and Social Studies 22:2:139-91.
Mellor, JohnW. 1975. The New Economics of Growth: A Strategyfor India and the Develop-
ing World. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Schultz, Theodore W. 1964. Transforming TraditionalAgriculture. New Haven: Yale Univer-
sity Press.









.5-

Social Science Perspectives
on Food in Africa

SARA BERRY






Recent assessments of the performance and prospects of African economies
portray a deepening crisis, centered on the problem of food supplies. Since the
early 1970s a rapidly rising number of Africans have had an increasingly difficult
time getting enough to eat. By all accounts, domestic food supplies are falling
further and further behind domestic needs. Both governments and consumers face
serious problems in procuring the kinds and quantities of food they want at prices
they can afford to pay. Chronic hunger and malnutrition are widespread and esca-
late quickly into famine in times of drought or national financial crisis. Easing
shortages with food from foreign sources has also become more difficult in the last
decade. World prices of grains have risen; unstable petroleum prices have put
heavy strains on many African countries' balances of payments and worsened their
terms of trade. Agricultural exports have not increased sufficiently to cover rising
import bills. Food aid to Africa has grown at unprecedented rates in the last dec-
ade, but it is adequate neither to meet short-term needs nor generate a long-run
solution to the crisis.
Social scientists attribute African economic stagnation and food deficits to ev-
erything from global economic and political conditions to backward African farm-
ing practices. Although most social scientists agree that the food crisis is the result
of many causes, they disagree about the relative importance of these causes and
their interactions. Explanations range from: (1) Africa is the unfortunate victim of
a world economy geared to serve the interests of wealthy industrial countries; to
(2) Africa's economic problems are the result of poor policy choices made by Afri-

This chapter is based on an earlier article by the author entitled "The Food Crisis and
Agrarian Change in Africa: A Review Essay," African Studies Review 27:2 (1984):59-112,
which was originally prepared for the Joint African Studies Committee of the Social Science
Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. Used with permission of
the publisher.





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 65


can governments, or the inability of these governments to implement sound
policies effectively, or both; and (3) the technology needed to increase the produc-
tivity of African farming systems has not yet been developed. The social science
literature cannot be reduced to a single, consistent explanatory argument-many
studies have produced multiple interpretations.
This chapter does not attempt to synthesize the social science literature on
food in Africa, but to review some of the important lines of interpretation and de-
bate. The discussion is organized as follows: (1) the quality of available evidence
about agricultural performance in Africa; (2) African agriculture and the world
economy; (3) the form and effects of African governments' policies towards agricul-
ture; (4) environmental constraints on expanding food production and subsequent
implications for technological development; (5) the idea of peasant rationality and
its implications for understanding agrarian change and policy; (6) relations be-
tween African systems of kinship, domestic organization, and agricultural prac-
tices; and (7) the effects of rural commercialization on economic and social dif-
ferentiation and structural change. In conclusion, a few comments are offered
about directions for further research.


SEARCHING FOR THE EVIDENCE-WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT
AGRICULTURAL PERFORMANCE? *

International agencies from the World Bank to the Organization of African Unity
(OAU) have interpreted Africa's food crisis as a crisis of production, arising partly
from historical factors and partly from excessive efforts by African governments
to regulate and control economic activity within their countries (OAU 1981; World
Bank 1981). Since 1960, the international agencies argue, population growth, ur-
banization, and rising incomes, especially in urban areas, have caused demand for
marketed foodstuffs to outrun domestic productive capacity. This is especially true
for commodities such as wheat and rice, which make up a major part of urban resi-
dents' diets but are not commonly grown in Africa. Consequently, food imports
have increased rapidly at a time when the cost of other essential imports-notably
petroleum products-has risen sharply also. The resulting pressure on African
countries' balances of payments has been further exacerbated by the lagging output
of crops, according to the World Bank (1981). In turn, lagging production stems
from African governments' neglect of agriculture or their adoption of inappro-
priate policies toward trade, foreign exchange, and domestic prices.
To support the argument that Africa faces a crisis in agricultural production,
official and scholarly publications regularly cite aggregate production figures for
Africa as a whole. The reliability of national data on agricultural output is open to
serious question. Agricultural censuses and sample surveys, no matter how well
organized and administered, are subject to numerous sources of error and uncer-
tainty, stemming from problems such as farmers' unwillingness to disclose infor-
mation to potential tax assessors and selecting a representative sample of producers





66 OVERVIEW


in countries where there is no reliable census from which to prepare a sampling
frame. In recent years, moreover, the reliability of official marketing data as an
indicator of production has been reduced by the very factor to which the World
Bank attributes much of the crisis-increased governmental regulation of eco-
nomic transactions. Price controls, taxes, and state agricultural marketing schemes
have driven many transactions out of official marketing channels. Official control
of export marketing has, for example, caused large-scale smuggling in countries
such as Ghana and Niger (Jeffries 1982; Collins 1976) and, as in Tanzania, under-
mined governments' own programs of stabilization and rural development (Lele
and Candler 1981; Hyden 1980).
If the output exists but is hidden, where does it go? Does it go into illegal or
"parallel" markets or into higher standards of consumption for self-sufficient rural
households? Has output in fact declined? Local evidence suggests that all of these
things have happened, but there is no reliable statistical basis for estimating their
relative importance within particular localities, let alone on national or regional
levels. It is likely that official statistics for output have diverged further and further
from actual output in recent years, but neither the magnitude of the divergence nor,
in many cases, even the direction of the divergence is known.
To sum up, our ignorance of aggregate trends in agricultural output has in-
creased. In most cases the data are simply not good enough to warrant firm conclu-
sions about national-let alone continental-trends in agricultural output.
Nonetheless, such data are regularly cited both to show that agricultural production
in Africa is declining and to support arguments that this decline is primarily due to
global and/or national economic and political trends.


AFRICAN AGRICULTURE AND THE WORLD ECONOMY *

Much discussion of the impact of international economic forces and agencies on
African agriculture has revolved around a rather sterile debate over whether Africa
suffers from too much or too little integration into the world economy. Both argu-
ments have a substantial legacy of scholarly support. The first view-that African
agriculture suffers from excessive international influence-has gone through sev-
eral versions. Early critics of the colonial legacy decried African economies' de-
pendence on agricultural exports on the grounds that agricultural commodities face
unstable world prices and deteriorating terms of trade, both of which make African
economic development more difficult (Robson and Lury 1969). This argument en-
couraged newly independent African governments to adopt crash programs to di-
versify output through industrialization, programs that often absorbed more rev-
enue and foreign exchange than they generated. Later arguments shifted the
emphasis of discussion from the disadvantages of agricultural production per se to
the belief that capital accumulation on a world scale tended to siphon off surplus
from peripheral areas of the world economy, keeping African labor cheap and rela-
tively unproductive, in and outside agriculture (Amin 1976; Leys 1974).





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 67


Recently, rising food prices and imports have once again focused attention on
agricultural production and the disadvantages faced by African farmers in interna-
tional markets. Some scholars have argued that ifAfricans cannot hope to compete
effectively against developed countries' tariffs on tropical imports or against the
market power of international merchants of grain, improved seed, and fertilizer,
Africans should seek to protect themselves by becoming self-sufficient in
foodstuffs (Franke and Chasin 1980; OAU 1981; Food and Agriculture Organiza-
tion 1978b). Unfortunately, this self-sufficiency is difficult to achieve because
there are poor marketing systems and/or because it is profitable for African traders
and officials to deal in imported and donated food supplies (Harriss 1979). Ironi-
cally, a goal of self-sufficiency in food may also play directly into the hands of
foreign suppliers of improved agricultural inputs and techniques, thus increasing
other imports rather than total self-sufficiency. However, withdrawal from the
world market is no panacea, either in practice or as an intellectual solution to Af-
rica's agrarian problems.
Arguments supporting an open door policy rather than a self-sufficiency pol-
icy also need to be scrutinized. The World Bank and other international agencies
base their arguments for free trade on calculations that indicate that Africa's com-
parative advantage lies in traditional export crops (World Bank 1981; Pearson et al.
1981). What do such calculations mean? World markets are not perfectly competi-
tive, and Africa's most competitive exports, at world market prices, are not neces-
sarily those that represent the best returns to African resources. In addition, even if
African governments were to dismantle their own tariffs and foreign exchange con-
trols, they would continue to face these same barriers to trade in the industrialized
countries they sell to.
Another dimension to the self-sufficiency versus open door debate is that
foreign governments and donor agencies already intervene directly in African
domestic food production. Foreign agencies and even private firms sponsor an in-
creasing number of rural development plans and projects in Africa which, in turn,
provide a market for foreign advice and inputs. Competition among donors has
even become an impediment to their own as well as to host governments' efforts to
reach agricultural producers (Franke and Chasin 1980; Pinckney et al. 1982). In
the wake of the long drought of the mid-1970s, for example, donor activity in some
Sahelian countries grew so intense that local officials were fully occupied in ad-
ministering foreign aid, and the same thing is happening in the Horn of Africa in
the 1980s.
The very agencies that exhort African governments to relinquish controls over
foreign transactions also hold these governments responsible for managing their
balances of payments and maintaining their creditworthiness in international finan-
cial circles. By opening their doors to U.S. farm surpluses and international ag-
ribusiness, African governments increase their vulnerability to fluctuations in
world supply and to the market power of multinational firms, and, consequently,
African citizens demand state protection against the risks and losses of interna-
tional trade. It is inherently contradictory to argue that African governments should





68 OVERVIEW


intervene less in their citizens' activities in order to increase their participation in
the international economy. In today's global economy, integration into world mar-
kets requires that governments take responsibility for managing foreign transac-
tions, which in turn requires effective management of the domestic economy.


STHE ROLE OF THE STATE *

Neither the form nor the consequences of African governments' policies can be
deduced from the logic of their circumstances-whether described in terms of de-
pendence, underdevelopment and class structure, or in terms of market forces and
technological imperatives. Although African bureaucrats sometimes behave like
"an executive committee of the [national or international] bourgeoisie," extracting
surpluses from African farmers without making any effort to increase their produc-
tive capacity (Leys 1978; Wolpe 1972), this phenomenon alone is not sufficient to
explain the behavior of postcolonial regimes. Exploiting peasants is not unam-
biguously advantageous for the accumulating classes, as writers from Nicholai I.
Bukharin and Evgenia Preobrazhensky (1922) to Alain de Janvry (1981) have
pointed out, nor do bureaucrats and capitalists always work together in Africa or
anywhere else.
On the other hand, neoclassical economists repeatedly exhort African govern-
ments to confine their economic activities to functions which the market cannot or
will not perform such as providing public goods and controlling the level of aggre-
gate demand, but these economists never discuss the conditions under which such
a strategy might be feasible. Failure to address this issue sometimes leads to out-
right contradiction. For example, in a development scheme in Mali the govern-
ment failed to procure adequate supplies of millet and sorghum because the official
price did not cover farmers' costs of production. Then a private firm was called in
and managed "to persuade farmers to deliver some 10,000 tons of cereals annu-
ally" at the official price (World Bank 1981:54). Far from demonstrating the World
Bank's thesis that price incentives are the most effective way to raise agricultural
output, this example suggests that private enterprise has a comparative advantage
in its exercise of extraeconomic coercion!
More generally, the literature on the food crisis fails to explain why African
governments have rather consistently failed to adopt the right policies even if the
right policies were identified. The argument that politicians and bureaucrats are
not farmers and, hence, neither understand farmers' problems nor act in their inter-
ests, is hardly convincing. Many African politicians and officials are farmers' sons
or daughters, and some own and even manage agricultural enterprises of their own
(Heyer et al. 1981). On a theoretical level, it is insufficient to attribute government
policy to the attitudes of individual bureaucrats. In one of the few attempts to ex-
plain governmental policy choices, Robert H. Bates suggested that state policies
that discourage agricultural production reflect rational efforts by politicians and





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 69


bureaucrats to raise government revenues or consolidate state power (Bates 1981).
African countries with relatively good records of agricultural performance have
been those in which agricultural producers have acquired political power and used
it to design and enact policies favorable to agriculture, as occurred in Ivory Coast
and Kenya. Bates concluded that the key to agricultural progress elsewhere in Af-
rica is for farmers to gain power and use it to shift relative prices, government
taxes, and subsidies to their favor.
Like neoclassical economists, Bates apparently assumed that, once an agricul-
tural faction gained a foothold in the government, the resulting improvement in
agricultural incentives would be readily accessible to most producers, and the lead-
ers of the farmers' party would not try to use their power to appropriate all or most
of the resulting gains. The history of European settlers' political strategies and their
resulting impact on agricultural policies in Kenya, Rhodesia, and South Africa
suggests, however, that agricultural price supports and subsidies do not automati-
cally trickle down to the mass of small farmers (Palmer and Parsons 1977; Wilson
1971; Heyer et al. 1976). Even the avowedly promarket regimes of Kenya,
Malawi, and the Ivory Coast favor estate agriculture, promote parastatals, and
enact legislation to facilitate large land purchases (Kydd and Christiansen 1982;
World Bank 1978; Heyeret al. 1976). Bates reminded us, appropriately, that politi-
cians and bureaucrats are as rational or self-interested as are farmers; however, he
did not show that it is any easier to construct a theory of the state than to build
theories of market performance from the presumption of individual rationality
(Bates 1981).
That most postcolonial regimes in Africa took office under pressure (from
below, above, and within) to take responsibility for developing their economies
means they are obliged to adopt an interventionist stance towards economic ac-
tivities and institutions. Their mandate is a contradictory one. Because agriculture
is the principal source of foreign exchange, domestic incomes, and employment
for most African economies, governments need to raise agricultural production to
finance higher levels of imports and widen the domestic market. Also, agriculture
provides the principal tax base from which to draw government revenues and is the
major source of savings for nonagricultural investment. Extracting surpluses from
farmers reduces agricultural output and income, and vice versa. Thus, the formula-
tion and implementation of rural development strategies is a subject of debate and
political contention within the governing class.
In addition, both the form and effects of state policies toward agriculture are
shaped by relationships among farmers, traders, and consumers, and between
these groups and state agencies and personnel. Although few farmers' parties have
emerged in postcolonial Africa, farmers play an active role in shaping state
actions-both through organized political action and by encouraging their de-
scendants to seek wealth and influence outside of agriculture. Studies of farmers'
behavior and local rural conditions hold an important place in the social science
literature on food in Africa.





70 OVERVIEW


ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRAINTS AND TECHNOLOGICAL
DEVELOPMENT

Concern over lagging agricultural production in Africa has stimulated considerable
research on cultivation techniques and ways to improve them. Agronomists have
made progress in identifying environmental constraints to agricultural output and
productivity. African soils are fragile, subject to intense heat and extremes of mois-
ture or dryness, and tend to deteriorate quickly under conditions of increasingly
regular or intensive exploitation. Agricultural yields are often low, and raising
them requires enormous inputs of labor, except in areas where it is possible to prac-
tice long-fallow systems of cultivation (Kamarck 1976; Kowal and Kassam 1978;
Ruthenberg 1980). Even if enough labor were available, possibilities for increased
output are constrained in semiarid areas by the brevity of the rainy season and in
humid areas by soil erosion and leaching, which increase with more intense cultiva-
tion. Population densities in many parts of Africa are low compared with other trop-
ical regions; it used to be argued that Africans were not impelled by population
pressure to devise ecologically appropriate methods of intensifying agricultural
production (Ruthenberg 1980; United States Department of Agriculture 1981).
Recent research fosters a growing appreciation of the appropriateness of indig-
enous methods of cultivation (see references in Berry 1984; Eicher and Baker
1982). Agronomists recognize that, due to the physical fragility of tropical soils,
deep plowing often contributes to leaching and erosion; however, traditional culti-
vation methods such as heaping, ridging, intercropping, and minimum tillage pre-
vent deterioration of the soil structure (Lal and Greenland 1979). Farm-
management researchers collect detailed data on input-output coefficients, costs
of production, and technical requirements of alternative crop regimes and methods
of cultivation, then use this data to measure the profitability of alternative sets of
farming practices (Heyer 1971; Upton 1973; Collinson 1982; Norman 1972). These
studies contribute to a growing consensus that labor, rather than land, is often the
crucial constraint to African agricultural production.
The discovery that African farmers are often more concerned with saving
labor than with conserving cultivated land strengthened economists' faith in the
economic rationality of African farmers. Farmers' indifference to new crops with
labor requirements that conflict with those of established ones, or to new
techniques that only increase yield at the cost of considerably increased labor in-
puts, now appears to be consistent with local-factor endowments and is, hence,
economically efficient (Tourte and Moomaw 1977; Richards 1983a; Cleave 1974).
This leads to a new appreciation of some traditional farming practices that ag-
ronomists had previously denigrated because of their low yields. For instance,
mixed cropping, long fallowing, and cultivation of crops such as cassava may
maximize returns to labor, especially in seasons of peak demand, and are worthy
of greater attention by extension agents and agricultural researchers. Further re-
search demonstrates that various practices such as mixed cropping, combining up-





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 71


land and valley plots, and cultivating drought-resistant but low-yielding crops such
as finger millet, bulrush millet, sorghum, and cassava tend to reduce variations in
total farm output and thus contribute to farmers' security (Richards 1983b). On the
basis of these findings, agronomists modify or redesign research strategies, and
international agricultural research institutes hire some economists who place new
emphasis on developing crop varieties or cultivation methods that will not destroy
tropical soil structures or threaten the security or savings in labor time provided by
traditional practices (Terry et al. 1981; Plucknett et al. in this volume).
Although scholarly understanding of African agricultural practices has clearly
advanced in recent years, problems remain. Adaptation of Green Revolution
technology to specific African microenvironments remains spotty, although there
have been some notable successes. High-yielding varieties of maize are widely
grown in Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; high-yielding varieties of hybrid oil
palms, in Nigeria and Sierra Leone (Eicher and Baker 1982). However, many re-
searchers continue to have an overly simplistic concentration on single-factor ex-
planations: They have simply substituted labor for land as the scarce factor in Afri-
can agriculture, and, consequently, have focused research entirely on relieving this
constraint. Thus it has been argued that mechanization is both inevitable and desir-
able as a strategy for expanding productive capacity, especially for expanding the
capacity to grow domestically foodstuffs that are currently imported (Gaury 1977;
Hart 1982). In keeping with this argument, several governments, particularly in
West Africa, have launched or underwritten large-scale schemes for mechanized
rice production. Not only do such projects often absorb more foreign exchange or
government revenue than they generate (Pearson et al. 1981), they may prove en-
vironmentally damaging. The technique used to cultivate rice on large commercial
farms in northern Ghana has been described as "mechanized shifting cultivation."
It tends to destroy the physical structure of the soil, exhaust soil nutrients, disrupt
local food supplies, and foster social tension and conflict rather than alleviate food
shortages or reduce imports (Shepherd 1981).
Other studies conclude that African farmers' practices are often closely cali-
brated to local environmental conditions; these studies emphasize the importance
of economic and social constraints to farmers' incomes and productivity. David
Norman and others point out that inefficiency in agricultural production often re-
flects poverty rather than ignorance or mismanagement (Norman 1972). Moreover,
technical change is not always an unmixed blessing. For example, agronomists
have long argued that closer integration of crop and livestock production will yield
important technical complementarities, such as manuring and animal traction, for
African farmers. However, these technical benefits from mixed farming might be
realized only at great cost-for example, if cattle are kept near arable fields during
the cropping season, their foraging may threaten crops and generate conflict be-
tween farmers and herd owners (Delgado 1978; Norman et al. 1981). Technical
progress is sometimes a mixed blessing and may founder on its own inherent
contradictions.





72 OVERVIEW


RATIONAL PEASANTS AND IMPERFECT STRUCTURES *

By the end of World War II, Europeans were becoming increasingly aware that co-
lonial rule was not only cumbersome and costly, but also unnecessary to the ad-
vancement of European economic interests in Africa. During the colonial period,
if not before, Africans were drawn irreversibly into world markets. Once the im-
mediate task of postwar reconstruction had been undertaken, the colonizers could
afford to relinquish formal political control, secure in the knowledge that Africans
would find it in their own interest to continue to do business with their erstwhile
rulers. Growing acceptance of the desirability and feasibility of decolonization
parallelled social scientists' new belief in the economic rationality of individual
Africans and in the power of this rationality to explain economic trends. The publi-
cation of W. Jones's (1960) essay, "Economic Man in Africa," on the eve of
independence reflected the tenor of the times.
Economic rationality can mean different things in different contexts. In formal
decisionmaking models, it is usually defined as the ability or willingness to make
choices in accordance with a consistent ordering of preferences among alternative
outcomes. Since in reality the future is uncertain, outcomes are never actually
known in advance, and it is therefore impossible to prove conclusively that be-
havior is perfectly rational. In practice, when people say that African farmers are
rational, they mean that farmers act not in accordance with instinct or custom but
on the basis of reasoned assessments of their circumstances. Appreciation of this
point contributes to advances in understanding African ecologies and the indige-
nous methods of cultivation previously described, and certainly represents an ad-
vance over the notion, often expressed by colonial officials, that African farmers
act without thinking.
It is not always easy to predict what rational farmers will do under changing
circumstances because they can apply multiple rationales to a situation. For exam-
ple, in the following scenario profit maximization and risk aversion, often held to
reflect mutually exclusive preferences or attitudes, are complementary ones: If the
price of a crop fluctuates seasonally so that farmers who need to exchange some of
their crops for cash may be forced to sell cheap at harvest time and buy dear for
home consumption later in the year, then the response of farmers to store their
crops for their own consumption increases these farmers' real income and reduces
their vulnerability to risk. In general, the presumption that individuals are rational
does not enable us to predict their behavior. Furthermore, efforts to explain agricul-
tural performance in terms of the rationality of peasants (or planners) frequently
prove inconsistent or tautological. One recent attempt to take account of the impact
of international price fluctuations on economic policy points out that international
prices of peanuts and rice are more unstable than that of millet. Therefore, the au-
thors argue, if Senegalese planners dislike instability, their comparative advantage
lies in producing more millet, less rice, and fewer peanuts. If they enjoy gambling,
presumably they should specialize completely in peanuts! The argument is per-
fectly circular (Jabara and Thompson 1980).





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 73


Even if one assigns unambiguous motives to particular economic acts, it does
not follow that the analysis of individual behavior is sufficient to explain social
processes. History results from the interactions of individuals-the behavior of
some affect the circumstances of others. For example, economists often argue that
higher prices for agricultural commodities will lead to faster growth of agricultural
output and incomes. Their case rests primarily on studies of farmers' responses to
changes in price that focus on a single crop (no other variables are considered).
These studies may be useful for purposes of exposition, but are inadequate for
thinking about agricultural performance and policy. In practice, there are many var-
iables, and their consequences must be accounted for in order to predict the effects
of price changes. If the price of maize rises while other prices remain unchanged,
farmers may produce more maize by shifting land and labor from other crops, leav-
ing total output unchanged (Helleiner 1975). In some cases, increases in official
prices induce farmers to sell to government buyers crops that they would otherwise
have consumed, stored, or sold locally-thus creating acute shortages in local mar-
kets or contributing to malnutrition and hunger in rural families (Chauveau et al.
1981; Harriss 1979).
Factors other than crop prices may also affect output or sales of an agricultural
commodity. Changes in weather, access to markets or traders' margins, to say no-
thing of the effects of expectations, may all obscure or offset the effects of price
increases. Statistical estimates often show relatively weak correlations between
price and output. Because a weak relationship may, in principle, be attributed to
the effects of unspecified or unobservable variables, it cannot be said to refute the
strength of price incentives. Hence, whether studies conclude a strong or weak
correlation, these findings are regularly interpreted as supportive of the strength of
price incentives. Like the argument that total agricultural output is declining in
Africa, faith in the universality of positive supply response continues partly be-
cause it cannot be put to a conclusive test.
Studies of price trends in unorganized markets have also produced conflicting
evidence. In reviewing marketing studies by W. O. Jones and others, Barbara
Harriss noted that their evidence on the structure and performance of West African
markets often conflicts with their conclusion that such markets are reasonably com-
petitive (Harriss 1979:210). Historical and ethnographic literature has suggested
that markets worked well in the past not because they were highly competitive, but
because commercial intelligence, brokerage functions, and credit were controlled
by well-organized kinship or community-based networks (Baier 1980; A. Cohen
1969). At present, economists are well aware that much agricultural marketing in
Africa takes place outside official channels. However, there is little understanding
of how unofficial markets work. Harriss concluded: "There is no research to show
whether present stagnation is a result of a high response to low official
prices or a low response to high parallel market prices, or a high response to
parallel market prices that are lower than official prices" (Harriss 1979:375). Gen-
erally, empirical grounds for believing that higher crop prices promote agricultural





74 OVERVIEW


development do not seem to warrant the enthusiasm with which the case is often
put.
Finally, it is not very useful to base policy conclusions solely on analyses of
individual farmers' responses to changing economic incentives. Economists' criti-
cisms of African governments for reducing incentives to agricultural producers
often are implicitly comparing the existing situation to one in which state interven-
tion is nonexistent. Economic theory and facts of African political economy
suggest that this comparison is unrealistic. No market system functions in a politi-
cal vacuum; no environment for perfect competition ever survived for long, if at
all. A competitive environment is a hazardous one: Competition not only drives
down prices and profits but impels people to try to protect themselves from its vi-
cissitudes. Competition breeds market controls as well as lower costs, and even
competitive markets seldom remain competitive indefinitely. The choice facing Af-
rican governments is often not one of selecting between controlled prices and com-
petitive prices, but one of choosing to regulate prices themselves or letting other
factors take control.


DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND FARMING PRACTICES *

Understanding the context of resource allocation in African farming systems re-
quires examining the actual organization of agricultural production. African farm-
ers are involved in a great variety of domestic organizations and kin-based farming
units. These defy easy categorization, but clearly are not the self-contained nuclear
household that constitutes the principal unit of production and consumption in
most paradigms of peasant agriculture (see Cohen and McMillan in this volume).
To analyze agricultural performance in Africa, it is necessary to take account of
forms of domestic organization and their influence on farming practices.
In a recent review of Africanist literature on household and lineage, Jane
Guyer questioned the value of typologies of domestic organization in Africa: "The
concept of the lineage and typologies of lineage systems disguise far too much of
the variability in ways things get done: children brought up, livings made, author-
ity achieved and assigned, land distributed, bridewealth paid, residence deter-
mined and all the myriad other activities which can be organized along genealogi-
cal lines" (Guyer 1981:89). Similarly, we gain little understanding of processes of
agrarian change from typologies that try to establish unique correlations between
forms of domestic organization, ecological conditions, cultural systems, and/or
stages of economic development. The prevalence of kinship as an idiom of social
organization in Africa has led to various attempts to specify kin-based paradigms
of agricultural production. For example, matriliny has been associated with hor-
ticulture (Lancaster 1976) and underdevelopment (Goody 1962); hunting and
gathering, with bands, segmentary lineage systems, or male supremacy (Meillas-
soux 1981); low-density farming, with family labor (Lancaster 1979); precapitalist
economies, with a kinship mode of production (Terray 1974); and so forth. Such





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 75


typologies rarely withstand comparative analysis nor do they help to explain
change.
Nonetheless, because kinship is a common principle of social organization in
African communities, it is of potential significance for the organization of produc-
tion and investment. If relations of descent, affinity, or coresidence constitute a
basis for making claims on property, commodities, labor, or protection of other
people, then kinship relations and residential patterns are likely to influence the
ways in which productive resources are acquired and used (Hill 1963; S. Berry
1975).
The structure of a household may be as important as its landholdings or size
for determining the amount or composition of its output. Husbands and wives
often farm separately; exert different degrees of control over the labor, output, and
consumption of other household members; and participate differentially in extra-
household relations (Guyer 1981). Commercialization or technical change may af-
fect men and women differently, leading to changes in the division of labor within
domestic units or to changes in participation in extra-household transactions or to
both. In such cases, the impact of commercialization on agricultural performance
will not be captured by analyses that treat the household as a monolithic decision-
making unit.
In recognition of this problem, some Francophone ethnographers avoid using
the term "household" altogether, preferring to speak of units of production, con-
sumption, accumulation, and so forth, in order to distinguish both the functions
and the constitutions of each. Such distinctions may be analytically helpful as well
as empirically precise. J. M. Gastellu showed that the spread of cash cropping in
Senegal has not led to marked differentiation among the Serer people, partly be-
cause production and accumulation are carried out by overlapping but not identical
groups of kin (Gastellu 1977). Uterine brothers farm together under the direction
of the eldest, and they, together with their wives and children, constitute a unit of
joint-income management for purposes of consumption. Once consumption needs
of the group have been met, individuals remit surplus income to groups of their
own matrikin for joint investment in livestock. Wives and husbands belong to the
same unit of consumption but to different units of accumulation. Thus, elder men
who control the process of agricultural production are prevented from monopoliz-
ing the resulting surplus and using it to amass property on their own account.
In some extended families, accumulation is not only permitted but encour-
aged. Serakule kinsmen in Gambia pool their savings to purchase heavy agricul-
tural equipment from the state, and they have recently begun to grow rice on large,
mechanized, and irrigated farms worked by labor mobilized within corporate kin
groups of up to one hundred or more persons (Watts 1983: personal communica-
tion). In contrast, efforts by well-placed officials to launch large-scale mechanized
rice cultivation in northern Ghana-using state subsidized machinery and inputs,
hired labor, and questionable manipulations of local land-tenure practices-have
proved ecologically destructive, socially disruptive, and often commercially unvi-
able (Shepherd 1981; Johnny et al. 1981). African agricultural performance is not





76 OVERVIEW


shaped by the pervasiveness of kinship, as a principle of African social organiza-
tion, but by the way in which specifically constituted forms of domestic organiza-
tion interact with changing economic, technical, and political opportunities and
pressures.
The importance of understanding domestic relations in the context of farmers'
linkages to the wider political economy is not simply a matter of historical accu-
racy. Maintaining ties with kin groups or communities of origin is important
throughout contemporary Africa-not only for people legally barred from settling
in urban, industrial centers, as in South Africa, or for those paid so little they are
forced to cling to declining rural economies and anachronistic structures in order to
subsist, but also for those with surplus income who wish to invest it in valuable
assets and/or power and prestige. To the extent that Africans' access to property,
labor, patronage, or the resources of the state depend on membership in a descent
group or community of birth, it is understandable that Africans of all socioeco-
nomic levels invest in maintaining or enhancing their own standings in such groups
(see Cohen in this volume).
In some areas, the development of commercial farming is directly associated
with a rising incidence of polygyny and level of bridewealth payments (Cheater
1981). The Ghanaian officials and mechanized rice farmers mentioned previously
were not strangers to the local community when they defrauded other local farmers
of their ancient land rights. These officials were often local sons who used their
memberships in local lineages to gain virtually unlimited access to local land. This
is not an isolated example (Berry 1985). Elites as well as peasants often spend time
and money cultivatinghome-based ties, in part because property rights, credit, and
political mobilization are mediated through these ties. Commercialization, techni-
cal change, and the emergence of independent national governments affect rela-
tions among rural families, the division of labor within farming households, and
patterns of productive activities; in fact they affect the entire structure of rural
society.


DIFFERENTIATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE *

In contrast to studies that identify patterns of agricultural performance based on
the behavior of individual farmers, a substantial literature on agrarian change in
Africa explains both farmers' behavior and agricultural performance in terms of
the structure or dynamics, or both, of rural economy and society. Discussion cen-
ters on the degree to which agricultural commercialization, technical change, or
the agricultural policies of colonial and postcolonial regimes affects patterns of
inequality or the form and intensity of social cleavages and conflict.
Some studies suggest that the impact of commercialization and centralized
governments on African rural economies has been relatively superficial. Hyden
argued that "African peasants are less integrated in the cash economy than peasants
elsewhere" (1980:10), and that peasant households, though not entirely self-





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 77


sufficient, manage resources independently of one another and enjoy considerable
autonomy with respect to outside institutions such as the market and the state. "Af-
rican rulers have been unable to make the peasants effectively dependent on their
policy measures" (Hyden 1980:33); indeed, bureaucratic interference often drives
farmers to take refuge in parallel markets or virtual self-sufficiency. Hyden's views
are shared by a number of people concerned with Africa's food deficits who argue,
contrary to the World Bank's interpretation, that food crop production in Africa is
relatively unresponsive to market forces. The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) states baldly that, for most African farmers, "the reason for growing ex-
port crops is to sell them, while the reason for growing food crops is to eat them"
(USDA 1981:25). This position is challenged by researchers who point out that the
need for cash to pay taxes, purchase medical and educational services, and acquire
many household necessities forces even very poor families to sell a good part of
their agricultural output and to buy part of the staple food they consume (Cowen
1983).
Most social scientists agree that the expansion of capitalist enterprise and na-
tional governments has affected profoundly the structure of rural society and its
relation to wider economic and political systems, but disagree over the nature of
these effects. Scholars argue that commercialization and government intervention:
(1) transformed large areas of rural Africa into labor reserves; (2) turned African
cultivators into peasants, who control their own means of production but depend
on externally controlled markets and agencies for the returns to their productive
efforts; or (3) created class divisions in rural Africa similar to those in other
capitalist societies. A brief review of each of these arguments follows.
The labor reserve argument is based on the historical fact that both private
firms and colonial regimes needed a steady supply of cheap labor. To provide it,
colonial administrations frequently demanded that Africans pay taxes in cash, and
simultaneously restricted Africans' access to land or other sources of independent
income to compel them to seek wage employment. Farmers in West African
societies that were already involved in commercial relations with Europeans
through the slave trade were often able to supply European merchants with cheap
agricultural commodities. Export crop growers hired migrant workers from poorer
or more remote areas to work on their farms. Thus, many rural areas became labor
reserves for capitalist-dominated sectors (Arrighi 1970; Amin 1974a).
The extent to which labor migration impoverished rural communities is a sub-
ject of long-standing debate. Argument revolves around several interrelated ques-
tions: (1)Was production lost or maintained because withdrawal of migrant work-
ers' labor power from the community was compensated by the self-exploitation of
their relatives who stayed at home? (Berg 1965; Amin 1974a); (2) Did migrants'
remittances to their communities represent a net inflow of purchasing power to
their home areas or were remittances more than offset by reverse flows of
foodstuffs, school fees, and so forth? (Essang and Mabawonku 1974; Parkin 1979;
Amin 1974a); and (3) What was happening to the structure of rural economies?
Some have suggested that because African peasants were not dispossessed,





78 OVERVIEW


migrant workers' families continued to feed themselves and sometimes the mi-
grants as well, enabling capitalist firms to pay lower wages and increase their prof-
its (Wolpe 1972; Meillassoux 1981). In this way, colonial capitalism tended to fos-
silize rather than destroy traditional economies, creating a semiproletarianized
working class whose continued ties to the land promoted self-exploitation and de-
pendence rather than peasant autonomy. The homelands of South Africa are some-
times cited as an extreme example. Although South African whites have clearly
profited handsomely from cheap black labor, the homelands' dependence on remit-
tances of workers to cover basic consumption requirements may act as a drain on
the national economy's investable surplus rather than as a source of additional na-
tional wealth (Simkins 1981; Knight and Lenta 1980). By the 1970s, the im-
poverishment of the homelands was so acute that migrant workers' subsistence
needs were far from being met, in spite of workers' rights to land there.
Although the effects of the labor reserve system have been overwhelmingly
negative in South Africa, other labor-exporting areas have not fared as badly. In
parts of postcolonial Kenya, workers' remittances help to finance purchases of
rural land and increase peasant production for the market (Collier and Lal 1980;
Stichter 1982). In parts of Kenya and Uganda, migrants straddle the boundary be-
tween rural and urban sectors with considerable success, sometimes establishing
two households so that individuals may circulate between urban and rural areas,
practicing forms of gainful employment in both (Parkin 1979; Richards et al.
1973). Circulatory migration and occupational diversification are also common in
western and southern Africa (Mayer 1980; Colvin 1981; Amin 1974a), and mi-
grants often invest part of their earnings in livestock or other rural assets (Delgado
1978; Norman et al. 1981). Migrant labor contributes to rural differentiation as
well (Mayer 1980; Collier and Lal 1980). Such evidence casts doubt on the signifi-
cance of rural-urban boundaries as primary divisions of economic specialization
or socioeconomic differentiation. In short, the argument that commercialization,
or capitalist penetration, or both, transformed rural communities into labor re-
serves is only part of the story.
Cheap labor was not the only resource sought by Europeans from their African
colonies. In some areas, increased agricultural production for the market was con-
doned or encouraged, by both colonial and postcolonial regimes, in order to pro-
vide export earnings or cheap foodstuffs in the local economy. Aided by rising
world market prices for agricultural commodities, the early 1950s saw a re-
surgence of peasant production for the market, both in older areas of cash-crop
production and in areas where peasantization was discouraged before the war. At
various times, the growth of commercial opportunities created conditions for the
emergence of a class of local accumulators in African agriculture and a corres-
ponding demand for hired labor (Hill 1963; Lawson 1972; Kitching 1980). The
degree to which these tendencies resulted in the division of rural society into
capitalist farmers and landless workers depended, in part, on the role played by the
state in abetting or undermining the emergence of an African bourgeoisie.
Although colonial regimes acted at times to protect the profits of European





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 79


capitalists in trade, mining, industry, and agriculture, they were not invariably hos-
tile to African accumulators. For colonial regimes whose tax base depended, at
least in part, on the prosperity of African farmers and traders, the rise of an indige-
nous bourgeoisie was not an unmitigated disaster however much it might have
been opposed by European farmers and traders faced with African competitors.
And although prosperous Africans confronted their colonial rulers with a political
threat-wealthy Africans might have the means to challenge the power of the colo-
nial state-these Africans could often be induced to collaborate instead. By the
late colonial period, administrators were increasingly conscious of the role a class
of prosperous peasants, or "progressive farmers," might play in containing or de-
fusing rural discontent, producing agricultural commodities for both domestic and
foreign markets, and generating revenue for the state. Colonial policy toward Afri-
can agriculture is better understood as a relentless struggle to cope with the con-
tradictory implications of peasant accumulation and impoverishment than as a
simple extension of the cheap labor policies of European settlers and industrialists
(Lonsdale and Berman 1979; Berman and Lonsdale 1980).
Postcolonial governments vacillate between extracting surpluses from farm-
ers and subsidizing them. Marketing boards are both convenient and costly as in-
struments for mobilizing agricultural surplus. Overly aggressive pricing policies
often lead farmers to cut back production of export or other officially marketed
crops, seek refuge in parallel markets, or engage in political protest; thus, pur-
chases often decline (Beer and Williams 1975; Beckman 1978; Lamb 1974). Afri-
can governments frequently attempt to exploit local accumulators and to coopt
them by nationalizing lucrative enterprises or by using official prerogatives to gain
preferential access to land, capital, or market opportunities. Postcolonial govern-
ments of varying ideological persuasions demonstrate a common penchant for
state farms, parastatal enterprises, and joint government-private ventures in large-
scale farming. Governments often provide generous loans, subsidies, infrastruc-
ture, and technical assistance to a small number of large private farms (Heyer et al.
1981; Asante in this volume). Such policies reflect officials' pursuits of private
gain and states' desires to nationalize key productive activities in order to manage
more effectively the process of economic development. Such intervention often
serves to promote rural differentiation, but not necessarily in the form of an emerg-
ing rural bourgeoisie and proletariat.
Today, as in the colonial period, rich farmers are often clients or members of
the state and they receive access to credit, inputs, extension services, and market
opportunities on much more favorable terms than do the majority of farmers. This
is not the whole story, however. Prosperous farmers may invest outside of agricul-
ture, seek to commute their wealth into direct political power, or do both. In the
process, they may be absorbed into the national elite or come into conflict with
other elite factions over access to power and the management of the economy. Con-
flict between white farmers and industrialists over access to black labor was a sig-
nificant aspect of South African politics in the 1930s (Morris 1976), and the
Convention People's Party in Ghana went to considerable lengths and expense to





80 OVERVIEW


neutralize the power of indigenous capitalists, both inside and outside of the cocoa-
growing sector (Beckman 1978). Elsewhere, rural profits have been invested in
trade, education, and even manufacturing, creating a class of indigenous ac-
cumulators that cuts across rural-urban boundaries and often across the public and
private sectors as well (Berry 1985; Kitching 1980). In some cases, relations be-
tween the government and a particular rural elite have changed over time, as with
the Mourides in Senegal whose ability to deliver the votes of their rural followers
earned them substantial profits as well as power in the 1950s, but whose power
waned as Senghor's party consolidated its control of the state (Cruise O'Brien
1970). In short, "coping with the contradictions" and "crises of accumulation" are
problems not only for colonial states, but for postcolonial regimes as well
(Lonsdale and Berman 1979; Berman and Lonsdale 1980).


CONCLUSION *

Social science perspectives on food in Africa are varied, to say the least. This diver-
sity can be productive. Although this review of the literature does not indicate a
consensus, it does suggest directions for further study. It is increasingly evident
that food deficits and agricultural performance in Africa spring from many causes
including international economic and political processes, national politics, pat-
terns of government expenditure, legal and judicial systems, local institutions and
social relations, technical possibilities, and methods of cultivation. The multitude
of causes suggests to policymakers that it is probably not very useful to assess in
isolation the impact of any specific interventions-price controls, input subsidies,
dissemination of improved techniques, land reform, etc.-without considering
that any intervention affects many variables, and, in turn, many variables also in-
fluence the impact. It is necessary to try to understand how national, international,
and local processes interact to shape conditions and patterns of agricultural pro-
duction and distribution in Africa. It is also important to confront the diversity of
African farming systems and rural economies and to develop explanatory
frameworks that help to account for this diversity rather than to try to reduce Afri-
can agricultural processes to a series of universally applicable propositions about
human behavior or social structures. To capture the realities of African agricultural
practices and policy options, such frameworks should consider conditions of ac-
cess to productive resources and economic opportunities, as well as how resources
are allocated among alternative uses. These frameworks should also seek to
analyze, not castigate, the ways in which the acquisition and exercise of power-at
all levels of social interaction-influence economic performance, and vice versa.





SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 81


SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS *

Bates, R. 1981. Markets and States in Tropical Africa. Berkeley: University of California
Press.
Collinson, M. P. 1982. Farming Systems Research in East Africa. East Lansing: Michigan
State University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
Eicher, C., and D. Baker. 1982. Research on Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan
Africa. East Lansing: Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural Eco-
nomics.
Guyer, J. 1981. Household and Community in African Studies. African Studies Review
24:2/3:87-138.
Heyer, J., P. Roberts, and G. Williams, eds. 1981. Rural Development in Tropical Africa.
New York: St. Martin's Press.
Mayer, P, ed. 1980. Black Villagers in an Industrial Society: Anthropological Perspectives
on Labour Migration in Southern Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
Richards, P. 1983. Fanning Systems and Agrarian Change in West Africa. Progress in
Human Geography 7:1:1-39.




Full Text

PAGE 1

I -.. and i , r . Ila E. ~c~illan / 4 a

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Della E. McMillan FOOD IN 1905 NW 7th Lane Gainesville, FL 32603 SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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FOOD IN AFRICA SERIES Series Editor: Art Hansen Center for African Studies University of Florida Gainesville, Florida Africa's Agrarian Crisis: The Roots of Famine Stephen K. Commins, Michael F. Lofchie, and Rhys Payne, editors Food in Sub-Saharan Africa Art Hansen and Della E. McMillan, editors

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FOOD SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA edited by Art Hansen and Della E. McMillan Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Boulder, Colorado

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Figure 3.5 reprinted with permission from John M. Pritchard. 1979. Africa: A Study Geography for Advanced Students. Revised metric edition. London: Longman Inc. P. 65. Figure 6.10 reprinted with permission from John M. Pritchard. 1979. Africa: A Study Geography for Advanced Students. Revised metric edition. London: Longman Inc. P. 64. Published in the United States of America in 1986 by Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc. 948 North Street, Suite 8, Boulder, Colorado 80302 01986 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. All rights resewed Library of Congress Catal~ing-in-Publication Data Main entry under title: Food in Sub-Saharan Africa. Includes bibliographies and index. 1. Food supply-Africa, Sub-Saharan-Addresses, essays, lectures. 2. Nutrition policy-Africa, SubSaharan-Addresses, essays, lectures. 3. AgricultureAfrica, Sub-Saharan-Addresses, essays, lectures. I. Hansen, Art. 11. McMillan, Della E. HD9017S82F66 1986 338.1'9'67 85-28260 ISBN 0-931477-59-X ISBN 0-93 1477-58-1 (pbk.) Casebound edition distributed outside of North and South America and Japan by Frances Pinter (Publishers) Ltd, 25 Floral Street, London WC2E 9DS England UK ISBN 0-86187-598-2 Printed and bound in the United States of America

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Contents List of Tables List of Figures Preface 1 Overview: Food in Sub-Saharan Africa Della E. McMillan and Art Hansen An Integrated Understanding Outline of the Book PART 1 OVERVIEW 2 Food as a Focus of National and Regional Policies in Contemporary Africa S. K. B. Asante The Concept of Food Policy The Politics of Economic Intervention The Regional Approach Policy Reforms Summary Suggested Further Readings 3 The Political Economy of Food Issues Rent Lemarchand The Roots of Economic Vulnerability: The Legacy of Colonial Rule The View from Below: The Peasant Mode of Production

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vi CONTENTS Reexamined Socialist Versus Capitalist Models: An Interim Assessment The Incidence of External Constraints Notes Suggested Further Readings 4 . Agricultural Development Ideas in Historical Perspective John M. Staatz and Carl K. Eicher The Role of Agriculture in Development Economics, 1950-1969 The Growth-with-Equity Era Since 1970 Notes Suggested Further Readings 5 Social Science Perspectives on Food in Africa Sara Berry Searching for the Evidence-What Do We Know About Agricultural Performance? African Agriculture and the World Economy The Role of the State Environmental Constraints and Technological Development Rational Peasants and Imperfect Structures Domestic Organization and Farming Practices Differentiation and Social Change Conclusion Suggested Further Readings PART 2 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND 6 The African Environment Charles Guthrie Size and Regions Climate and Vegetation Patterns of Agriculture Demographic Patterns Economic Patterns Sources and Patterns of Identity Suggested Further Readings 7 Climate, Drought, and Famine in Africa Sharon E. Nicholson The Course of African Climate During Historic Time African Climates in Recent Times Causes of African Drought

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CONTENTS vii Prognosis for the Future Implications for Policy and Planning Suggested Further Readings 8 Subsistence Strategies and Systems of Land Use in Africa Daniel McGee Hunting and Gathering Fishing Pastoralism Cultivation Dynamism and Complexity Notes Suggested Further Readings 9 Traditional Social Formations Ronald Cohen The Individual in Traditional African Society Political Organization in Traditional Africa Conclusion Notes and Acknowledgments Suggested Further Readings 10 Agriculture, Food, and the Colonial Period R. Hunt Davis, Jr. Early Agriculture in Africa The Precolonial Century The Colonial Period The Colonial Legacy Notes Sugge&ed Further Readings PART 3 FOOD PRODUCTION 11 African Soils: Opportunities and Constraints Hugh Popenoe Soil and Management Problems Improving Soil Fertility Soil Erosion and Conservation Fire as an Agricultural Tool Sustainable Agriculture, Farm Size, and Labor Conclusion Suggested Further Readings 12 Major Domesticated Food Crops Clifon Hiebsch and Stephen K. O'Hair

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viii CONTENTS Cereal Grain Crops Clifon Hiebsch Farinaceous Crops Stephen K. O'Hair Legume Grain Crops Clifton Hiebsch Suggested Further Readings 13 Livestock in the Economies of Sub-Saharan Africa James R. Simpson and Robert E. McDowell Economic Importance Domestic Livestock Livestock Production Systems Constraints, Problems, and Prospects for Livestock Production Suggested Further Readings 14 Undomesticated Animals and Plants Michael E. McGlothlen, Paul Goldsmith, and Charles Fox Indigenous Animals Excluding Fish Michael E. McGlothlen Fish Paul Goldsmith Undomesticated Plants as Food Charles Fox Summary Suggested Further Readings PART 4 POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGY, DISTRIBUTION, AND NUTRITION 15 Postharvest Considerations in the Food Chain Robert P. Bates A Balanced Strategy Conservation Conversion Complementation Innovation Implementation Suggested Further Readings 16 Fuelwood Olivia Webley 254 Impact on Agriculture 255 Remedying the Situation 257 Sug'gested Further Readings 258 17 Distribution of Resources and Products in Mossi Households Della E. McMillan 260 Reservations about the Household Concept 261

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CONTENTS ix Intrahousehold Organization of Food Production, Consumption, and Distribution in the Central Mossi Plateau 263 Changing Patterns in a Settlement Project 268 Summary and Conclusions 27 1 Notes 272 Suggested Further Readings 273 18 Meeting Human Nutritional Needs Patricia A. Wagner 274 Nutrition, Health, and Functional Performance 275 Human Nutritional Needs and Dietary Patterns 28 1 Nutrition Policies and Programs 290 Suggested Further Readings 290 PART 5 WORKING TOWARD SOLUTIONS 19 The Role of International Agricultural Research Centers in Africa Donald L. Plucknett, Nigel J. H. Smith, and Robert W. Herdt History of CGIAR Current Work in Africa Impact on African Food Production Outlook Suggested Further Readings 20 Farming Systems Research and Extension: An Approach to Solving Food Problems in Africa Louise 0. Fresco and Susan V. Pouts General Concepts and Features Historical Roots and Development in Africa Francophone Approaches in Africa Anglophone Approaches in Africa Major Obstacles to Implementation in Africa The Future of FSRIE in Africa: Is It an Appropriate Solution? Notes Suggested Further Readings 21 Women Farmers and Food in Africa: Some Considerations and Suggested Solutions Anita Spring African Women are Farmers The Sexual Division of Labor Household Income and Food Supply

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x CONTENTS New Technologies Bypass Women Working Toward Solutions Conclusion Suggested Further Readings 22 Prospects for Long-Term African Changes: Lagos Plan of Action Versus The Berg Report Robert S. Browne and Robert J. Cummings Background Policy Analyses and Prescriptions Assumptions Underlying Both Documents Pragmatism, Feasibility, and Appropriateness of the Documents Notes and Acknowledgements Suggested Further Readings REFERENCES CONTRIBUTORS INDEX

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Tables and Figures TABLES Crisis Indicators for Sub-Saharan African Countries Classification of Sub-Saharan Africa According to Agricultural Production Performance, 1961-1 98 1 Percentage of Population Under Fifteen Years of Age in Selected Countries, 1984 Types of Data Useful for Historical Climatic Reconstructions Rainfall at Nine Stations in 1950, 1972 and 1983 and Mean Rainfall for 1950-1959 and 1970-1984 Principal Export Cash Crops from Africa During the Colonial Period Colonial European Settler Population in Africa Share of Total Commercial Energy Used in the Fertilizer and Agricultural Sectors of Developed and Developing Countries Average Annual Production and Per Capita Production Index, 1981-1983, and Caloric Intake, 1972-1974, for Staple Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa Average Annual Production, 1981-1983, and Estimate of Supplies for Consumption, 1975-1977, in Sub-Saharan Africa Average Nutritional Composition of Major Food Crops and Three Animal Products of Sub-Saharan Africa

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xii TABLES AND FIGURES Legume Grain Crop Environmental Preference and Plant Characteristics Classification of Contributions of Livestock to Human Welfare Cattle, Sheep and Goat Production in Africa and Selected Areas, 1983 Swine and Poultry Production in Africa and Selected Areas, 1983 Major Characteristics of Livestock Production Systems in Mali Food Spoilage Categories Some Key Appropriate Food Technology Needs Fuelwood Dependency in Selected Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa Indicators of Nutritional and Health Status in Relation to Measures for Poverty Incidence for 32 Sub-Saharan African Countries Three Major Functions of Nutrients Major Functions of Macronutrients Micronutrients Centers Supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), 1985 Number of International Agricultural Research Center (IARC) Senior Staff, Visiting Scientists and Staff on Deputation, Posted in Each Region in 1984 Levels and Units of Analysis in R-D (Recherche Dtveloppement) Approach to Farming Systems Research Contribution of Ivory Coast Women to Food Supply Cash Income and Expenditures of Married and Unmarried Cameroonian Women Time Allocation by Sex and Village in the Central African Republic Comparison of Topics in Berg Report and Lagos Plan A Comparison of Some Highlights of Berg Report and the Lagos Plan

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TABLES AND FIGURES xiii FIGURES The Size of Africa African Countries and Political Regions The Intertropical Convergence Zone: Winds and Rains in January and July African Vegetation Zones Annual Rainfall Distribution Patterns Traditional Agricultural Systems in Africa Comparative Indices of Food Production Per Capita, 1950 to 1984 National Population Estimates Comparative Population Growth Rates, 1950 to 2000 Comparative Age-Sex Population Pyramids African Countries Now Classified Among World's Least Developed Economic Islands in Africa General Ethnic Territories in Africa European Colonial Territories in Africa Distribution of Islam in Africa Fluctuations of Lake Levels and Climate in Africa During the Last 4000 Years Variations in the Level of Lake Chad During the Last 1000 Years Flooding and Rainfall Patterns in North and West Africa, 1555 to 1900 Variations in African Lake Levels Since 1700 Schematic of Continental Rainfall Anomalies c. 1820 to 1840, 1870 to 1895, 1895 to 1920 Trends of African Climatic Indicators (Lakes, Rivers, Rainfall and Harvests), 1880 to 1920 Rainfall Fluctuations in Three Regions of West Africa, 1900 to 1984

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Rainfall Fluctuations in Three Regions of East and Southern Africa, 1900 to 1970 Rainfall Departures from Normal in West and Northeast Africa, 1981 to 1984 (Percentage) Rainfall Departures from Normal for Africa, 1950 to 1959, 1968 to 1973 (Percentage) Suitable Areas for Rainfall Production of Millet, Sorghum, Corn (Maize), and Cassava in Africa Distribution of Cattle in Africa Postharvest Food Pipelines Fuelwood Scarcity in Africa Land Tenure in Home Village 1979-Percentage of Land Acquired for Cultivation Using Various Rights Land Allocation to Various Groups and Individuals and Labor Allocation to Cooperative and Private fields in the Home Village, 1979 Percentage of Land Cultivation by Various Groups and Individuals in Home Village, 1979, and in Project Village, 1983 Communication among Researchers, Farmers, and Development Workers Interactions Between Station-Based Technical Research and On-Farm Adaptive Research

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Preface The idea for this book grew out of a recognized need at the University of Florida for faculty and students to have a better understanding of the perspectives of their colleagues in other disciplines who were involved in the same overseas development projects or who were conducting research on related problems, often in the same Third World countries. Although there was a confluence of goalsusually related to increasing the food production and income of small farmersthere were wide differences in the assessments of priorities and in disciplinary acquisition of the necessary skills and experiences needed for the design of sound policies and programs. In 1977 various faculty members began to explore ways to strengthen interdisciplinary dialogue on development issues. One of the outcomes of this effort was an informal lunch seminar-Social, Agricultural, and Food Scientists Working Group-in which faculty and graduate students from different disciplines met on a weekly basis to discuss research interests and opportunities and to present research results and theoretical models dealing with Third World agriculture. This group became interested in a mode of research called farming systems research, and some of these people became involved in establishing at Florida one of the first formal programs for university-level training in farming systems research and extension. Another outcome was a conscientious effort on the part of the university's Center for African Studies to develop research, teaching, and public events on African agriculture. The center established a Food in Africa Program to encourage and coordinate these activities. In 1983 the Center for African Studies began an annual spring seminar on African food issues. Faculty were invited to present survey papers dealing with some of the critical food issues of concern to their own discipline, the evolution of this disciplinary concern over time, and their estimation of future research directions. Important topics, pertinent interested disciplines, experts in various fields, and critical readings were identified through this seminar, and then served as the basis

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xvi PREFACE for the present book. We encourage readers who have comments, suggestions, or questions to send them to the Food in Africa Program, Center for African Studies, 470 Grinter Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 3261 1. We would like to thank a number of people who have contributed directly to the production of the book. R. Hunt Davis, Jr., director of the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida, has been an invaluable force behind the de-' velopment of interdisciplinary studies in general and the development of the Food in Africa Program and this book in particular; we extend him a special note of thanks for his steady support throughout the entire project. Our publisher, Lynne Rienner, and her staff have been very encouraging and helpful. Paul Monaghan has performed his job of verifying the chapter citations and bibliography with enthusiasm and precision. Paul R. Stayert and Randy Pearsall deserve recognition for the excellent maps and figures. Carol Lauriault and Robin Sumner of the Center for African Studies should be thanked for the tables and general administrative assistance. We would also like to thank Akim Hansen, Anita Spring, and David Wilson for their support. We have learned a great deal. Art Hansen Della E. McMillan

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FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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Overview: Food in Sub-Saharan Africa DELLA E. McMILLAN ART HANSEN A fricans are experiencing a series of short-term and long-term food crises. Short-term crises are more evident to foreign observers and the news media than long-term ones, but the two types of crises are fundamentally linked in SubSaharan Africa. Short-term, or acute, crises are characterized by the sudden appearance somewhere in Africa of large numbers of starving people or people weakened by undernutrition who, consequently, are dying of diseases and exposure. Quite often these sufferers are also embroiled in a war or fleeing as refugees or as drought-driven migrants. Examples of acute crises during the past two decades include the Biafran famine of the late 1960s, the Sahelian and Ethiopian drought and famine of the late 1960s and early 1970s, wars and refugees in many countries (Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, among others), and the Ethiopian and Sahelian drought and famine in the mid-1980s. Sometimes the onset of an acute crisis is more gradual than the sudden realization or recognition of the crisis by observers might imply. A recent instance is the 1984 Ethiopian famine with its accompanying exodus into Sudan of hundreds of thousands of people. Although official reports had anticipated this disaster for some time, the crisis burst almost unheralded into the U.S. public consciousness with a single television special in October 1984. The long-term, or chronic, food crises are less dramatic, less immediate, and less obvious to the casual observer. They are characterized by gradual--over a period of years or decades--changes and trends in economic or ecological factors or relationships. In the beginning these trends are merely worrisome, but their continuation threatens the stability and existence of the societies and economies because the systems are obviously failing to cope. These chronic crises starve national and local food systems by depleting reserves that would otherwise be available to individuals, families, villages, and countries to help improve living standards or, at least, to serve as buffers from the effects of acute crises. Examples of chronic crises include decreasing food production per capita, desertification, de

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2 OVERVIEW forestation, increasing foreign debt, and increased importation of staple foods. Acute crises often seem to be independent of these long-term trends; identifiable and immediate events are seen as sufficient to cause the acute crises. A war begins in the Ogaden between Somalia and Ethiopia, then hundreds of thousands of refugees appear-a recognizable rapid cause and effect. The same occurs with wars in Chad and Mozambique. The rains fail for one or two years in northern Ethiopia or the West African Sahel, and people are driven by drought to cluster around the capital cities and towns and even to flee to Sudan, Cameroon, and Nigeria in search of food-immediate cause and effect. Famine of drought and famine of war are both acute crises. Yet the severity of the popular responses, the deaths and dislocations, and the inadequacy of national food systems to cope with acute crises are directly linked with the more deeply rooted long-term crises. The linkage of acute and chronic crises is often overlooked and many observers naively believe that the acute crises are the only crises. As Robert MacNamera recently noted, "Ironically this avalanche of compassion for the open and visible suffering of the victims of famine-genuine as it is-has tended to obscure the more fundamental problems not only of the Sahelian zone itself, but of much of Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole" (1985: 12). Although the rains may begin in northern Ethiopia, the food crisis is not over. Even if the Eritrean war were over; theTigrean and Ogaden regions, Angola, Chad, and Mozambique peaceful; all of the parties to the conflicts satisfied; and all of the refugees repatriated; the food problems in Africa would continue. Spaceship Earth has sprung a leak in Africa. The relationships of population, food production, natural resources, reserve capital, and political and technical expertise still spell disaster. The lifeboat is riding very low in the water, and the next wave-a war, drought, locusts, disease-will sweep more people away. Africa's population is growing faster than that of any other continent. With its current annual growth rate of approximately 3.0 percent, the population will double in approximately twenty-three years. Agriculture is the single largest employer of this population. Sixty-three percent of Africa's economically active labor force were still engaged in agriculture in 1984. This percentage has been steadily decreasing over the years as more people move to towns and cities or as those remaining in the rural areas become involved in nonagricultural work. In many African countries-particularly the poorer ones with less industry, mining, and other offfarm sources of employment-80 percent or more of the labor force remains devoted to agriculture (see Table 1.1). Even though the percentage of the labor force in agriculture is slowly decreasing, the rapid increase in the total size of the population means that the total number of workers relying directly on agriculture for their living will increase in the years to come. This statistic does not include, of course, the additional noneconomically active people (young children, the sick and aged) who also rely directly on agriculture for their livelihood. Although this book focuses on problems and problemsolving, we must not forget that the vast majority of African farmers continue to be productive. Food production has actually increased over the years in most Sub-Saharan African

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OVERVIEW: FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 3 countries, as shown by the index of food production (see Table 1.1). This index is based on each country's domestic production of food during the 1974-1976 period. The average annual production during these years is the baseline for comparison and has been given the value of 100; the index shows the relationship of 1984 food production to that earlier period. A few countries have not maintained the level of food production that they attained almost ten years ago, although a few others have made significant increases. The real measure of self-sufficiency is not in food production per se but in production per capita. Comparing these statistics (see Table 1.1) shows that many countries have not managed to maintain or improve their production per capita. Many countries have failed to keep up with their increase in population, which is a primary reason for the increase in food imports. On the other hand, imports (and the reasons for imports) may have caused the poor performance of the agricultural sector (see Asante and Lemarchand in this book). Food production is obviously an essential element of the food crises, but wealthy countries can afford to purchase the food they need. Unfortunately, Sub-Saharan African countries are not wealthy and have already accumulated large external debts, especially in relation to their Gross National Products, so food imports are not a satisfactory long-term solution. These statistics are disheartening, and they reveal some of the systemic weaknesses and long-term trends that further diminish the stability and integrity of Africa's food systems. AN INTEGRATED UNDERSTANDING How do we address these fundamental problems, and how may we better understand the relationship between Africa's acute and chronic food crises? The complexity of the problems and linkages demands a multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach that is able to probe deeply into or work intensively with individual factors and relationships without losing sight of how these pieces fit together. Unfortunately, such an approach is rarely, if ever, encountered. The usual research and development approaches to food issues in Africa and elsewhere are specialized, compartmentalized, and not integrated. National planning, research, and development units are often in separate ministries and work independently, without any coordination. Agricultural research and extension units are not only administratively separate but often opposed and competitive, rather than cooperative. Foreign aid is similarly fragmented. Emergency relief for acute crises is zealously guarded to prevent its use for long-term development. Development assistance is packaged in projects, each of which is usually focused on one locale, aspect, or level and restricted to one recipient unit or ministry. The multiplicity of projects and donors commonly overwhelms the administrative ability of the developing country and actually diminishes the effectiveness of the small number of skilled, experienced administrators who are a critical and limited resource. Research scientists based in universities are similarly uncoordinated in their research efforts. Each discipline generally carries out its work independently of

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TABLE 1.1. Crisis Indicators for Sub-Saharan African Countries .P u 1984 1984 Labor in 1984 Index of 1984 Index of Food 1983 Ratio of External Region and Population Agricultures Food Production Production per Capita 0ept to GNP~ s P Country (mill ions) (percentage) (1974-1976=100) (1974-1976=100) (percentage) 5 West Africa (17) Benin Burkina Faso Cape Verde Chad Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast Liberia Ma1 i Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Northeast Africa (4) Djibouti ~thio~ia Soma1 ia Sudan Central Africa (7) Cameroon Central Afr. Rep. Congo Equatorial Guinea

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Gabon Sao Tome, Principe Zaire East Africa (6) Burundi Kenya Rwanda Seychelles Tanzania Uganda Southern Africa (14) Anaol a Boiswana Comoros Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Reunion South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Total Africa Sources: 1984 statistics are from the 1984 FA0 Production Yearbook, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, and 1983 statistics are from the World Development Report 1985 published by Oxford University Press for the World Bank. % B n aLabor represents the economically active sector of the population. b~~~ means the Gross National Product.

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6 OVERVIEW the others. This isolation of the disciplines is continued by the tradition of academic departmentalization within the university system that educates professionals. Agricultural scientists focus on technical dimensions of crop and animal production and specialize in particular species. Their work is further subdivided by a traditional separation into breeding and genetics, soil fertility, crop production and management, animal husbandry, and control of diseases, insects, weeds, and nematodes. Meteorologists, &resters, ecologists, and wildlife biologists investigate the weather and the state of natural resources, often in isolation from the agricultural scientists. Social scientists study socioeconomic dimensions of production and distribution of products and income, including varying sociopolitical access to productive resources, as well as pricing, marketing, and other national policy issues. Food scientists and nutritionists concentrate on processing, storage, and the real "bottom line''-food consumption and the quantitative and qualitative adequacy of supplies. Seldom do these disciplines interact in any sustained manner to address the complexities of African food issues, a tendency that is also evident in most textbooks and even edited reference books on African orThird World food and development topics. A notable exception is the multidisciplinary volume, The Politics ofNatural Disaster: The Case of the Sahel Drought (Glantz 1976). Although disciplinary specialization is an essential element of agricultural research, it is associated with the loss of the integrated (generalist or interdisciplinary) capacity to see how specialized diagnoses and proposed solutions interrelate with one another, as well as with the wider ecological, socioeconomic, and political context in which the production, distribution, and consumption of food take place. This book offers an integrated multidisciplinary perspective on African food issues. In its entirety, the volume is a message about the complexity of contemporary food issues and about how different disciplines fit together to offer insights and to provide useful information. Fifteen disciplines are represented here from the natural, production, and social sciences. Almost all of the authors have worked in Africa and are continuing to work there; all are concerned with Africa's people, with what lies behind the current events and acute emergencies, with the Africa that seldom or never makes the news. This type of broad, interdisciplinary perspective is important for anyone involved in teaching, administration, or research on African food issues who wants a vantage point for seeing the interrelationships among domains of expertise and policy concern. OUTLINE OF THE BOOK Although the entire book is an integrated statement, it is divided into five parts, and different readers may be most interested in using various parts or chapters as introductions to unfamiliar data, areas, or perspectives. Each of the five parts of the book may be used as a separate set of readings to complement a reader's current expertise or as supplemental readings in university courses. All of the contributing authors have written in a manner intelligible to people in other disciplines and to

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OVERVIEW: FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 7 nonacademics, i.e., jargon has been minimized or eliminated. In addition to the usual scholarly citations in the text, each author has also suggested a short list of articles and books that are readily accessible for those readers who are new to the material or perspective presented in that chapter; a list is appended to each chapter. References that are cited in the text are collected into a common bibliography at the end of the book. In the four chapters that constitute the first part, political scientists and economists provide a general overview at the level of policy and also compare theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. S .K.B. Asante introduces the concept of food policy, and four levels (global, continental, regional, and national) of policy responses to food crises are discussed. He considers the overevaluation of national currency exchange rates to be the most devastating national policy in terms of depressing agricultural production. Ren6 Lemarchand examines the political economy of food, beginning with the effects of colonial policies. Various interpretations of the peasant mode of production are contrasted, and the ideological differences between supposedly socialist and supposedly capitalist states appear less important than the forms of smallholder social organization, the elite manipulation of their market advantage, and external constraints. John Staatz and Carl Eicher describe the theoretical evolution since 1950 of development economics, focusing on the changing perception of agriculture and the interplay between theory and experience. From the 1950s to the 1960s, the emphasis was on investment in industry; agriculture was viewed as a passive cow to be milked and smallholder labor was viewed as a free good. African leaders and other Third World leaders based their countries' development on these theories and were disappointed by the results-the need to develop agriculture became more apparent. As the authors trace this evolution, we realize how much these theories have influenced the direction that many Third World governments followed in the design of policies and investment priorities. Sara Berry begins her review of the social science literature on food in Africa with a much-needed reminder about the weakness of the data on which discussions of food crises are based (including the data in Table 1.1). She examines a broad range of sociopolitical, socioeconomic, and ecological studies, then clarifies the major directions and perspectives in this diverse body of knowledge. The second part contains five chapters written by historians, anthropologists, and a meteorologist to provide an introduction to Africa for readers who are unfamiliar with the continent, its resources, climate, and people. The heterogeneity of Africa, the existence and relevance of historical patterns in climate and politics, and the importance of socioeconomic factors are revealed in these chapters. Charles Guthrie emphasizes a number of dimensions of the African environmentsize, political regions, climatic and vegetation patterns, and agricultural systems-thereby demonstrating the heterogeneity and diversity of Sub-Saharan Africa. Population growth and distribution and economic patterns are described, as is the importance of ethnicity, language, and religion to individual and group iden

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8 OVERVIEW tity. Africa is seen to be sociopolitically dynamic. Sharon Nicholson describes long-term climatic fluctuations in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing an important time depth for recent drought periods. Her fascinating data reveal that droughts are "an inherent characteristic of the environment"; they must be seen as normal events that recur at irregular intervals and must be included in development planning and policy decisions. Daniel McGee points out that the existence of natural resources is only one dimension; another dimension is the technology that people choose to use to exploit these resources. He outlines four basic land-use systems or subsistence strategies-agriculture, herding, fishing, and hunting and gathering-each has been associated with characteristic ways to organize people and their labor. The "ways of feeling, believing, and behaving" that are indigenous to SubSaharan Africa are defined and described by Ronald Cohen. Although contemporary African societies are complex and contain many features that are not traditional in Africa, married and family life and larger sociopolitical relationships continue to be strongly influenced by indigenous principles and patterns. Agricultural and socioeconomic development programs are usually based on the individual or the household, but it is naive to assume that these behave entirely according to Western economic principles and to ignore their embeddedness in traditional social formations. R. Hunt Davis, Jr. examines in depth a controversial topic alluded to by many other contributors: the importance of the colonial experiences as causes of contemporary food crises. He places the colonial period in a longer historical context, documenting the precolonial origins of cash cropping and discussing the postcolonial continuation of many colonial policies. The third part gives readers from the socioeconomic and policy sciences an opportunity to appreciate the empirical and analytical concerns of technical scientists. Four chapters cover a wide range of technical issues dealing with food production. The contributors, representing the disciplines of soil science, agronomy, horticulture, agricultural economics, animal science, anthropology, and dairy science, point out that there are many technical problems that have not yet been solved. Hugh Popenoe addresses the soil types found in Africa and the interaction of soils, plants, climate, and management. Soil fertility and erosion are major concerns, as are policy questions dealing with self-sustainability, industrial inputs, and the advantages of smaller versus larger farms. Clifton Hiebsch and Stephen O'Hair clarify the nutritional characteristics, geographic distribution, and production requirements and constraints of the major food crops, both by category (cereal grains, farinaceous, and legume grains) and by individual species. James Simpson and Robert McDowell describe the economic and nutritional importance of domestic livestock and their byproducts, as well as the production systems and constraints found in Africa. Michael McGlothlen, Paul Goldsmith, and Charles Fox discuss the most underrated sources of food in Africa-undomesticated animals and plants. They document the importance of these food sources, the need for additional research, and the integration of this information into national food planning and development.

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OVERVIEW: FOOD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 9 The four chapters in the fourth part of this book rectify another common imbalance in discussions of African food and famine. All too often the only issue discussed is production; the critical importance of distribution, storage, preparation, consumption patterns, and nutritional needs are ignored. Robert I? Bates begins this section by examining postharvest considerations as one element in the food chain. Olivia Webley points out the importance of fuelwood in converting crop and animal products into food, and she clarifies the relationship between deforestation and food crises. One of the editors addresses questions of intraand interhousehold distributions. Many observers consider farmers to be organized in self-sufficient households, so that the only distributional concern is how to move their surplus food to the cities. Based on her research in Burkina Faso, Della McMillan details the complexity and social embeddedness of the ways that rural people gain access to productive resources, especially land and labor, and to the food that is produced. She also questions the usefulness of the household concept as a basis for development planning because of intrahousehold and suprahousehold decisionmaking and distribution patterns. A discussion by Patricia Wagner on human nutritional needs and the relationship of nutrition, diet, health, and performance follows. In the final four chapters in the fifth part, ways in which Africans and international development agencies are working toward solutions to food crises are addressed. Donald Plucknett, Nigel Smith, and Robert Herdt describe the evolution and work of the international agricultural research centers, important resources in themselves and designed to support and encourage strong national research and extension programs. Louise Fresco and Susan Poats define and discuss farming systems research and extension, an innovative approach to understanding the problems confronting African farmers and to establishing effective working relationships among farmers and research and extension staffs. This approach provides a methodology for more practical research and more integrated research and extension. Anita Spring presents another way in which a better understanding of the socioeconomic characteristics of African agriculture will contribute to more effective policies and development programs. Women are extremely important in African agriculture, both as laborers and as decisionmakers; yet research and development are guided by mistaken Western beliefs about "the farmer and his wife," which serve to block women's access to information and other resources that would help women increase their effectiveness as farmers. A discussion by Robert Browne and Robert Cummings completes the book by returning to the level of national and international policy that was the subject of the first chapters. In this final chapter, as in others throughout the book, the clear message is that Africans and African initiatives are the bases for progress. Africa has problems, both acute and chronic, and these problems must be addressed by Africans in order for any meaningful policies to be formulated and implemented. The Lagos Plan of Action is a long-range plan agreed to by the African heads of state to restructure African economies. Browne and Cummings compare the plan to the World Bank's program, as described in the 1981 Berg Report, which addresses more immediate concerns.

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10 OVERVIEW The problems and constraints that Africans confront are difficult and intricately interrelated. We hope that this book illuminates that there are no simple solutions nor facile understandings.

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Food as a Focus of National and Regional Policies in Contemporary Africa S. K. B. ASANTE T he disappointing performance of Africa's food and agricultural sector, resulting in what is now termed a continental African food crisis, has continued to occupy the attention of the international community, African governments, policymakers, and academics during the 1970s and 1980s. Concern over the magnitude and complexity of this crisis has evoked policy responses and declarations at four levels. At the global level, the 1974 United Nations (UN) World Food Conference was entrusted with developing ways and means whereby the international community, as a whole, could take specific action to resolve the world food problem within the broad context of development and international cooperation. The conference produced an impressive declaration on the eradication of hunger and malnutrition (UN 1975:64). At the continental level, collective African policy within the framework of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is articulated in the very first substantial chapter of the 1980 Lagos Plan ofAction, the 1984 Harare Declaration of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Addis Ababa OAU Declaration, and the 1985 OAU Declaration "Africa's Priority Program for Economic Recovery, 1986-1990" (OAU 1981, 1984, 1985; FA0 1984). At the African regional level, groups such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) express their responses to the crisis in their respective food and agricultural programs; at the national level, responses to the crises are stressed in the development plans of individual African countries. This four-pronged policy response reflects the magnitude of Africa's food problem. The problem is even more alarming when it is considered that SubSaharan Africa is the only region in the world where per capita food production has declined during the past two decades. Food self-sufficiency ratios had dropped from 98 percent in the 1960s to around 86 percent by 1980, implying that, on the average, each African had 12 percent less home grown food in 1980 than twenty years earlier (Economic Commission for Africa l983:8; World Bank 1984: 10-11). This disappointing performance in agriculture and in food production reflects a

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12 OVERVIEW very serious situation because this sector, the mainstay in most African economies, makes the single largest contribution (40 to 60 percent) to the gross domestic product and provides over 50 percent of the export earnings of most African countries (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:l). Although this contribution varies among countries, it remains, in most countries, the single most important generator of overall economic growth and any sustained future development, including the supply of capital, raw materials, and labor for industrialization. Hence the food question is inextricably entwined with the general problems of agriculture and economic development in Africa, and no government can afford to ignore the social and political disruptions caused by food production failures on this scale. Not surprisingly, the causes and remedies of Africa's agrarian malaise have been the subject of wide-ranging debate among experts and policymakers. This debate has, in turn, given rise to a series of such crucial and challenging questions as the following: How did Africa's food situation come to be in such a thoroughly disturbing and perilous state? What are the root causes of food deficits of this magnitude? Why has food proved to be so intractable a problem? Why has the "temporary" resort to food imports become a permanent feature of Africa's food trade? How have African governments intervened in the food and agricultural sector? Put differently, what policies have been adopted at both national and regional levels to deal with the problem? What are the components or objectives of these policies? Finally, what prospect for solving the crisis do these policies offer? These questions cannot be conclusively answered here. To throw light on some of them, this chapter focuses attention primarily on the key issue of national and regional food policies of African countries since independence. Because regional approaches to food problems in Africa are a relatively recent phenomenon, national policies receive wider coverage and emphasis. Before considering these policies, it seems appropriate to set the stage with a brief review of the concept of food policy, its rationale, scope, and objectives. THE CONCEPT OF FOOD POLICY Food policy (variously termed national food plan, national food strategy, national food security scheme, or national agriculture and nutrition plan) at its core constitutes an integrative policy approach to food production, distribution, and consumption, encompassing the broad economic and social policies and reforms that affect the wider distribution of income and people's access to food. In other words, this is a policy which, as a recent World Bank publication puts it, encompasses the collective efforts of governments to "influence the decision making environment of food producers, food consumers, and food marketing agents in order to further social objectives" (Timmer et al. 1983:9). Generally, this policy serves as a mechanism to give institutional expression to the priority for food and the elimination of hunger, transcending the sometimes sharp, sectoral demarcations in national decisionmaking.

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FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 13 Food policy is first and foremost a political act. It is political to the extent that it is aimed primarily at placing (or replacing) a country's food and nutrition problems, along with other aspects of development, on a scale of priorities-at the top of the list if necessary. It is also a political act because the strategy is not just one more policy document. Food policy must be designed and presented to mobilize promotion for the policy not only in the administration, but also, and most importantly, among the first to be concerned-the peasants or food producers themselves. Therefore, it is important to get the rural population as involved in the design and implementation of food policy as possible. Food policy has to define and plan the implementation of meakres that give national producers, including fishermen and herdsmen, the economic and social incentives and the security they need to go beyond subsistence farming and help meet the needs of the country as a whole. Basically, food policy should involve the rural world in a development process that will be self-sustaining in the long run. National food policy in most societies is designed to achieve four basic objectives: efficient growth in the food and agricultural sectors, job creation, a decent, minimum standard-of-living, and security against famine or extreme food shortages (Timmer et al. 1983: 14-15). The emphasis placed on each objective varies by country and over time; the importance of each objective reflects the contribution of each to a nation's health and welfare and, implicitly, to its political stability. From this perspective, understanding the causes of Africa's food problem should lead to better policy. Amaryta Sen has succinctly remarked, "There is, indeed, no such thing as an apolitical food problem" (Sen 1982:459). Regardless of the variety of perspectives permeating the literature, it is increasingly apparent that the poor performance of African agriculture cannot be attributed to physical constraints or infrastructural defects. The key to Africa's agrarian malaise seems to lie ultimately in government policies over the years. Agricultural, food, and other rural policies set by governments are crucially important in creating incentives and in shaping the economic environment within which food producers operate. Given much needed incentives and realistic policy directives, physical and biological constraints are not factors that farmers are unable to transcend (Bates 1981:2; Tarrant 1980:45). Theodore Schultz has gone as far as to argue that "incentives to guide and reward farmers are a critical component" in food production. And, once there "are investment opportunities and efficient incentives, farmers will turn sand into gold" (Schultz 19645). Although this may seem a little oversimplified, the significance of Schultz's argument may hardly be disputed. Undoubtedly, it is the "complex web of interrelationships between Africa's agricultural markets and government policies" that, more than anything else, has created the present agrarian malaise (Scarlett 1981: 175). Markets and government policies have not received much attention in the literature, probably because they are complex and because pronouncements concerning them are more "politically volatile" than are evaluations of technical and physical problems (Scarlett 1981:175). But it is precisely within this more controversial arena that understanding ofAfrica's food problems must be

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14 OVERVIEW sought and future research areas and policy reforms must be identified. THE POLITICS OF ECONOMIC INTERVENTION The food problem in Africa has deeper historical roots than are usually appreciated. (For details about these roots see Davis in this volume.) Food was not a priority area for capital investment during the entire colonial period (Eicher 1982:157-58; Tandon 1981:86-88; E. Hansen 1981:103-105; Dinham and Hines 1984: 17-20). Land, labor, and other resources of the colonies were diverted away from food and into the production of industrial raw materials. Infrastructural developments that took place in Sub-Saharan Africa during this period, and for almost fifteen years after independence, were mainly to service the production, transportation, and marketing of industrial crops; after independence, developments also included the creation of import substitution industries (Tandon 1981:88). Throughout this period, little attention was paid to investments in human capital, i.e., the training of African agricultural scientists and managers, or to research on food crops or to strengthening internal market linkages. Research on export crops was more intensive and generally more productive. Virtually all the peasants-practically the whole population-were "left pretty much to their own devices to feed themselves" (Tandon 1981:88). There was no food policy or organization to encourage food production. Colonial agricultural policy-indeed, the inherited structure of most economies as a whole-has not been appreciably altered by the successive African elites. Since independence, the agricultural strategies of almost all African countries, especially regarding the food subsector, have been generally laissez faire: They have allowed the status quo to prevail (Dittch 198153). It is not suggested that African governments have not intervened in agriculture. On the contrary, they have intervened extensively and have exhibited a wide range of diversity in the extent of government intervention in food systems. Despite differences in policy choice and priorities, African countries have stressed the great importance of agriculture both in their official pronouncements and in their development plans. These plans, in almost identical terms, acknowledge the overriding need to increase and diversify agricultural output, to achieve self-sufficiency in food supply, and to raise rural income and living standards (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:6). Although such stated policies for increasing food production reflect a growing commitment to the agricultural sector, the implementation of these policies is often thwarted, inter alia, by changing government priorities and developmental deficiencies. Another common factor worth stressing is related to the general approach of African governments to the agricultural sector. Whereas the approach of developed countries to agriculture may be called "the integrative view," which sees this sector as more or less an equal partner with industry and other sectors of society, in the Third World and in Africa in particular, the approach to agriculture may be called

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FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 15 "the exploitative view." This perspective does not accept the agricultural sector as an equal partner with other sectors of development. Rather, it sees this sector as a subservient one to be exploited for urban industrialization (Clute 1982: 1-2). As Robert H. Bates observed: To secure revenues to promote industry, African states seek taxes from agriculture. By maintaining a sheltered industrial order, they generate economic benefits for elites, as well as resources for winning the political backing of influential groups in the urban centers. To safeguard their urban-industrial base, they seek low-cost food. This aim therefore leads them to intervene in markets and to attempt to depress the level of farm prices (Bates 1981:120). Leaders and governments throughout Africa, whether civilian or military, capitalist or socialist, generally view agriculture as a backward sector that should be exploited and controlled in order to provide agricultural surpluses, taxes and labor, and to finance structural change and industriallurban development. There exists, therefore, a striking similarity between the colonial policy that exploited the resources of colonial territories to develop the metropolis and the national policy that now exploits the resources of the countryside to develop the urban cities. This is reflected in various aspects of agricultural and food policies adopted by African governments since attaining independence. Public Investment in Agriculture Allocation of public investments to the food and agricultural sector merits special attention in any discussion of national food policy in Africa as this underscores the low priority assigned to this sector over the years. A recent review of government expenditure policy by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) concluded that African governments "have not been backing up their avowed food selfsufficiency objectives by increased allocation of public resources" (ECA 1984). This is reinforced by the FAO's "Interim Report on Constraints on Food Production," which shows the extent to which expenditures of African governments on agriculture from domestic resources have tended to decline in real terms (FA0 1983a). Intercountry comparisons are not easy to come by, owing to definitional, data, and measurement problems. However, in the 1970s around 10 percent or less of planned development expenditure was allocated to the agricultural sectors in Kenya and Mali, as compared with 31 percent in India during the first five-yearplan in 1951 and 20 percent of the much larger absolute investment in the subsequent three plans (Lele 1984:440). By way of contrast, in both Ghana and Nigeria the commitment to agricultural development has been merely verbal. 1 Ghana allocated a mere 7 percent of public investments to the agricultural sector during 1974-1976. Nigeria's Second (1970-1974) and Third (1975-1979) Development Plans showed a distinct industrial bias. In the latter plan, less than 6 percent of total expenditure, recurrent and capital, was reserved for agriculture,

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16 OVERVIEW despite professed belief in its important role (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 198368). This relative neglect of agriculture has resulted in little research on food crops, weakly staffed extension services for food farming, and inadequate investments in farm-to-market transportation. Many areas of potentially significant surpluses remain cut off from urban consumers and, hence, producers have no incentive to produce in surplus of family and social needs. In addition, the emphasis on exports (the cash-crop syndrome) inherited from the colonial era has meant that the meager public investment allocated to agriculture goes into the development of the export sector. Overwhelming emphasis on this sector adversely affects food production. The case of tobacco as a cash crop in Tanzania is illustrative of the adverse impact of the cash-crop syndrome on the food-production sector. The success of the Tanzanian government's special program in the 1970s to encourage the growing of tobacco in Mpanda resulted in rapid decline in local maize production from 1,110 tons in 1969-1970 to 131 tons in 1974-1975, while tobacco production increased from 184 tons to 310 tons. Mpanda thus became dependent on imports of maize (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1981: 165, as cited in Clute 1982:10-11). Asignificant feature of the cash-crop syndrome is the willingness of African governments to undercut the interests of food producers in order to promote cash cropping. Rather than harnessing the traditional agricultural system as a tool in development, government policies have often been exploitative and antitraditional. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in pricing policies. Pricing Policy Keeping food prices low is a standard government technique generally accepted by observers as the fundamental cause of the continent-wide problem of food deficits. Unlike many countries in Asia where there are guaranteed floor prices for farm produce, in most African countries producer prices for domestic food products are not guaranteed. In Indonesia promotion of rice output is complemented and strengthened by the government rice pricing policy, which guarantees the farmer a minimum price for his product while also taking into consideration the limited purchasing power of the consumers at large (Amat 1982: 145). In most African countries, food pricing policies are consumer-oriented. Prices are fixed at a low level that favors consumers, mostly urban consumers, and deters producers from increasing their efforts. Policy motivations have been more political than economic, reflecting the expediency of responding to urban elites who are more visible even if less numerous than rural farmers. Low food prices are a means of maintaining the support of the urban masses whose violent demonstrations and riots, often against rising food prices, can provide the catalyst for a coup d'etat. The April 1979 rice riots in Monrovia led to the ousting of the Tolbert regime in Liberia in 1980 (Asante 1984); the April 1985 demonstrations in Khartoum culminated in the overthrow of the government of President Gaafar el-Nimeiry of Sudan.

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FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 17 Due to the vulnerability of governments to urban pressure, food imports are subsidized to keep prices low, and domestic food prices are reduced through the operation of government-controlled marketing institutions and the manipulation of trade policies. Bates noted that: agricultural policy is devised to cope with political problems whose immediate origins lie outside of the agricultural sector. Pricing policy finds its origins in the struggle between urban interests and their governments; and in the political reconciliation of that struggle, it is the rural producers who bear the costs; they are the ones who bear the burden of policies designed to lower the price of food (Bates 1981:35). The mirror image of urban pressure for cheap food is production stagnation, or unsatisfactory performance in the agricultural sector. Agricultural pricing policies of African governments tend to have an adverse impact on the gap between rural and urban incomes and on incentives to produce food. They also affect the ability of governments to establish and maintain food reserves, and they disturb employment opportunities in farming, processing, and rural industries (Eicher and Baker 198259). Of all the governmental policies which have had a negative impact upon the agricultural sector, none has had more devastating consequences than the general tendency of African governments to overvalue the exchange rates of their currencies. This practice has set in motion a whole set of "powerful disincentives to agricultural growth" to which the Berg Report of the World Bank, Accelerated Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Agenda for Action, has drawn attention in recent years (World Bank 1981:24-27). Overvalued currencies have made food imports artificially cheap in relation to domestic production, and price policies have often been criticized for failing to stimulate domestic production. These two factors, together with a marked shift in consumer tastes in favor of "new" foods that are not well suited to domestic production such as bread, and in some cases rice, have led to a growing dependence on imports to satisfy the demands of politically powerful groups. Food aid, through which population groups may have been introduced to nontraditional foods, has at times contributed to this shift in consumer preferences. In some cases, imported farm inputs such as tools, machinery, and agrochemicals have been made more expensive or restricted in their supply in order to protect infant, domestic industries; in some cases, the incentive for farmers to produce a surplus for sale has been reduced by the limited availability of imported consumer goods, once again to protect domestic industries. The operation of government-controlled marketing agencies is another policy constraint adversely affecting food production. State Marketing Boards Marketing boards, or parastatal institutions, in many countries have grown into monopolies controlling agricultural input and output as well as marketing and pro

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18 OVERVIEW cessing. These boards operate as a means of controlling trade, regulating prices, enforcing grading standards, and directing operations within national borders. They have incurred added costs to the consumer, reduced returns to the producer, and also stifled initiatives to keep costs down and provide improved services. These parastatals appear to lack the purchasing networks, pricing policies, and other means needed to secure large quantities of foodstuffs relative to consumption needs (Nicholson and Esseks 1978:694). Colin Leys cited the case of Kenya's Maize and Produce Marketing Board, which proved itself unequal to the responsibilities entrusted to it during the drought periods of 1965 and 1970-1971; Lynn Scarlett stressed the tendency of marketing boards to encourage black market sales and impede the operation of market signals regarding supply and demand (Leys 1974:106-107; Scarlett 1981:181). The widespread appearance of state farms, the government-directed cooperatives, and the so-called green revolution have not improved the food production situation. State Farms and Crash Programs State farms and crash programs proliferated in the past two decades as means of promoting agricultural production by pooling rural resources, introducing farming inputs and techniques, and improving rural incomes. Evidence suggests that none has realized its objectives (Delancey 1980: 109-122; Gusau 1981 : 19-22; Clute 1982: 12). Barry Munslow recently studied Mozambique's huge investments in the state farm sector that failed to produce the hoped-for bumper harvests (Munslow 1984:211). Ghana launched state farms in the 1960s with a total work force of 20,800 and a budgetary allocation of approximately 90 percent of the total agricultural development budget; they were a gigantic failure. The Agricultural Development Corporation, which managed most of the 135 state farms, accumulated a loss of $4 million by 1964, $7 million by 1965, and over $9 million by 1966 (Bates 1981:4W7; Dittch 1981:54). State, community, and cooperative farms and settlements are often inappropriate, expensive, and not directed at the productive forces in the economy-the peasant farmers. Large-scale schemes divert attention and cash from the underlying problems of rural poverty and inadequate infrastructure, which affect the majority of Africa's farming population. Aclassic example of this process in Zambia was illustrated by Barbara Dinham and Colin Hines (Dinham and Hines 1984: 146-147). Crash programs such as Nigeria's "Operation Feed the Nation" or Ghana's "Operation Feed Yourself' are launched with great fanfare and end in "crash failure" (E. Hansen l981:99-115). In theory, the small farmer is the cornerstone and major beneficiary of the various crash programs. In practice, however, there is a distinct bias against the smallholder sector, comprising over 90 percent of all producers, because of a widespread belief among planners and policymakers that peasant farmers cannot achieve the desired overall increases in output and keep pace with population growth. Instead of tackling the underlying causes of the problems facing peasant

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FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 19 farmers-low farm prices and poor marketing, storage, and distribution systemsmany African governments choose to initiate crash programs that are not based on an analytical understanding of the problems at hand. These programs have great emotional and political appeal, especially if cast in a rhetoric for mass consumption that oversimplifies complex problems. Yet food problems are extraordinarily complicated, and politically expedient short-term interventions frequently have devastating long-term consequences. The greater the short-term pressures to implement a program, the greater the probability that the program will have effects just opposite to those intended. Crash programs tend to crash. Although the small farmer is neglected, public food production schemes tend to confer benefits on and promote the fortunes of a few privileged farmers. Ghana's "Operation Feed Yourself," launched in February 1972, promoted the rise of a wealthy "farmer" class of military men and high-ranking bureaucrats and their business friends who owned large-scale enterprises. In contrast, the smallholder sector was discriminated against and suffered heavily from the increasingly unfavorable food pricing policy and many other aspects of the program. Yet experience in Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and other countries demonstrates that smallholders respond to economic incentives with significant production increases if they have access to markets, services, and improved cultivation technology (Williams 1983:24). State farms are established to produce food as well as other agricultural products; however, evidence shows that food is seldom a priority. The cash-crop syndrome still dominates. Emmanuel Hansen analyzed the case of Ghana's state farms and found that they devoted only 40 percent of acreage to food crops and paid serious attention only to rice and maize (E. Hansen 1981: 107). Similarly, despite public declarations to the contrary, the priority of Ghana's "Operation Feed Yourself' was still on export and industrial crops. Moreover, although Ghana's state farms in the 1960s consumed a significant proportion of the public agricultural budget, they nonetheless supplied a small fraction of the total market. John Dadson showed that they provided less than two percent of the total marketed output of most commodities (Dadson 1970, as cited in Bates 1981:49). The emphasis on large-scale, capitalized, and mechanized farms since the mid-1970s introduces a more serious problem to Africa's food production policies. The scarcity of high-quality management and imported inputs has led to an increased dependence on foreign expertise and diverse foreign involvement in capital-intensive food production in many African countries, notably Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, and Togo. Hence, transnational agribusiness has been brought into the domestic food sector in Africa (Dinham and Hines 1984:144). In Nigeria, for example, transnational corporations are invited to participate in large-scale food production envisaged in the Green Revolution launched in 1981. The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Act was amended in 1981 to encourage private, foreign investment in agriculture to as much as 60 percent of the equity (Hinderink and Sterkenberg 1983:91). Africa may be moving towards deepening dependency in the food sector. Against this back

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20 OVERVIEW ground, the regional approach based on the strategy of collective self-reliance, as espoused in both the Lagos Plan of Action and the July 1978 FA0 Regional Food Plan for Africa, merits special attention (OAU 1981: FA0 1978b:ii-ix). THE REGIONAL APPROACH The 1974 world food crisis and its severe impact on Africa have strengthened interest in regional approaches to the food problem. Hence, the regional integration schemes established in Africa since then have each devoted special attention to food. Among these regional schemes is ECOWAS, which was established in Lagos in May 1975 to bring together sixteen West African countries. Besides ECOWAS there are the nine-member Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), which was formally inaugurated in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 1980; the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA), which was also concluded in Lusaka in December 1981 by nine out of the potential eighteen states; and the Economic Community of the States of Central Africa (CEEAC), established in Libreville, Gabon, in October 1983. In response to the target of self-sufficiency in food production contained in the Lagos Plan ofAction, ECOWAS adopted in May 1980 an elaborate agricultural program comprising four sectors. In order of priority these sectors are: food crops, livestock, fisheries, and forestry. The main program objectives are to fight the serious subregional food problems, improve rural incomes and living conditions, and provide necessary inputs to the community's industrial program. The 1982 ECOWAS summit in Cotonou, Benin, reinforced this program by adopting the ECOWAS Agricultural Development Strategy, a blueprint for agricultural development in the subregion. This was given a further impetus by the May 1983 Conakry, Guinea, ECOWAS meeting and, especially, by the November 1984 ECOWAS Heads of State and Government summit in Lome, Togo, which, in an important resolution on economic recovery in West Africa, adopted measures to rationalize regional production so as to achieve food self-sufficiency (ECOWAS 1984). The question that poses itself is this: To what extent have the West African countries attempted to transform the food policies and programs of ECOWAS from a political slogan into a framework for policy and action? Although ECOWAS began initiating food strategies in 1980, the Community has not implemented any of its food policies, and no conscious effort has been made at the regional level to link recognition of problems with the measures and resources required for their solution (Asante 1985). Although PTA, which was finally launched in Harare in July 1984, has not yet advanced much beyond ratification of its treaty, SADCC seems to have made some substantial progress towards implementing its projects for "enhancing the productivity of the land on a permanent basis, and towards national and regional food policies" (SADCC 1984:9). The SADCC food security program includes three main objectives: (1) satisfying the basic need for food for the region's population,

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FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 21 and progressively improving food supplies to all the people, irrespective of their specific economic situation or their position in society; (2) achieving national selfsufficiency in food supplies in order to free the region from constraints imposed by the present situation of external dependence; and (3) eliminating the periodic food crises in the region that have catastrophic social consequences and reinforce dependency and underdevelopment (Mafeje 1985). Given the region's present stage of development, SADCC's economic strategy aims to reinforce national and regional production capacity. Particular attention focuses on the following: regionally producing and distributing seeds; reproducing livestock; producing tools, agricultural equipment, agrochemicals, and other inputs; and improving infrastructure necessary for input distribution at national and regional levels. The second aim is to improve systems for delivery, conservation, processing, and storage of food. SADCC has initiated policies for the prevention of food crises. These involve five main elements: implementing an early-warning system, preventing plagues and diseases, creating regional food security reserves, creating seed stocks for basic food crops, and, finally, establishing regional mechanisms to coordinate external support in times of emergency (Asante 1986). On the whole, SADCC is much more advanced in implementing its regional food policies than any of the other existing African regional integration schemes. It has made detailed studies of regional food marketing and a regional resources information system, and is coordinating its technical assistance program for agrarian issues. Nevertheless, African regional schemes have not been as dynamic and progressive in adopting and implementing regional food policies as have been those schemes in other developing areas such as Asia. By the mid-1970s, for example, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had agreed to establish an emergency food supply facility known as the ASEAN Food Security Reserve. Because the international community has failed to establish such a facility at the global level, although the United Nations World Food Conference in Rome in 1974 recommended establishing one, such a facility organized by ASEAN represents a particularly innovative step towards international food security (Hanpongpandh 1982:281-306). Are the .African regional schemes able to learn from the ASEAN experience? POLICY REFORMS Evidence suggests that food policies in contemporary Africa, at both the national and regional levels, have not been designed to deal effectively with the issues of food production, rural-employment generation, domestic-food price formation, and efficient storage, transportation, and processing. A thorough reform of policies toward agriculture in Africa is long overdue. Policy change is required in the area of public-investment allocations to agriculture. Government inputs into agriculture and rural development are extremely low, rarely designed to assist the tradi

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22 OVERVIEW tional farmer, and tend to favor so-called modem schemes such as state farms, cooperatives, and large-scale mechanized farms, which have not been viable or productive. There is a need to allocate adequate resources to support agricultural production at all levels, especially because a higher government priority to agriculture is a requirement for more assistance from the international community. Whereas there is indiscriminate government intervention in some policy areas, others are neglected, namely agricultural research, extension networks, development of trained manpower, and establishment of effective institutions and delivery systems to assist in distribution and marketing. Food policies will not be successfully implemented over the long term unless adequate institutions and trained manpower are available to monitor and oversee policy implementation. Lack of sufficient manpower and institutions has often been the bottleneck in slowing down the implementation process. Any program, no matter how beautifully designed, is only as good as the ability to make it work in the field. Increased attention to training, public management, and sustained institutional support are, therefore, top priorities. An option for policy change that is likely to offer the highest returns in a relatively short time is an incentive policy package that combines establishment of improved incentive systems through more remunerative producer prices, more efficient marketing systems, and sufficient and timely supplies of inputs and consumer goods. In this regard, pricing policy merits special attention. Effective price policy is the most essential element in a program to increase agricultural production. There is no substitute for positive price incentives to the agricultural sector based on long-term opportunity costs (Timmer et al. 1983:290). The first element of an agricultural policy, therefore, is to fix guaranteed agricultural prices and set up a system that ensures that the peasant farmer will, in fact, obtain these prices. Such an incentive policy package would probably contribute more to domestic food self-reliance than an infusion of crash food production projects that risk faltering in the absence of sound policies. The need to strengthen the fragile subsistence sector may not be overemphasized. Too often in the past the needs of the subsistence farmer have been overlooked by policymakers. Yet the peasant farmer is, and will remain, the principal participant in any agricultural policy and the principal organizer of the rural sector. The development of smallholder agriculture is therefore essential. Because of its share in national output and total employment, this subsector holds the key to agricultural and overall progress. Increasingly, it is being recognized that African smallholders respond to economic opportunities and, given the right incentives and income generating opportunities, he and she are quite prepared to change and modernize (Pallangyo and Odero-Ogwel, in press). Policy change is also required at the regional level. There are a number of important activities in support of food and agricultural development that lend themselves to easier forms of cooperation at the regional level. These include the development of regional natural resources such as river basins, transfer of technology, food storage, marketing, agricultural research and training, and investment

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FOOD AS A FOCUS OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL POLICIES 23 and finance. Regional schemes offer considerable potential for action to increase food production through intergovernmental organizations for land-and-waterresources development, particularly where lakes and river basins transcend national boundaries. Priority attention is needed by regional organizations to assist national governments to strengthen and adapt their production structures. Above all, African regional planners should learn from recent experiences of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). This regional scheme created the Caribbean Food Corporation to implement a regional food plan aimed specifically at stemming the trend of the large and rapidly growing regional food import bill, which rocketed to $500 million in 1974. The plan will mobilize funds and technical and managerial skills from within and without the region to promote, finance, and implement agricultural production schemes (Axline 1979: 165-166). SUMMARY Governmental policies during the colonial period and since national independence have contributed to the current African food crisis. The colonial tradition of exploiting the agricultural sector, especially the small farmers and their families who comprise the majority of the population in most African countries, continued after African elites replaced Europeans and continues even today. As John Staatz and Carl Eicher point out in another chapter, this exploitation agreed with the formerly prevailing idea that developing countries should emphasize industrialization by taxing agriculture. The traditional agricultural sector would provide capital from taxation, labor from the underemployed rural population, and raw materials from its production to fuel industrial growth. Even after the errors of this approach became evident and world food crises appeared, contemporary African governments did not adopt adequate and realistic policies for food production, marketing, and consumption. All or almost all African countries stress the importance of the agricultural sector in public pronouncements and official development plans, but per capita production continues to decline because effective action is not taken. Some countries and regional organizations have now devised food policies to encourage self-sufficiency and promote domestic production, but this political act antagonizes important political actors, particularly the urban elites and masses who desire artificially low food prices and continued reliance on imports. Pricing policies and currency exchange rates provide disincentives to farmers, but favor the urban minority. State farms and other large-scale schemes receive the scarce managerial time and development funding that smallholder agriculture needs. Undue emphasis is still given to export crops for the world market, and too little emphasis is given to food for Africa.

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24 OVERVIEW SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Asante, S. K. B. 1986. The Political Economy of Regionalism in Africa: A Decade of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). New York: Praeger. Balaam, David N., and Michael J. Casey, eds. 198 1. Food Politics: The Regional Conflict. Totowa, New Jersey: Allanheld, Osmun Publishers. Bates, Robert H. 1981. Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural ~oltfies. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. Clute, Robert E. 1982. The Role of Agriculture in African Development. African Studies Review 254: 1-20. Delancey , Mark W. 1980. Cameroon National Food Policies and Organizations: The Green Revolution and Structural Proliferation. Journal of Aji-ican Studies 7:2: 109-122. Hansen, Emmanuel. 1981. Public Policy and the Food Question in Ghana. African Development 6:3:99-115. Nicholson, N. K., and John D. Esseks. 1978. The Politics of Food Scarcities in Developing Countries. International Organization 32:3:679-719. OAU (Organization of African Unity). 1985. Africa's Priority Programme for Economic Recovery, 1986-1990. Adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its 21st Ordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, Ethopia, 18-20 July 1985. Addis Adaba: African Heads of Government, Declaration No. 1. Sen, Amaryta. 1982. The Food Problem: Theory and Practice. Third World Quarterly 4:3.

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The Political Economy of Food Issues RENE LEMARCHAND A frica's famine has entered the American consciousness as a dramatic media event; it has yet to enter the U.S. consciousness as a political event. Behind the agonies of hundreds of thousands of Africans dying of starvation lies more than a natural catastrophe of unprecedented severity. Humanitarian concern for, and public awareness of, this massive affliction have yet to be accompanied by a clear understanding of the tragic incapacity of African governments to cope with food scarcities. Even where climatic and environmental perturbations are most painfully evident, as in the Sahel, a reasonable case may be made that African hunger has as much to do with political conditions as with weather conditions. The magnitude of Africa's food crisis is well established. Africa is the only continent where food output per capita has declined over the last two decades. With a population growth of approximately 3 percent per annum, recorded per capita agricultural production declined by 1.5 percent annually in the 1970s and early 1980s. Precisely when grain prices are going up and African currency reserves are shrinking, the demand for food imports is increasing dramatically. A total of approximately 150 million Africans are directly threatened by famine and malnutrition. In the Sudan alone, 10 million are said to be at risk of starvation. According to UNICEF estimates, the number of Sudanese children dying each year of malnutrition now reaches 750,000 (as compared with 200,000 in "normal" years!). The statistics for Chad and Ethiopia are equally alarming. Not just people but entire communities and ways of life are faced with extinction. What remains open to debate are the underlying causes and implications of the crisis. The devastating effects of natural calamities cannot be overlooked any more than the severe physical constraints of the African environment; yet these factors alone are not enough to explain the existence of a "continent-wide agricultural breakdown" (Lofchie and Cornrnins 1984:2). The constraints of the international economy, the deterioration of Africa's terms of trade, the setting of wrong sectoral priorities, and inept agricultural policies have all had a powerful multiplier

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26 OVERVIEW effect on the adversities of nature. In brief, the basic questions that lie in the background of the current food crisis-how much food to grow, what kinds of food, at what cost, by what means, by whom and for whom-are preeminently political questions. The following pages explore the relationship between food and politics from the three-dimensional perspective of local, national, and international arenas. The first dimension involves a critical look at the so-called peasant mode of production as a key dimension of the social environment of African states. The second brings into focus the ongoing debate about the relative merits or demerits of socialist versus capitalist experiments. The third draws attention to external constraints arising from the international parameters within which food policies are formulated and put into practice. In looking at these dimensions of analysis we proceed on the assumption that the relationship between politics and agricultural output is a reciprocal one. Just as political choices have a decisive bearing on the structure and volume of food production, the resulting patterns of agricultural production, distribution, and consumption are bound to affect the way in which power and wealth are distributed in society. THE ROOTS OF ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY: THE LEGACY OF COLONIAL RULE The issue of the relationship between food and politics did not arise with independence; it lies at the heart of the policy choices made by European powers in their attempt to cushion the costs of their political hegemony and maximize the returns on their capital investments. Fiscal autonomy, the key corollary of colonial rule, presupposed a taxable income, and both in turn came to depend on the ability of the colonial state to bring about the so-called mise en valeur, or development of human and economic resources. In a way that few of its advocates anticipated, the imperative of mise en valeur has had a determining impact on the structure of African agricultural economies. To blame African hunger on the perverse effects of colonial rule seems scarcely compatible with the statistical evidence available. At the time of independence in the 1960s, Africa produced roughly 95 percent of its food requirements. Today virtually every African state, with the exception of South Africa and Zimbabwe, must import food. Statistics alone do not tell the full story, however, and they may be made to tell very different stories. Acloser examination of the colonial record provides ample proof of food crises originating not just from adverse climatic conditions but also from policy decisions that, directly or indirectly, profoundly undermined the viability of indigenous food systems. Clearly, the benefits derived from the development of new productive forces and infrastructures must be assessed against the human and environmental costs involved, including "the loss of life, the loss of reliable and nutritious sources of food, and, more generally, the loss of many skills with which the inhabitants had learnt to turn their harsh environ

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1 THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 27 ment to their advantage" (Coulson 1982:32). Among the several areas of economic vulnerability created by colonial rule, none has been more potentially damaging to African food systems than the decline of peasant commodity production under the combined pressures of cash cropping and industrial capitalism. The introduction of cash crops proved the quickest way to meet the revenue-generating needs of the nascent colonial state. Only by subjecting African peasants to stringent fiscal obligations could the state generate enough cash to pay its own way into the avenues of colonization. Compulsory cultivation of cash crops thus became the standard policy through which African peasants were forced to earn a taxable income. Though implemented on different scales and with varying degrees of severity, this policy lies at the root of what Michael Lofchie referred to a decade ago as "Africa's agrarian paradox": "A continent unable to produce sufficient food to provide the majority of its citizens with even a barely minimal diet has been able to record sharp increases in its annual production of agricultural goods destined for external markets" (Lofchie 1975:554). While the priority given to cash crops by the European colonizer is still very much in evidence in most African states,' so also are the discriminating effects of pricing and marketing policies. Just as the prices paid to producers of food crops remain abysmally low compared to the prices fetched by export crops, the highly skewed distribution of marketing and storage facilities, agricultural extension services, and technological inputs tend to put the food-producing sectors at a striking disadvantage. Critically related to the decline of indigenous food crops was the development of mining and industrial activities; both made increasingly heavy demands on Afiican labor while creating a situation in which "the wages paid to men who worked on the mine were subsidized by the rural areas" (Seidman 1977:414). In Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia), Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), and Zaire (formerly Congo), the expansion of labor recruitment networks into the rural sectors led to massive migrations of African peasants into the mining areas. Through the enforcement of discriminatory policies against the marketing of African produce, additional pressures were applied on the rural sectors to insure a regular flow of cheap labor. By keeping the prices paid to African producers at an artificially low level, entry into the wage labor force of industrial capitalism became the only alternative to starvation. Where European commercial farming was allowed to develop, as in Zambia and Zimbabwe, further steps were taken to reduce the competitiveness of African agriculture, for example, "through the subsidy and encouragement given to settler-farmers, through capturing of the African grain market, and by refusing to exchange cash in return for African produce" (Riddell 1978:6). Illustrative of the effects of such policies on African agriculture was the situation prevailing in the Rhodesian (Zambian) Copperbelt in 1911: The whole country is in a state of starvation, and we are a long way from the next season's harvest. The village people are in a miserable state, and for the time being are subsisting on roots and anything edible they can find in the bush. In many of

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28 OVERVIEW the villages ail one sees are a few old women and children. The men have disappeared (Perring 1979:20). Jn sum, the involvement of the colonial state in the expansion of industrial capitalism, first as a labor-recruiting agency, then as a price-setting authority, and ultimately as the ally of European settlers, must be seen as the central factor behind the decline and dislocations suffered by African food systems. Bolstered by the full panoply of colonial policies and land regulations, the spread of European settlement resulted in massive alienations of agricultural land in states such as Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, thus posing additional threats to African commodity producers. By far the most serious threat to African agriculture stemmed from the need for a cheap labor supply to bring the European estates into the sphere of capitalist production. This meant that "the settler had to compete against alternative uses of African labor in commodity production as well as subsistence agriculture" (Berman and Lonsdale 1980:62). To improve the competitiveness of European commercial farming, African "reserves" were created in both Kenya and Zimbabwe in which land was set aside for the sole use of African producers, but with the ultimate intention of converting them into vast reservoirs of agricultural labor. As the population pressure on the reserves increased, and as local production barely reached subsistence levels, more and more Africans were driven into wage labor. As R. C. Riddell noted, "cheap labor supplies from the reserves could only be forthcoming 'voluntarily' if reserve farming was carried out at, or better, below subsistence levels and if the reserves were reasonably full" (Riddell 1978:7). As a result, major distortions in the structure of rural economies were created, with a commercial farming sector heavily dependent on a continuing influx of cheap labor that coexisted side by side with a subsistence sector in which population pressures and land hunger combined to perpetuate rural poverty. These distortions are still visible today in both Kenya and Zimbabwe. In neither state is there much room for an "uncaptured peasantry," to use Goran Hyden's phrase (1980). The key fact, whose roots lie in the history of European settlement, is that the respective peasantries are at a serious competitive disadvantage, politically and financially, relative to mediumand large-scale commercial farms owned by the state or private enterprise, and the peasantries are unable to act as a significant countervailing force. Just as there are important connections between colonial policies and the multiplicity of issues associated with the land problem, both are in turn intimately related to the dynamics of political protest in colonial Africa. The drastic restructuring of African rural economies under the impact of the colonial state, and most importantly through the commercialization of agriculture, holds crucial implications for an understanding of anticolonial rural protest. From tax-payers' revolts in nineteenth century Ghana to the Mau-Mau Emergency in Kenya, from the rural radicalism of the Bataka Association in Uganda to the Pende revolt in the Belgian Congo, the grievances generated by the commercialization of agriculture emerge as the dominant theme of anticolonial rural-based protest movements (Bates 1979).

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 29 This is not the place for a sustained inquiry into the history of these protonationalist manifestaticns. What needs to be stressed is that colonial authorities have often responded to these threats by instituting land reforms, which in turn created the conditions for new forms of social conflict. A case in point is the Swynnerton Plan, devised as a political counterweight to the Mau-Mau insurgency. Intended to provide the basis for the emergence of a sizable rural African middle class enjoying access to individual freehold titles, the Swynnerton Plan ended up creating a very different type of social pyramid, characterized by a substantial concentration of landholdings among individuals with access to off-farm cash income. As Angelique Haugerud has ably demonstrated, "land is being accumulated not necessarily for agricultural development but to hold for speculative purposes, for sons' future inheritance, and to increase one's borrowing power for loans on the security of title deeds" (Haugerud 1983:84). In Kenya, as in many other parts of Africa, land reform has done relatively little to alter existing patterns of rural inequality. The reasons for this lack of effect lie in part in the questionable priorities set by urban elites in the allocation of land and agricultural technology, and in part in the patterns of articulation between local peasant communities and the wider political frameworks within which they are encapsulated. THE VIEW FROM BELOW: THE PEASANT MODE OF PRODUCTION REEXAMINED Is the "peasant mode of production" a short-hand formula for an economy in which affective ties, based on kinship, are so prevalent as to enable peasant communities to effectively resist the assaults of the state? Or does it incorporate a nascent class conflict between rural capitalists and peasant producers?These questions lie at the heart of the ongoing debate among Africanists about the relevance of the mode of production in historical and contemporary analysis. Although no definitive answer has yet emerged from the exchange, there is nonetheless a widespread agreement about the centrality of the peasant mode (however defined) in the structuring of rural communities. Where opinions differ is in the extent to which the peasant mode may be said to effectively block state intervention or, alternatively, to facilitate its penetration into the fabric of rural communities. At the root of this dissent lie radically different conceptions of the types of normative orientations and articulations associated with peasant modes of production. The case for looking at African peasantries as "uncaptured," i.e., as basically resistant to state pressures, is nowhere more forcefully argued than by Goran Hyden (1980) in his classic study of villagization (ujamaa) in Tanzania. The "economy of affection," according to Hyden, incorporates a logic of social solidarity that departs fundamentally from that of capitalism or socialism: In the economy of affection, economic action is . . . embedded in a range of social considerations that allow for redistribution of opportunities and benefits in a

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30 OVERVIEW manner which is impossible where modern capitalism or socialism prevails and formalized state action dominates the process of redistribution (Hyden 1980: 19). Unlike capitalism or socialism, the economy of affection "is primarily concerned with problems of reproduction rather than production" (Hyden 1980: 18). The profit motive is conspicuously absent from such economies; social solidarity provides the basic mechanisms through which resources are redistributed among members of the community. The implications are two-fold. On the one hand, the economy of affection offers peasant communities enough autonomy and self-reliance to evade the encroachments of the state. On the other hand, because it serves as a survival mechanism in conditions of relative scarcity, "it dampens the revolutionary potential of the peasants" (Hyden 1980: 192). On both counts there are major reservations about the Hyden thesis. For one thing, the line of demarcation between the economy of affection and the market economy is not as easily traced as the foregoing might suggest. Marxist analysts are basically correct in stressing the transitional character of the peasant mode of production, and, in some instances, its tendency "more and more to become mere aspects of the capitalist mode of production" (Leys 1975:172). The least that may be said is that the economy of affection, as articulated by Hyden, is far too static a concept to provide meaningful analytic leverage. Just as one may conceptualize this economy in very different ways, shown by comparing Hyden's characterization with the more sophisticated and contrasting efforts of James Scott (1976) and Samuel Popkin (1979), one may also visualize fundamental differences in the extent to which Africans have in fact remained uncaptured by the advances of rural capitalism. In addition, how far the economy of affection acts as a disincentive to revolutionary upheavals is by no means self-evident.=The susceptibility of African peasants to radical protest is well established, and where rural protest failed to materialize, the reasons may not lie exclusively with the dampening effects of affection. Whereas Hyden tends to reduce African modes of production to a single affective denominator, contemporary Marxist analysts look at these realities through a variety of analytic lenses. Nothing like a consistent definition of the peasant mode of production emerges from the work of people such as Claude Meillassoux, Emmanuel Terray, Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Gervase Clarence-Smith, or Martin Klei~~.~ This lack of consistency, in a sense, reflects a greater sensitivity to the historical particularities of African peasantries as well as to their different modes of incorporation in wider capitalist economies. These authors call attention to the classic distinction between the forces of production and the relations of production. The first of these concepts throws into relief the extremely low level of technology available to most African societies, the forbidding constraints of the environment, the rudimentary character of the division of labor, and ultimately the Sisyphean task of harnessing these extraordinarily feeble and fragmented forces to a cohesive organizational framework. This is particularly true of attempts to convert African peasants into socialist producers. As one observer noted: "The idea

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 3 1 that a disciplined vanguard party could force the course of history and get socialism now, whatever the level of development of the forces of production, led people to ignore or trivialize the vital question of economic productivity" (Clarence-Smith 198520). The question of the relations of production, on the other hand, directs attention to a range of possible links between peasant communities and the state. Although state-peasant relations are implicitly defined in the terms commonly used to designate land-tenure systems, to categorize African peasants in terms of smallholders, communal farmers, tenants, and squatters leaves out a crucial variable in defining relations of production: the role of the state or its agents in providing access to land resources, technology, labor, and credit facilities. It is the state in Zimbabwe that defines the status of "legitimate squatter," i.e., "genuine and deserving illegal occupants"-a category that includes "those who moved on to vacant commercial farms during the war, farm workers who lost their jobs when owners abandoned their farms, and returning refugees" (Cheater 1983:79). It is the state in Rwanda that allocates plots to the bCnCficiaires (recipients of land) in newly settled areas (Lemarchand 1982). It is the state in Tanzania that makes it possible for rich peasants (the so-called kulaks) to have access to conveniently located plots, extension services, and technology (Hyden 1980). It is the state in Kenya that organizes and regulates land registration and consolidation, and it is the state that enables certain privileged recipients to secure loans and import licenses from the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), thereby allowing the accumulation of large holdings in a few private hands (Haugerud 1983). In this context the "state" involves specific actors, more often than not politicians and bureaucrats who trade (sometimes literally) on their access to strategic resources, including land and credit, to build rural clienteles. The result in many instances has been to force relations of production into highly politicized and personalized circuits of exchange, in which aid is given (or withdrawn) as an unplanned and sometimes unproductive benefit. This state of affairs is consistent with the mechanisms of internal dependency generally subsumed under the rubric of "political clientelism," a phenomenon that fragments peasant communities along vertical lines, facilitates the control of a patron class, concentrates resources in relatively few hands, and ultimately contributes to the reproduction of rural inequalities (Lemarchand 1981). Whether rural clientelism operates within the context of marketing cooperatives, ujamaa villages, paysannats (settlement schemes), individual land holdings, or commercial farms, the evidence points to its ubiquity as a relation of production. Despite important variations in the balance of exchange between rural clients and their patrons, the basis of the extensive literature dealing with clientelistic phenomena in East and Central Africa, there is every reason to believe that the overall impact of local hierarchies has been to severely compromise the equity goals of rural development schemes, to lower productivity, and to shift peasant activities away from food production to export crops. This last point is central to the argument advanced by Robert Bates in his

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32 OVERVIEW analysis of how markets have been manipulated by political elites to maximize the extraction of export commodities from agrarian societies. Though argued from the perspective of class-based collective actions, the Bates thesis is fully compatible with a clientelistic view of rural poverty. In the system that he so convincingly describes, "the losers are those who are not located in positions of access to (scarce resources) and who nonetheless must purchase imported goods;" the beneficiaries, on the other hand, are the members of the patron class who "become enormously powerful because they control the allocation of a scarce and valuable resource" (Bates 1984:235), in this case, foreign exchange. His argument is that market manipulation creates the very conditions that force peasants out of market circuits and into the subsistence economy. We shall return to the Bates thesis. Note that, insofar as one may generalize from his analysis, it raises some obvious questions about the pertinence of capitalist and socialist models for evaluating the performance of African states. SOCIALIST VERSUS CAPITALIST MODELS: AN INTERIM ASSESSMENT Assessing the respective contributions of agrarian socialism and capitalism to the current food crisis is risky: some may even be tempted to dismiss the exercise as pointless. Each of these labels covers a wide range of policies and experiments. Because of their holistic connotations, the labels fail to convey an appropriate picture of the changes that have taken place over time in the formulation and implementation of these policies. Nor are the labels particularly helpful in describing such notoriously hybrid cases as Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Mali. Further complicating the task of analysis is the incidence of factors and circumstances (civil wars, liberation struggles, refugee problems, and so on) that have had a direct impact on the agricultu~l performance of African states, regardless of their commitment to socialist or capitalist models. Finally, the absence of clear-cut correlations between ideological preferences and agricultural production (see Table 3.1) raises the question of whether socialist or capitalist options have anything to do with the seeds of famine. Although these are serious reasons to exercise caution, available evidence suggests the following broad generalizations: (1) The egregious failure of socialist experiments in countries such as Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Angola is traceable not just to political crises and external attempts at destabilization but to certain fundamental shortcomings in the strategies associated with agrarian socialism. (2) Capitalist models show a very mixed track record, ranging from poor (Nigeria) to disastrous (Zaire), and seldom anywhere has rural capitalism generated a pattern of self-sustaining growth. Even though the reasons for this outcome are varied and complex, in Zaire and Nigeria the plundering of state resources for personal enrichment emerges as the most plausible explanation for the failure of capitalist strategies. (3) The deficiencies discernible in the socialist and

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TABLE 3.1. Classification of Sub-Saharan Africa According to Agricultural Production Performance, 1961-1981 Total Agricultural Productiona Increase > 105 Stagnant > 95-5 105 Decrease ( 95 Strong Increase > 130 Swaziland (152,142) lncrease > 105-5 130 Burundi (111.111) Cameroun (127,120) Ivory Coast (116,112) Malawi (127,119) Rwanda (128,127) Stagnant > 95-5 105 Botswana (102,112) Central African R. ( 99,101) Kenya ( 99.911 . Sudan ( 99,112) Gabon (101,101) Liberia (104.90) Sierra Leone ( 99.99 ) Zambia (100,101) Decrease > 80-2 95 Chad ( 82,811 Conqo ( 85.84) Ethiopia ( 85.84) Ghana ( 83.83) Guinea (92.89) Lesotho ( 87.94) Ma1 i ( 91.88) Mozambioue 1 81.85) Nioer ' i 82:~zi ~iieria i 8i;88j Somalia ( 85.85) Tanzania ( 90,931 Umer Volta ( 95.93) Strong Decrease ( 80 Zimbabwe ( 75.99 ) Angola ( 70.94) Gambia ( 79,791 Mauritania ( 74,741 Namibia ( 77.77) Senegal ( 71.70) Uganda ( 76.90) Source: J. Hinderink and J.J. Sterkenburg. 1983. Agricultural Policy and Production in Africa: The Aims, the Methods and the Means. Journal of Modern African Studies XII:1:2. aThe figures in brackets give the index for total aqricultural production per capita followed by the index for food production per capita. They are based on 5-yearly averages for the period 1976-1980, in comparison with the base period of 1961-65 = 100.

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34 OVERVIEW capitalist modes of development have been further aggravated by the manipulation of markets by the political class, resulting in a drastic decline of material incentives available to the food-producing sectors. At this level the effect of ideological options on peasant behavior appears far less decisive than the inability of the state to generate minimally attractive pricing policies and other incentives to encourage the production of food crops. Agrarian socialism presupposes a major shift in the relationships between the state and the peasantry, a shift from what is usually described as an exploitative relationship to one in which, over time, self-reliant village communities will come into being, obviate the need for state intervention, and hence eliminate a major source of capitalist exploitation. In Julius Nyerere's formulation: Most of our farming will be done by groups of people who live as a community and work as a community. . . . The activities of the village, and the type of production they undertake, as well as the distribution of crops and other goods they produce will all be determined by the village members themselves (Nyerere 1975). The contrast between Nyerere's vision and the stark realities of Tanzanian socialism requires little elaboration. In bothTanzania and Mozambique, "villagization" policies have resulted in a catastrophic decline in agricultural output, making both countries more dependent than ever on outside aid. The failure of villagization policies reflects a number of fundamental contradictions between the assumptions and exigencies of agrarian socialism, on the one hand, and the cultural and political parameters of state intervention, on the other. Between the official view of precapitalist African societies as inherently predisposed to endorse socialist ideas and the sociocultural realities of the Tanzanian setting exists a chasm of such proportions that it was only bridged by the application of coercive measures. Forced villagization emerged as the only alternative to voluntarism. Forcing the peasants to join registered communal villages on command went hand in hand with the bureaucratization of village communities; thus, an "authoritarian, managerial approach" (Hyden 1980: 106) was substituted for the principles of self-reliance and decentralized decisionmaking. At this point yet another contradiction emerged, involving the relations of rural cooperatives to the state. Initially viewed as a crucial element in the elaboration of rural redistribution strategies, and therefore as a necessary complement of villagization, the cooperatives were eventually seen as a major obstacle between the state and the village communities and, indeed, as a threat to state supremacy. The elimination of voluntary cooperatives and their replacement by state-run marketing boards and trading corporations spelled the abandonment of the single most important operative principle in Nyerere's dream of bringing together "people who live as a community and work as a community." Though carried through on a lesser scale, villagization in Mozambique ran into much of the same kinds of problems, including resistance to state intervention and bureaucratic rule, but with an additional calamitous consequence-by forcing

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 35 people into villages the state unwittingly turned villagers into recruits for the Mozambican National Resistance (MNR). Where the case of Mozambique differs from that of Tanzania is in the heavy investments made in the state-farm sector, officially viewed as "the quickest way of responding to food needs because of the size of the areas they cover, their rational organization of human and material resources, and the immediate availability of machine~y" (Hanlon 1984: 100). The state farms, as it turned out, proved the quickest way to disaster, which is why priority is now being given to cooperatives and family farms. The failure of state farms may be attributed in part to the dramatic lack of managerial and technical skills required to run such large-scale farming units (covering 350,000 square miles in 1981) and in part to the total breakdown of distributive networks caused by the massive flight of Portuguese traders after national independence. The sudden evaporation of consumer commodities from the rural markets led to a situation in which "peasants had huge amounts of money in their hands and nothing to spend it on" (Hanlon 1984: 111). In the absence of consumer commodities, a barter system quickly supplanted the official marketing networks, pushing the Mozambican economy into the most primitive type of exchange and eventually prompting the Central Committee of the National Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) to recognize the need "to re-establish the market economy" (HanIon 1984: 111)an appropriate epitaph to the Mozambican version of agrarian socialism. The cases of Tanzania and Mozambique sound like horror stories, but the examples of Zaire and, in a qualified sense, Nigeria show that this genre is by no means a monopoly of socialist economies. The balance sheet of rural capitalism in Zaire "is not just negative-it is catastrophic" (Young and Turner 1985:322). A thoroughly inadequate infrastructure, consistently low level of public investments, producer prices and fiscal pressures designed to discourage food production, inefficient and corrupt marketing parastatals-these are only some of the most obvious factors that explain the disastrous performance of Zairian agriculture. At the root of the agrarian crisis in Zaire lies a clientelistic distributive system in which access to land is largely the privilege of the state bourgeoisie. In such a system the extraction of a marketable surplus from the peasant sectors is the prime reward expected by land owners. Just as traditional land rights may be conveniently disregarded for the sake of profit, so may the basic needs of rural workers be neglected. The logic of the profit motive is a cruel one indeed for the plantation worker whose daily wage approximates $0.20, and whose only escape route is to go back to a subsistence-type economy (McGaffey 1982: 103). When carried to the point of extortion, profit maximization becomes counterproductive for both patrons and clients. As one observer noted: "The productivity of capital in Zaire has always been low because large numbers of men are able to avoid the pressure to offer their labor in exchange for wages; it is often both possible and more productive to go fishing or to grow one's own food" (McGaffey 1982:103). Zaire's growing food deficits bear testimony to this law of diminishing returns. Although the Nigerian case is more complex, the trend towards a Zairian pattern is unmistakable. The shift from "nurture" capitalism to "pirate" capitalism, to

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36 OVERVIEW use Sayre Schatz's felicitous phrasing (Schatz 1984:55), underscores the preeminent role of the state as a source of personal enrichment. In Nigeria, as in Zaire, land figures prominently in the array of prebends available from the state, but it is incorporated into a radically different policy framework. Beginning in the 1970s, there has been a concerted effort on the part of Nigerian authorities to increase food production through generous state subsidies, integrated development schemes, state food farms, and large-scale irrigation projects. A critical component of this policy was the Integrated Rural Development Projects (IRDP), which were aimed at raising agricultural productivity through technological inputs, improved infrastructure, credit, marketing, and extension facilities. The trend toward large-scale capitalist farming was further accelerated by President Shagari's Green Revolution. All this, however, did not prevent massive food shortages and, as food imports began to compete with domestic food crops, many farmers responded to market pressures by switching to commercial crops, thereby aggravating the conditions that initially spurred the imports. What was missing from these grandiose schemes was a recognition of the potential contribution that small farmers could make to food self-sufficiency. Monumental profits were reaped by bureaucrats and speculators of various stripes through importing farm technology and food commodities (as the Dikko affair plainly demonstrated), or in short, through "pirate" capitalism; at the very same time, very little was done to apply the remedies of "nurture" capitalism to the small and poor farmers. As one knowledgeable observer noted: Poor farmers are forced to sell grain immediately after harvest at low prices to meet taxes, debt repayments and ceremonial expenditure on manufactured items. Later in the season they work as wage labor for middle and rich farmers in order to obtain food at high prices, thereby neglecting their own farms. The market therefore does not allocate resources. It articulates a whole system of inequality which involves control over commodities, money, labor power and means of production (Forrest 1981:247). What has been referred to as "the emergence of the inert economy" (Schatz 198456) in the Nigerian context is not just a reflection of "pirate" capitalism; much of the inertia currently affecting Nigerian agriculture is also traceable to the persistence of rural inequality as a byproduct of this kind of capitalism. This necessarily brief excursus into the ideological background of agricultural policy choices requires a few additional comments. (1) Whether inspired by socialist or free market principles, agricultural production in Africa is directly affected by the types of social organization available to smallholders, a point excellently argued by Michael Bratton in his recent discussion of self-managed farmers' associations in Zimbabwe (Bratton 1985). His conclusions apply to other states as well. Majangano (reciprocal labor exchange) in Zimbabwe, umuganda (self-help) in Rwanda, and ton (youth association) in Mali designate certain forms of social organization that are significant in mobilizing human and material resources, even though largely unrelated to socialist or capitalist options. (2) Ideological preferences are also irrelevant in terms of the perverse effects of market manipulation by

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 37 urban-based elites. As Bates has shown, the distortions that such manipulation entails inevitably work against the interests of agricultural producers and to the benefit of the urban sector. (3) Ideology is again reduced to a rather indeterminate status when viewed against the background of the external constraints under which African economies are laboring. Before turning to a more detailed analysis of these external impediments, let us briefly consider the more salient points made by Bates in his groundbreaking study, Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981). Not only has he provided the most convincing set of arguments for an "internalist" explanation of Africa's agrarian crisis; his arguments also constitute the most devastating critique of the part played by African governments in bringing the crisis into existence. If food policies in Africa are generally unresponsive to nutritional needs, it is because these policies are overwhelmingly geared to furthering the economic and political interests of the urban elites, most conspicuously the elite of the political class. By keeping producer prices for food crops well below the level of world market prices, African governments have consistently favored urban consumers while discriminating against peasant producer^.^ Furthermore, by setting official exchange rates at artificially high levels, governments have succeeded in both cutting down the cost of imported commodities (including food imports for urban consumers and agricultural technology for rich farmers) and reducing the effective prices paid to producers of export crops and food crops. By subsidizing agricultural inputs-fertilizer, seeds, tractors, and so on-they tend to promote the interests of "coteries of privileged, modem farmers" (Bates 1981:49) at the expense of small-scale agricultural producers. The cumulative effect of these policies and practices has been to create almost limitless opportunities for profit and corruption among the political class (mainly through the control of marketing boards and other parastatals) and to drastically reduce incentives for increased food production. Bates' tightly argued critique also helps us understand the factors that lie behind (1) the rapidly expanding scope of parallel economies and (2) the informal deals that, at this level, bring together politicians and peasants as they jointly seek to evade official price controls and marketing regulations. Whereas at the level of official policy the interests of the peasants and the bureaucrat are in conflict, at the level of unofficial practice they are often consonant, given the structure of the incentives to which the official policy gives rise. To put it bluntly, the policies offer joint gains through corruption. The bureaucrat can offer protection against the very policies he is mandated to impose: for a portion of the gains, he can help the peasant evade market controls. And the peasant, rather then attacking government policy directly, can often do better by seeking to become an individual exception to it; he can do this by offering bribes (Bates 1981:42). From this dismal rendering of African food policies one can hardly avoid the conclusion that rural poverty is fundamentally related to the powerlessness of the peasant sectors. Not only do the rural poor lack minimal control over their im

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38 OVERVIEW mediate environment and economic circumstances, they also lack all opportunities for taking part in the elaboration of the policies that affect their livelihood most directly. This situation is true not only of the domestic policies fashioned by African governments but also of the decisions affecting world compodity prices and market structures. That power relationships have a significant bearing on problems of poverty and hunger is undeniable; what remains uncertain is whether such relationships may be decisively altered at the domestic or international level. THE INCIDENCE OF EXTERNAL CONSTRAINTS The question of the relationship of external constraints to food production invites consideration of at least two major schools of thought, one associated with dependency theory and the other with the principle of comparative advantage. Although they each provide logically coherent explanations of rural poverty, they both leave out critically important features of the international environment. The fatality of external capitalist controls is just as open to doubt as the Ricardian blessings of specialization of production in free market conditions. Dependency theory was the dominant theme in the 1960s and 1970s, but is now pronounced "dead in the water" even by radical analysts (Rdgowski 1985). Whether there is any basis for such claims is beyond the scope of the present discussion; suffice it to note that only marginal analytic returns have been gained from various attempts at testing its applicability to the African scene. Reduced to its simplest expression, dependency theory argues thatThird World poverty is dialectically linked to the expansion of capitalism into the periphery. Only through the extraction of an economic surplus from the periphery, that is, through the wholesale exploitation of Third World resources, could capitalism gather momentum while creating the conditions of peripheral misery and underdevelopment. Despite countless variations on this theme, its shortcomings are all too evident. (1) Patterns of dependency cover a wide spectrum of relationships and cannot be reduced to a simple dualism between core and periphery. (2) Some of the so-called dependent countries have in fact shown a surprising ability to reverse or at least decisively alter their relationship of dependency vis-6-vis core countries. (3) The terms of exchange between core and periphery are by no means eternally fixed but are susceptible to mutually beneficial adjustments. These are only some of the more problematic issues raised by dependency theory. Although there can be little question that rural poverty is historically linked to the processes of capital accumulation inaugurated under the auspices of the colonial state, today's market structures and prices call attention to an entirely different set of parameters. From the standpoint of comparative advantage theory, rural poverty is only the most tragic symptom of the inability of African states to make effective use of their resources. Specifically, the roots of hunger and poverty are traceable to the failure of African governments to place sufficient emphasis on export crops, which they can produce at a comparatively low cost. Their comparative advantage lies in

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 39 the full utilization of their productive potential as producers of tea, cocoa, coffee, cotton, peanuts, and so forth within the context of a free market economy. Rather than switch to food crops, a more rational course would be to use the foreign exchange derived from the sale of cash crops to import food from the West; thus, the opportunity costs of achieving nutritional self-sufficiency are avoided. The assumption, in brief, is that "the income generated by the sale of export crops . . . wouId make it possible to purchase far greater amounts of wheat and corn than could have been produced domestically with the same inputs" (Lofchie and Commins 1984:9). The problems with this line of reasoning are that it: (1) overlooks the considerable elasticity of consumer demand for tropical exports; (2) assumes a situation of competitive bidding among foreign buyers, when in fact a near monopsony obtains; and (3) underestimates the extreme competitiveness among producers of tropical crops, in stark contrast with the near absence of competition among corporate buyers. There are indeed basic limitations to the applicability of competitive advantage to Africa, as excellently demonstrated by Michael Lofchie and Stephen Commins. If producers of tropical commodities are unable "to gain price leverage in the international market place," it is critically related to such factors as the "ready availability of synthetic or substitute products for such commodities," the dominant position occupied by "a handful of powerful multinational trading corporations . . . (such as) General Foods, NestlC, Lipton and Brooke Bond," and the emergence of export crop production as "an enormously competitive field" (Lofchie and Commins 1984: 11-12). What Lofchie and Commins refer to as "market failure" is largely responsible for the sharp deterioration of Africa's terms of trade, a process that shows no sign of coming to an end, Lome I11 notwithstanding. Yet another facet of the current food crisis i~ Africa's mounting debt burden, perhaps the most dramatic illustration of the propensity to spend more on imports than is being earned from exports. To cite one example, although Mozambique spends an estimated $568 million annually in hard currkncy to cover the cost of imported fuel, spare parts, and other commodities, its total earnings from exports barely reach $110 million (May 1985). The growing indebtedness of African states imposes upon them debt-servicing obligations that tend to further restrict the pool of financial resources needed to improve agricultural production. Furthermore, the austerity measures, including the elimination of food subsidies, forced upon African states by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition for the extension of new loans entail political repercussions that few governments are able to face. The elimination of government subsidies that hold down the price of bread and other commodities inevitably tends to trigger explosions of popular discontent, as happened in Khartoum in 1985, inlknis in 1984, and in Cairo in 1977. In each case urban rioting (sometimes referred to as IMF riots) came about as a result of major increases in the price of bread (33 percent overnight in Khartoum, 100 percent inTunis, and 50 percent in Cairo). Whether to comply with IMFguidelines at the cost of political instability or to reject such guidelines and go into receivership is the basic dilemma currently facing a number of African states.

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40 OVERVIEW Equally serious is the dilemma confronting donor states as they must choose between treating the symptoms of rural poverty or attacking its root. Food aid may indeed perpetuate the very conditions that make for poverty and hunger, surely one of the most ironic facts about the massive relief operations organized under the auspices of private and international organizations. In the short run, of course, hundreds of thousands of human lives have been saved by the joint efforts and dedication of relief workers and donor agencies, and this may be seen as ample justification for this monumental outpouring of cash and commiseration. On the other hand, the drawbacks are equally clear. As Kevin Danaher pointed out, "food aid can undermine local food production by flooding local markets and depressing food prices; it can also create dependencies on foreign aid or be used by recipient governments to manipulate the poor" (Danaher 1985:3). Furthermore, if the case of Zaire is any index, food aid may not even reach those who need it most, but end up being sold on the open market for the benefit of strategically placed businessmen and politicians. Reflecting on "why much of the money spent on agricultural development in Africa has simply not paid off," Clifford May (198574) suggested that a large part of the explanation may be that aid organizations must work with governments that helped create the problems in the first place, and the granting of any aid, relief or development, to regimes fighting civil wars frees resources that can be used to intensify and prolong those wars. Because war is a cause of famine, aid can in that way indirectly contribute to the spread of hunger. To deny aid on that basis, however, punishes the innocent far more than the guilty. The alternative to working with African governments while ignoring their share of responsibility in creating famine conditions is to withhold development aid unless and until appropriate economic reforms are implemented. This course is the thrust of the 1981 World Bank Study, Accelerated Development in SubSaharan Africa, better known as the Berg Report, and is also a major feature of Ronald Reagan's Economic Policy Initiative for Africa (EPI), intended to provide $500 million in aid over a five-year period to those countries that are willing to initiate fundamental changes in their agricultural policies. Whether such pressures and inducements may effectively promote local enterprise and break the hold of parastatal agencies on the production and marketing of agricultural commodities remains unclear. Clearly, the alternatives facing African governments are not reducible to single options such as acceptance of external dependency versus going it alone, free enterprise versus state-controlled economies, and concentration on food crops versus specialization in the production of cash crops. Behind these alternatives lie more fundamental choices. At what cost and through which strategies may the weight of external constraints be mitigated? Which mix of private enterprise and state controls is best suited to improve the productivity of the rural sectors? What proportion of cash-crop earnings must be given up for the sake of long-term savings in the area of food production?

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THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FOOD ISSUES 41 That there are no simple answers to these questions does not make them any less pertinent as an academic concern; that these questions transcend the boundaries of any single discipline is equally clear. If nothing else, these questions should prompt us to seek out the answers at the level of interdisciplinary collaboration. In Africa as elsewhere, agriculture is far too important to be left to the production scientists. Only through a genuine and sustained collaborative effort among social and production scientists may one begin to address the multiple causes of poverty and hunger in Africa and help mitigate the devastating effects of this massive affliction. NOTES 1. Twenty-six African countries earn more than half their foreign exchange from a single mineral or export crop; 37 countries depend on one or two items for as much as 80 percent of their overseas earnings. By the late 1970s, for example, 75 percent of Senegal's export earnings came from peanuts, and four-fifths of Chad's were generated by the sale of raw cotton. 2. The contradictory implications of the economy of affection are symptomatic of the imprecision surrounding its meaning. On the one hand, the economy of affection is viewed as having a dampening effect on "the revolutionary potential of peasants and workers". On the other hand, it is described as "the most important factor that facilitated the liberation or the struggle for independence in African countries." According to Hyden: Without access to the economy of affection as a hinterland, if you want to use that analogy, many of those brave fighters that actually challenged colonial rule would have found it very difficult to pursue their struggle. And, may I add here, it was probably the lack of appreciation of this economy among the colonial powers that actually made them in the long run lose the battle (Hyden 198555). Why the economy of affection should both stimulate and restrain the "liberation efforts" of African peasantries remains unclear. 3. For a sample of divergent conceptualizations, see the 1985 special issue of the Canadian Journal of African Studies entirely devoted to "Mode of Production: The Challenge of Africa" (XIX: I). 4. The case of Tanzania is not atypical. According to a 1982 World Bank report, the government paid coffee farmers less than half of the fair market value for their production; rice farmers received less than one third of market value for their produce. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Barker, Jonathan, ed. 1984. The Politics of Agriculture in Tropical Africa. Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications. Bates, Robert H. 1981. Markets and States inTropicalAfrica: The Political Basis ofAgricultural Policies. Berkeley: University of California Press. Eicher, Carl, and John Staatz, eds. 1984. AgriculruralDevelopment in the Third World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Gran, Guy. 1983. Development by People. New York: Praeger Publishers.

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42 OVERVIEW Heyer, Judith, Pepe Roberts, andGavinWilliams, eds. 1981. Rural Development inTropical Africa. New York: St. Martin's Press. Hopkins, Raymond, and Donald Puchala. 1978. The Global Political Economy of Food. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Hopkins, Raymond, Donald Puchala, and Ross Talbot, eds. 1979. Food, Politics and Agricultural Development. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Lappe, Francis Moore, Joseph Collins, and David Kinley. 1980. Aid as Obstacle. San Francisco, California: Institute for Food and Development Policy. Moyana, Henry. 1980. The Political Economy of Land in Zimbabwe. Harare, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press. Young, Crawford, Neil Sherman, and Tim Rose. 1981. Cooperatives and Development. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

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Agricultural Development Ideas in Historical Perspective JOHN M. STAATZ CARL K. EICHER A Ithough economists have been concerned with growth and development since at least the time bf the mercantilists, development economics has existed as a separate branch of economics just since about 1950. The history of the field can roughly be divided into two periods: (1) the economic growth and modernization era of the 1950s and 1960s, when development was defined largely in terms of growth in average per capita output; and (2) the growth-with-equity period since around 1970, when the concern of most development economists broadened to include income distribution, employment, nutrition, and a host of other variables. The prevailing view of agriculture's role in development changed profoundly during these two periods. This chapter presents an outline of the changing view of agriculture in economic development since 1950. The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the evolution of agricultural development theory and practice during the growth and modernization era of the fifties and sixties. The relatively passive role assigned to agriculture in the economic growth models of the 1950s, the increasing recognition of the interdependence between agricultural and industrial growth during the 1960s, the lessons learned from the agricultural development experience of the 1950s and 1960s, and the contribution of radical and dependency scholars to an improved understanding of the process of agricultural and rural development are examined. The next section is a discussion of the increased emphasis given to agricultural and rural development during the growth-with-equity period that began around 1970. During this period there was a sharp increase in microeconomic research on agricultural production and marketing, intersectoral linkages, ruralfactor markets, migration, and rural small-scale industry; and there was a policy This chapter is based on an earlier article (with the same title) by the authors that appeared in Agricultural Development in The Third World, edited by Carl K. Eicher and John M. Staatz (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1984), pp. 3-30. Used with permission of the publisher.

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44 OVERVIEW shift to integrated rural development and basic-needs programs. THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS, 1950-1969 Western Development Economists' Perspectives on Agriculture Most Western development economists of the 1950s did not view agriculture as an important contributor to economic gro~th.~ Development was often equated with the structural transformation of the economy, that is, with the decline in agriculture's relative share of the national product and of the labor force. The role of development economics, as seen by these economists, was to facilitate that transformation by discovering ways to transfer resources, especially labor, from traditional agriculture to industry-the presumed engine of growth. Agriculture itself was often treated as a "black box from which people, and food to feed them, and perhaps capital could be released" (Little 1982: 105). Development economics throughout the 1950s and 1960s was strongly influenced by W. Arthur Lewis's 1954 article, "Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour." Seldom has a single article been so instrumental in shaping the work of an entire subdiscipline of economics. In the article, Lewis presented a general equilibrium model of expansion in an economy with two sectors: a modem capitalist exchange sector and an indigenous noncapitalist sector, which was dominated by subsistence farming3 The distinguishing characteristics of the capitalist sector were its use of reproducible capital, its hiring of labor, and its sale of output for profit. "Capitalist" enterprises could be owned privately or by the state. The subsistence sector was pictured as the "self-employment sector," which did not hire labor or use reproducible capital. Lewis's model focused on how the transfer of labor from the subsistence sector (where the marginal productivity of a laborer approached zero as a limiting case) to the capitalist sector facilitated capitalist expansion through reinvestment of profits. The labor supply facing the capitalist sector was described as "unlimited" for the following reason: "When the capitalist sector offers additional employment opportunities at the existing wage rate, the numbers willing to work at the existing wage rate will be greater than the demand: the supply curve of labor is infinitely elastic at the ruling wage" (Meier 1976: 158). In Lewis's model, expansion in the capitalist sector continued until earnings in the two sectors were equated, at which point a dual-sector model was no longer relevant; growth proceeded as in a one-sector neoclassical model. Lewis's analysis was later extended by Gustav Ranis (1963, 1964), Ranis and John Fei (1961), and Dale Jorgenson (1961). Lewis pointed out that the capitalist sector did not need to be industry (it could be mining or plantations) and that the noncapitalist sector could include handicrafts. Most analysts, however, equated the capitalist sector with industry and the noncapitalist sector with traditional agriculture; they argued that "surplus" labor

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 45 and other resources should be transferred from agriculture to industry in order to promote gr~wth.~ Many development economists concluded that since economic growth facilitated the structural transformation of the economy in the long run, the rapid transfer of resources (especially "surplus" labor) from agriculture to industry was an appropriate short run economic development ~trategy.~ But Bruce Johnston observed that "This preoccupation with 'surplus labor' often seems to have encouraged neglect of the agricultural sector as well as a tendency to assume too readily that a surplus can and should be extracted from agriculture, while neglecting the difficult requirements that must be met if agriculture is to play a positive role in facilitating overall economic growth" (Johnston 1970:378). The propensity of development economists to give relatively little attention to agriculture's potential "positive role in facilitating overall economic growth" was based in part on the empirical observation that agriculture's share of the economy inevitably declines during the course of development for at least two reasons. First, the income elasticity of demand for unprocessed food is less than unity and declines with higher incomes; hence, the demand for raw agricultural products grows more slowly than consumption in general. Second, increasing labor productivity in agriculture means that the same farm output can be produced with fewer workers, implying a transfer of labor to other sectors of the economy. Because agriculture's share of the economy was assumed to be declining, many economists downplayed the need to invest in the agricultural sector in the short run. The relative neglect of agriculture in the 1950s was reinforced by two other developments. In 1949 Raul Prebisch and Hans Singer independently formulated the thesis that there is a secular tendency for the terms of trade to turn against countries that export primary products and import manufactures. From this they concluded that the scope for growth through agricultural and other primary product exports was very limited. Prebisch and his colleagues at the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) of the United Nations therefore advocated that priority be given to import substitution of manufactured goods rather than to production of agricultural export^.^ The "secular-decline hypothesis" became an article of faith for some development economists and planners; thus the tendency to downplay agriculture's potential role in development was reinforced. The second important event affecting development economists' view of agriculture was the publication of Albert Hirschman's influential book, The Strategy of Economic Development (1958). In this book, Hirschman introduced the concept of linkages as a tool for investigating how, during,the course of development, investment in one type of economic activity induced subsequent investment in other income-generating activities. Hirschman defined the linkage effects of a given product line as the "investment-generating forces that are set in motion, through input-output relations, when productive facilities that supply inputs to that line or utilize its output are inadequate or nonexistent. Backward linkages lead to new investment in input-supplying facilities and forward linkages to investment in output-using facilities" (Hirschman 1977:72). Hirschman argued that government investment should be concentrated in activities where the linkage effects were

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46 OVERVIEW greatest, since this would maximize indigenous investment in related or "linked" industries. Hirschman asserted that "agriculture certainly stands convicted on the count of its lack of direct stimulus to the setting up of new activities through linkage effects-the superiority of manufacturing in this respect is crushing" (Hirschman 1958:109-10). Therefore, Hirschman argued, investment in industry would generally lead to more rapid and more broadly based economic growth than would investment in agriculture. Hirschman's analysis thus reinforced ECLA's policy recommendation that priority be given to import substitution of manufactures. Ironically, Lewis's two-sector growth model, which led many development economists to focus heavily on the role of industry in economic development, led others, in the early 1960s, to stress the interdependence between agricultural and industrial growth. In an article comparing a Lewis-type "classical" model with a neoclassical growth model, Jorgenson (1961) argued that growth in nonfarm employment depended on the rate of growth of the agricultural surplus. Jorgenson's analysis and similar analyses by Ranis (1963, 1964), Ranis and Fei (1961), and Stephen Enke (1962a, 1962b) showed that food shortages could choke off growth in the nonfarm sector by making its labor supply less than infinitely elastic. These authors therefore concluded that in order to avoid falling into a low-level equilibrium trap, in the early stages of development a country probably needed to make some net investment in agriculture to accelerate the growth of its agricultural surplus. Many agricultural economists found it "shocking . . . that general economists such as Jorgenson and Enke . . . felt it necessary to argue the case for some investment in agriculture" (Johnston 1970:378). In a seminal article entitled "The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development" (1961), Johnston and JohnW. Mellor drew on insights from the Lewis model to stress the importance of agriculture as a motive force in economic growth. They argued that, far from playing a passive role in development, agriculture could make five important contributions to the structural transformation ofThird World economies: It could provide labor, capital, foreign exchange, and food to a growing industrial sector and could supply a market for domestically produced industrial goods. They argued further that the nature of the interrelationships between agriculture and industry at various stages of development had important implications for the types of agricultural and industrialization strategies that would be most likely to succeed. Johnston and Mellor's article and William H. Nicholls's influential article, "The Place of Agriculture in Economic Development" (1964), were instrumental in encouraging economists to view agriculture as a potential positive force in development, and they helped to stimulate debate on the interdependence of agricultural and industrial growth. This in turn led to a growing interest in the empirical measurement of intersectoral resource transfers during the course of development. The work of neoclassical agricultural economists during the 1960s stressed not only the interdependence of agriculture and industry and the potentially important role that agriculture could play in economic development but also the importance of understanding the process of agricultural growth per se if that potential

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 47 was to be exploited.'The need for a better understanding of the process of agricultural growth was further emphasized by some of the agricultural development experiences of the 1950s and early 1960s. The Influence of the Agricultural Development Programs of the 1950s and 1960s on Western Development Thought Debates among Western economists about the role of agriculture in development did not take place in a vacuum; they were strongly influenced by the rural development experiences of Third World nations. Indeed, an important characteristic of the literature on agricultural development since the 1950s has been its movement from a priori theorizing toward empirical research. Despite the emphasis that development economists placed on industrialization during the 1950s, governments of many low-income countries and donor agencies undertook a number of activities aimed at increasing agricultural output and rural incomes. The experience gained in these efforts was important in developing a better understanding of intersectoral relationships and the constraints on agricultural growth. During the 1950s the approach of European and North American agricultural economists to development was colored by the historical experiences of their own countries and by their training in the then current theories of development economics. For example, most Western agricultural economists working on problems of Third World agriculture during this period believed that the problem of rural surplus labor could be resolved by transferring "excess" rural workers to urban industry. It was also widely assumed that Western agricultural advisers could directly transfer agricultural technology and models of agricultural extension from highincome countries to theThird World, that community development programs could help rural people overcome the shackles of traditional farming and inequitable land-tenure systems, and that food aid could serve humanitarian needs and provide jobs for rural people. Agricultural development efforts of the 1950s placed heavy emphasis on the direct transfer of agricultural technology from high-income countries to the Third World and on the promotion of the U.S. model of agricultural extension. These efforts were based on what Hayami and Ruttan (1971) called the "diffusion model" of agricultural development. The diffusion model assumed that Third World farmers could substantially increase their agricultural productivity by allocating existing resources more efficiently and by adopting agricultural practices and technologies from the industrial countries. Like the diffusion model, the community development effort of the 1950s and early 1960s assumed that small farmers were often poor decisionmakers who required outside assistance in planning local development projects (Stevens 1977b5). Community development grew out of the cold-war atmosphere of the 1950s, when Western foreign assistance programs were searching for a non

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48 OVERVIEW revolutionary approach to rural change. Community development advocates assumed that villagers, meeting with community development specialists, would express their "felt needs" and unite to design and implement self-help programs aimed at promoting rural development. The community development effort also implicitly assumed that rural development could be achieved through the direct transfer of Western agricultural technologies and social institutions, such as local democracy, to the rural areas of the Third W~rld.~ The failure of many agricultural extension programs to achieve rapid increases in agricultural output and the inability of community development projects to solve the basic food problem in many countries (particularly India in the mid-1950s) led to a reevaluation of the diffusion model of agricultural development. Two elements were critical in this reappraisal. First, it became apparent that in many countries there were important structural barriers to rural development, such as highly concentrated political power and asset ownership. The research by economists such as Doreen Warriner (1955), Wolf Ladejinsky (see Walinsky 1977), Thomas F. Carroll (1961), Philip M. Raup (1967), and Solon Barraclough (1973) on land tenure and land reform in Asia, North Africa, and Latin America documented how institutional barriers inhibited the expansion of agricultural output. These authors argued that, in some countries, basic institutional reforms were prerequisites to effective agricultural extension and community development. The second element leading to a reevaluation of the diffusion model was research by scholars such as W. 0. Jones (1960), Raj Krishna (1967), and Jere R. Behrman (1968) that documented the responsiveness of Third World farmers and consumers to economic incentives and helped to demolish the myth of the "tradition-bound peasant." The findings of these studies suggested that if farmers were not responsive to agricultural extension efforts, perhaps it was because extension workers had few profitable innovations to extend. This viewpoint was advanced most forcefully in T. W. Schultz's highly influential book, Transforming Traditional Agriculture (1964). Schultz's book was iconoclastic. Schultz argued that Third World farmers and herders, far from being irrational and fatalistic, were calculating economic agents who carefully weighed the marginal costs and benefits associated with different agricultural techniques. Through a long process of experimentation, these farmers had learned how to allocate efficiently the factors of production available to them, given existing technology. This implied that "no appreciable increase in agricultural production is to be had by reallocating the factors at the disposal of farmers who are bound by traditional agriculture. . . . An outside expert, however skilled he may be in farm management, will not discover any major inefficiency in the allocation of factors" (Schultz 196439). Schultz's argument that traditional agriculture was characterized by allocative efficiency, despite low levels of per capita output, became known as the "efficientbut-poor hypothesis." Citing evidence from Guatemala (Tax 1953) and India (summarized in Hopper 1965) to support this hypothesis, Schultz argued that major increases in per capita agricultural output in theThird World would come about only if farmers were provided new, more productive factors of production, that is, new

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 49 agricultural technologies and the new skills needed to exploit them. The cause of rural poverty, in other words, was the lack of profitable technical packages for Third World farmers and the lack of investment in human capital needed to cope with rapidly changing agricultural technologies. Schultz later attributed the low levels of investment in agricultural research and rural education in most Third World countries to national policies that undervalued agriculture (Schultz 1978: 1981). Transforming TraditionalAgriculture called for a major shift from agricultural extension toward investment in agricultural research and human capital. The book, which appeared five years after the establishment of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and one year after the establishment of the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) in Mexico, reinforced the increasing emphasis being given to agricultural research by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations and other donors in the 1960s. As a result of IRRI's and CIMMYT's success in developing high-yielding dwarf varieties of rice and wheat, which were rapidly adopted in many areas of the Third World during the 1960s, the Green Revolution, or high-payoff input model, replaced the diffusion/community development model as the dominant agricultural development model for field practitioners (Hayami and Ruttan 1971). The appearance of the high-yielding grain varieties had important effects on the theory as well as on the practice of agricultural development. Several authors, such as Kazushi Ohkawa (1964), Mellor (1966), and Ohkawa and Johnston (1969), noted that the new grain-fertilizer technologies were highly divisible and scale neutral, allowing them to be incorporated into existing systems of small-scale agriculture. Therefore, these authors argued, intensification of agricultural production based on high-yielding cereal varieties offered the opportunity to provide productive employment for the rapidly growing rural labor force, and it also produced the wage goods needed for an expanding industrial labor force. The high-yielding varieties, it was argued, made it possible to achieve both employment and output objectives .9 The early enthusiasm for the Green Revolution was met by a barrage of criticism by Francine Frankel (1971), Keith Griffin (1974), and others. These authors argued that the new varieties often benefited mainly landlords and larger farmers in ecologically favored areas, but they frequently impoverished small farmers and tenants, particularly those in upland areas, by inducing lower grain prices and evictions from the land as landlords found it profitable to farm the land themselves using mechanization. Although some authors, such as Lester Brown (1970), did tend to oversell the accomplishments of the Green Revolution, in Asia the impact of the new varieties was substantial. They have had a smaller effect in Latin America, however, where a high percentage of small farmers live in poor natural resource zones (Pineiro et al. 1979), and they have had little impact in Sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, highyielding varieties accbunted for about half the area planted to wheat and rice in the Third World in the early 1980s (Dalrymple 1985).

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50 OVERVIEW Grant Scobie and Rafael Posada (1984) and Yijiiro Hayami (1984) have evaluated some of the income distribution effects of the new varieties. These authors find that within villages there has been little difference between small farmers' and large farmers' rates of adoption of the modem varieties. Farmers in upland areas, however, may have been hurt relative to farmers in irrigated areas because the new varieties are more suited to irrigated conditions. Low-income consumers, who spend a high proportion of their income on foodgrains, have been major beneficiaries of the larger harvests and lower prices made possible by the Green Revolution. One of the important lessons of the 1950s and 1960s is that, with rising population pressure on land throughout the Third World, technological change must be included as a central component in both the theory and practice of agricultural and rural development. Radical Political Economy and Dependency Perspectives on Agriculture Western development economics was challenged in the 1960s and 1970s by the emergence and rapid growth of radical political economy and dependency models of development and underdevelopment. The radical political economy models have their roots in the writings of Lenin on imperialism and Karl Kautsky on agriculture, and in the post-World War I1 writings of Paul Baran and other Marxist economists. Baran, in an important article entitled "On the Political Economy of Backwardness" (1952), argued that in most low-income countries it would be impossible to bring about broad-based capitalist development without violent changes in social and political institutions. Although Baran was clearly ahead of his time in identifying institutional and structural barriers to development and the need to put effective demand at the center of development programs, he tended, as did many of the Western development economists he was criticizing, to see smallscale agriculture as incapable of making major contributions to economic growth. For example, Baran accepted the view that the marginal product of labor often approached zero in agriculture, and therefore "there is no way of employing it [labor] usefully in agriculture." Farmers "could only be provided with opportunities for productive work by transfer to industry." Baran, like many economists of the time, believed that "very few improvements that would be necessary in order to increase productivity can be carried out within the narrow confines of smallpeasant holdings" and that, therefore, farm consolidation was necessary. Marxist analysis of agricultural and rural development was further advanced in the 1950s and 1960s by several Latin American scholars, who often blended Marxian analyses with dependency theory.1 The dependency interpretation of underdevelopment was first proposed in the 1950s by the Economic Commission for Latin America, under the leadership of Raul Prebisch. The basic hypothesis of this perspective is that underdevelopment is not a stage of development but the result of the expansion of the world capitalist system. Underdevelopment, in other words, is not simply the lack of development; it is a condition of impoverishment

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 5 1 brought about by the integration ofThird World economies into the world capitalist system. Although a number of different views of dependency have been put forward by scholars such as Osvaldo Sunkel (1972), Celso Furtado (1970), Andre! Gunder Frank (1966), J. Galtung (1971), and others, the following definition of dependency by T. Dos Santos has been widely cited: "By dependency we mean a situation in which the economy of certain countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy to which the former is subjected" (Dos Santos 1970:231)." Dependency theorists implicitly argued that trade was often a zero-sum game-that low-income countries ("the periphery") were pauperized through both a process of unequal exchange with the industrialized world ("the center") and repatriation of profits from foreign-owned businesses. Capitalist growth in the periphery was not self-sustaining; it was stunted by policies favoring import substitution of luxury goods and export of agro-industrial products, often produced on large estates. These policies limited the internal market for consumer goods (including food and other agricultural products) and led to impoverishment of the mass of small farmers. Meaningful reform was blocked by an alliance of the landed elite, local bourgeoisie, and multinational firms, all of which benefited from the dependency relationship. In the 1960s, dependency theory was imported into Africa from Latin America. Since the mid-1960s Samir Amin has provided leadership in developing a Marxist version of dependency theory. In Accumulation on a World Scale (1974b) and Unequal Development (1976) Amin presented an analytical framework of underdevelopment in Africa based on surplus extraction and the domination of the world capitalist system. Amin has provided valuable insights into the development process, but his prescriptions for African agriculture have vacillated over time. During the 1960s Amin favored animal traction, promoted industrial crops, and argued that traditional social values were a serious constraint on development at the village level. He also argued that the transition to privately owned small farms was a precondition for socialism (Amin 1965:210-11, 231). By the early 1970s Amin had reversed himself and recommended the collectivization of agricultural production, and he abandoned his support for animal traction and industrial crops (Amin 1971:231; 1973:56). These criticisms notwithstanding, the radical scholars made several important contributions to the understanding of agriculture and rural development. First, they helped demolish the myth of "a typical underdeveloped country" by stressing that each country's economic development had to be understood in the context of that country's historical experience. For example, they argued that Schultz's concept of "traditional agriculture"-a situation where fanners have settled into a lowlevel equilibrium after years of facing static technology and factor pricesabstracted from the historical process of integration of individual Third World economies into the world capitalist system, and therefore was not a very useful analytical concept. Second, in arguing that rural poverty in the Third World resulted from the functioning of a global capitalist economy, the radical writers fo

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52 OVERVIEW cused attention on the relationships between villagers and the wider economic system. Unlike Schultz, who attributed rural poverty to the lack of productive agricultural technologies and human capital, radical scholars stressed the importance of the linkages and exchange arrangements that tied villages to the rest of the economy. Third, the radical economists directly attacked what Hirschman (1981a:3) has called the "mutual benefit claim" of development economics, the assertion that economic relations between high-income and low-income countries (and among groups within low-income countries) could be shaped in a way to yield benefits for all. In disputing this claim, the radical scholars stressed that economic development was more than just a technocratic matter of determining how best to raise per capita GNP. Development involved restructuring institutional and political relationships, and the radicals urged neoclassical economists to include these political considerations explicitly in their analyses. In Alain de Janvry's words, "Economic policy without political economy is a useless and utopian exercise" (de Janvry 1981:263). Both the radical analyses and the Western dual-sector models of the 1960s suffered from some of the same shortcomings: abstract theorizing, inadequate attention to the need for technical change in agriculture, lack of attention to the biological and location-specific nature of agricultural production processes, and lack of a solid micro foundation based on empirical research at the farm and village level. Recognition of some of these shortcomings was an important element leading to a reevaluation of the goals and approaches of development economics and of the role of agriculture in reaching those goals in the period following 1970. THE GROWTH-WITH-EQUITY ERA SINCE 1970 The Broadening of Development Goals Around 1970, mainstream Western development economics began to give greater attention to employment and the distribution of real income, broadly defined. This shift in emphasis came about for at least three reasons. The first was ideological, a response to the radical critique of Western development economics, especially the critique of the "mutual benefit claim" discussed previously. The goal of economic growth for Third World countries was seriously questioned by this critique, and some development economists may have felt the need to redefine the goals of development more broadly in order to preserve the legitimacy of their subdiscipline. Second, from the 1960s onwards it became apparent that rapid economic growth in some countries; such as Pakistan, Nigeria, and Iran, had deleterious, and in some cases disastrous, side effects. Hirschman argued that development economists were forced to reevaluate the goals of their profession because the series of political disasters that struck a number ofThird World countries from the sixties on . . . were clearly somehow connected with the stresses and strains

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 53 accompanying development and "modernization." These development disasters, ranging from civil wars to the establishment of murderous authoritarian regimes, could not but give pause to a group of social scientists who, after all, had taken up the cultivation of development economics in the wake of World War I1 not as narrow specialists, but impelled by the vision of a better world. As liberals, most of them presumed that "all good things go together" and took it for granted that if only a good job could be done in raising the national income of the countries concerned, a number of beneficial effects would follow in the social, political, and cultural realms. When it turned out instead that the promotion of economic growth entailed not infrequently a sequence of events involving serious retrogression in those other areas, including the wholesale loss of civil and human rights, the easy selfconfidence that our subdiscipline exuded in its early stages was impaired (Hirschman 1981a:20-21). The third reason for the reevaluation of development goals was the growing awareness among development economists that even in countries where rapid eco, nomic growth had not contributed to social turmoil, the benefits of economic , growth often were not trickling down to the poor and that frequently the income gap between rich and poor was widening (see, for example, Fishlow 1972; Nugent and Yotopoulos 1979; and Streeten 1979). Even where the incomes of the poor were rising, often they were rising so slowly that the poor would not be able to afford decent diets or housing for at least another generation. Rather than simply waiting for increases in average per capita incomes to "solve" the problems of poverty and malnutrition; economists, political leaders in the Third World, and the leaders of major donor agencies argued in the early 1970s that greater explicit attention needed to be paid to employment, income distribution, and "basic needs," such as nutrition and housing. For example, when Robert McNamara was president of the World Bank, he called on it to redirect its activities toward helping people in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution scale in low-income countries (McNamara 1973). These growth-with-equity concerns stimulated a number of important theoretical and policy debates during the 1970s. The first debate concerned the interactions between income distribution and rates of economic growth. A number of economists during the 1970s included income distribution explicitly in their frameworks of analysis, and several examined the interdependence between income growth, income distribution, and other development goals, such as literacy and health.I2These analyses focused on changes not only in the size distribution of income during the course of development (for example, Chenery et al. 1974; Adelman and Morris 1973) but in the functional distribution. For example, attention was given to the impact of economic growth on small farmers (Stevens 1977a; Fei et al. 1979) and on women (Boserup 1970; Tinker and Bramsen 1976; Spencer 1 1976). A second debate centered on employment generation and the possible existence of employment-output trade-offs in industry and agriculture. Although Folke Dovring (1959) had shown that the absolute number of people engaged in agricul

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54 OVERVIEW ture in developing countries would probably continue to grow for several decades, most economists during the 1960s still assumed that urban industry would absorb most of the new entrants to the labor force. By 1970, however, it had become apparent that urban industry in most countries could not expand quickly enough in the short run to provide employment for the expanding rural labor force. Hence, the concern of development planners shifted to finding ways to hold people in the countryside (Eicher et al. 1970). The concern about creating rural jobs raised a number of questions in both agriculture and industry about the relative output and employment-generation capacities of large and small enterprises. In agriculture, debate centered on how much emphasis should be given to improving small farms as opposed to creating larger and more capitalintensive farms, ranches, and plantations. Empirical evidence from the late 1960s and early 1970s revealed that the economies of size in tropical agriculture were more limited than previously believed and that the improvement of small farms often resulted in greater output and employment per hectare than did large-scale farming. In industry, the small-versus-large debate led to a number of empirical studies of rural small-scale enterprises (see Chuta and Liedholm 1984). In both agriculture and industry the concern with possible employment-output trade-offs also stimulated research on the choice of appropriate production techniques. During the 1970s economists and planners also began to give explicit consideration to the impact of development programs on nutrition. Empirical studies revealed that increases in average per capita income did not always lead to improved nutrition and that at times malnutrition actually increased with growing incomes (Berg 1973; Reutlinger and Selowsky 1976). Therefore, many analysts argued that nutrition projects targeted to the poor and malnourished were needed to supplement other development activities (Pinstrup-Anderson 1981). Implications for Agriculture The change in orientation of development economics in the early 1970s implied a much greater role for agriculture in development programs. Because the majority of the poor in most Third World countries live in rural areas and because food prices are a major determinant of the real income of both the rural and urban poor, the low productivity of Third World agriculture was seen as a major cause of poverty. Furthermore, because urban industry had generally provided few jobs for the rapidly growing labor force, development planners increasingly concentrated on ways to create productive employment in rural areas, if only as a holding action until the rate of population growth declined and urban industry could create more jobs. (Nonetheless, investment policies in many countries continued to favor urban areas [see Lipton 19771.) The need to create productive rural employment was underlined by a growing awareness of the increasing landlessness in many parts of the Third World, particularly South Asia (Singh n.d.), Latin America (de Janvry

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 55 1981), and a few countries in Africa (Ghai and Radwan 1983). It soon became apparent that if agriculture was to play a more important role in development programs, policymakers needed a more detailed understanding of rural economies than that provided by the simple two-sector models of the 1950s and early 1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a rapid expansion of micro-level research on agricultural production and marketing, farmer decisionmaking, the performance or rural-factor markets, and rural nonfarm employment. " This micro-level research documented the complexity of many Third World farming and marketing systems and complemented the macro-level work begun in the 1950s on modeling agricultural growth and intersectoral relationships. Research FIndings of The 1970s I Modeling Agricultural Growth As policymakers looked to agriculture to provide more employment and wage goods for the rapidly expanding labor force, attempts to model the process of agricultural growth assumed increased importance. Hayami and Vernon Ruttan's induced-innovation model of agricultural development was a major contribution of the 1970s. Hayami and Ruttan (1971) argued that there are multiple technological paths to agricultural growth, each embodying a different mix of factors of production, and that changes in relative-factor prices can guide researchers to select the most "efficient" path for a country. This argument implied that countries with different-factor endowments would have different efficient growth paths and that the wholesale importation of agricultural technology from industrialized countries to theThird World could lead to highly inefficient patterns of growth. Hayami and Ruttan argued that relative-factor prices not only affected technological development but often played an important role in guiding the design of social institutions. l4 Other major efforts to model the process of agricultural growth included detailed agricultural-sector analyses (such as in Thorbecke and Stoutjesdijk 1971, and Mantesch et al. 197 1); the work of Mellor and of Johnston and Peter Kilby discussed below; and the attempt by some radical scholars, notably de Janvry (1981), to move from a purely global, abstract explanation of rural poverty to a neoMarxist analysis on a micro level. / Intersectoral Relationships The 1970s also witnessed a great expansion in the theoretical and empirical research begun by economists in the 1960s on the interdependence between agricultural and nonagricultural growth. Particularly noteworthy was the work of Mellor and of Johnston and Kilby (1975).15 Mellor argued that it was possible to design employment-oriented strategies of development based on the potential growth linkages inherent in the new high-yielding grain varieties.16 Mellor's analysis drew i heavily on empirical evidence from India. Unlike many authors who mainly stres

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56 OVERVIEW sed how the new varieties could increase total food supplies, Mellor emphasized that the new varieties could also raise the incomes of foodgrain producers, thereby generating increased effective demand for a wide variety of labor-intensive products. Indeed, Mellor saw most of the potential growth in employment being outside the foodgrain sector itself, in sectors producing labor-intensive goods such as dairy products, fruit, other consumer products, and agricultural inputs. This expanded employment was made possible by the simultaneous increase in the effective demand for these products and in the supply of inexpensive wage goods in the form of foodgrains. Much of Mellor's analysis focused on the types of agricultural and industrial policies needed to exploit these growth linkages of the new grain varieties. Johnston and Kilby analyzed "the reciprocal interactions between agricultural development and the expansion of manufacturing and other nonfarm sectors" (Johnston and Kilby 1975:xv). In particular, they focused on the factors affecting the rates of labor transfer between sectors and the level and composition of intersectoral commodity flows. Drawing on empirical evidence from England, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, Johnston and Kilby argued that the size distribution of farms was a critical determinant of the demand for industrial products in a developing economy. They showed that broad-based agricultural growth was more effective than estate production in stimulating the demand for industrial products and hence in speeding the structural transformation of the economy. Johnston and Kilby's analysis strongly supported the view that concentrating agricultural development efforts on the mass of small farmers in low-income countries, rather than promoting a bimodal structure of small and large farms, would lead to faster growth rates of both aggregate economic output and employment. Factor Markets and Employment Generation Concern for creating jobs stimulated research during the 1970s on rural labor markets and employment. Krishna (1973) addressed the basic methodological problem of defining underemployment and unemployment in rural economies. Noting that most unemployment studies use definitions appropriate to industrial economies, Krishna identified four different criteria commonly used to classify people as underemployed or unemployed: (1) a time criterion, according to which a person is underemployed if he or she is gainfully occupied for less time than some fullemployment standard; (2) an income criterion, by which an individual is underemployed or unemployed if he or she earns less than some desired minimum; (3) a willingness criterion, which defines a person as underemployed or unemployed if he or she is willing to work longer hours at the prevailing wage; and (4) a productivity criterion, which defines a worker as unemployed if the worker's marginal product is zero. Krishna showed that different policy measures were appropriate for dealing with each type of underemployment. During the 1970s several economists, particularly those associated with the

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 57 International Labour Office (ILO), spoke of dethroning GNP as the target and indicator of development and replacing growth strategies with employment-oriented approaches (see, for example, Seers 1970). During the first half of the 1970s the ILO dispatched missions to Colombia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, the Philippines, and Sudan to draw up programs to expand employment (ILO 1970, 1971,1972,1974, 1976b). The ILO missions "studied just about everything-population, education, income distribution, appropriate technology, multinationals" (Little 1982:214), but they frequently lacked the detailed information needed to evaluate where and to what degree employment-output trade-offs existed in these countries. The impact of the ILO studies was further limited as research during the 1970s demonstrated that, because 60-80 percent of the poor in most Third World countries were employed in some fashion, the critical policy issue was not one of creating jobs per se but one of increasing the productivity of workers already employed in small-scale agriculture and nonfarm enterprises. The ILO studies were, nonetheless, important in stimulating research on labor markets and on the impact of factor-price distortions on output and employment. A large number of studies during the 1970s that evaluated the performance of labor markets in low-income countries generally found that at peak periods of the agricultural cycle there was little unemployment in rural areas, although at other periods of the year there were labor surpluses. The studies also documented that earlier researchers had frequently overestimated the size of these surpluses because they had failed to take account of the considerable time devoted to rural nonfarm enterprises and to walking to and from fields. Studies also confirmed that labor markets in most countries were generally competitive, with wage rates, particularly in rural areas, following seasonal patterns of labor demand (see Berry and Sabot 1978). The labor-market research also documented that when labor was misallocated, in many situations the misallocation was due not only to imperfections in labor markets, but to poorly functioning markets for other factors of production as well. Overvalued exchange rates and subsidized credit, for example, often encouraged excessive substitution of capital for labor in low-wage economies. Concern about the impact of such factor-price distortions on output and employment stimulated research on the choice of technique in agricultural production and processing (see Byerlee et al. 1983) and on the functioning of rural financial markets in low' income countries (Adams and Graham 1984). In the late 1960s and early 1970s the concern for employment generation led to questions about the productivity and labor-absorption capacity of large farms and ranches versus those of small farms. A large number of scholars (for example, Dorner and Kanel1971; Barraclough 1973; Berry 1975; and Berry and Cline 1979) documented the strong economic case for land reform in many Third World countries because of the higher employment and land productivity potential of small family farms. The higher land productivity was largely due to greater use of labor (mainly family labor) per unit of land. Although there was widespread agreement among these scholars that land reform was an attractive policy instrument for rais

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58 OVERVIEW ing farm output, increasing rural employment, and improving the equality of income distribution, political support for land reform waned during the 1970s (de Janvry 1984). Rural-to-Urban Migration Rural-to-urban migration was a major area of research during the 1960s and 1970s because the rate of rural-to-urban migration in most Third World countries far outstripped the rates of growth of urban employment. This led to rising levels of open urban unemployment. The concern of policymakers therefore shifted quickly from trying to transfer surplus labor from agriculture to industry to trying to reduce "excessive" rates of urbanization. Research by economists on migration in the Third World was sparked by Michael Todaro's attempt in the late 1960s to explain the apparently paradoxical phenomenon of accelerating rural-to-urban migration in the context of continuously rising urban unemployment in Kenya. Todaro (1969) proposed a model (later extended by John Harris andTodaro 1970) in which a potential migrant's decision to migrate is motivated primarily by the difference between his or her expected (rather than actual) urban income and the prevailing rural wage. The Harris-Todaro model implied that attempts to reduce urban unemployment by creating more urban jobs could paradoxically result in more urban unemployment rather than less. By leading potential migrants to believe that their chances of getting an urban job had increased, urban employment programs induced greater rural-to-urban migration. Harris andTodaro therefore argued that urban unemployment could best be addressed by reducing the incentives to migrate to the cities, for example, by raising rural incomes via a broad range of agricultural and rural development programs. '' The second approach to studying migration was spearheaded by several radical political economists who focused on the social, as opposed to the private, benefits and costs of migration. Samir Amin, for example, argued that although rural-to-urban migration might be privately profitable for the migrant, it imposed important social costs on the sending area, including the loss of future village leadership and the instability of rural families. Amin argued that these costs exceeded possible gains to the area from wage remittances to the home villages. Although the net welfare impact of migration is obviously an important question, many of the studies by radical scholars lacked empirical data to support their conclusions. In a balanced and constructive assessment of both neoclassical and radical political economy studies of migration in southern Africa, Knight and Lenta (1980) concluded that there was not a clear picture of the net welfare impact of migration in the countries supplying labor to the mines in South Africa. Product Market Per$ormance Rapid income growth and urbanization put increasing pressures on markets for ag

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 59 ricultural products, particularly food, during the 1960s and 1970s. In response, economists undertook a number of studies to evaluate the performance of agricultural product markets and suggest improvement^.'^ These studies generally found little support for allegations of widespread collusion and extraction of monopoly profits by private merchants in Third World countries. They did, however, document how insufficient infrastructure and the lack of reliable public information systems and other public goods often reduced market efficiency and lowered farmers' incentives to specialize for market production. The studies were often critical of state monopolies in the domestic food trade, citing the frequent high costs of state marketing agencies. The studies identified important roles for the state in providing public goods (better information systems, standardized weights and measures, and so on) to facilitate private trading, price stabilization, and regulation of international trade. More recently, there has been discussion of ways the state can ensure adequate food supplies to the poor without disrupting normal market channels. Farming Systems Research and Farmer Decisionmaking During the late 1960s and the 1970s economists increasingly investigated the factors that influenced farmers' decisions concerning whether to adopt new crop varieties and farming practices. This work eventually led to the development of farming systems research. Farming systems research attempts to incorporate farmers' constraints and objectives into agricultural research by involving farmers in problem identification, on-farm agronomic trials, and extension (CIMMYT Economics Staff 1984). Interest in farming systems research and the new household economics also led to efforts to model the farm household as both a production and a consumption unit (see Singh et al. n.d.). Inspired by A. V. Chayanov's (1966) work on the behavior of Russian peasants in the early 1900s, the farm-household models stressed the need to understand how government policies could simultaneously affect both the production and the consumption decisions of small farmers. For example, these models showed that marketed surplus of a crop might, in some circumstances, actually decline as the crop's price was increased (even if production of the crop rose) because the price increase would raise farm family income, and some of this increased income would be spent on the good whose price had risen. Summary: Research in the 1970s The results of microeconomic research during the 1970s contributed to an accumulation of knowledge about the behavior of farmers; constraints on the expansion of farm and nonfarm production, income, and employment; the linkages between agricultural research and extension institutions; and the complexity and locationspecific nature of the agricultural development process. One of the major accomplishments of the 1970s was a large increase in knowledge about agricultural

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60 OVERVIEW development in Sub-Saharan Africa, an area often ignored by development economists during the 1950s and early 1960s (see Eicher and Baker 1982). But the increased orientation to micro-level research may have resulted in relatively less attention being paid to macroeconomic research on food policy and the role that agriculture can play in the structural transformation of Third World economies. A major challenge, therefore, is to incorporate the micro-research findings into models that examine agriculture's role in a general equilibrium (or disequilibrium) context. Development Programs of the 1970s: Integrated Rural Development and Basic Needs Reacting to some of the disappointments of the Green Revolution and the agricultural growth-oriented programs of the 1960s, donors andThird World governments turned increasingly their attention to integrated rural development and basic-needs projects in the 1970s. Integrated rural development attempts to combine in one project elements to increase agricultural production and to improve health, education, sanitation, and a variety of other social services. Like the community development projects of the 1950s, integrated rural development projects of the 1970s sometimes expanded social services much faster than they expanded the economic base to support them, and they often proved to be extraordinarily complex and difficult to implement and administer. Moreover, the inability of integrated rural development projects to increase rapidly agricultural production often stemmed from the lack of appropriate technical packages. Uma Lele (1975) reviewed seventeen integrated rural development projects in Africa and found that most of the projects were based upon inadequate knowledge of local technical possibilities, smallfarmer constraints, and local institutions. The projects also tended to have very high administrative costs, making them difficult to replicate over broader areas. By 1980 many donors, such as the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development, had retreated from integrated rural development projects or had redesigned these projects to give greater emphasis to agricultural production.I9 The rise and decline of integrated rural development (1973-1980) was in some ways very similar to the fate of community development between 1950 and 1957 (Holdcroft 1984). In the mid-1970s the basic-needs approach was popularized by the International Labour Office (ILO 1976a) and subsequently spearheaded by a group of economists within the World Bank under the leadership of Paul Streeten. The basic-needs approach holds that development projects should give priority to increasing the welfare of the poor directly through projects to improve nutrition, education, housing, and so on, rather than focus mainly on increasing aggregate growth rate~.~OThe basic-needs advocates supported their case by citing impressive gains in life span, literacy, and nutrition in Cuba, Sri Lanka, and the People's Republic of China-countries that had emphasized basic needs. But the constraints

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AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IDEAS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 61 on the basic-needs approach were highlighted by Sri Lanka's inability during the mid-1970s to continue to finance the centerpiece of its program, universal free rice rations, which forced the government to shift to a more growth-oriented strategy. Likewise, the rising cost of food subsidies in China raises questions about China's ability to sustain its policy of cheap food for urban consumers (Lardy 1984). Although investments in health, nutrition, education, and housing can contribute importantly to the welfare of the poor and to the rate of economic growth, the experience with the basic-needs approach suggests that low-income countries also need to emphasize building the economic base to finance these investments. By the early 1980s many economists were once again giving greater emphasis to economic growth and to the sequence of different types of development activities, such as investments in irrigation and health facilities. This shift in emphasis did not imply a rejection of the growth-with-equity philosophy of the 1970s. Rather, it reflected an increasing recognition of the impossibility of achieving a decent living standard for the bulk of the rapidly growing populations in poor countries simply by redistributing existing assets. This recognition led the World Bank to shift to a more growth-oriented strategy in the early 1980s and the basic-needs approach faded into the backgro~nd.~' The research results and development experiences of the 1970s suggest that in order to attain more rapid, more broad-based agricultural growth and rural development, the following components will have to be emphasized in the coming decades: strengthening of institutions in low-income countries for agricultural research, administration, policy analysis, and training; renewed emphasis on analyzing agricultural development issues in broader macroeconomic frameworks; reevaluation of the roles of international trade, food aid, and agricultural specialization in an increasingly interdependent world food economy; and movement towards more interdisciplinary approaches to problemsolving. All these require expansion of the human-capital base of Third World countries. One of the clearest lessons of the 1960s and 1970s is that agricultural and rural development require strong local institutions and well-trained individuals. International research centers and expatriate advisers are at best complements to, not substitutes for, domestic research systems and policy analysts. Because problems in the food system are typically multifaceted, there is also a need to move toward more interdisciplinary approaches to problemsolving. Food policy research and farming systems research (see Fresco and Poats in this book) are examples of areas where such interdisciplinary approaches are proving useful. NOTES Larry Lev, Carl Liedholm, Michael Morris, and Robert Stevens offered insightful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Bruce Johnston (1970) extensively reviewed the literatwe of the 1950s and 1960s on the role of agriculture in development. 1. Development economics began to emerge as a subdiscipline of economics in the post-World War I1 period with the work of Nurkse, Mandelbaum, Rosenstein-Rodan,

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62 OVERVIEW Singer, Prebisch, and others. The first major text on economic development was W. Arthur Lewis's influential TheTheory ofEconomic Growth (1955). Lewis's emphasis on economic growth set the tone for work in development economics during the "growth era" of the 1950s and 1960s. In the introduction Lewis wrote, "The subject matter of this book is growth of output per head of population . . . and not distribution" (p. 9). Lewis did, however, include an appendix entitled "Is Economic Growth Desirable?" For reviews of the history of development economics, see Hirschman (1981a), Streeten (1979), Reynolds (1977, chap. 2), and Little (1982). 2. This section draws heavily on Johnston's excellent review of the literature through 1970 on the role of agriculture in economic development. 3. For an excellent summary of the Lewis model, see Meier (1976: 157-63); see also Lewis (1972). For an analysis of the impact of Lewis's model on development economics, see Gersowitz et al. (1982). 4. Lewis's statement that the marginal productivity of laborers in the noncapitalist sector approached zero as a limiting case stimulated a large number of efforts to measure the extent of surplus labor in agriculture. For a review of these efforts, see Kao, Anschel, and Eicher (1964). For a critique of the concept of surplus labor in agriculture, see Schultz (1964, chap. 4). 5. William H. Nicholls (1964) was one of the first critics of the rapid transfer of surplus labor as a short-run strategy. 6. For a summary of this thesis, see Prebisch (1959). For critical reviews, see Kravis (1970) and Little (1982, chap. 4). In recent years Prebisch has modified his views about import substitution (see Prebisch 1981). 7. The 1960s literature on agricultural development is captured in the volumes edited by Eicher and Witt (1964), Southworth and Johnston (1967), and Wharton (1969). 8. The community development approach emphasized the provision of social services, which presaged the basic-needs approach to development in the late 1970s, described later in this chapter. By emphasizing social services, community development differed from other Western development efforts of the 1950s and 1960s, which focused mainly on increasing average per capita incomes. 9. These arguments were most fully developed by Mellor and by Johnston and Kilby in the 1970s. See the discussion of these authors' work in the second section of this chapter. 10. French scholars also made important contributions to the Marxist analysis of agricultural development during the 1960s and 1970s (see Petit 1982). 11. For critiques of the dependency school of thought in Latin America, see Cardoso and Faletto (1979), and de Janvry (1981). 12. A standard reference is the influential book Redistribution With Growth by Chenery et al. (1974). See also Seers (1970), and Adelman (1975). 13. See, for example, the volumes edited by Stevens (1977a); and Jones (1972). 14. For attempts to test the induced-innovation hypothesis empirically, see Binswanger and Ruttan (1978). 15. See also the volume edited by Reynolds (1975). 16. Mellor's views are articulated in The New Economics of Growth: A Strategy for India and the Developing World (1976). See also Mellor and Lele (1973). 17. The major extensions of the Harris-Todaro model and the empirical tests of it are summarized in Todaro (1980). 18. Many of these studies are reviewed by Lele (1977) and Riley and Staatz (1981). For a critique of some of these studies see Harriss (1979). 19. For excellent reviews of integrated rural development, see Ruttan (1975), de Janvry (1981), and Johnston and Clark (1982). 20. The basic-needs approach is not simply a call for increased social welfare spending, however; it is also based on recognition of the importance of investment in human cap

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ital in economic growth and of the synergism of nutrition, health, and family-planning decisions. For an excellent discussion of basic-needs projects and their relationships to rural development, see Johnston and Clark (1982, chap. 4). 21. The World Bank's experience with basic needs is summarized by Streeten (1981). SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Amin, Samir. 1974. Accumulation on a World Sca1e:A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment. New York: Monthly Review Press. Dalrymple, Dana G. 1985. The Development and Adoption of High Yielding Varieties of Wheat and Rice in Developing Countries. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 67:s: 1067-1073. Eicher, Carl K., and Doyle C. Baker. 1982. Research onAgricultura1 Development in SubSaharan Africa:A Critical Survey. MSU International Development Paper No. I. East Lansing: Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University. Eicher, Carl K., and John M. Staatz, eds. 1984. Agricultural Development in the Third World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hayami, Yujiro, and Vernon W. Ruttan. 1971. Agricultural Deve1opment:An International Perspective. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. Johnston, Bruce F. 1970. Agriculture and Structural Transformation in Developing Countries: A Survey of Research. Journal of Economic Literature 3:2:369-404. Johnston, Bruce E , and Peter Kilby. 1975. Agriculture and StructuralTransformation: Economic Strategies in Late-Developing Countries. New York: Oxford University Press. Lele, Uma. 1975. The Design of Rural Development: LessonsfromAfrica. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press for the World Bank. Lewis, W. Arthur. 1954. Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour. Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies 22:2: 139-91. Mellor, John W. 1975. The New Economics of Growth:A Strategy for India and the Developing World. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. Schultz, Theodore W. 1964. Transforming Traditional Agriculture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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Social Science Perspectives on Food in Africa SARA BERRY R ecent assessments of the performance and prospects of African economies portray a deepening crisis, centered on the problem of food supplies. Since the early 1970s a rapidly rising number of Africans have had an increasingly difficult time getting enough to eat. By all accounts, domestic food supplies are falling further and further behind domestic needs. Both governments and consumers face serious problems in procuring the kinds and quantities of food they want at prices they can afford to pay. Chronic hunger and malnutrition are widespread and escalate quickly into famine in times of drought or national financial crisis. Easing shortages with food from foreign sources has also become more difficult in the last decade. World prices of grains have risen; unstable petroleum prices have put heavy strains on many African countries' balances of payments and worsened their terms of trade. Agricultural exports have not increased sufficiently to cover rising import bills. Food aid to Africa has grown at unprecedented rates in the last decade, but it is adequate neither to meet short-term needs nor generate a long-run solution to the crisis. Social scientists attribute African economic stagnation and food deficits to everything from global economic and political conditions to backward African farming practices. Although most social scientists agree that the food crisis is the result of many causes, they disagree about the relative importance of these causes and their interactions. Explanations range from: (1) Africa is the unfortunate victim of a world economy geared to serve the interests of wealthy industrial countries; to (2) Africa's economic problems are the result of poor policy choices made by AfriThis chapter is based on an earlier article by the author entitled "The Food Crisis and Agrarian Change in Africa: A Review Essay," African Studies Review 27:2 (1984):59-112, which was originally prepared for the Joint African Studies Committee of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. Used with permission of the publisher.

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 65 can governments, or the inability of these governments to implement sound policies effectively, or both; and (3) the technology needed to increase the productivity of African farming systems has not yet been developed. The social science literature cannot be reduced to a single, consistent explanatory argument-many studies have produced multiple interpretations. This chapter does not attempt to synthesize the social science literature on food in Africa, but to review some of the important lines of interpretation and debate. The discussion is organized as follows: (1) the quality of available evidence about agricultural performance in Africa; (2) African agriculture and the world economy; (3) the form and effects of African governments' policies towards agriculture; (4) environmental constraints on expanding food production and subsequent implications for technological development; (5) the idea of peasant rationality and its implications for understanding agrarian change and policy; (6) relations between African systems of kinship, domestic organization, and agricultural practices; and (7) the effects of rural commercialization on economic and social differentiation and structural change. In conclusion, a few comments are offered about directions for further research. SEARCHING FOR THE EVIDENCE--WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT AGRICULTURAL PERFORMANCE? International agencies from the World Bank to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) have interpreted Africa's food crisis as a crisis of production, arising partly from historical factors and partly from excessive efforts by African governments to regulate and control economic activity within their countries (OAU 1981; World Bank 1981). Since 1960, the international agencies argue, population growth, urbanization, and rising incomes, especially in urban areas, have caused demand for marketed foodstuffs to outrun domestic productive capacity. This is especially true for commodities such as wheat and rice, which make up a major part of urban residents' diets but are not commonly grown in Africa. Consequently, food imports have increased rapidly at a time when the cost of other essential imports-notably petroleum products-has risen sharply also. The resulting pressure on African countries' balances of payments has been further exacerbated by the lagging output of crops, according to the World Bank (1981). In turn, lagging production stems from African governments' neglect of agriculture or their adoption of inappropriate policies toward trade, foreign exchange, and domestic prices. To support the argument that Africa faces a crisis in agricultural production, official and scholarly publications regularly cite aggregate production figures for Africa as a whole. The reliability of national data on agricultural output is open to serious question. Agricultural censuses and sample surveys, no matter how well organized and administered, are subject to numerous sources of error and uncertainty, stemming from problems such as farmers' unwillingness to disclose information to potential tax assessors and selecting a representative sample of producers

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66 OVERVIEW in countries where there is no reliable census from which to prepare a sampling frame. In recent years, moreover, the reliability of official marketing data as an indicator of production has been reduced by the very factor to which the World Bank attributes much of the crisis-increased governmental regulation of economic transactions. Price controls, taxes, and state agricultural marketing schemes have driven many transactions out of official marketing channels. Official control of export marketing has, for example, caused large-scale smuggling in countries such as Ghana and Niger (Jeffries 1982; Collins 1976) and, as inTanzania, undermined governments' own programs of stabilization and rural development (Lele and Candler 1981; Hyden 1980). If the output exists but is hidden, where does it go? Does it go into illegal or "parallel" markets or into higher standards of consumption for self-sufficient rural households? Has output in fact declined? Local evidence suggests that all of these things have happened, but there is no reliable statistical basis for estimating their relative importance within particular localities, let alone on national or regional levels. It is likely that official statistics for output have diverged further and further from actual output in recent years, but neither the magnitude of the divergence nor, in many cases, even the direction of the divergence is known. To sum up, our ignorance of aggregate trends in agricultural output has increased. In most cases the data are simply not good enough to warrant firm conclusions about national-let alone continental-trends in agricultural output. Nonetheless, such data are regularly cited both to show that agricultural production in Africa is declining and to support arguments that this decline is primarily due to global and/or national economic and political trends. AFRICAN AGRICULTURE AND THE WORLD ECONOMY Much discussion of the impact of international economic forces and agencies on African agriculture has revolved around a rather sterile debate over whether Africa ' suffers from too much or too little integration into the world economy. Both arguments have a substantial legacy of scholarly support. The first view-that African agriculture suffers from excessive international influence-has gone through several versions. Early critics of the colonial legacy decried African economies' dependence on agricultural exports on the grounds that agricultural commodities face unstable world prices and deteriorating terms of trade, both of which make African economic development more difficult (Robson and Lury 1969). This argument encouraged newly independent African governments to adopt crash programs to diversify output through industrialization, programs that often absorbed more revenue and foreign exchange than they generated. Later arguments shifted the emphasis of discussion from the disadvantages of agricultural production per se to the belief that capital accumulation on a world scale tended to siphon off surplus from peripheral areas of the world economy, keeping African labor cheap and relatively unproductive, in and outside agriculture (Amin 1976; Leys 1974).

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 67 Recently, rising food prices and imports have once again focused attention on agricultural production and the disadvantages faced by African farmers in international markets. Some scholars have argued that ifAfricans cannot hope to compete effectively against developed countries' tariffs on tropical imports or against the market power of international merchants of grain, improved seed, and fertilizer, Africans should seek to protect themselves by becoming self-sufficient in foodstuffs (Franke and Chasin 1980; OAU 1981; Food and Agriculture Organization 1978b). Unfortunately, this self-sufficiency is difficult to achieve because there are poor marketing systems and/or because it is profitable for African traders and officials to deal in imported and donated food supplies (Harriss 1979). Ironically, a goal of self-sufficiency in food may also play directly into the hands of foreign suppliers of improved agricultural inputs and techniques, thus increasing other imports rather than total self-sufficiency. However, withdrawal from the world market is no panacea, either in practice or as an intellectual solution to Africa's agrarian problems. Arguments supporting an open door policy rather than a self-sufficiency policy also need to be scrutinized. The World Bank and other international agencies base their arguments for free trade on calculations that indicate that Africa's comparative advantage lies in traditional export crops (World Bank 1981 ; Pearson et al. 1981). What do such calculations mean? World markets are not perfectly competitive, and Africa's most competitive exports, at world market prices, are not necessarily those that represent the best returns to African resources. In addition, even if African governments were to dismantle their own tariffs and foreign exchange controls, they would continue to face these same barriers to trade in the industrialized countries they sell to. Another dimension to the self-sufficiency versus open door debate is that foreign governments and donor agencies already intervene directly in African domestic food production. Foreign agencies and even private firms sponsor an increasing number of rural development plans and projects in Africa which, in turn, provide a market for foreign advice and inputs. Competition among donors has even become an impediment to their own as well as to host governments' efforts to reach agricultural producers (Franke and Chasin 1980; Pinckney et al. 1982). En the wake of the long drought of the mid-1970s, for example, donor activity in some Sahelian countries grew so intense that local officials were fully occupied in administering foreign aid, and the same thing is happening in the Horn of Africa in the 1980s. The very agencies that exhort African governments to relinquish controls over foreign transactions also hold these governments responsible for managing their balances of payments and maintaining their creditworthiness in international financial circles. By opening their doors to U.S. farm surpluses and international agribusiness, African governments increase their vulnerability to fluctuations in world supply and to the market power of multinational firms, and, consequently, African citizens demand state protection against the risks and losses of international trade. It is inherently contradictory to argue that African governments should

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68 OVERVIEW intervene less in their citizens' activities in order to increase their participation in the international economy. In today's global economy, integration into world markets requires that governments take responsibility for managing foreign transactions, which in turn requires effective management of the domestic economy. THE ROLE OF THE STATE Neither the form nor the consequences of African governments' policies can be deduced from the logic of their circumstances-whether described in terms of dependence, underdevelopment and class structure, or in terms of market forces and technological imperatives. Although African bureaucrats sometimes behave like "an executive committee of the [national or international] bourgeoisie," extracting surpluses from African farmers without making any effort to increase their productive capacity (Leys 1978; Wolpe 1972), this phenomenon alone is not sufficient to explain the behavior of postcolonial regimes. Exploiting peasants is not unambiguously advantageous for the accumulating classes, as writers from Nicholai I. Bukharin and Evgenia Preobrazhensky (1922) to Alain de Janvry (1981) have pointed out, nor do bureaucrats and capitalists always work together in Africa or anywhere else. On the other hand, neoclassical economists repeatedly exhort African governments to confine their economic activities to functions which the market cannot or will not perform such as providing public goods and controlling the level of aggregate demand, but these economists never discuss the conditions under which such a strategy might be feasible. Failure to address this issue sometimes leads to outright contradiction. For example, in a development scheme in Mali the government failed to procure adequate supplies of millet and sorghum because the official price did not cover farmers' costs of production. Then a private firm was called in and managed "to persuade farmers to deliver some 10,000 tons of cereals annually" at the oficialprice (World Bank 198154). Far from demonstrating the World Bank's thesis that price incentives are the most effective way to raise agricultural output, this example suggests that private enterprise has a comparative advantage in its exercise of extraeconomic coercion! More generally, the literature on the food crisis fails to explain why African governments have rather consistently failed to adopt the right policies even if the right policies were identified. The argument that politicians and bureaucrats are not farmers and, hence, neither understand farmers' problems nor act in their interests, is hardly convincing. Many African politicians and officials are farmers' sons or daughters, and some own and even manage agricultural enterprises of their own (Heyer et al. 1981). On a theoretical level, it is insufficient to attribute government policy to the attitudes of individual bureaucrats. In one of the few attempts to explain governmental policy choices, Robert H. Bates suggested that state policies that discourage agricultural production reflect rational efforts by politicians and

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 69 bureaucrats to raise government revenues or consolidate state power (Bates 1981). African countries with relatively good records of agricultural performance have been those in which agricultural producers have acquired political power and used it to design and enact policies favorable to agriculture, as occurred in Ivory Coast and Kenya. Bates concluded that the key to agricultural progress elsewhere in Africa is for farmers to gain power and use it to shift relative prices, government taxes, and subsidies to their favor. Like neoclassical economists, Bates apparently assumed that, once an agricultural faction gained a foothold in the government, the resulting improvement in agricultural incentives would be readily accessible to most producers, and the leaders of the farmers' party would not try to use their power to appropriate all or most of the resulting gains. The history of European settlers' political strategies and their resulting impact on agricultural policies in Kenya, Rhodesia, and South Africa suggests, however, that agricultural price supports and subsidies do not automatically trickle down to the mass of small farmers (Palmer and Parsons 1977; Wilson 1971; Heyer et al. 1976). Even the avowedly promarket regimes of Kenya, Malawi, and the Ivory Coast favor estate agriculture, promote parastatals, and enact legislation to facilitate large land purchases (Kydd and Christiansen 1982; World Bank 1978; Heyeret a1. 1976). Bates reminded us, appropriately, that politicians and bureaucrats are as rational or self-interested as are farmers; however, he did not show that it is any easier to construct a theory of the state than to build theories of market performance from the presumption of individual rationality (Bates 1981). That most postcolonial regimes in Africa took office under pressure (from below, above, and within) to take responsibility for developing their economies means they are obliged to adopt an interventionist stance towards economic activities and institutions. Their mandate is a contradictory one. Because agriculture is the principal source of foreign exchange, domestic incomes, and employment for most African economies, governments need to raise agricultural production to finance higher levels of imports and widen the domestic market. Also, agriculture provides the principal tax base from which to draw government revenues and is the major source of savings for nonagricultural investment. Extracting surpluses from farmers reduces agricultural output and income, and vice versa. Thus, the formulation and implementation of rural development strategies is a subject of debate and political contention within the governing class. In addition, both the form and effects of state policies toward agriculture are shaped by relationships among farmers, traders, and consumers, and between these groups and state agencies and personnel. Although few farmers' parties have emerged in postcolonial Africa, farmers play an active role in shaping state actions-both through organized political action and by encouraging their descendants to seek wealth and influence outside of agriculture. Studies of farmers' behavior and local rural conditions hold an important place in the social science literature on food in Africa.

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70 OVERVIEW ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRAINTS AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT Concern over lagging agricultural production in Africa has stimulated considerable research on cultivation techniques and ways to improve them. Agronomists have made progress in identifying environmental constraints to agricultural output and productivity. African soils are fragile, subject to intense heat and extremes of moisture or dryness, and tend to deteriorate quickly under conditions of increasingly regular or intensive exploitation. Agricultural yields are often low, and raising them requires enormous inputs of labor, except in areas where it is possible to practice long-fallow systems of cultivation (Kamarck 1976; Kowal and Kassarn 1978; Ruthenberg 1980). Even if enough labor were available, possibilities for increased output are constrained in semiarid areas by the brevity of the rainy season and in humid areas by soil erosion and leaching, which increase with more intense cultivation. Population densities in many parts of Africa are low compared with other tropical regions; it used to be argued that Africans were not impelled by population pressure to devise ecologically appropriate methods of intensifying agricultural production (Ruthenberg 1980; United States Department of Agriculture 1981). Recent research fosters a growing appreciation of the appropriateness of indigenous methods of cultivation (see references in Berry 1984; Eicher and Baker 1982). Agronomists recognize that, due to the physical fragility of tropical soils, deep plowing often contributes to leaching and erosion; however, traditional cultivation methods such as heaping, ridging, intercropping, and minimum tillage prevent deterioration of the soil structure (La1 and Greenland 1979). Farmmanagement researchers collect detailed data on input-output coefficients, costs of production, and technical requirements of alternative crop regimes and methods of cultivation, then use this data to measure the profitability of alternative sets of farming practices (Heyer 1971; Upton 1973; Collinson 1982; Norman 1972). These studies contribute to a growing consensus that labor, rather than land, is often the crucial constraint to African agricultural production. The discovery that African farmers are often more concerned with saving labor than with conserving cultivated land strengthened economists' faith in the economic rationality of African farmers. Farmers' indifference to new crops with labor requirements that conflict with those of established ones, or to new techniques that only increase yield at the cost of considerably increased labor inputs, now appears to be consistent with local-factor endowments and is, hence, economically efficient (Tourte and Moomaw 1977; Richards 1983a; Cleave 1974). This leads to a new appreciation of some traditional farming practices that agronomists had previously denigrated because of their low yields. For instance, mixed cropping, long fallowing, and cultivation of crops such as cassava may maximize returns to labor, especially in seasons of peak demand, and are worthy of greater attention by extension agents and agricultural researchers. Further research demonstrates that various practices such as mixed cropping, combining up

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 7 1 land and valley plots, and cultivating drought-resistant but low-yielding crops such as finger millet, bulrush millet, sorghum, and cassava tend to reduce variations in total farm output and thus contribute to farmers' security (Richards 1983b). On the basis of these findings, agronomists modify or redesign research strategies, and international agricultural research institutes hire some economists who place new emphasis on developing crop varieties or cultivation methods that will not destroy tropical soil structures or threaten the security or savings in labor time provided by traditional practices (Terry et al. 1981; Plucknett et al. in this volume). Although scholarly understanding of African agricultural practices has clearly advanced in recent years, problems remain. Adaptation of Green Revolution technology to specific African microenvironments remains spotty, although there have been some notable successes. High-yielding varieties of maize are widely grown in Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; high-yielding varieties of hybrid oil palms, in Nigeria and Sierra Leone (Eicher and Baker 1982). However, many researchers continue to have an overly simplistic concentration on single-factor explanations: They have simply substituted labor for land as the scarce factor in African agriculture, and, consequently, have focused research entirely on relieving this constraint. Thus it has been argued that mechanization is both inevitable and desirable as a strategy for expanding productive capacity, especially for expanding the capacity to grow domestically foodstuffs that are currently imported (Gaury 1977; Hart 1982). In keeping with this argument, several governments, particularly in West Africa, have launched or underwritten large-scale schemes for mechanized rice production. Not only do such projects often absorb more foreign exchange or government revenue than they generate (Pearson et al. 1981), they may prove environmentally damaging. The technique used to cultivate rice on large commercial farms in northern Ghana has been described as "mechanized shifting cultivation." It tends to destroy the physical structure of the soil, exhaust soil nutrients, disrupt local food supplies, and foster social tension and conflict rather than alleviate food shortages or reduce imports (Shepherd 1981). Other studies conclude that African farmers' practices are often closely calibrated to local environmental conditions; these studies emphasize the importance of economic and social constraints to farmers' incomes and productivity. David Norman and others point out that inefficiency in agricultural production often reflects poverty rather than ignorance or mismanagement (Norman 1972). Moreover, technical change is not always an unmixed blessing. For example, agronomists have long argued that closer integration of crop and livestock production will yield important technical complementarities, such as manuring and animal traction, for African farmers. However, these technical benefits from mixed farming might be realized only at great cost-for example, if cattle are kept near arable fields during the cropping season, their foraging may threaten crops and generate conflict between farmers and herd owners (Delgado 1978; Norman et al. 1981). Technical progress is sometimes a mixed blessing and may founder on its own inherent contradictions.

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72 OVERVIEW RATIONAL PEASANTS AND IMPERFECT STRUCTURES By the end of World War 11, Europeans were becoming increasingly aware that colonial rule was not only cumbersome and costly, but also unnecessary to the advancement of European economic interests in Africa. During the colonial period, if not before, Africans were drawn irreversibly into world markets. Once the immediate task of postwar reconstruction had been undertaken, the colonizers could afford to relinquish formal political control, secure in the knowledge that Africans would find it in their own interest to continue to do business with their erstwhile rulers. Growing acceptance of the desirability and feasibility of decolonization parallelled social scientists' new belief in the economic rationality of individual Africans and in the power of this rationality to explain economic trends. The publication of W. 0. Jones's (1960) essay, "Economic Man in Africa," on the eve of independence reflected the tenor of the times. Economic rationality can mean different things in different contexts. In formal decisionmaking models, it is usually defined as the ability or willingness to make choices in accordance with a consistent ordering of preferences among alternative outcomes. Since in reality the future is uncertain, outcomes are never actually known in advance, and it is therefore impossible to prove conclusively that behavior is perfectly rational. In practice, when people say that African farmers are rational, they mean that farmers act not in accordance with instinct or custom but on the basis of reasoned assessments of their circumstances. Appreciation of this point contributes to advances in understanding African ecologies and the indigenous methods of cultivation previously described, and certainly represents an advance over the notion, often expressed by colonial officials, that African farmers act without thinking. It is not always easy to predict what rational farmers will do under changing circumstances because they can apply multiple rationales to a situation. For example, in the following scenario profit maximization and risk aversion, often held to reflect mutually exclusive preferences or attitudes, are complementary ones: If the price of a crop fluctuates seasonally so that farmers who need to exchange some of their crops for cash may be forced to sell cheap at harvest time and buy dear for home consumption later in the year, then the response of farmers to store their crops for their own consumption increases these farmers' real income and reduces their vulnerability to risk. In general, the presumption that individuals are rational does not enable us to predict their behavior. Furthermore, efforts to explain agricultural performance in terms of the rationality of peasants (or planners) frequently prove inconsistent or tautological. One recent attempt to take account of the impact of international price fluctuations on economic policy points out that international prices of peanuts and rice are more unstable than that of millet. Therefore, the authors argue, if Senegalese planners dislike instability, their comparative advantage lies in producing more millet, less rice, and fewer peanuts. If they enjoy gambling, presumably they should specialize completely in peanuts! The argument is perfectly circular (Jabara and Thompson 1980).

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 73 Even if one assigns unambiguous motives to particular economic acts, it does not follow that the analysis of individual behavior is sufficient to explain social processes. History results from the interactions of individuals-the behavior of some affect the circumstances of others. For example, economists often argue that higher prices for agricultural commodities will lead to faster growth of agricultural output and incomes. Their case rests primarily on studies of farmers' responses to changes in price that focus on a single crop (no other variables are considered). These studies may be useful for purposes of exposition, but are inadequate for thinking about agricultural performance and policy. In practice, there are many variables, and their consequences must be accounted for in order to predict the effects of price changes. If the price of maize rises while other prices remain unchanged, farmers may produce more maize by shifting land and labor from other crops, leaving total output unchanged (Helleiner 1975). In some cases, increases in official prices induce farmers to sell to government buyers crops that they would otherwise have consumed, stored, or sold locally-thus creating acute shortages in local markets or contributing to malnutrition and hunger in rural families (Chauveau et al. 1981; Harriss 1979). I Factors other than crop prices may also affect output or sales of an agricultural commodity. Changes in weather, access to markets or traders' margins, to say nothing of the effects of expectations, may all obscure or offset the effects of price increases. Statistical estimates often show relatively weak correlations between price and output. Because a weak relationship may, in principle, be attributed to the effects of unspecified or unobservable variables, it cannot be said to refute the strength of price incentives. Hence, whether studies conclude a strong or weak correlation, these findings are regularly interpreted as supportive of the strength of price incentives. Like the argument that total agricultural output is declining in Africa, faith in the universality of positive supply response continues partly because it cannot be put to a conclusive test. Studies of price trends in unorganized markets have also produced conflicting evidence. In reviewing marketing studies by W. 0. Jones and others, Barbara Harriss noted that their evidence on the structure and performance of West African markets often conflicts with their conclusion that such markets are reasonably competitive (Harriss 1979:210). Historical and ethnographic literature has suggested that markets worked well in the past not because they were highly competitive, but because commercial intelligence, brokerage functions, and credit were controlled by well-organized kinship or community-based networks (Baier 1980; A. Cohen 1969). At present, economists are well aware that much agricultural marketing in Africa takes place outside official channels. However, there is little understanding of how unofficial markets work. Harriss concluded: "There is no research to show whether present stagnation is a result of a high response to low official I prices . . . or a low response to high parallel market prices, or a high response to parallel market prices that are lower than official prices" (Harriss 1979:375). Generally, empirical grounds for believing that higher crop prices promote agricultural

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74 OVERVIEW development do not seem to warrant the enthusiasm with which the case is often put. Finally, it is not very useful to base policy conclusions solely on analyses of individual farmers' responses to changing economic incentives. Economists' criticisms of African governments for reducing incentives to agricultural producers often are implicitly comparing the existing situation to one in which state intervention is nonexistent. Economic theory and facts of African political economy suggest that this comparison is unrealistic. No market system functions in a political vacuum; no environment for perfect competition ever survived for long, if at all. A competitive environment is a hazardous one: Competition not only drives down prices and profits but impels people to try to protect themselves from its vicissitudes. Competition breeds market controls as well as lower costs, and even competitive markets seldom remain competitive indefinitely. The choice facing African governments is often not one of selecting between controlled prices and competitive prices, but one of choosing to regulate prices themselves or letting other factors take control. DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND FARMING PRACTICES Understanding the context of resource allocation in African farming systems requires examining the actual organization of agricultural production. African farmers are involved in a great variety of domestic organizations and kin-based farming units. These defy easy categorization, but clearly are not the self-contained nuclear household that constitutes the principal unit of production and consumption in most paradigms of peasant agriculture (see Cohen and McMillan in this volume). To analyze agricultural performance in Africa, it is necessary to take account of forms of domestic organization and their influence on farming practices. In a recent review of Africanist literature on household and lineage, Jane Guyer questioned the value of typologies of domestic organization in Africa: "The concept of the lineage and typologies of lineage systems disguise far too much of the variability in ways things get done: children brought up, livings made, authority achieved and assigned, land distributed, bridewealth paid, residence determined and all the myriad other activities which can be organized along genealogical lines" (Guyer 1981:89). Similarly, we gain little understanding of processes of agrarian change from typologies that try to establish unique correlations between forms of domestic organization, ecological conditions, cultural systems, and/or stages of economic development. The prevalence of kinship as an idiom of social organization in Africa has led to various attempts to specify kin-based paradigms of agricultural production. For example, matriliny has been associated with horticulture (Lancaster 1976) and underdevelopment (Goody 1962); hunting and gathering, with bands, segmentary lineage systems, or male supremacy (Meillassoux 1981); low-density farming, with family labor (Lancaster 1979); precapitalist economies, with a kinship mode of production (Terray 1974); and so forth. Such

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 75 typologies rarely withstand comparative analysis nor do they help to explain change. Nonetheless, because kinship is a common principle of social organization in African communities, it is of potential significance for the organization of production and investment. If relations of descent, affinity, or coresidence constitute a basis for making claims on property, commodities, labor, or protection of other people, then kinship relations and residential patterns are likely to influence the ways in which productive resources are acquired and used (Hill 1963; S. Berry 1975). The structure of a household may be as important as its landholdings or size for determining the amount or composition of its output. Husbands and wives often farm separately; exert different degrees of control over the labor, output, and consumption of other household members; and participate differentially in extrahousehold relations (Guyer 1981). Commercialization or technical change may affect men and women differently, leading to changes in the division of labor within domestic units or to changes in participation in extra-household transactions or to both. In such cases, the impact of commercialization on agricultural performance will not be captured by analyses that treat the household as a monolithic decisionmaking unit. In recognition of this problem, some Francophone ethnographers avoid using the term "household" altogether, preferring to speak of units of production, consumption, accumulation, and so forth, in order to distinguish both the functions and the constitutions of each. Such distinctions may be analytically helpful as well as empirically precise. J. M. Gastellu showed that the spread of cash cropping in Senegal has not led to marked differentiation among the Serer people, partly because production and accumulation are carried out by overlapping but not identical groups of kin (Gastellu 1977). Uterine brothers farm together under the direction of the eldest, and they, together with their wives and children, constitute a unit of joint-income management for purposes of consumption. Once consumption needs of the group have been met, individuals remit surplus income to groups of their own matrikin for joint investment in livestock. Wives and husbands belong to the same unit of consumption but to different units of accumulation. Thus, elder men who control the process of agricultural production are prevented from monopolizing the resulting surplus and using it to amass property on their own account. In some extended families, accumulation is not only permitted but encouraged. Serakule kinsmen in Gambia pool their savings to purchase heavy agricultural equipment from the state, and they have recently begun to grow rice on large, mechanized, and irrigated farms worked by labor mobilized within corporate kin groups of up to one hundred or more persons (Watts 1983: personal communication). In contrast, efforts by well-placed officials to launch large-scale mechanized rice cultivation in northern Ghana-using state subsidized machinery and inputs, hired labor, and questionable manipulations of local land-tenure practices-have proved ecologically destructive, socially disruptive, and often commercially unviable (Shepherd 1981; Johnny et al. 1981). African agricultural performance is not

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76 OVERVIEW shaped by the pervasiveness of kinship, as a principle of African social organization, but by the way in which specifically constituted forms of domestic organization interact with changing economic, technical, and political opportunities and pressures. The importance of understanding domestic relations in the context of farmers' linkages to the wider political economy is not simply a matter of historical accuracy. Maintaining ties with kin groups or communities of origin is important throughout contemporary Africa-not only for people legally barred from settling in urban, industrial centers, as in South Africa, or for those paid so little they are forced to cling to declining rural economies and anachronistic structures in order to subsist, but also for those with surplus income who wish to invest it in valuable assets and/or power and prestige. To the extent that Africans' access to property, labor, patronage, or the resources of the state depend on membership in a descent group or community of birth, it is understandable that Africans of all socioeconomic levels invest in maintaining or enhancing their own standings in such groups (see Cohen in this volume). In some areas, the development of commercial farming is directly associated with a rising incidence of polygyny and level of bridewealth payments (Cheater 1981). The Ghanaian officials and mechanized rice farmers mentioned previously were not strangers to the local community when they defrauded other local farmers of their ancient land rights. These officials were often local sons who used their memberships in local lineages to gain virtually unlimited access to local land. This is not an isolated example (Berry 1985). Elites as well as peasants often spend time and money cultivating home-based ties, in part because property rights, credit, and political mobilization are mediated through these ties. Commercialization, technical change, and the emergence of independent national governments affect relations among rural families, the division of labor within farming households, and patterns of productive activities; in fact they affect the entire structure of rural society. DIFFERENTIATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE In contrast to studies that identify patterns of agricultural performance based on the behavior of individual farmers, a substantial literature on agrarian change in Africa explains both farmers' behavior and agricultural performance in terms of the structure or dynamics, or both, of rural economy and society. Discussion centers on the degree to which agricultural commercialization, technical change, or the agricultural policies of colonial and postcolonial regimes affects patterns of inequality or the form and intensity of social cleavages and conflict. Some studies suggest that the impact of commercialization and centralized governments on African rural economies has been relatively superficial. Hyden argued that "African peasants are less integrated in the cash economy than peasants elsewhere" (1980:10), and that peasant households, though not entirely self

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 77 sufficient, manage resources independently of one another and enjoy considerable autonomy with respect to outside institutions such as the market and the state. "African rulers have been unable to make the peasants effectively dependent on their policy measures" (Hyden 1980:33); indeed, bureaucratic interference often drives farmers to take refuge in parallel markets or virtual self-sufficiency. Hyden's views are shared by a number of people concerned with Africa's food deficits who argue, contrary to the World Bank's interpretation, that food crop production in Africa is relatively unresponsive to market forces. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) states baldly that, for most African farmers, "the reason for growing export crops is to sell them, while the reason for growing food crops is to eat them" (USDA 1981 :25). This position is challenged by researchers who point out that the need for cash to pay taxes, purchase medical and educational services, and acquire many household necessities forces even very poor families to sell a good part of their agricultural output and to buy part of the staple food they consume (Cowen 1983). Most social scientists agree that the expansion of capitalist enterprise and national governments has affected profoundly the structure of rural society and its relation to wider economic and political systems, but disagree over the nature of these effects. Scholars argue that commercialization and government intervention: (1) transformed large areas of rural Africa into labor reserves; (2) turned African cultivators into peasants, who control their own means of production but depend on externally controlled markets and agencies for the returns to their productive efforts; or (3) created class divisions in rural Africa similar to those in other capitalist societies. A brief review of each of these arguments follows. The labor reserve argument is based on the historical fact that both private firms and colonial regimes needed a steady supply of cheap labor. To provide it, colonial administrations frequently demanded that Africans pay taxes in cash, and simultaneously restricted Africans' access to land or other sources of independent income to compel them to seek wage employment. Farmers in West African societies that were already involved in commercial relations with Europeans through the slave trade were often able to supply European merchants with cheap agricultural commodities. Export crop growers hired migrant workers from poorer or more remote areas to work on their farms. Thus, many rural areas became labor reserves for capitalist-dominated sectors (Arrighi 1970; Amin 1974a). The extent to which labor migration impoverished rural communities is a subject of long-standing debate. Argument revolves around several interrelated questions: (1) Was production lost or maintained because withdrawal of migrant workers' labor power from the community was compensated by the self-exploitation of their relatives who stayed at home? (Berg 1965; Amin 1974a); (2) Did migrants' remittances to their communities represent a net inflow of purchasing power to their home areas or were remittances more than offset by reverse flows of foodstuffs, school fees, and so forth? (Essang and Mabawonku 1974; Parkin 1979; Amin 1974a); and (3) What was happening to the structure of rural economies? Some have suggested that because African peasants were not dispossessed,

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78 OVERVIEW migrant workers' families continued to feed themselves and sometimes the migrants as well, enabling capitalist firms to pay lower wages and increase their profits (Wolpe 1972; Meillassoux 1981). In this way, colonial capitalism tended to fossilize rather than destroy traditional economies, creating a semiproletarianized working class whose continued ties to the land promoted self-exploitation and dependence rather than peasant autonomy. The homelands of South Africa are sometimes cited as an extreme example. Although South African whites have clearly profited handsomely from cheap black labor, the homelands' dependence on remittances of workers to cover basic consumption requirements may act as a drain on the national economy's investable surplus rather than as a source of additional national wealth (Simkins 1981; Knight and Lenta 1980). By the 1970s, the impoverishment of the homelands was so acute that migrant workers' subsistence needs were far from being met, in spite of workers' rights to land there. Although the effects of the labor reserve system have been overwhelmingly negative in South Africa, other labor-exporting areas have not fared as badly. In parts of postcolonial Kenya, workers' remittances help to finance purchases of rural land and increase peasant production for the market (Collier and La1 1980; Stichter 1982). In parts of Kenya and Uganda, migrants straddle the boundary between rural and urban sectors with considerable success, sometimes establishing two households so that individuals may circulate between urban and rural areas, practicing forms of gainful employment in both (Parkin 1979; Richards et al. 1973). Circulatory migration and occupational diversification are also common in western and southern Africa (Mayer 1980; Colvin 1981; Amin 1974a), and migrants often invest part of their earnings in livestock or other rural assets (Delgado 1978; Norman et al. 1981). Migrant labor contributes to rural differentiation as well (Mayer 1980; Collier and La1 1980). Such evidence casts doubt on the significance of rural-urban boundaries as primary divisions of economic specialization or socioeconomic differentiation. In short, the argument that commercialization, or capitalist penetration, or both, transformed rural communities into labor reserves is only part of the story. Cheap labor was not the only resource sought by Europeans from their African colonies. In some areas, increased agricultural production for the market was condoned or encouraged, by both colonial and postcolonial regimes, in order to provide export earnings or cheap foodstuffs in the local economy. Aided by rising world market prices for agricultural commodities, the early 1950s saw a resurgence of peasant production for the market, both in older areas of cash-crop production and in areas where peasantization was discouraged before the war. At various times, the growth of commercial opportunities created conditions for the emergence of a class of local accumulators in African agriculture and a corresponding demand for hired labor (Hill 1963; Lawson 1972; Kitching 1980). The degree to which these tendencies resulted in the division of rural society into capitalist farmers and landless workers depended, in part, on the role played by the state in abetting or undermining the emergence of an African bourgeoisie. Although colonial regimes acted at times to protect the profits of European

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 79 capitalists in trade, mining, industry, and agriculture, they were not invariably hostile to African accumulators. For colonial regimes whose tax base depended, at least in part, on the prosperity of African farmers and traders, the rise of an indigenous bourgeoisie was not an unmitigated disaster however much it might have been opposed by European farmers and traders faced with African competitors. And although prosperous Africans confronted their colonial rulers with a political threat-wealthy Africans might have the means to challenge the power of the colonial state-these Africans could often be induced to collaborate instead. By the late colonial period, administrators were increasingly conscious of the role a class of prosperous peasants, or "progressive farmers," might play in containing or defusing rural discontent, producing agricultural commodities for both domestic and foreign markets, and generating revenue for the state. Colonial policy toward African agriculture is better understood as a relentless struggle to cope with the contradictory implications of peasant accumulation and impoverishment than as a simple extension of the cheap labor policies of European settlers and industrialists (Lonsdale and Berman 1979; Berman and Lonsdale 1980). Postcolonial governments vacillate between extracting surpluses from farmers and subsidizing them. Marketing boards are both convenient and costly as instruments for mobilizing agricultural surplus. Overly aggressive pricing policies often lead farmers to cut back production of export or other officially marketed crops, seek refuge in parallel markets, or engage in political protest; thus, purchases often decline (Beer and Williams 1975; Beckman 1978; Lamb 1974). Afri" can governments frequently attempt to exploit local accumulators and to coopt them by nationalizing lucrative enterprises or by using official prerogatives to gain preferential access to land, capital, or market opportunities. Postcolonial governments of varying ideological persuasions demonstrate a common penchant for state farms, parastatal enterprises, and joint government-private ventures in largescale farming. Governments often provide generous loans, subsidies, infrastructure, and technical assistance to a small number of large private farms (Heyer et al. 1981; Asante in this volume). Such policies reflect officials' pursuits of private gain and states' desires to nationalize key productive activities in order to manage more effectively the process of economic development. Such intervention often serves to promote rural differentiation, but not necessarily in the form of an emerging rural bourgeoisie and proletariat. Today, as in the colonial period, rich farmers are often clients or members of the state and they receive access to credit, inputs, extension services, and market opportunities on much more favorable terms than do the majority of farmers. This is not the whole story, however. Prosperous farmers may invest outside of agriculture, seek to commute their wealth into direct political power, or do both. In the process, they may be absorbed into the national elite or come into conflict with other elite factions over access to power and the management of the economy. Conflict between white farmers and industrialists over access to black labor was a significant aspect of South African politics in the 1930s (Morris 1976), and the Convention People's Party in Ghana went to considerable lengths and expense to

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80 OVERVIEW neutralize the pawer of indigenous capitalists, both inside and outside of the cocoagrowing sector (Beckman 1978). Elsewhere, rural profits have been invested in trade, education, and even manufacturing, creating a class of indigenous accumulators that cuts across rural-urban boundaries and often across the public and private sectors as well (Berry 1985; Kitching 1980). In some cases, relations between the government and a particular rural elite have changed over time, as with the Mourides in Senegal whose ability to deliver the votes of their rural followers earned them substantial profits as well as power in the 1950s, but whose power waned as Senghor's party consolidated its control of the state (Cruise O'Brien 1970). In short, "coping with the contradictions" and "crises of accumulation" are problems not only for colonial states, but for postcolonial regimes as well (Lonsdale and Berman 1979; Berman and Lonsdale 1980). CONCLUSION Social science perspectives on food in Africa are varied, to say the least. This diversity can be productive. Although this review of the literature does not indicate a consensus, it does suggest directions for further study. It is increasingly evident that food deficits and agricultural performance in Africa spring from many causes including international economic and political processes, national politics, patterns of government expenditure, legal and judicial systems, local institutions and social relations, technical possibilities, and methods of cultivation. The multitude of causes suggests to policymakers that it is probably not very useful to assess in isolation the impact of any specific interventions-price controls, input subsidies, dissemination of improved techniques, land reform, etc.-without considering that any intervention affects many variables, and, in turn, many variables also influence the impact. It is necessary to try to understand how national, international, and local processes interact to shape conditions and patterns of agricultural production and distribution in Africa. It is also important to confront the diversity of African farming systems and rural economies and to develop explanatory frameworks that help to account for this diversity rather than to try to reduce African agricultural processes to a series of universally applicable propositions about human behavior or social structures. To capture the realities of African agricultural practices and policy options, such frameworks should consider conditions of access to productive resources and economic opportunities, as well as how resources are allocated among alternative uses. These frameworks should also seek to analyze, not castigate, the ways in which the acquisition and exercise of power-at all levels of social interaction-influence economic performance, and vice versa.

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SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES ON FOOD IN AFRICA 8 1 I SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Bates, R. 1981. Markets and States in Tropical Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press. Collinson, M. P. 1982. Farming Systems Research in EastAfrica. East Lansing: Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural Economics. Eicher, C., and D. Baker. 1982. Research on Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. East Lansing: Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural Economics. Guyer, J. 1981. Household and Community in African Studies. African Studies Review 24:2/3:87-138. Heyer, J., I? Roberts, and G. Williams, eds. 1981. Rural Development in Tropical Africa. New York: St. Martin's Press. Mayer, P., ed. 1980. Black Villagers in an Industrial Society: Anthropological Perspectives on Labour Migration in Southern Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press. Richards, P. 1983. Farming Systems and Agrarian Change in West Africa. Progress in Human Geography 7: 1: 1-39.

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The African Environment CHARLES GUTHRIE A n overview of Africa's physical and human features places contemporary food issues in a broader perspective. This chapter has six interrelated sections. In the first section the focus is on Africa's size and regions. A discussion of climate and vegetation patterns follows in section two, and in section three the characteristics of the major agricultural systems are described. Population, the subject of the next section, has been divided for discussion into distribution, density, growth rate, age and sex structure, and urbanization. Section five contains highlights of some of the important structural characteristics of African economies: poverty, the central role of national government policies, and the development of economic islands and extractive industries. The final section presents the cultural diversity of the continent in terms of political geography, ethnicity, language, and religion. SIZE AND REGIONS Africa is the second largest continent in the world and has a total land area that is large enough to encompass sizable portions of the rest of the world's land mass (see Figure 6.1). For example, all of Europe from Portugal to Moscow would fit into Africa north of the equator. Africa is more than three times larger than the United States; the Sahara Desert alone equals the size of the forty-eight contiguous states of the United States. Distances in Africa are staggering reminders of its size: it is almost 7,200 kilometers from Capetown in the south to Cairo in the north and approximately the same distance from the tip of the Horn in the east to Dakar, Senegal, in the west. The Nile is reputed to be the longest river in the world; the Zaire River is more than 4,600 kilometers long and drains a river basin of 3.6 million square kilometers, one of the world's largest. There are conventional ways to divide Africa geographically. A common one establishes six regions: (1) North-five countries bordering the Mediterranean

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 83 FIGURE 6.1. The Size of Africa NEW ZEALAND China 9.604.733 U.S.A. 9,370,705 India 3.290,25 1 Europe 4,040,999 Argentina 2,789,139 New Zealand 268.694 Total 30,244,712 Areas in square kilometers Africa 30,343,551 Source: Revised from World Eagle. 1983. Afica Today: An Atlas ofReproducible Pages. Wellesley, Massachusetts: World Eagle. Pg. 14. plus the disputed Western Sahara; (2) West-seventeen countries including all of the Sahel or southern fringe of the Sahara; (3) Northeast-the Sudan and the three countries of the Horn of Africa; (4) East-six countries, three of which were formally united for ten years in the East African Community; (5) Central-seven countries; and (6) Southem-fourteen countries (see figure 6.2). These totals include seven island countries. This chapter and volume focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, sometimes called Black Africa, which is all of Africa except the northern region. Although the entire continent has been linked by major historical themes, the culture, history, and Arabic language of North Africa tie that region more closely to the Islamic Middle East and the Mediterranean than to the rest of the African continent.

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84 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND FIGURE 6.2. African Countries and Political Regions CLIMATE AND VEGETATION Africa, unlike any other continent, is divided almost evenly by the equator, a fact ! that helps determine climatic, rainfall, and vegetation zones. Tropical Africa is 1 most commonly defined as that area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, although some writers include all of Sub-Saharan Africa except the Republic of South Africa in the tropical region. Since most of Africa falls within the tropics, it does not experience the wide fluctuations in temperature typical of North America and Europe. Temperatures in most of tropical Africa range from warm to hot. Because temperatures are consistently warm, vegetable matter decomposes too rapidly to allow the buildup of extensive topsoil (See Popenoe in this volume). Continuously warm temperatures, that is, no hard freezes, also mean that there is no seasonal relief from bacteria or disease-bearing insects, which take a heavy toll of human life and domestic livestock.

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 85 Designating Sub-Saharan Africa as a single, tropical zone does not mean that climate and vegetation are uniform. There are differences in altitude, prevailing wind conditions, and distance from the ocean throughout Sub-Saharan Africa that have created practically every kind of climate and vegetation. Africa's deserts occupy 40 percent of the continent. Dense rain forests along the equator account for only 7 or 8 percent of the land mass, contrary to popularwestern myths that equate Africa with jungle. The most extensive vegetation is actually savanna, which extends between forest and desert areas and ranges from woodlands to grasslands. A series of undulating plateaus throughout the continent averages about nine hundred meters above sea level, which makes these areas much cooler than their latitude suggests. The plateaus are occasionally broken by mountainous areas, which also alter climatic and vegetation patterns. The patterns of natural vegetation are based on the availability of water, principally water as rainfall. A distinctive characteristic of the climate in Sub-Saharan Africa is the rainy and dry seasons. Rainfall patterns are closely associated with the annual movement of air masses that converge from north and south upon a broad, irregular equatorial zone, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The position of the ITCZ shifts between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn with the annual movement of the sun (see Figure 6.3). The heaviest rainfall tends to center on this moving convergence zone that brings summer rainfall (around July) to regions north of the equator and winter rainfall (around January) to the south. Although other factors also affect rainfall, this movement of the ITCZ accounts for an annual average rainfall pattern distributed symmetrically around the equator and largely determines when rainy and dry seasons will occur. Most of Sub-Saharan Africa has one rainy season per year, but the area straddling the equator has two (see Figure 6.5). One result of the rainfall patterns is the symmetrical arrangement of vegetation zones on both sides of the equator (see Figure 6.4). General outlines are clear, alr though they do not show important subregional and local variations that are caused I by elevation, soil types, and human activity. In any discussion of natural vegetation, it is essential to remember that there are few areas of Africa that have not been severely modified through tree cutting, burning, cultivation, and herding. Rain ' forest lies along the equator where hot, wet conditions (more than 1500 millimeters 1 of annual rainfall) give rise to dense growth that stretches in an unbroken line along the West African coast from Sierra Leone to Cameroon and extends inland to eastern Zaire. Poor soils, diseases, and the absence of a sufficient drying period in these areas discourage the cultivation of cereal grains. Forms of shifting cultivation, crop rotations, and intercropping have evolved as effective adaptations to these environmental conditions. North and south from this equatorial wet zone the forest thins as it makes a gradual transition to savanna. There is wide variation in savanna vegetation, but as one travels farther north or south, trees become less frequent and shrubs and grasses increase. Human use of the savanna area has been heavy through the centuries, from hunting, pastoralism, and various forms of shifting and intensive cultivation.

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I cT = Continental Tropical us cTs = Continental Tropical (subsident) ln 2 { mT = Maritime Tropical L 2 mTs = Maritime Tropical (subsident) \ m E = Maritime Equatorial Source: Reprinted with permission from Alan C. G. Best and Harm J. de Blij. 1977. African Survey. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Pp. 22-23. Note: Top two figures show winds and the ITCZ position. Bottom two show average monthly rainfall in inches (in) and millimeters (mm).

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88 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND FIGURE 6.4. African Vegetation Zones Source: Reprinted with permission from Ieuan L1. Griffiths. 1984. An Arlas ofAfricanAffairs. London: Methuen. P. 15. Africa's great herds of grazing game animals were once plentiful in this ecological area; now they tend to be concentrated in large parks and preserves, mostly in East and Southern Africa. Northern and southern extremes of the savanna become semiarid steppes that are characterized by low rainfall and high evapotranspiration rates. Rainfall also tends to be unreliable with periodic drought cycles, particularly in the Sahel (see Nicholson in this volume). Vegetation is not continuous, and human populations live in a delicate relationship with their environment. The political and economic environment have varied dramatically. The history of the Sahel is a vivid example. Now an isolated interior containing some of the poorest countries in the world, this area was once the site of prosperous and advanced empires and cosmopolitan cities of great wealth and learning (Boahen et al. 1971). Trans-Saharan trade routes linked West Africa with Europe and the Middle East. When European ships reached

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 89 West Africa in the fifteenth century, new trade routes developed that bypassed the Sahel, and its trade centers declined. The steppes gradually change to desert. Forty percent of Africa is considered desert; not all of the desert lands are uninhabitable. A number of areas, even in the driest desert, have springs around which oases have developed, and these are farmed intensively. Other areas occasionally have rain, making possible the growth of some grass for grazing. Africa has a rainfall problem. Shortage of rain is a continual problem for areas such as the Sahel and the Kalahari in the southwest; the more significant problem for most of Sub-Saharan Africa is the annual distribution rather than the quantity of rainfall. The movement of the ITCZ results in many areas receiving all or most of their rainfall within a four-to-six-month period, barely sufficient time for crops to mature. The remainder of the year may be completely dry or have scanty rainfall that cannot be of any practical use for growing crops. These areas are marginal ones for food production: the dynamic balance between the human population and an adequate food supply is easily upset by slight climatic changes, population increases, or degradation of natural resources. This problem can be illustrated by comparing rainfall distribution in Chicago, Illinois, and Kano, Nigeria (see Figure 6.5). Both areas receive about the same amount of rainfall annually, but Chicago's rainfall is distributed throughout the year, making possible an ample growing season for a variety of crops. By contrast, Kano's rainfall is concentrated in a five-month period, from May through September-a length of time insufficient for many crops and marginal for others. The Chicago area is considered to be a breadbasket; the area of Kano is practically desert. Harare, Zimbabwe, and Nairobi, Kenya, represent other contrasts in rainfall distribution in tropical Africa. Nairobi is near the equator and has two rainy seasons defined as the long and short rains. More southern Harare has a single rainy season like Kano, but with greater total rainfall and a more even distribution than in Kano. The most common pattern for Sub-Saharan Africa is the distinct single rainy season and single dry season; however, there is a wide belt along the equator with two rainy reasons (see figure 6.5). PATTERNS OF AGRICULTURE Most of Sub-Saharan Africa's food production still takes place on small farms with people using hand tools such as the hoe. Large-scale mechanized farming in Africa is seldom oriented toward domestic food production. The approximate distribution of traditional crop and livestock production systems is shown in Figure 6.6. In the semiarid regions, nomadic or settled pastoralists are dominant (see McGee in this volume). Africans have perfected a variety of complex cultivation methods that maintain soil fertility over the long term and are efficient in their use of human labor; these methods are shifting cultivation, rotational fallow, and intercropping (Allan

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90 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND FIGURE 6.5. Annual Rainfall Distribution Patterns I CHICAGO 1 Bimodal Trimodal rainfall Sources: Rainfall data for four locations were supplied by Sharon Nicholson. The Nairobi data were from Merango (Fort Hall). Modal patterns of annual rainfall were derived from a map in Marcel Leroux. 1983. The Climate of Tropical Africa: Atlas. Paris: Editions CHAMPIONS. Note: There are two or even three (bimodal or trimodal) rainy seasons per year along the equator, whereas most of Africa has only one (unimodal) rainy season per year. 1965; Miracle 1967; Okigbo and Greenland 1976). Shifting cultivation requires that an area be cleared of trees and shrubs that are then burned to produce ash. The ash is scattered on the plot for fertilizer, and seeds are planted in conjunction with the rainy season. A field prepared in this manner each year will usually support only two or three annual crops before farmers must move elsewhere and repeat the process. There are many variations of this basic method, all of which require extensive woodland (land and plant cover) and assume a low population density. Although some strongly criticize this system as wasteful, it is now acknowledged as

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THEAFRICANENVIRONMENT 91 extremely well designed for Africa's low fertility soils and low population densities (Boserup 1965). Other African systems of cultivation rotate crops to allow for periods of fallow. A discussion of the distribution of dominant agricultural systems masks the complexity within each zone of a wide variety of carefully evolved human responses to diverse climatic, soil, and vegetation conditions. These diverse methods have served African societies for centuries, and these methods depend upon extensive woodland. Growing concentrations of population have forced farmers and herders to abandon the safeguards that were vital to the success and stability of their customary practices. Farmers do not leave plots to fallow long enough to restore soil fertility, those who practice shifting cultivation return to previously used fields before the tree or brush cover has been renewed, and herders overgraze. The result in much of Africa is soil exhaustion, deforestation, and soil FIGURE 6.6. Traditional Agricultural Systems in Africa __________---------Traditional systems of agriculture Shifting cultivation Permanent cultivation Agriculture with pastoralism Pastoral farming Source: Reprinted with permission from IeuanL1. Griffiths. 1984. An AtlasofAfrican Affairs. London: Methuen. Pg. 119.

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92 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND erosion (Brown and Wolf 1985). In the early 1960s, most African countries were self-sufficient in basic food staples. The paramount fact of Africa's economic performance in the two decades since independence has been its uninterrupted decline in per capita food production (see Figure 6.7). It is not entirely correct to blame the overtaxed traditional systems of food production for this decline. In many instances the systems have managed to increase food production by incorporating some innovative technologies and by cultivating more land using customary technologies (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] 1981). Unfortunately, there are limits to the availability of new lands to cultivate, and new lands are often of lower quality, which is why they were not previously used. The primary problem has not been agricultural but the dramatic increase in population that has sent per capita production statistics plummeting. A related trend, increasing migration from the rural areas to the cities and towns, weakens the agricultural sector because it is often the more ambitious and skilled people who leave for the better opportunities in the urban areas. This migration expands the urban non-food-producing population, thereby increasing demands on the rural sector to produce more food. It has been clear for some time that these demands may be met only by a technological shift in many areas from land-extensive cultivation to land-intensive and labor-intensive cultivation. Intensive cultivation requires the kinds of inputs that can maintain land fertility under increased use. Thus far the shift has not taken place to a significant degree. DEMOGRAPHIC PATTERNS Africa's total population in 1985 is approximately 55'0 million people, of which approximately 450 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus Sub-Saharan Africa's 1985 population is almost double that of the United States and almost a tenth of the world's population (United Nations 1985). More important than this number is the character of Africa's population: its distribution, density, growth rate, age and sex structure, and patterns of migration and settlement. All of these factors influence food availability, economic development, degradation of natural resources, opportunities for education and employment, political stability, and the manifold pressures upon African countries to change. The African continent as a whole is not yet overpopulated and has more arable land to cultivate (USDA 1981), but this continental generalization has to be qualified. There are vast desert or desertlike areas that are virtually uninhabited such as the Sahara to the north, the Namib and Kalahari to the southwest, and the northeastern Horn. Environmental or climatic factors have discouraged dense settlement in other areas such as the Sahel or parts of Central Africa. At the other extreme, there are certain areas in which population density is high and well beyond the ability of the land to support it through agriculture alone. These areas include southern West Africa, especially the coastal area of Nigeria, the East African lakes region, and

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S.S. Africa L. America Source: Drawn from data supplied by the International Economic Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Note: 1977 is the base year; 1977 production is scored 100.

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94 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND parts of the Ethiopian highlands and South Africa. These few areas of dense population account for more than half of Africa's total population. High density pockets are often non-food-producing areas that have grown and developed rapidly at the expense of less populous areas. These high density areas make the greatest demands upon national governments for food deliveries, employment, consumer goods, roads, and other services; and these areas are the potential seedbeds of sociopolitical unrest if their escalating demands cannot be met. The widely varied sizes of national populations (see Figure 6.8 andTable 1.1) should be considered before comparing national economic or political issues. It is difficult to compare the complex issues of food production, political stability, or need for foreign assistance in countries as diverse as the Republic of Liberia (about the size of the state ofTennessee with a population roughly equivalent to that of the FIGURE 6.8. National Population Estimates Source: Food and Agriculture Organization. 1985.1984 FA0 Production Yearbook. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. Note: Population is expressed in millions of people.

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FIGURE 6.9. Comparative Population Growth Rates, 1950 to 2000 -Rate of growth (percent) 1950-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75 75-80 80-85 85-90 90-95 95-2000 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1981. Food Problems andProspects in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Decade of the 1980s. Foreign Agricul tural Economic Report. No. 166. Washington, D .C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Pg. 9.

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96 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND city of Atlanta) and Nigeria (with a population of at least 84 million people). Such a consideration of population puts into perspective the U.S. assistance to Liberia, more than $76 million in 1983. This assistanc; was one of the largest U.S. bilateral programs in Africa. Africa's population size is not stable. A greater quantity of food had to be produced or purchased in 1984 than in 1983 to feed 16 million more Africans born that year (Brown and Wolf 1985:30). The dramatic decline in per capita food production over the past fifteen years is largely a function of this increase in population. Today Sub-Saharan Africa has a population growth rate that far exceeds that of any other continent including Asia and Latin America (see Figure 6.9). Africa's growth rate will continue to increase through the 1980s (USDA 1981:9). The age-sex distribution of African national populations reflects and drives the growth rate. Whereas both death and birth rates have stabilized at fairly low levels for the developed nations of the world, only the death rate has dropped in Africa. Africa, as a consequence, has a very young population. For example, the population of Nigeria is much younger than that of Sweden or the United States (see Figure 6.10). Comparing the percentages of population under fifteen years of age for selected Sub-Saharan African countries and for other world regions also shows that Africa's population is young (see Table 6.1). The age-sex distribution also drives the annual growth rate because of the increasing numbers of young people. There is a momentum of growth built into this distribution--each year more women will mature into the reproductive period of their lives (typically estimated to last from fifteen to forty-five years of age) than in the previous year. This trend in population growth explains why changes in indiFIGURE 6.10. Comparative Age-Sex Population Pyramids Rapid Growth Slow Growth No Growth (N~ger~a) (United States) (Sweden) Age Years of Blnh Male Female Before 1890 189gY4 b'ercenl of Populal~on Percent of Population Percent of Population Source: Reprinted with permission from John M. Pritchard. 1979. Africa: A Study Geography for AdvancedSrudents. Revised metric edition. London: Longman. Pg. 64.

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 97 TABLE 6.1. Percentage of Population Under Fifteen Years of Aqe in Selected Countries, 1984 Sub-Saharan Africa Country Percent Other World Reqions Country Percent Nigeria 48 Mexico 44 Kenya 50 Brazil 37 Ghana 47 China 3 4 Zimbabwe 48 Soviet Union 2 5 Zaire 4 5 USA 2 2 Ethiopia 4 3 West Germany 18 Source: Adapted from Lester R. Brown and Edward C. Wolf. 1985. Reversing Africa's Decline. Worldwatch Paper 65. Washington, D.C.: Worldwatch Institute. vidual behavior are not reflected immediately in population growth rates. Africa's population growth rate is not now expected to peak until at least 1990, when it will exceed 3 percent annually (UN 1985; USDA 1981). Three percent is the highest growth rate of any world region. Even without consideration of changes in tastes and standards, the age distribution alone is enough to increase the demand on natural and social resources. Swelling numbers of young demand food, education, medical services, housing, and so on. As they reach maturity, these people demand land to farm and other employment opportunities. Another demographic trend is increased urbanization, with wide variation among countries. Although Sub-Saharan Africa remains the least urbanized region of the world, its urban growth rate is currently one of the highest and averages between 5 and 6 percent annually (UN 1985; World Bank 1985). This trend is accentuated by drought and famine, which drive people to seek refuge near the towns and cities. Whereas only 15 percent of all Africans lived in urban areas in 1950,59 percent will live there by 2025. Urbanites consume food, but rarely produce it. ECONOMIC PATTERNS The backdrop to any discussion of Africa's economic environment must be the admission that this is a poor continent. Africa's standard of living is low by any indices: gross national product, gross domestic product, per capita income, literacy, per capita food production, and so on. The United Nations Conference on Trade recently published a study naming the world's thirty-six poorest countries: twentysix of these are in Sub-Saharan Africa (see Figure 6.11). These twenty-six poorest

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98 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND African countries are located predominantly, although not exclusively, in the Sahel and the Horn, areas of marginal rainfall and inadequate food production that have been brought vividly to the attention of the world through the well-publicized famines and droughts of the early 1970s and mid-1980s. Seven decades of European colonial domination oriented Sub-Saharan African agricultural systems toward exports to Europe at the expense of domestic food production (see Davis in this volume). Investments were made to develop the colonial infrastructure to meet the needs of European settler populations and European colonial states. A few Africans were able to benefit from their own initiatives within the colonial systems, but colonial regimes did not usually invest in the development of smallholder agriculture, except to encourage the growing of selected crops for export. At the same time, especially in East and Southern Africa, colonial systems forced and encouraged African men to leave their villages, temporarily or permanently, to work for European settlers on farms, in mines, and in the growing towns. Individual and family interest began to shift away from farming toward the urban-based and European-dominated export economy. One effect of this shift was a deterioration in rural living conditions, either absolutely or relative to improving urban conditions. These rural areas remain unattractive to many young Africans; the areas are viewed as uninteresting and lacking in opportunities. Political independence failed to alter Africa's economic dependence upon exporting raw materials or to halt rural-urban migration. Independent African leaders were slow to face the gargantuan task of reorienting their national economies and strengthening food production for internal consumption. Perhaps these leaders listened too much to what was then the prevailing wisdom of development economists (see Staatz and Eicher in this volume). The dangers of this failure are illustrated by Zambia. At independence Zambia's highly developed copper industry accounted for more than 90 percent of exports and 60 percent of government revenues (Griffiths 1984:130). At that time, 1964, world demand and prices for copper were high. By the 1970s the international market had collapsed, and with it went Zambia's revenue. There are many other instances of economic dependence upon one or two key minerals or cash crops; a prominent example is Nigeria and oil. Most African leaders are now painfully aware of their economic predicament, and national planning is beginning to reflect a new emphasis on rural and agricultural development. The extent to which these plans are implemented remains to be seen (see Asante in this volume). Migration away from the rural areas takes resources away from agriculture; the people who leave represent labor, skills, and talent that could be used to expand food production. This process occurred in the United States and Europe as these countries modernized their agriculture; yet these countries concurrently experienced a dramatic increase in industrial employment, and their expanding economies facilitated the development of mechanized agriculture in which fewer producers were supported by machinery. Industries supplied machinery and other inputs, and the urban employed population supplied an effective demand for food, fibers, and products derived from crops and livestock. Capital-intensive agricul

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 99 FIGURE 6.1 1. African Countries Now Classified Among World's Least Developed Source: United Nations. 1984. The LeasrDeveloped Countries 1984 Report. New York: United Nations. ture replaced labor-intensive agriculture. African countries are developing in a very different world economy. Developed industrial countries already dominate the world's limited markets. African national economies, unable to expand, have been further weakened by the oil price shock of the early 1970s, continuing high oil prices, and a continuing world economic recession. Agriculture must continue to employ large amounts of labor because national industry cannot. The urban and industrial areas to which people are migrating are economic islands (see Figure 6.12). These tend to be isolated zones of development that are distinct in many respects from the less populated and more neglected rural surroundings. These islands are: (1) major centers of commerce, industry (sometimes mining), and educational and economic opportunity; (2) hubs of national and inter-

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100 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND national transportation and communication networks; and (3) the primary zones for national and international investment. Surrounding areas are often cut off from FIGURE 6.12. Economic Islands in Africa Source: Reprinted with permission from Michael L. McNulty. 1986. The Contemporary Map of Africa. In Africa, Phyllis M. Martin and Patrick O'Meara, eds. 2nd Edition. Bloomington: Indiana University.

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 10 1 the benefits enjoyed by the islands, and such unbalanced development is selfreinforcing. Africa is often described as rich in minerals, and references are made to its great untapped wealth. This is true but misleading. The African continent does possess a good share of the world's mineral resources, but there are important qualifiers, namely, the following: (1) These resources are not evenly distributed among nations. (2) Mineral rich nations often have no other marketable resource and are dependent on the highly unreliable demands and prices of the world market, as noted previously for Zambia. (3) Many large extractive industries are controlled by multinational corporations. Decisions regarding reinvestments are made in the best interests of the corporation, which are not necessarily those of the country. (4) Successful mining industries sometimes require more from the domestic economy than they offer in return. (5) Finally,the lion's share of Sub-Saharan Africa's mineral wealth is in the Republic of South Africa, where the system of apartheid prevents the black majority of the population from receiving an equitable share of the wealth produced. SOURCES AND PATTERNS OF IDENTITY There are many sources of African identity and no single homogeneous Africa or African identity. This chapter has made many general statements about SubSaharan Africa. Unfortunately, generalizing in this way may obscure for some people the existence of heterogeneity. Ethnicity, language, colonial history, and religion are all important sources of diversity and identity. Approximately eight hundred to one thousand named ethnic groups exist in Africa. It may be difficult to grasp the significance of this preponderance of ethnic groups for the whole continent. Consider then that one country, Nigeria, contains approximately two hundred groups. Nigeria has the largest population of any SubSaharan African country, but several other countries each contain at least seventyfive different ethnic groups. Figure 6.13 illustrates the multiplicity and general locations of these African ethnic groups, but the map is not meant to imply that there are fixed boundaries. Ethnic identities change over time, people migrate, and marriage and settlement patterns often result in the intermingling of peoples with different ethnic backgrounds. Nonetheless, each ethnic group has its unique cultural traditions that generate a sense of belonging and identity (see Cohen in this volume). A shared language is another primary feature of an ethnic group. The linguistic diversity of Africa is striking. Of the approximately three thousand different languages (not dialects) in the world, one third are found in Africa. In the late nineteenth century, the majorwest European imperial powers established claims to parts of Africa, fixed boundaries, and then administered these territories as colonies (see Davis in this volume). Existing ethnic territories were lumped together, and ethnic groups were often divided by new colonial boundaries (see Figure 6.14). Two of the most significant legacies of that era are (1) the artifi

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102 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND Source: Reprinted with permission from Alan C. G. Best and Harm J. de Blij. 1977. African Survey. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Pg. 102. ciality of Africa's current national boundaries and (2) the continuing division of Africa into Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries. For three quarters of a century Europeans forced a unity upon their colonies to serve European ends. African ethnic and linguistic diversity was obscured, and territorial boundaries were redefined by administrative and economic unities imposed within each European sphere. The struggles for decolonization and national independence confirmed the arbitrary borders imposed by the colonial powers and incorporated into each independent African state many conflicting ethnic, linguistic, and colonial identities. The world community gave its approval to newly

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 103 formed African nation states as each took its seat in the United Nations and began to act as an independent political unit. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent, as the euphoria and momentum of independence waned, that some of the basic requirements for statehood were missing in many African countries. There was no broadly accepted ruling group or theory of government, and a unifying sense of nationality or national consciousness was lacking. Under growing political and economic pressures, one African nation after another rejected as unworkable the political models that they had inherited from their former colonial rulers, and internal power struggles began to emphasize the lack of elite and popular identification with the state. It is increasingly questionable whether the present pattern of fiftyFIGURE 6.14. European Colonial Territories in Africa Source: Reprinted with permission from Alan C. G. Best and Harm J. de Blij. 1977. African Survey. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Pg. 89.

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104 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND three independent African states (plus Western Sahara) will continue (Calvocorresi 19855). Numerous African languages were spoken within each colony, but to participate in the colonial economy Africans were forced to learn and adopt the language of their oppressors. The consequences of this situation are apparent today throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, as the dominant language of government and trade in most countries is the former colonial language: English, French, or Portuguese. One exception to this is Swahili, the official state language of Tanzania and Kenya. Most children growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa today learn three or four languages: (1) that of their own ethnic group, (2) that of at least one neighboring ethnic group with which they interact, (3) possibly a regional trade language such as Hausa in Nigeria or Swahili in East Africa, and (4) the official (usually European) language used in their state. Religion is another source of diversity. There are three major religious systems in contemporary Africa: Islam, Christianity, and indigenous African religions. Islam and Christianity may be considered indigenous only in the sense that they have been practiced in various parts of the continent for several centuries. Christianity's considerable influence in North Africa in the early Christian era was swept away by Muslim Arab conquests from the east that began in the seventh and eighth centuries. Only Ethiopia maintained Christianity as the state religion into recent times. Africa north of the Sahara evolved rapidly into dominant Arab cultures with cities that were major world centers of Islamic civilization. This dominance of Arabic language and culture and the strong ties with the Middle East are the reasons North Africa is usually separated from our discussions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Islam has continued to spread south of the Sahara, blending easily with the highly tolerant indigenous religions until it now dominates two thirds of Africa north of the equator, as well as coastal areas of East Africa (see Figure 6.15). European missionaries introduced Christianity into Sub-Saharan Africa before and during the colonial era. An important reason for the influence of Christianity today is its link with education. Christian missionary schools were often the only schools open to Africans during the colonial period, and many current political leaders received their education in these schools. Although it has grown steadily, Christianity is a majority religion in fewer than ten countries, and no African country except Ethiopia can claim Christianity as North African states claim Islam. Islam and Christianity have been occasional sources of tension and conflict in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in an indirect way through the strengthening of regional or ethnic loyalties. Yet many African families tolerate more than one religion among kin without conflict, and political leaders are usually accepted without concern for their religious persuasion. A number of key aspects of Sub-Saharan Africa's natural and human environment have been presented in this chapter to facilitate the understanding of African food issues. Two broad themes have emerged that characterize contemporary Africa: rapid change and diversity. These themes and African and world responses to the challenges of feeding and developing Africa are addressed in more detail in other chapters in this volume.

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THE AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT 105 FIGURE 6.15. Distribution of Islam in Africa \ I I I I I' 2 0 I 0 I I 2 0 40 60 Source: Revised from World Eagle. 1983. Africa Today:AnAtlas ofReproducible Pages. Wellesley, Massachusetts: WorId Eagle. Pg. 47. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Best, Alan C. G. and Harm de Blij. 1977. African Survey. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Calvocoressi, Peter. 1985. Independent Africa and the World. New York: Longman. Griffiths, Ieuan. 1984. An Atlas of African Affairs. London: Methuen. Hance, William A. 1975. The Geography of Modern Africa. 2nd edition. New York: Columbia University Press. Maquet, Jaques. 1972. ~&icanity: The Cultural Unity of Black Africa. New York: Oxford University Press.

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106 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND Martin, Phyllis, and Patrick O'Meara, eds. 1986. Africa. 2nd. ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Mazrui, Ali A. 1980. The African Condition. London: Heinemann. Oliver, Roland, and Michael Crowder, eds. 1981. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Prothero, R. Mansell. 1972. People and Land in Africa South of the Sahara. London: Oxford University Press.

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Climate, Drought, and Famine in Africa SHARON E. NICHOLSON I n the early 1970s a seemingly unprecedented drought struck the West African Sahel, the semiarid southern margin of the Sahara. Famine claimed over one hundred thousand lives in 1973 alone; cattle herds were ruined; and millions of people fled into refugee camps and urban centers (Glantz 1976). This disaster provoked much controversy concerning its cause and whether or not it denoted a longer-term trend toward more desertlike conditions. Climatologists offered a variety of hypotheses-including changes in tropical winds, sea-surface temperatures, and global temperatures-to account for the observed variations in rainfall. Another hypothesis by J. G. Charney (1975) proposed that degradation of vegetation in this semiarid region, perhaps caused by human activities, increases the capacity of dry ground to reflect solar radiation, a factor that might lead to long-term, possibly permanent rainfall reduction. The concept of desertification also became prominent, furthering the hypothesis that human intervention, perhaps more than climate, is turning these marginal lands into deserts. Following a short improvement in rainfalls in the mid-1970s, the intensification of drought conditions in West Africa and renewed occurrences throughout East and Southern Africa have once again focused attention on questions of the cause and effect of drought. Resolving the controversy concerning the roles of human activities and climate and assessing various related theories depend, in part, on increasing our understanding of long-term climatic variation in Africa. We need to know whether long-term climatic trends are affecting regions of Africa, whether such droughts have chronically plagued the continent, and whether the impact of the recent drought was in proportion to the actual rainfall decrease that the region experienced. Similarly, knowledge of the nature of climate in Africa and its variation in past centuries will help to assess the proper way to cope with, or develop and manage, the fragile environments that predominate throughout the African continent. The study of long-term climatic fluctuations is hindered by a scarcity of useful meteorological data. Meteorological station records that extend back a century or

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108 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND more are rare outside of Algeria and South Africa. Freetown, Dakar, St. Louis, Banjul, Mombasa, Alexandria, and Accra are among the few places that have such records. Colonial administrations set up a number of meteorological stations in the 1890s; however, observations from these stations were generally discontinued after a couple of decades. Most countries initially established reasonable station networks in the 1940s or 1950s, but even today little or no data are available for large areas of the continent. This situation contrasts sharply with Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States, where dense observing networks have been in operation for at least one hundred years and where numerous stations were established as early as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The basic lack of data in Africa creates a severe problem in regions of greatest climatic interest, semiarid drought-prone regions such as the Sahel or the Kalahari where large temporal and spatial variability of rainfall demands a dense observing network to obtain representative pictures of climatic conditions. To look at African climatic variation over a period of centuries or millenia, researchers rely on a variety of less precise types of data. These derive from several disciplines (see Table 7.1). Geology and palynology (pollen studies) present climate related information on lake-level variations, vegetation, dunes, changes in stream regimes, and other environmental features. These indicators, although most useful for studying variation over millennia, occasionally provide information pertinent to the more recent historical past. For this latter period the best sources of information on Africa's climates prove to be historical records and geographical descriptions of drought, famine, floods, agriculture and harvest quality, landscape, climate, and weather. Among the great variety of possible sources are archives, local chronicles, works of Arab geographers, travelers' and settlers' journals, ships' logs, maps, early geographical journals, colonial reports, and newspapers (Nicholson 1979). Although these sources contain a potential wealth of information, the imprecise nature of these sources may render their interpretation somewhat difficult. For example, local chronicles such as the "Tarikh es-Soudan" record the earlier fallible witness of memory or oral tradition: Information was selected by the chronicler, and dates were usually estimated. Weather and climate reports in journals, diaries, or historical treatises frequently contain secondhand information, information that often obscures the location and date of origin and occasionally substitutes theory for observation. Some writers may have generalized the climate of all of Western Africa from observations in Dakar and Accra that covered one or two possibly unrepresentative years or from observations that exaggerated harshness or favorableness of an environment. Much information is relative or subjective: an observing standard was lacking. "Forests" mentioned in native accounts of Timbuktu possibly were sparse, isolated stands of trees that exist today and bear little resemblance to our own concept of a forest (a European visitor, accustomed to more humid environments, may term the same region a veritable desert). A reference to drought might also be ambiguous: a drought is not defined solely by rainfall being less than a certain threshold amount, but also by such factors as the population to

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 109 TABLE 7.1. Types of Data Useful for Historical Climatic Reconstructions I. Landscape Descriptions 1. Forests and veqetation: are they as today? 2. Conditions of lakes and rivers: (a) Height of the annual flood, month of maximum flow of the river (b) villages directly along lakeshores (c) size of the lake (e.g. as indicated on map) (d) navigability of rivers (e) desiccation of present-day lakes or appearance of lakes no lonqer existing (f) floods (g) seasonality of flow; condition in wet and dry seasons 3. Wells, oases, bogs in presently dry areas 4. Flow of wadis 5. Measured height of lake surfaces (frequently given in travel journals, but optimally some instrumental calibration or standard should accompany this) 11. Drouqht. Famine and Other Aqricultural Information 1. References to famine or drought, preferably accompanied by the followinq: (a) where occurred and when occurred: as precisely as possible (b) who reported it; whether the information is second hand (c) severity of the famine or drought; local or widespread? (d) cause of the famine 2. Agricultural prosperity: (a) condition of harvest (b) what-produced this condition (c) months of harvests, in both bad years and good years (d) what crops grown 3. Wet cultivation in regions presently too arid 111. Climate and Meteorologx 1. Measurements of temperature, rainfall, etc. 2. Weather diaries 3. Descriptions of climate and the rainy season: when do the rains occur, what winds prevail? 4. References to occurrence of rain, tornado, storm 5. Seasonality and frequency of tornadoes, storms 6. Snowfalls: is this clearly snow or may the reoorter be mistakenly reporting frost, etc? 7. Freezing temperatures, frost, hail 8. Duration of snow cover on mountains (or absence) 9. References to dry or wet years, severe or mild winters, other unusual seasons be fed and their habitual standard of living and ability to accommodate rainfall shortages. All of these factors, which need to be considered in interpreting droughts, may have been different centuries ago. Despite these difficulties, when such information is cautiously interpreted, complemented with indicators that are more precise (for example, lake levels), and corroborated by several sources and types of indicators, a rather reliable climatic history of the last few centuries may be derived. This knowledge, combined with more sophisticated understanding of

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1 10 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND \ NILE LAKE RUDOLF LAKE ABH~ LAKE CHAD FIGURE 7.1. Fluctuations of Lake Levels and Climate in Africa During the Last 4000 Years SENE GAL K W x 2 I I K W z 4 u W C 5 I: CT W K n I n MAURITANIA 2 Y 1 I I I I I 2000 1000 B.C. 0 1000~~. 2000 Source: Sharon E. Nicholson. 1976. A Climatic Chronology for Africa: Synthesis of Geological, Historical and Meteorological Information and Data. Ph.D. Thesis. Department of Meterology. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 11 1 current climatic conditions, provides tentative answers to pressing questions concerning climate, human population, environment, and development in Africa. THE COURSE OF AFRICAN CLIMATE DURING HISTORIC TIME Climatic and environmental conditions that prevailed over Africa long ago were quite unlike those we know today. Toward the end of the last ice age, from about twelve thousand to twenty thousand years ago, forests all but disappeared as the desert expanded to cover most of the continent (Nicholson and Flohn 1980). As recently as five thousand years ago, the desert had vanished-lowland marshes formed in the northwestern Sahara, while Neolithic man herded cattle in the central Sahara surrounded by fauna grazing on what was apparently a savanna landscape. Lakes dotted what are now arid regions of Mauritania; fish hooks uncovered in archaeological sites there attest to human occupation and a livelihood that is no longer possible. Rift valley lakes were several hundred feet deeper than at present, and they expanded to form a huge hydrologic system. Lake Chad, almost entirely desiccated in 1985, was then over a hundred meters deep and expanded to ten times its normal twentieth century size. Onset of more arid conditions over most of Africa occurred about three thousand years ago (see Figure 7.1). Conditions generally resembling those of the current century have prevailed during the past two millenia, but during the past two millenia extensive periods of significantly more humid or more arid climate than the present have also occurred. One such period of humid conditions in northern Africa occurred from the ninth through fourteenth centuries, the time of the middle ages in Europe (Nicholson 1979). Globally, this was a climatic period significantly unlike the present. Warmer conditions generally prevailed in middle and high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, and wetter conditions persisted in many tropical and subtropical regions. Evidence for this period in Africa is sparse and difficult to interpret, but some conclusions may be drawn. From Mauritania eastward to Ethiopia, cultural activities and landscape and hydrologic indicators suggest that relatively humid conditions prevailed in regions that are now semiarid or arid. Several towns in Mauritania are said to have flourished on caravan trade that took place along routes directly across the El Djouf desert, routes now unsuitable due to a lack of water along them. The Gangara people, occupying the sandy plains of central Mauritania from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, practiced wet cultivation in areas that are now desert. Portuguese exploring Mauritania around 1500 described a relatively long season of storminess and rich mountain wadis, artesian wells that tapped a water table as much as eight meters higher than at present, and running water that gullied dunes in western Mauritania. Bogs and river terraces in parts of Morocco and Algeria suggest similar wetter conditions existed there. Lake Chad remained several meters higher from about the tenth through thirteenth centuries, a time when the desert massif of Tibesti was heavily populated (see Figure 7.2). The flow of the Nile and lake levels throughout

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1 12 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND FIGURE 7.2. Variations in the Level of Lake Chad During the Last 1000 Years I Source: Reprinted with permission from V. Maley, 198 1. ~rudes~al~nolo~i~ues duns le Basin du Tchad er PalCoclimatologie de I'Afriqrte nord-Tropicale de 30.000 ans d I'6poque actuelle. Traveaux et documents de I'ORSTOM, no. 129,58. Paris: ORSTROM. East Africa and the Rift Valley provide further evidence of this wetter episode. In the twelfth century, El Idrisi found elephants and giraffes in the Sudan desert near Dongola, an area where the mean annual rainfall is now twenty millimeters. Around the fourteenth or fifteenth century these more humid conditions declined in most areas. A relatively dry episode persisted for one or two centuries, but the precise timing of this episode and the areas most affected by it cannot be firmly established. For the last few centuries, evidence of climatic conditions is available for many more regions of the continent (Nicholson 1978,1980,198 1). In the semiarid subtropics of northern hemisphere Africa, including Ethiopia and at least parts of East Africa, the Chad Basin, and the western Sahel, wetter conditions than at present prevailed throughout most of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, although some extended periods of severe drought did occur. Equatorial latitudes were probably relatively dry during these centuries. Little information is available for Southern Africa until late in the eighteenth century, but from that time trends were similar to those in the Sahel-namely, wetter conditions through the end of the nineteenth century interrupted by an extended dry period of several decades early in that century. A major change occurred throughout most of Africa around the 1890s, as well as in tropical regions globally: increasingly arid conditions commenced in most areas. A variety of indicators, including chronologies of famine and drought, lake and river levels, and geographical descriptions, suggest more humid conditions

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FIGURE 7.3. Chronology of Famine and Drought in Chad, Senegambia, the Niger Bend, and Northern Algeria, 1500 to 1900 I LAKE CHAD CHAD ------.________________________.________________________.________________________----------Ill 1111 IIIII I Ill II UllOll 1111 II II IRI I I lllllllo' SENEGAMBIA I II! I 11 111 NIGER BEND ----------------------I IllllSll 111 I 1111u1 I ALGERIA I II I I III I~I~II I mnw I IIUIIII I I 11 111 11 I Legend: All Exceptionally high floods JLL Above average rainfall ---Period of general prosperity according to the chronicles -II Below average rainfall T Famine and/or drought ----Period of generally low precipitation or drought Source: Sharon E. Nicholson. 1980. Saharan Climates in HistoricTimes. In TheSahara andtheNile, M. A. J. Williams and H. Faure, eds. Pp. 173-200. Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema.

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114 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND once existed in the West African Sahel (see Figure 7.3). According to chronicles of Timbuktu, Senegambia, and Bornu (near Lake Chad), except in the mideighteenth century drought and famine were infrequent in these regions. The chronicles also mention general prosperity. A number of tremendous floods of the Niger and Senegal Rivers occurred; the annual inundation of the Niger normally reached Timbuktu, which is now separated from the river by seven kilometers of sand. Lake Chad stood several meters above its modern levels and seems to have overflowed into the Bahr el Ghazal to produce a waterway flowing into northern Chad. From about 1500 to 1700, the Tibesti massif was populated and reportedly wooded, and there were a number of permanent settlements in border areas of the Sahara that are now dry. Thick mangrove stands, palm trees, tamarisks, redgum, and thorny acacia lined the banks of the Senegal River; stands of forests existed in southern Mauritania. Sources describe savanna-type vegetation and fauna in many FIGURE 7.4. Variations in African Lake Levels Since 1700 12'N CHAD 5' N STEFANIE RUDOLF Izm\ , 1's VICTORIA des~ccated 1700 1725 1750 1775 1800 1825 1850 1875 1900 1925 1950 I Source: Sharon E. Nicholson. 1978. Climatic Variations in the Sahel and Other African Regions During the Past Five Centuries. Journal of Arid Environments 13-24. 8's RUKWA

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 1 15 regions along the southern fringe of the Sahara from Mauritania and Mali across to the Sudan and numerous wells in western portions of the now totally barren desert. Previous Nile floods indicated higher rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands; previous low summer Nile flows implied relatively dry conditions in the equatorial regions of East Africa. Climate descriptions of the Guinea coast of West Africa provide further evidence of low-latitude dryness. Landscape descriptions and faunal evidence suggest that, before 1800, many semiarid regions of Southern Africa-including the Kalahari, the Karroo, and the dry northwestern Cape-were considerably more humid than in later times (see Figure 7.4). Lake Ngami, now a swamp, was deep enough to produce powerful waves that washed hippos and fish to shore. Rushy grasses, swamps, springs, and periodical rivers thrived in now-barren Karroo. Antelopes, buffalo, and other fauna reminiscent of East Africa roamed plains that are now dry. Although it is impossible to determine how long such conditions prevailed, it was at least for several decades. Within the centuries of relatively humid conditions in the semiarid subtropics, several major drought episodes occurred. In the Sahel, one such episode lasted for about seven years in the 1680s; another lasted for nearly two decades in the 1740s and 1750s. A third drought episode culminating in the 1820s and 1830s may be traced throughout much of the continent and seems to signal a general trend toward increasing aridity beginning after 1800 (see Figure 7.5). Some drought-affected areas included Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad, northern Nigeria, Eastern Africa, the Ethiopian highlands, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, and drier regions of South Africa. Southern African lakes, swamps, wells, and rivers dried up; well-watered plains turned to barren karroo; farmers and tribesmen alike complained of continually decreasing rainfall; and extreme drought occurred in many years. The flow of the Nile was very weak, and Lake Chad in effect dried up. Plenty of evidence suggests that this general desiccation was followed within decades by conditions considerably wetter than those occurring during the current century and that the subsequent change to semiarid conditions occurred around 1900 (see Figure 7.5). During these relatively humid decades in the 1800s, lake levels from Chad in the north to Ngami in the south increased dramatically (see Figure 7.4). Numerous lakes stood several meters above modem levels; they maintained for several decades levels achieved at most briefly, and generally not at all, during the twentieth century. Lake Chad again overflowed into the outlet called the Bahr el Ghazal, and the Senegal and Niger rivers rose to flood deep depressions along their banks. Niger floods were continually good in the 1870s and 1880s. In the Niger Bend region wheat production thrived to such an extent that wheat was exported to surrounding areas. Harvest quality was continually good in southern Algeria, the Niger Bend, Namibia, and drier regions of South Africa and Botswana. Numerous quantitative measurements of rainfall and river flow further confirmed these wetter conditions. Two striking examples are Freetown in Sierra Leone, where rainfall from 1880 to 1895 averaged 35 percent above the mean for

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FIGURE 7.5. Schematic of Continental Rainfall Anomalies c. 1820 to 1840, 1870 to 1895, 1895 to 1920 Source: Sharon E. Nicholson. 1981. Saharan Climates in Historic Times. (Published title is incorrect.) In The Sahara: Ecological Change and Early Economic History, J. A. Allan, ed. London: Menas Press. F'p. 35-59. Note: + is above normal rainfall 0 is normal rainfall is below normal rainfall circled symbols denote regional indicators such as lakes and rivers.

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 1 17 1910 to 1940, and the Nile discharge, which was also 35 percent greater during the earlier period (see Figure 7.6). Wells dotted the western Sahara, and stands of forest existed in now barren regions of Mauritania and Mali. Another major decline in rainfall occurred in the mid-1890s and culminated in severe drought in the 1910s for numerous regions across the continent (see Figure 7.6). Rainfall decreased, lake levels fell, and river flow decreased dramatically. A series of bad harvests plagued areas from Algeria and West Africa southward to the Kalahari and South Africa. The Sahel suffered many years of extreme drought. The situation in southern Africa was critical enough to prompt establishment of a commission to examine progressive desiccation and a serious proposal to flood the Kalahari in an attempt to bring back the "good" rains. In summary, relatively humid conditions probably prevailed in the semiarid subtropical regions of Africa in earlier centuries. These conditions lasted from about the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries along the southern borders of the Sahara and in at least parts of the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries in southFIGURE 7.6. Trends of African Climatic Indicators (Lakes, Rivers, Rainfall and Harvests), 1880 to 1920 LAKES/RIVERS RAINFALL HARVESTS 15::: bAi soy R SENEGAL 11111 All I SOUTHERN NAMIBIA Source: Sharon E. Nicholson. 198 1. The Historical Climatology of Africa. In Climate andHistory: Studies in Past Climates and Theirlmpacton Man. J. M. L. Wigley et al., eds. 4.249270. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Notes: Lake levels show the annual averages in meters. River discharge (d) and rainfall (r) are expressed as percentages, which represent standardized departures from normal (A d or A r) as a percentage of long term means (a or i) or the standard deviation (u d or u r). Harvest quality is good when above the axes, poor when below.

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1 18 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND em Africa. Within this time at least three major drought episodes occurred in the Sahel; the last (in the 1820s and 1830s) may be traced throughout much of Africa. A dramatic return of wetter conditions-unlike any seen during the last nine decades-occurred late in the nineteenth century and persisted for two to three decades. FIGURE 7.7. Rainfall Fluctuations in Three Regions of West Africa, SAHEL These three adjacent zones derive from vegetation classifications and extend east to west from the Atlantic through thecountry of Sudan. Sahelo-Sahara is the northernmost zone, with annual mean rainfall between 50 and 100 mm. The Sahel zone receives 100 to 400 mm, and the southernmost Soudan zone receives 400 to 1200 mm. SOUDAN

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 1 19 FIGURE 7.8. Rainfall Fluctuations in Three Regions of East and Southern Africa, EAST AFRICA 3.0 KALAHARI NORTH : 3 x x x x x x x x x x x xx xx x xx x x x x :: :: : 2 xx x xx 5 x x 1 x : 8 ' X 8 :::: ; X xx CC -8 B 3 1:: x x 3 $333 3 E xx E x xx xx xx I, E s x x x XXXX x xx x XX I). X X " :: E XX ""X XX'XX" X KA LAHAR l SOUTH

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120 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND AFRICAN CLIMATES IN RECENT TIMES An inherent characteristic of climate in subhumid regions, as described in the last chapter, is the large temporal variability of rainfall. This is well illustrated by flucFIGURE 7.9. Rainfall Departures from Normal in West and Northeast Africa, 1981 to 1984 (percentage)

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 121 TABLE 7.2. Rainfall at Nine Stations in 1950, 1972 and 1983 and Mean Rainfall for 1950-1959 and 1970-1984 (millimeters) Mean Rainfall Station 1950 1972 1983 1950-1959 19701984 Bilma Atbara Nouakchott Khartouma Agadez Tombouctoo Nema Dakar Banjul aAt Khartoum, only 15 millimeters fell durinq the July-September rainy season. tuationj that have occurred during the course of the twentieth century. In Sahelian regions of West Africa (see Figure 7.7) three drought episodes have occurred: in the 1910s, the 1940s, andduring the 1970s and 1980s (Nicholson 1983,1985).The first and last have been particularly severe and longlasting. High rainfall was the rule throughout the 1950s. Similar fluctuations have occurred in Southern and East Africa, but drought episodes tend to be less severe and of shorter duration there (see Figure 7.8). In the Sahel, the longest spell of continually below normal rainfall lasted eighteen years. In the Kalahari, by contrast, the longest "dry spell" lasted five years, and most dry spells last just two or three years. Countries most severely affected during the 1980s include Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Chad, Morocco, Mozambique, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and probably others as well. Rainfall deficits were extreme in most of northern hemisphere Africa during the four years from 1981 to 1984 (see Figure 7.9), and the extent of the drought stricken area was relatively constant, but in Southern Africa the magnitude, extent, and even location of drought conditions varied greatly. The magnitude of rainfall fluctuations in West Africa is illustrated using several stations as examples (see Table 7.2). In most cases, means of rainfall recorded at stations across the Sahel from 1950 to 1959 are nearly double those recorded from 1970 to 1984, even at Banjul where rainfall is reasonably high. Individual annual totals varied by factors of three to five between 1950 and 1983. Although rainfall differences from one year to the next may be

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122 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND nearly as large in other areas of Africa, these conditions do not persist for such lengthy periods; thus the impact on human populations is likely to be much less than in West Africa. The recent occurrences of drought throughout most of Africa, especially its lengthy persistence in the Sahel, have again brought to light numerous important issues concerning its cause and continuation. In particular, three provocative and critical questions are being posed. First, what is the cause of drought in Africa, and are human activities such as those involved in desertification a contributing factor? Second, how long are the droughts likely to persist, especially in West Africa, and do they signal a long-term climatic change in Africa? Finally, are we able to predict the occurrence of drought? A synthesis of historical information with modern drought studies provides tentative answers to these questions. CAUSES OF AFRICAN DROUGHT What seems to be an unprecedented drought in West Africa and its persistence over nearly two decades leads to speculation that human activities may be the cause. Increased population pressures and a breakdown of traditional livelihoods, lifestyles, and economic systems lead to processes of desertification: extension of cultivation into too arid lands, poor agricultural practices, overgrazing, and removal of natural vegetation by fire or cutting. These processes dramatically alter the landscape in ways that, according to some meteorologists, might reduce rainfall. Charney (1975), who originated this theory, was primarily concerned with the increased reflectivity of exposed soil surfaces along the desert fringe. Other studies focus on other physical changes such as higher temperature, increased atmospheric dust, and lower evapotranspiration (the process by which water is returned to the atmosphere through a combination of evaporation from soil and transpiration from plants) (Hare 1983; Kandel1984). Although all these changes might result from human-induced desertification, all are also a product of drought-induced changes in the land surface. If recent droughts are a result of the human pressures on the landscape that have dramatically increased in recent decades, events of this magnitude and extent should be unique to the twentieth century. However, the long-term record for Africa shows clearly that this is not the case. Through centuries, fluctuations between wetter and drier conditions have occurred, and past analogies to the present situation do exist. The best example for comparison is perhaps the episode early in the nineteenth century when drought ravaged most of Africa. The severity of the drought, as indicated by Lake Chad, actually rivalled that of the current drought. For the earlier episode, actual drought conditions persisted in the Sahel for about two decades, as long as the current drought, and predominantly dry conditions persisted during most of the first half of the nineteenth century. The dramatic decline from eighteenth century humid conditions that preceded the drought is quite comparable to the recent decline from the nearly pan-African wet episode of the 1950s.

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 123 Thus, neither the length or severity of recent droughts nor the rainfall pattern preceding them is unique for African droughts. Therefore, the characteristics of recent African droughts do not advance the argument that human pressures are responsible for the current drought episode. Although the meteorological causes of drought in Africa are not well understood, the consensus is, nevertheless, that they are a result of major changes in general atmospheric circulation. Cited as reasons for this belief are global climatic associations with droughts and the extreme spatial patterns and extent of the African droughts. Some of the droughts, such as the one in 1972, coincided with unusual conditions throughout the tropics globally and, hence, cannot be attributed to local causes. Meteorological variables such as sea surface temperature or winds in the upper atmosphere also relate to drought. Furthermore, occurrences of drought and wetter conditions in West Africa are generally coupled with similar changes in rainfall in the semiarid regions of Southern Africa; in some years nearly the entire continent may be affected (see figure 7.10). This suggests further that local factors are unlikely causal factors of drought. Moreover, drought or wetter conditions in the semiarid regions of both northern and Southern Africa occurred simultaneously in both recent and past episodes, pointing to a meteorological origin of recent droughts. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that human-induced changes may potentially influence climate. Numerous mathematical models and a few statistical studies suggest that changes in land surface, especially changes in vegetative cover and soil moisture, can influence rainfall patterns in certain regions. Regions most likely to be influenced in this way are semiarid ones where local thunderstorm activity, as opposed to frontal-type rainfall, is the dominant source of precipitationthis description applies to much of West Africa. Again, it is important to emphasize that these changes in land surface occur quite dramatically as a consequence of drought, so drought that is triggered by large-scale atmospheric circulation changes might be self-sustaining through its effects on the land surface. Many prominent scientists believe this to be the case for the Sahel. Through such factors as overgrazing, overcultivation, and removal of vegetation, people may help to strengthen this feedback loop, but the fundamental cause of African drought is meteorological. PROGNOSIS FOR THE FUTURE It is important to know for agriculture, planning, and development whether recent African droughts signal a long-term change of climate and, in general, if we have any capability of forecasting conditions in Africa. These questions are most critical in West Africa, where rainfall has continually diminished since the 1950s. There is no simple answer to either question, but some tentative conclusions may be drawn by considering documented fluctuations of past and present centuries. Basically, we do not know if a long-term climate change is in process. Past

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CLIMATE, DROUGHT, AND FAMINE IN AFRICA 125 centuries have seen numerous long and continual declines in rainfall throughout semiarid regions of kfrica; most notable are those occurring between about 1800 and the 1830s and again between the 1890s and the 1910s. Both drought periods were part of a sequence of nearly global climatic fluctuations, and both gave way to wet episodes within decades. Hence, the current trend provides no evidence of a long-term change in climate, but neither does it disprove this possibility. Among the manifold approaches to meteorological forecasting are the use of mathematical models based on physical laws and associations and the use of various types of statistical methods (Nicholson 1982). One example of the latter is the use of "persistence," i.e., using past conditions to estimate future ones on the basis of a quantifiable memory in the system, or "this month is more likely than not to resemble last month." Persistence is routinely incorporated in seasonal forecasts within the United States, but its applications in Africa are probably limited. Another statistical method is to project future conditions from apparent trends or cycles in the data. Few consider this a sound approach simply because, for most physical systems, statistical characteristics are variable in time; they describe the past but, as they can change, they cannot prescribe the future. Trends, in particular, cannot be extrapolated forward in time because climatic fluctuations occur abruptly. However, past events suggest that the extreme drought in the Sahel in 1984 is unlikely to give way to really wet conditions within the next year or two; previous drought recovery has generally been more gradual. Many authors have tried to forecast future rainfall conditions on the basis of apparent cycles. Again the approach is unreliable, as several examples will illustrate. As with trends, a regular recurrence of an event might suggest that a cycle is present during some time interval, but that cycle can abruptly disappear. Moreover, exact periodicities are rare. A cycle of about fifteen years can mean droughts at intervals of twelve to eighteen years, hardly a basis for predicting a given event. Most established regularities in meteorological time series are also small in magnitude, i.e., although detectable, they are probably too small to prescribe much of the variability of the factor (rainfall, for instance) that is being examined. A common notion derived from the chance occurrence of Sahelian drought in the 1910~~ 1940s, and 1970s is that a cycle of about thirty years exists in the region. This view neglects the previous eighty-year absence of major drought in the region and should have been dramatically dispelled by the current episode. Drought has now persisted nearly twenty years, and the 1980s (a time of intensive and widespread drought) follow the wet episode of the 1950s by about thirty years. Our best hope for obtaining any long-range forecasting capability is further development of physical-mathematical models based on improved physical understanding of the dynamics of climate in Africa. IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY AND PLANNING A number of policy implications stem from this analysis of past droughts and the

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128 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Hare, E K. 1983. Climate and Desertification: A Revised Analysis. WCP-44. Geneva: World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Program. Jackson, I. L. 1977. Climate, Water andAgriculture in the Tropics. London: Longman. Kandel, R. S. 1984. Mechanisms Governing the Climate of the Sahel: A Survey of Recent Modeling and ObservationalStudies. Club du Sahel D(84) 252, CILSS. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation in Development. Nicholson, S. E. 1979. The Methodology of Historical Climate Reconstruction and its Application to Africa. Journal ofAfrican History 20:3149. 1982. The Sahe1:A ClimaticPerspective. Club du Sahel D(82) 187, CILSS. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation in Development. 1983. Sub-Saharan Rainfall in theyears 197&1980: Evidence of Continued Droughts. Monthly Weather Review 3: 1646-1654. Ojo, 0. 1977. The Climates of WestAfrica, London: Heinemann. Wigley, T. M. L., M. J. Ingram, and G. Farmer. 1981. Climate and History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Subsistence Strategies and Systems of Land Use in Africa DANIEL McGEE A frican s'bcieties engage in a wide variety of activities to meet their material needs. Activities involved in the allocation of food resources are termed subsistence strategies. A large body of literature in anthropology analyzes different subsistence strategies, and several authors have reviewed their variety and distribution in Africa (Gibbs 1965; Murdock 1959; Ottenberg and Ottenberg 1960; Vaughan 1977). There are four broad categories of subsistence strategies: hunting and gathering, fishing, pastoralism, and cultivation. A survey of 277 societies in SubSaharan Africa based on Murdock's "Ethnographic Atlas"' showed that approximately 86 percent depend primarily upon agriculture; 6 percent, upon animal husbandry; and animal husbandry and agriculture are codominant for another 3 percent. Of the remaining African societies, 2 percent rely primarily on fishing; 1 percent, on fishing and agriculture equally; and slightly more than 2 percent, on hunting and gathering (Vaughan 1977:21). These figures refer only to the dominant subsistence strategies and do not reflect the importance of minor activities. For example, it is important to note that agriculturalists in tsetse-free regions of western, eastern, and southern Africa obtain approximately 25 percent of their subsistence from animal husbandry (Vaughan 1977:21). Other studies indicate the nutritional importance of gathering activities to agriculturalists (Colson 1979; Scudder 1971). This chapter focuses on the ecological bases and social and political characteristics associated with the four broad categories of subsistence strategies. HUNTING AND GATHERING According to archaeological evidence, hunting and gathering was the only subsistence strategy in Africa until around 5000 B.C. (Murdock 1959). It was at this time that a gradual shift away from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal hus

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130 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND bandry began in the areas of higher population densities, although this did not have a significant impact on much of Sub-Saharan Africa until later. Few societies rely primarily on hunting and gathering today. Hunter-gatherer population densities are comparatively low; land requirements range from twenty-one to twenty-six square kilometers per person (Allan 1965). The growth in populations in the last few centuries and the associated land shortages led many societies to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry, thereby forcing the last remaining huntergatherers onto marginal lands. Such environments include the tropical rainforest inhabited by the Mbuti pygmies, where rainfall is excessive, and the Kalahari Desert occupied by the !Kung, where rainfall is inadequate for cultivation or pastoralism. A number of East African societies, including the Dorobo, Waboni, and Sandawe, were still engaged in hunting and gathering until the middle of this century but have since adopted agriculture and animal husbandry (Murdock 19595960). Hunter-gatherers are characterized by small bands, usually under one hundred members. Band size is limited primarily by the availability of resources. Other limiting factors include the added work and cooperation involved in keeping large groups supplied (Lee 1979:367) and the imperative for mobility. Although land tenure is not divided at the individual level, bands are associated with specific territories, often bounded by natural landmarks. Because of the need to exploit a wide variety of resources seasonally in a large geographical area, most hunter-gatherers remain mobile. Mobility and low population densities are necessary to exist in ecological equilibrium. These are associated with low fertility rates, which are maintained through a variety of prenatal practices along with prolonged lactation, postpartum sex taboos, and infanticide (Howell 1979). There is a loose sexual division of labor among hunter-gatherers: women are responsible for gathering, cooking and building huts; men, for hunting and the production of the implements used in that pursuit. Mbuti women do participate in hunting alongside the men by making noise to frighten the prey into the men's nets (Turnbull 1961). Although work in hunter-gatherer societies is divided by sex, the labor of neither sex is devalued. Egalitarianism is the rule, and cooperation by everyone is emphasized in all activities. Hunter-gatherers lack centralized political authority; decisionmaking is flexible and operates largely by consensus. There is little specialization in African hunter-gatherer diets, which is consistent with the flexibility needed to exploit a wide range of available food sources when necessary. Therefore a wealth of knowledge about the regional flora and fauna is required. Although only a small percentage of Africans now rely primarily on hunting and gathering as a dominant subsistence strategy, hunting and gathering remains important. Those engaging in animal husbandry, agriculture, and fishing still depend on foraging to obtain relishes and supplementary foods such as honey and wild fruits, as well as raw materials for clothing, shelter, and fuel (Allan 1965; see Fox in this volume). Hunting and gathering is also important as an emergency activity when crops fail. The agricultural GwembeTonga, for example, make use of an even larger number of plant species than do the hunter-gatherer !Kung if bad

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SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES AND SYSTEMS OF LAND USE IN AFRICA 13 1 years are taken into account (Scudder 1971). FISHING Fishing is often classified as a hunting and gathering subsistence strategy, since it is a foraging activity. It is more useful, however, to consider fishing as a separate subsistence strategy because, as a primary mode of production, it is usually associated with much higher population densities and more complex social organizations than hunting and gathering (see Goldsmith in this volume). Fishing communities tend to maintain sedentary or semisedentary (for those who also cultivate) patterns of residence. In the semisedentary case, communities adjust to seasonal changes in rainfall by shifting between fishing and cultivation. The Unga of the Bangweulu swamps, for example, make seasonal migrations between swamps where they fish and higher cultivation lands (Brelsford 1946). Residence in the cultivation areas is controlled by a rigid system of land tenure and social organization administered by chiefs. Fish may provide a plentiful and stable source of food if the resources available are properly managed. In the seasons when fish are plentiful, surpluses may be dried and stored for the dry seasons. When the water level drops, the banks left dry are used for temporary cultivation. Increasing production in fishing economies must be done with great care because overfishing or disrupting the reproductive cycle of the fish can be disastrous. Thus, respecting critical population densities (population densities approaching the carrying capacity) is essential since efforts to increase production beyond this point may result in significant declines in production. PASTORALISM Pastoralism is not simply a stage in cultural evolution between foraging and farming, as was previously believed (Allan 1965:287). Pastoralism is a highly specialized subsistence strategy associated with specific environmental conditions and social patterns. The degree to which animal husbandry is combined with cultivation can be plotted on a continuum, with nomadic pastoralism at one extreme and mixed farming at the other. In this way pastoral peoples may be designated by the relative number of cattle they own. One definition marks pastoralists as having a cattle-to-people ratio of one-to-one or higher (Schneider 1981:63). Pastoralists are the predominant occupants of Africa's arid and semiarid zones, including the Sahel and savannah regions of East Africa. The ecological conditions in much of these areas are unsuitable for cultivation or sedentarization (Bremaud and Pagot 1968; Horowitz 1979). Both the regular movements of transhumant pastoralists and the irregular movements of nomadic pastoralists are dictated by the need to find water and pasturage, which fluctuate in geographical availability both season

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132 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND ally and annually (Bremaud and Pagot 1968:318). Pastoralists engage in a number of activities to improve the availability of water and pasturage, including digging wells and burning off dry grass. Burnings not only enhance the growth of green grass but reduce scrub and help keep away tsetse and trypanosomiasis (Horowitz 1979:31). Migrations have social and political dimensions as well. The allocation and control of water supplies such as public wells continue to be controversial political issues. Associational ties, including relations among different pastoral groups and between pastoralists and cultivators, are also important in the movements of pastoralists. The specialization and interdependence of cultivators and pastoralists is reinforced by ethnicity, as exemplified by the interactions of Fulani herders and Manga farmers in Niger: "Pastoralism and farming, according to local points of view, are not merely ecological commitments but also cultural ones" (Horowitz 1973: 106). Livestock is the central focus of pastoral life. African pastoralists rely on hearty breeds like Zebu cattle, which are more drought resistant and less susceptible to temperature changes than European varieties (Bremaud and Pagot 1968; see Simpson in this volume). Camels, sheep, and goats are also raised. For added insurance against disease and drought, most Sahelian pastoralists maintain a variety of livestock instead of concentrating on only one species. One problematic feature of African pastoral systems is overstocking. A number of factors contribute to this practice. African pastoralism, like hunting and gathering, is a labor efficient subsistence strategy. Large numbers of valuable (although smaller) cattle can be herded by a few people in a land extensive pastoral system; however, the inputs of water facilities, shelter, fodder, etc. needed to raise larger, fatter cattle would be much more costly and would require a larger labor force. Also contributing to overstocking is the belief that overstocking preserves the health of the herds by eliminating persistent vegetation-harboring ticks, flies, and worms that carry parasitic diseases (Hornby, as cited in Allan 1965292). Finally, cattle are repositories of wealth in pastoral societies, and the well-being of individuals is measured in terms of numbers of cattle (Goldschmidt 1975). So cattle herd sizes are often maximized at the expense of cattle size. Population densities maintained by pastoralists are higher than those of hunter-gatherers and lower than those associated with fishing or cultivation, ranging from about 0.8 people per square kilometer for the Massai to about 2.3 people per square kilometer for the Mukogodo (Allan 1%5:291). Land requirements vary as determined by the number of livestock needed per family and the stock carrying capacity of the grazing or browsing land. Mixed systems of pastoralism and cultivation sustain a somewhat larger population density. Pastoral societies have a marked sexual division of labor, and men usually have a higher social status than women. Women are responsible for milking and for the distribution and selling of milk-their status is determined by the number of cows they milk (Stenning 1959). Men's duties include herding and taking care of the livestock; in fact pastoralism is associated with patrilineal descent (see Cohen in this volume). In many African

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SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES AND SYSTEMS OF LAND USE IN AFRICA 133 societies, patrilineages are related to each other in ascending levels to form a segmentary lineage system (Evans-Pritchard 1940). Although bonded by kinship networks; pastoral societies do not have centralization of political authority, especially regarding the movement and welfare of animals. CULTIVATION Cultivators occupy a diversity of ecological zones, and the crops grown, methods of cultivation, and population densities vary among these zones. African farmers grow a wide variety of crops. Staple crops include cereals such as maize, millet, sorghum, rice, and wheat; roots and tubers such as cassava, yams, cocoyams, sweetpotato, and potato; and rhizomes such as bananas and plantains (see Hiebsch and O'Hair in this volume). The main function of staples is to provide carbohydrates. Traditionally nutritional sufficiency is achieved by supplementing staple consumption with complementary, nonstaple food plants that are valuable sources of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. These plants, sometimes called "relishes," include cultivated and foraged plants. Relishes actively cultivated include legumes such as cowpeas, peanuts, and pidgeonpeas; cucurbits; and okra. The germination and maturation of many wild varieties of relishes, including leafy greens, fruits, roots, and mushrooms, are fostered by patterns of land clearance and plot weeding (Fleuret and Fleuret 1980). A number of factors influence crop selection. The amount of annual rainfall and its seasonal distribution are crucial limiting factors. Farmers in areas with poor rainfall must concentrate on drought-resistant crops such as millet, sorghum, and cassava. When the amount of rainfall changes markedly between seasons, African farmers lacking irrigation and other technological innovations to insure against drought experience profound changes in yields. The high labor inputs needed to grow certain crops such as yams are also important considerations. Soil types and qualities may affect crop selection, and soil degradation has forced farmers in some areas to grow different crops. For example, many Igbo farmers in Nigeria have adopted cassava in place of yams, as a consequence of soil degradation (Okere 1983). Since cassava is a poor source of protein, the resulting dietary change can be nutritionally problematic unless it is incorporated with additional protein supplements. The land requirements of African cultivation systems generally vary in an inverse relationship to the intensity of the labor inputs necessary to maintain them. Intensive systems of permanent cultivation require large amounts of labor inputs and sometimes incorporate technological improvements such as irrigation, traction animals, and manure. The Kikuyu and Nyakyusa hoe cultivators of Kenya and Tanzania, respectively; the Diola in Senegal; and the Sukuma people along Lake Victoria are intensive cultivators. Extensive systems of cultivation, also referred to as "swidden" or "slash and bum" or "shifting" cultivation, require much less labor than do intensive systems and rely on natural processes to maintain the fertil-

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134 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND ity of the soil. "Shifting agriculture is a well-adjusted and ecologically harmonious and stable system that can produce sustained yields without depleting the natural resource base. It does this by minimally interfering with the natural vegetation cover with mixed cropping systems, and thus closely modeling the nutrient cycle of a mature or nearly mature vegetation climax" (Hunter and Ntiri 1978: 193). Extensive systems require large areas of land but are also very reliable, usually providing adequate but scanty yields even in the worst years. In this way they present less risk than intensive systems, which provide better yields only with adequate rainfall and good soils or with costly inputs. William Allan referred to the level of production characterizing African systems as "the normal surplus of subsistence" and emphasized that African subsistence farmers do indeed produce surpluses in good years, but over the long run they only produce enough to maintain themselves (Allan 1965:3848). Population densities for extensive cultivation may vary between 3 and 12 people per square kilometer, although for more intensive systems the population density can be as high as 40 to 150 people per square kilometer (Allan 1965: 123, 173,195). It should be emphasized that systems of cultivation can vary in intensity between extremes of extensive cultivation and intensive cultivation. The degree to which a system is considered extensive or intensive depends on the frequency of the rotation cycles. The R factor, which indicates the percentage of area cultivated at one time in relation to the total cultivable area used in a system, is a good method for classifying systems according to their level of intensity (Ruthenberg 1980:15-16). Social organization among cultivators is as varied as the systems of production. Political power tends to be more consolidated in groups with intensive farming systems, and it serves to facilitate the allocation of land, labor, and other limited resources needed to maintain these larger sedentary populations. Kinship among cultivators is also related to the organization of production. Matrilineal descent predominates among hoe cultivators in Central and Southern Africa (see Cohen in this volume). The Lele of Central Africa, studied by Mary Douglas, are an example of a matrilineal society relying on shifting cultivation (Onwuejeogwu 1975:69). Patrilineal descent in African agricultural societies is associated with cultivation combined with animal husbandry; the relations between patrilineages are reinforced by the institution of bridewealth payments in the form of cattle. The Nyakyusa and Gikuyu in East Africa practice polygyny, a common feature of patrilineal systems. The role of women in African agricultural societies is very important and has unfortunately often been overlooked in past studies. Women provide a majority of the labor in many areas, especially in polygynous societies where women constitute most of the work force (see Spring in this volume). DYNAMISM AND COMPLEXITY Groups relying primarily on one subsistence strategy do not exist in a vacuum but interact with other groups employing different subsistence strategies in ways that

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SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES AND SYSTEMS OF LAND USE IN AFRICA 135 often enhance mutual appropriation of resources. For example, the Fulani pastoralists in Burkina Faso take care of cattle for the Mossi and supply them with manure for cultivation (Hammond 1966). The Mossi, in return, allow the Fulani to keep some of the cattle's offspring and supply the Fulani with grain. Most systems of land usage are complex, employing more than a single subsistence strategy. For example, hoe cultivators usually engage in a significant amount of hunting and gathering; bushmeat is a valuable protein source and plants collected in the bush provide necessary minerals and vitamins. Elizabeth Colson (1979:23) stressed that this kind of adaptive diversity "provides not a maximal return under optimal conditions, but a reasonable return under a wide variation in environmental factors." Systems of land usage are not static but rather represent transformations in strategies, organization, and intensity to provide for the changing needs of populations. This adaptive aspect of systems of land usage was used by Ester Boserup (1965) to explain agricultural growth as a response to increases in population density. Boserup has been optimistic about the ability of developing nations to meet their growing needs through agricultural innovation. Such optimism must be coupled with the caution that many innovations are deleterious over the long run. In order to predict whether or not technological inputs will ultimately have a positive impact, indigenous socioeconomic systems must be studied as they have evolved and as they interact in their ecological contexts. NOTES 1. George P. Murdock, in "Ethnographic Atlas: A Summary," Ethnology VI (April 1967), classified 239 of the 862 societies in the atlas as being in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the study cited, Vaughan included Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, and certain Muslim societies located south of the Sahara that Murdock did not classify as "Sub-Saharan Africa" (Vaughan 1977:23). SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Allan, William. 1965. TheAffican Husbandman. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. Evans-Pritchard, E. E. 1940. The Nuer. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hammond, Peter B. 1966. Yatenga. New York: The Free Press. Horowitz, Michael M. 1979. The Sociology of Pastoralism andAfrican Livestock Projects. A.I.D. Program Evaluation Paper No. 6. Washington, D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. Lee, Richard. 1979. The !Kung Sun. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ruthenberg, Hans. 1976. Farming Systems in the Tropics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 'hrnbull, Colin. 1961. The Forest People. New York: Simon & Schuster.

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Traditional Social Formations RONALD COHEN T he first version of this article was written more than fifteen years ago for a three-volume set of readings, course materials, and bibliography that introduced Americans to The African Experience (Paden and Soja 1970). Much has changed in Africa, in America, and in anthropology since then, and the present essay addresses a multidisciplinary audience concerned about the problems of food in Africa. For people interested in African development it is important to obtain some understanding of traditional sociopolitical structures, i.e., those ways of feeling, believing, and behaving that have evolved in African societies. Accordingly, this chapter focuses on descriptive categories that distinguish Sub-Saharan African social formations from those in Western societies. African societies in the 1980s are complex and include many untraditional features, including some borrowed from Western societies, but traditional categories continue to be useful in understanding continuity and change in contemporary Africa. For Africa, the term "traditional" refers to that quality of African social life for which contact with the Western world was not a significant part of the lives of the majority of the population. The concept of tradition thus refers to social life in which the direction of change and development in society is primarily determined by indigenous events and patterns of behavior. The concept of tradition may also refer to a condition in which neither leaders nor the masses are dedicated to the goal of changing the nature of their society. Such rapid and planned change is a primary focus of national ideology in modem Africa and is promoted actively by the state. In summary, traditionalism reflects a genuinely indigenous quality in each society and culture whose social and cultural institutions are rooted in its own adaptations to its own patterns of growth. This does not suggest that either mode, the traditional or the modem, is necessarily more valuable. Each has its own value in its own context. The Africans themselves and the conditions of their lives ultimately determine the mix of traditional and modern elements included in the development of their societies.

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 137 THE INDIVIDUAL IN TRADITIONAL AFRICAN SOCIETY Like all individuals, an individual African operates within a social system. The prevailing common feature in the African social tradition is the primary value that is placed on social relations regardless of the particular form of organization of the society itself. This strong bias in traditional cultural values and personal attitudes to life implies a greater overlap of "we" and "me" than occurs in contemporary Western societies. Experience teaches Africans that group membership is necessary for marriage, for political membership in a community, and for obtaining a livelihood. Corporate kin responsibility is widespread throughout Africa, and the social security of kin membership has often been noted. Examples of kin responsibility are found in the treatment of those accused of crimes or moral offenses against neighbors. In patrilineal northern Nigeria an accused man must appear in court with his brothers, father, and perhaps his father's brothers and father's father. If the man is fined by the court, then all people related to him through the male line, both men and women, are responsible for payment. In matrilineal northwestern Zambia, accused men are accompanied to court by their brothers, sisters, mothers, and mothers' brothers and sisters. The appearance of family shows support, in fact all those related to an accused man through the female line are responsible with him to pay any fine. Social advance in rank usually involves obtaining and maintaining an increasing number of social relationships. Also, an increase in the number of social relationships traditionally follows greater income or wealth. Although increased wealth may be spent on new consumer goods in modern Africa, in traditional Africa greater income or wealth requires a concurrent increase in the number of dependents, which results in more prestige and feelings of achievement for the individual concerned. Within the sphere of traditional values, prescriptions clearly focus on interpersonal relations (Read 1959; Cohen 1967). Nigerian parents admonish their children constantly about norms (rules for behavior) to be learned concerning interaction with people. These are not abstract standards such as "honesty is the best policy." The Kanuri of Borno, Nigeria, say to their children "you must treat so-and-so in such-and-such a way" or "remember to take your shoes off when you pass in front of the chief's house" or "your religious teacher surpasses your father [in fatherly qualities] ." Literally dozens of specific prescriptions about interpersonal behavior are drilled into children at a very early age. The cultural contrast between traditional African values and those of Europe and the United States is dramatized by African writers and novelists. In William Conton's novel The African, the hero rages against "the European's exaggerated individualism, his constant exalting of the single human being, at the polls, in the classroom, and in the sight of God" (Fisher 1961). To suggest that Western life is antithetical to African life in terms of social relationships is misleading. However, the tradition in Western cultures that leads us to admire individuals who sacrifice

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138 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND social relationships for ideals when necessary is in sharp contrast to African cultures in which the value of social relations is considered to be the most important guide for individuals. In contemporary Western societies the solitary hero is admired as one who acts in accordance with ideal standards of values rather than submitting to social pressures. On our television screens the cowboy combats evil in society and then rides off alone into the sunset. The viewer feels that the moral purity and Samson-like strength of the hero are revitalized in his solitary communion. Popular entertainment thus dramatizes an ideal of individualism which, in the life of the more average person, is eroded and corrupted by social and economic necessities of daily existence. Africans, conversely, feel that only through social life may the highest ideals of morality be realized. Among the Kanuri of Nigeria, for instance, the man who lives alone is called ngudi ("unfortunate"). He is not to be trusted because his lack of social ties indicates that he may not be bound by the moral precepts of his own society. Traditional identities still represent strong personal loyalties. Therefore, in spite of the many decisions affecting a person's life in modern Africa that are made by bureaucracies, very strong social forces operate to maintain and even strengthen older identities. Traditional links with people in bureaucracies are used to obtain access to scarce resources such as scholarships, trade licenses, jobs, or government contracts. Opposing this tradition today are government attempts to create equal rights for all citizens, the impersonality of modem urban life, and the contractual nature of modem employment. Kinship in Traditional Africa Every individual born into an African society is a member of a local residence group and kinship system. In some cases these are the only organizations in the society, but in other cases these are the smallest scale social units that become embedded in larger organizations. In all cases, kinship involves three categories of interpersonal relations: genealogy, descent, and marriage. Genealogy and Descent Genealogy refers to relationships between an individual ("ego" in kinship terminology) and those persons related through a network of biologically traceable links. Relationships formed by genealogical links are less important to the social system than relationships formed by descent or marriage. Descent is an aspect of kinship that refers to the way in which loyalties, obligations, rights, and duties are passed on to succeeding generations. From the point of view of ego, descent refers to patterns of rights and obligations of new members born into a family with respect to other members of the family. Descent has a variable capacity to create groups that may act corporately. Descent groups are behaving corporately when

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 139 they hold property in common and act as political units, marriage units, and even economic units. The degree of corporateness is generally high for unilineal descent groups but low or absent for bilateral, or cognatic (the more commonly used term), descent groups. In bilateral descent groups, ego reckons descent through both biological parents and all four grandparents; in unilineal descent groups, ego reckons through only one parent, rendering corporate activity easier than in bilateral descent groups. In Africa there are three types of unilineal descent: patrilineal, or agnatic, which reckons through males only; matrilineal, or uterine, which reckons through females only; and duolineal, sometimes called double unilineal or bilineal. Duolineal descent describes a situation in which ego is a member of two unilineal descent groups. The difference between bilateral and duolineal is that in bilateral groups ego is related by descent to four grandparents, but in duolineal groups ego is related by descent to only two grandparents, the mother's mother and the father's father. One study estimated that the dominant descent principle is unilineal for 85 percent of African societies and cognatic for 15 percent of them.'Three quarters of the unilineal descent groups are patrilineal. Most of the remaining one quarter are traditionally matrilineal, and a small number of groups, almost all in West Africa, have duolineal systems. Why these regularities of patrilineal and matrilineal descent exist on a continent as large and as diverse as Africa is an important question, but one for which there is yet no clear answer. Unilineal descent groups are widely used for organizing corporate activities and social life. The adaptability of these groups is enormous, sewing multiple functions across a wide spectrum of activities, and the means for their continuity are simple and universal-marriage and birth. Matrilineal descent is associated with hoe agriculture, and there is a so-called matrilineal belt running from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean across southcentral Africa. Any tendencies to move away from a reliance on hoe cultivation seem to provoke tendencies to move away from matrilineal descent. The correlation between nomadic pastoralism and patrilineal descent is one of the oldest and best established in anthropology (Hobhouse et al. 1915: 150-154). In the usual sexual division of labor, men care for herds of animals, and herds are easily and efficiently maintained as a corporate holding among a group of persons related through the male line (agnates) who live off the herd. Animals may be exchanged in connection with marriage alliances or sold to defray the direct costs of a marriage celebration, thereby making possible the recruitment of wives who continue the group through childbearing. Division of descent groups into "nesting" or segmentary units seems to be a function of population mobility, within a geographic context. The less an African group has remained in settled stable villages using the locality itself (residence groups) as a basis for social organization, the greater the tendency for individuals in the group to unite on the basis of actual descent (lineages) or putative descent

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140 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND (clans). In a mobile population such as the northern Somali, several million people may be linked into one overall patrilineal descent system. In agricultural terms, the social relations defined by an individual's descent group determine the individual's rights to use and to inherit farmlands and livestock as well as access to special resources such as bottom lands, other specially fertile lands, fishing and hunting rights, irrigation, wells, and tools. Although in both patrilineal and matrilineal systems women may inherit as well as men, in a patrilineal system inheritance tends to pass from a man to his sons, and in a matrilineal system inheritance tends to pass from a man to his sister's sons. Marriage The third category of kinship (after genealogy and descent) is relationship by marriage. Although there is a bewildering number of different marriage forms in Africa, some patterns predominate. Marriage inception almost always entails some form of material consideration or value provided by the groom and his group of kin, friends, and supporters to the bride and her group. George Peter Murdock (1959) estimated that compensation is provided in almost 90 percent of African societies: 80 percent is in the form of bridewealth payments and 10 percent is in bride-service arrangements. Bride-service means that the groom works for the bride's family for a pqriod of time. For only one percent of the societies sampled is marriage inception accompanied by a payment (dowry) from the bride's group. A woman is traditionally considered to be of value to the prospective groom and his group, and to obtain such value some compensation must be made to the group surrendering the woman. Her value lies partly in her fecundity as a childbearer and partly in her contributions to the work force of the group she joins through marriage. Marriage inception patterns in Africa differ for primary and secondary marriages. Primary marriages are first marriages for one or both partners; secondary marriages are subsequent unions. Generally in Africa women marry at an earlier age than men do; sometimes women marry before puberty. The later the individual's age at primary marriage, the less stringent are the rules of premarital chastity. Secondary marriages are less formal and less expensive than primary ones. Parties (men and women) to secondary marriages have more freedom to arrange the union independently than do parties to primary marriages. (The degree of increased freedom allowed depends also on age and social status.) Both single spouse marriages (monogamy) and plural marriages (polygamy) are found in Africa. Polygamy may be subdivided into polygyny, in which a man has more than one wife, and polyandry, in which a woman has more than one husband. Polygyny is rather common traditionally in Africa, but polyandry is rare. Although common, polygynous societies in Africa do not practice the custom uniformly: in some of these societies only a minority of people actually live in polygynous families, but in others well over half of all marriages are polygynous at any given time.

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 14 1 Family Life Family life in Africa may be classified into two types: (1) families that include only one married generation with their children (nuclear families)-these comprise 56 percent of our sample of African societies; (2) variant forms of extended, often polygynous families in which marriage units from two or more adjacent generations, linked by descent ties, live together as a family-these comprise 44 percent of our sample. Family cohesion is related to the corporate quality of descent groups, which is expressed in kinship terms that sometimes confuse Westerners. Western bilateral kinship traditionally gives ego only one mother and one father, biologically and socially, and only the other children of that mother and father are addressed or referred to as brothers and sisters. African kinship terms often merge people of the same descent group and generation, for example the mother and her sisters may be referred to using the same "mother" term, and the father and his brothers by the same "father" term. In a patrilineal society all of the children of the "fathers" may be termed "brothers" and "sisters" to each other; the same is true for the children of the "mothers" in a matrilineal society. The sibling relationship is used to refer to people who Westerners would just as ambiguously refer to as cousins because they share no biological parents. Thus, there are varying degrees of proximity among persons who use sibling terms. Proximity may be expressed through the use of genealogical linkages, for example, people sharing the same father and mother, or the same father but different mothers, or fathers having the same father. In widely ramifying descent systems, sibling terms may be used for people sharing the same clan. At the level of the nuclear family, the distinction between full and half siblings is important at the death of a parent: full siblings still share a parent, but half siblings may have lost the parent who united them. The tendency for half siblings to break up at this point and go their own ways is a function of this genealogical difference between them. Marital unions are more or less stable depending upon descent type, ruralurban residence, socioeconomic status of the husband, fertility of the wife, and the degree to which the wife is absorbed into her husband's group. Rural marriages are more stable than urban ones; marriages with low status husbands, more stable than those with high status husbands; fertile marriages, more stable than infertile ones; and marriages in which wives are highly absorbed into husbands' groups, more stable than those in which wives are not highly absorbed. Patrilineal descent is associated with a more stable family life than is matrilineal descent; bilateral descent is associated with both high and low stability. In general, traditional African marriages are less stable than Western marriages, even though there are celebrated cases such as the Nuer of Sudan and the Zulu of South Africa among whom divorce is rare or nonexi~tent.~ The great majority of marriages are patrilocal, or virilocal, which means that the wife moves to live with her husband, who may be living with a group of his agnates. In patrilocal societies with high divorce rates, many children lose house

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142 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND hold contact with their mothers. At divorce, the mother leaves the husband's house generally taking only unweaned children, who may have to be returned to their father's house when weaned. Children whose parents divorce in these societies must adjust to living with their mother's former co-wives or with subsequent wives of their father who become senior females in the household. The relationship of co-wives is a difficult and tenuous one at best. Given widespread polygyny, the probability that a traditional marriage may involve co-wives is fairly high. Relations with the shared husband are defined by rules that protect what might be called a right of equal treatment, or as nearly equal as possible. The inequality of the man to woman ratio in such a marriage creates scarcity (access to the husband) and competition among wives. Such tensions are carefully controlled by rules. Among the Kanuri of Nigeria, a man must take nightly turns with each wife in his sleeping hut or room, whether he has sexual relations with her or not. To avoid such a responsibility is tantamount to open conflict. A very widespread variant of the equal treatment rule is the situation of the senior wife, the first women married by the husband. She has special privileges and is regarded as the senior female authority in the household of her husband. Usually such authority continues down the marriage order; thus marriage order itself is the basis of a status hierarchy among the women. Varying degrees of sexual attractiveness, domestic skills, fertility, the importance of a particular wife's own descent group, and other qualities of the wives tend to influence the ordering and create jealousies and tension among co-wives. The Household The most impressive change in our understanding of African societies is the shift in emphasis by researchers away from descent groups and toward the domestic group or household (Guyer 1981). Although it is difficult or even impossible to know how African societies work without considering kinship arrangements, the central element today in the analysis of consumption, production, interpersonal relations, and personal success and failure is the household. Most farm-level studies use this working definition of household: the social grouping that eats together and works together most of the time. Households produce, buy, and sell food, and household members usually plan and decide as a unit how food will be distributed, stored, and sold (see McMillan in this volume). Because of the changes associated with individual life cycles, households are structurally dynamic. Meyer Fortes (1958) noted three phases in the household group cycle. First, an expansionist phase occurs from the inception of marriages through the births of children, this phase being limited by the duration of the wife's fertility. Second, a fissioning phase occurs as children mature and move or marry out. Finally, a replacement phase occurs as the second generation assumes the roles of the parental generation. High divorce rates mean that marriages are unstable, but households continue

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 143 whether they lose or gain members. Households expand and contract due to births, marriages, deaths, and the gain or loss of servile members; they are much more enduring than marriages. As a result of unstable married life, the subsidiary unit, or the household, emerges from the broader descent group to serve as the primary unit of property ownership, the center of production and consumption relationships, and the smallest organized unit of the community. The traditional ideal in Africa is a large, usually patrilocal extended family household with as much polygyny as economically possible. Starting with a husband and wife, the unit grows by adding wives and children, having the sons bring in their wives, and adding the children of the sons and their wives, etc., until often four generations live together in a large compound. Complex roles of conduct govern relations in such large units; life may be smooth and rewarding for those living in such arrangements that are well managed and cooperative. Traditionally, it is not uncommon for the unit to break up after the death of the compound household head. Some members then start their separate households, quite near each other if housing, farmlands, and good relations allow. In most areas, a wife moves to the husband's household at the time of marriage; so households lose daughters, as they grow up and move away, but gain unrelated women as new wives. At the death of a husband, especially in strongly patrilineal groups, the wife or wives often remain as members of the household, becoming wives to other males of their deceased husband's lineage, thus keeping intact the marital ties between lineages. This practice whereby brothers inherit wives of dead brothers is known as the levirate. Power, success, labor, and status stem traditionally from large successful households. It is pot surprising, therefore, that kinship is not the only means of adding members. African households often increase their size by adding foster children, apprentices, servants, debt servitude workers, and runaway in-laws who seek refuge among those whom their sisters married. Previously, slavery was another means of expanding households (Miers and Kopytoff 1977). In West Africa, it is not uncommon to find successful men heading households of forty or fifty people. Households as agricultural production units are systems of jointly cultivated, dispersed farm plots under the direction and ownership of the household head. Adult men and women in a household may also cultivate a few farm plots on their own in addition to those directed by the household head. Land acquisition and ownership is a complex and changing mixture of communal and individual rights that requires a full chapter on its own (see McMillan in this volume). Most men, and often women as well, also work at occupations other than farming. This off-farm work is important to households because growing seasons are not year-round. Household members may do the same off-farm work or have different jobs. Thus, households are complex economic units with a flexible capacity for autonomous economic activity by each adult member. The degree to which the unit acts cohesively is a function of the relative ages of its members, how well they get along together, the managerial skills of the household head, and the autonomy strivings of the junior members.

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144 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND Surveys of households in many parts of West Africa indicate that household heads may have different goals than other members (Ancey 1975). Heads want to run self-sufficient production and consumption units. They want annual and interannual security in economic and political matters and the corresponding prestige, leisure time, and social cohesiveness of the household. They want to be able to meet their social obligations, and they consider land access and ownership and political/administrative obligations to be important and linked. On the other hand, other household members may see off-farm income and marketed cash cropping and autonomy as their most important goals. Two important and controversial trends are emerging to change traditional patterns. One is that the large extended family compound still exists in Africa, but there is a measurable trend away from it and towards nuclear or polygynous families. Recent researchers have found that up to 50 percent of rural households are nucleated, i.e., made up of two-generation families restricted to parents and children (Norman et al. 1981), although older data showed that about 33 percent of all households were nucleated (Smith 1955). There are grounds for hypothesizing that with increased mechanization, paid labor, and commercialization the tendency to nucleate households will accelerate (Cohen 1984). The second trend is toward increasing reliance on paid\abor. The number of people living as servile, nonkin members of households has been declining slowly since slavery ended at the beginning of this century. Other forms of servility are costly because the people must be clothed, fed, and housed. The use of paid labor, on farms especially, has been growing for both rich and poor households throughout Africa, and this trend makes it less necessary to keep a large household as a labor force (see Lennihan 1983). Labor is an important resource for more productive agriculture, and hired labor used at the right time in planting and land preparation may produce up to one-third more crop (Cohen 1984; Bemal 1985). Rural schooling for children decreases their farm work contribution, thereby increasing the need for hired labor. In sum, African households have traditionally been the center of production and consumption and are the principal units of property rights and the basis for farming. They vary in size depending on individual and marital cycles and the power and success of the manager of the compound group. Changes today are toward smaller households and the use of paid labor instead of kin and dependent servile members for labor purposes. Wider Scale Social Organization Community patterning refers to the forms of organizations in which localized groups of people, in households and kin groups,,interact with one another. Such units may be based on specific, fixed geographic arkas or on larger, sometimes shifting systems of alliances founded on marriage or descent or both. Among the settled villages of West Africa, marriage and descent lines might not correspond;

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 145 geographic boundaries between these villages are well known, although they may change over time due to ecological, political, or economic conditions of the specific locality. On the other hand, community boundaries among the Tonga of Zambia can be defined as (1) neighborhoods, localized areas in which people have rights to use land, and (2) vicinages, wider groupings that include several neighborhoods and are defined as areas in which intermarriage between groups takes place (Colson 1970). All people outside of the vicinage are considered aliens, and among aliens the non-Tonga speakers are foreigners. Because vicinage is defined by affinal ties, it is a shifting set of alliances rather than a fixed one. Community boundaries in such cases cannot be said to be fixed. They are stable at any one time, but vary with the interaction (marriage) patterns of community members. Another criterion for characterizing community organization in Africa is the mobility-stability continuum. Murdock (1959) developed a series of eight categories along a continuum. At one end of the scale are fully migratory or nomadic bands. Next are seminomadic communities whose members wander in small bands for at least half the year but occupy a fixed settlement at other times. Third are communities that shift as a whole from one fixed settlement to another, as in cases of floodplain living, or cases in which a majority is nomadic during part of the year while a remnant group stays behind to occupy the settlement. Fourth are communities with compact, but impermhnent settlements that shift every few years, usually because of soil depletion. Fifth, increased locational stability is found in communities made up of dispersed neighborhoods, family homesteads, or households. Sixth are communities composed of separate small families in which several separated units are perceived locally as a single community. Seventh, more stable communities are those made of compact and relatively permanent settlements, not much different in structure and functions from one another. Finally, the most stable are complex communities in which a local village, town, or even city is surrounded by satellite outgrowths, hamlets, and households. These categories do not account for the sometimes temporary, sometimes permanent, relocation of people fleeing drought.or war, as in the Sahel and Horn of Africa in the 1970s and 1980s; nor do they account for the forced relocation in new territory of formerly stable groups subjected to the expansionist pressures of neighboring peoples. Thus there is another form of mobility characterizing such groups as the Tiv of Nigeria and the Nuer of Sudan. African governments have also engaged in planned resettlement to achieve a variety of humanitarian, development, and political goals. Planned resettlement projects include the forced relocation of refugees from wars and civil disorders and of other peoples who have lost their homes due to the damming of rivers, infestation with tsetse, drought, and famine (Hansen and Oliver-Smith 1982). POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN TRADITIONAL AFRICA The ways in which African communities are organized politically reflect ecologi

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146 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND cal, historical, and political factors in the society at large. A traditionally separate political sector does not always exist, and there is widespread lack of differentiation among functions in a majority of traditional African societies. Constituted authority not only serves strictly political functions, but is often responsible for a wide variety of economic, social, and religious activities. Although many of these community responsibilities have been diminished, even severely curtailed with the incorporation of local groups into modem nation-states, the traditional authorities continue to be important in most areas whether they are officially recognized or not. Traditional polities, or independent political units before incorporation into colonial states, may be divided into two types: centralized and noncentralized (locally autonomous). Although there are varieties of political systems that seem to hover between these two basic types, the distinction is nonetheless useful and applies to a large majority of traditional African authority systems. Noncentralized Societies The least complex level of polity is hunting and gathering bands that may include twenty to fifty people each. Heads of constituent household units confer on decisions and resolve conflicts within the band (see McGee in this volume). Unresolved conflicts may lead to band fission, although such an outcome is generally considered to be injurious to all concerned because the resource base must then be divided. There may or may not be a headman; if there is, his power is limited. Noncentralized agriculturally based polities have more problems than hunting bands over continuity of membership, rights to property, and prerogatives of office. As groups settle down into more or less permanent villages, however, the locality itself, rather than descent groups, tends to serve as the organizing basis for community relations. The more sedentary of locally autonomous societies commonly subdivide (fission) and use village subgroups as jural communities or polities. Once formed, these subgroups tend to become autonomous with regard to one another, although links among such units continue and vary with descent, trade, marriage, and political alliances for defense, and aggressive attacks on others. Descent groups, in differing ways, form the core around which communities develop, as indicated over and over again in the anthropological literature on Africa. For example, when patrilineal descent and patrilocal residence practices come together, as they often do in Africa, then a core settlement of agnates starts to grow. Each adult man may head his own household, while linked as well to his agnates in surrounding houses. The senior male of the core heads the organization and represents it, either to other settlements or to neighboring wards of a village or town. In-marrying women provide and represent affinal links to other lineage groups nearby, as do out-marrying women of the descent group. Later arrivals include noncore members who agree to recognize the leadership of the headman.

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 147 Older, respected members of each lineage or of a large successful household often form a group of "elders" who meet and talk over village affairs. Major decisions, dispute settlements, and even marriage choices may come under their authority. Crosscutting such lineage links, especially in eastern and southern Africa, are age-set organizations. These organizations generally unite all members of a community within specified age brackets. Such age groupings may provide specific services to the community. For example, those in older age groups act as leaders, authorities, and decisionmakers, and in the past, young men invariably assumed military roles, which in some cases involved enforced bachelorhood. A somewhat different crosscutting function is served by the widespread use of initiation rites and secret society memberships. Such initiations among locally autonomous sedentary peoples of Africa unite young boys within a community and often within several neighboring communities. Boys are removed from their families, tutored in sacred lore of the adult male societies, then reborn into their communities as beginning adults. The secret societies of initiated men enforce community norms, punish immoral or criminal behavior, and reinforce traditions of male dominance by fusing it with the power of supernatural entities who support community rules and authority-all dramatic means of social control. Centralized State Systems Chieftaincies and centralized states were found in many areas of precolonial Africa. The political structure, organization, and functions of these societies were dramatically changed by colonialism and later by integration into modem nationstates. Although they are no longer independent political units-all are now incorporated into or fragmented by the present nation-states-they represent an important category of traditional political organization and merit discussion. Community patterning of precolonial states and chieftaincies was similar in most cases to that discussed for localized autonomous societies, with some important differences. Recruitment to office was through traditional lineage or clan organizations, and the jural community was enlarged in scale beyond that of the local settlement or clan group. Disputes were settled at various levels in an authoritative hierarchy: from local household heads to village heads to the chiefly offices beyond the village. Chiefs very often fulfilled functions in addition to that of conflict resolution; they were generally religious leaders, and as military commanders they united their peoples against outsiders. These traditional African states varied in the degree to which they were able to maintain centralized control over their constituent parts (Vansina 1962:324-325). Generally these states were multiethnic polities that maintained some form of central bureaucratic organization surrounding a monarchy with dynastic qualities. Problems existed ubiquitously in relations between the central government and its constituent local settlements, in relations between the kingdom and surrounding peoples, and in the methods used to recruit personnel into the political system. The

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148 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND last problem was the major determinant of centralized power, which varied with the hereditary rights to office of subordinates in the state. When these rights were not clearly hereditary, or when slaves or eunuchs were used in positions of authority, the state was more centralized in the monarchy. When rights to power positions were more stringently hereditary, authority was more decentralized, and the monarch and kingdom were weaker. Centralized political authority solved problems of organization that arose when local groups coordinated control of their external relations with surrounding groups. Some of these problems were isolated. First, difficulties resulted from the increasing cultural heterogeneity within a polity as it absorbed groups from outside. Associated with this issue were problems of social stratification among the various groups within the society. Second, there were problems when a group moved into a new territory and subordinated the local population. In this case the leaders could have established a dynasty. Third, there were problems when groups surrounding a centralized state were stimulated to emulate it for reasons of power, prestige, and defense. Fourth, there were problems when locally autonomous groups attached themselves to nearby ritual leaders in order to share in the blessings of supernatural powers. Fifth, new states could have been formed when vassal or tributary states became independent, or when integral parts of older states broke away under the leadership of dissident factions, royal usurpers, or rebellious nobles. The Concepts of 'hibe and Ethnic Group A final aspect of traditional African society is of great importance and is extremely difficult to capture in any definitive sense. This is the concept of a whole society. Dubbed "tribe" in the past, this concept has given birth to contemporary ideas of tribalism and detribalization-usually urbanization and the loss of identity in the modem situation. Yet, as noted in this chapter, traditional African political patterns do not necessarily correspond to cultural or ethnic groupings. In addition, in Africa and elsewhere, political and cultural or ethnic identities have been forming, reforming, and disappearing for literally thousands of years. Race and language are not clearly bounded within Africa's so-called ethnic entities. Vast numbers of Africans, perhaps most Africans, are multilingual, so language differences are not necessarily barriers between groups. Descent groups; language groups; religious groups; residential units such as towns, cities, local regions, and subregions; and even occupation, especially with respect to pariah activities such as blacksmithing, serve to give identity and a quality similar to ethnicity to segments of populations that subdivide so-called tribes and may even cut across several widely recognized ethnic groups. Then what is an African tribe? The simple answer often used by former colonial officials, journalists, and political parties in contemporary Africa is that tribe refers to named groups possessing a common identity and a recognized cultural

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TRADITIONAL SOCIAL FORMATIONS 149 distinctiveness that form politically significant divisions in a nation. It often goes unnoticed that so-called tribes may have great internal variations, even named subgroups. Moreover, people define their own groups, even though the identity and composition of groups change through time (Fried 1968) due to complex reasons (Cohen and Middleton 1970). An important point, seldom mentioned by the nonspecialist, is that a tribe is never an immutable entity. On the contrary, it is exactly the opposite. To be understood at all, the tribe must be seen as an adaptive identity that changes in relation to internal and external forces. Once this point is clear, it becomes nonsense to speak of reverting to tribalism or ancient tribal rivalries. Partly to emphasize the changing nature of tribe, and partly to allow more comparatively useful and acceptable units, social scientists in Africa and beyond are increasingly using the term "ethnic group" to refer to recognized culturally distinct groups that are significant units within modern nation-states. Processes of ethnic change and development and the relation of these ethnic groups to the nation-state are important foci for research in Africa today, as they are elsewhere in both the more-developed and lessdeveloped countries of the world. CONCLUSION To name something does not necessarily mean to know it. In Africa there are clusters and categories of peoples who have some traditional similarities with one another. Whether these clusters represent any real units in the past or in the present is a matter for research rather than speculation. Social formations are not fixed. They evolve out of fundamental human needs and environments that are shared by groups of people. All peoples want a good life for themselves, their families, and communities. The potentialities of local environments and the traditional cultures used to survive in them have influenced not only the development and differentiation of African peoples, but also their capacity to adapt to a changing world. Traditional Africa is not an exotic jigsaw puzzle of tribal groupings. Rather, it represents an important range of living options in our common human attempt to solve the universal problems of human existence. NOTES This chapter is a shorter, revised version of an essay by the author entitled "Traditional Society in Africa," in The African Experience: Volume I: Essays, ed. John N. Paden and Edward W. Soja (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970), pp. 37-60. Used by permission of the publisher. 1. The quantitative data for the generalizations in this paper were obtained through the facilities of the African Data Bank, Council for Intersocietal Studies, Northwestern University. Sampling ranged in size from fifty-five to ninety-two and represented all areas of the continent. The author wishes to express gratitude to the program for permission to use

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150 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND these materials and to Dr. Joseph Kaufert for helping with this segment of the work. 2. This statement implies comparison with countries such as the United States, where divorce rates in the 1960s reached 25 percent, i.e., 25 percent of all marriages ended in divorce. I define a high divorce society as one in which there is a greater than 50 percent chance that any union entered into will end in divorce, i.e., there is a greater chance for divorce than for nondivorce termination. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Cohen, Ronald, and John Middleton, eds. 19701 From Tribe to Nation in Africa. San Francisco: Chandler. Gibbs, James L., Jr., ed. 1965. Peoples ofAfrica. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Guyer, Jane. 1981. Household and Community in African Studies. African Studies Review 24247-138. Hart, Keith. 1982. The Political Economy of West African Agriculture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hyden, G. 1980. Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania. Berkeley: University of California Press. Norman, David, et al. 1982. Farming Systems in the Nigerian Savanna. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Murdock, George Peter. 1959. Africa: Its Peoples and Their Culture History. New York: McGraw Hill Book Co. Onwuejeogwu, M. Angulu. 1975. The SocialAnthropology ofAfrica. London: Heinemann.

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Agriculture, Food, and the Colonial Period R. HUNT DAVIS, JR. T he colonial period, dating from the 1880s to the 1960s, had a decisive impact on the course of kfrican history. During this time, Britain and France governed most of the continent, joined by Belgium, Portugal, and Spain as rulers over smaller pieces of territory. Germany and Italy also possessed colonies in Africa, but Germany lost its colonies after World War I, and Italy forfeited its possessions as a result of World War 11. South Africa, in effect an independent country after 1910, also exercised colonial control over South West Africa (Namibia). Only Liberia retained its sovereignty throughout the colonial era, and this was largely due to its position as part of the "informal" empire of the United States. Colonialism meant more than just foreign rulers. In addition to the loss of political control, Africans also lost much of the economic control over their lives. Furthermore, colonial rule came at a time when the world itself was beginning a great change, as the interlocked forces of the industrial and social revolutions and the new imperialism of the late nineteenth century produced basic structural transformations. Coinciding with the colonial period was the birth of a new period of world history-contemporary history-which was separated by a real gulf from the preceding period of "modern" history. Geoffrey Barraclough (1967:9) noted, "We live today in a world different, in almost all its basic preconditions, from the world in which Bismarck lived and died." European colonial rule over Africa and much of Asia was one of the many forces that were to shape the outlines of contemporary history. For Africans, therefore, the colonial period came at a critical juncture-not only was there alien rule, but it was also a time of basic structural, social, economic, and political change for Africa and for the world as a whole. Decisive though the colonial period was, assessing its impact on agriculture and other aspects of African life remains a matter of debate among historians (Davis 1973). Central to this debate is the question of whether the colonial or the precolonial period was the more crucial in shaping independent Africa. One interpretation stresses the centrality of the colonial period for understanding the most

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152 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND recent era. Variations of this approach can either stress the positive aspects of colonialism-its contribution to the integration of Africa into the modem world through such developments as the introduction of Western education and medicine; the building of roads, railways, and ports; and the establishment of modem forms of government--or its negative aspects-the alienation of African land, the exploitation of African labor, the general disruption of the fabric of African life, and so forth. Whether the emphasis is on the positive or the negative aspects, however, the conclusion remains the same: the colonial period represented a decisive break with Africa's past. A counterargument to the first interpretation is that the colonial period must be viewed in the context of African history as a whole. The colonial period has an obvious importance for the present, but no more so than any of the other periods in African history. The colonial period introduced new factors, but the ecology, economic factors unrelated to Europe, quality of leadership, and political problems and opportunities that affected the precolonial past were and continue to be significant. Indeed, some scholars such as Crowder (1968) argued that colonial rule had little impact on the lives of ordinary Africans. Historians who hold this perspective thus assert that 'African development has run in an unbroken line from its most distant origins until the present" (Davidson 1969:3). The third interpretation, which became prominent in the 1970s, is that of the dependency school. Basically, it consists of those disillusioned with independent Africa's seeming inability to develop itself. Taking their cue from the dependency theorists of Latin America, historians of this persuasion have written in terms of the "development of underdevelopment," producing works such as Walter Rodney's How Europe UnderdevelopedAfrica (1972). The colonial period thus can be seen as the final and most important stage in making Africa an economic appendage of the West. As noted above, the three divergent interpretations all revolve around one central question: Which aspects of the African past best explain the African present? This question is also the principal concern of this chapter. How far must we go into Africa's past to understand the roots of current food problems? Clearly, developments during the colonial period made a significant contribution. In one of the classic statements of the current food crisis, Carl Eicher noted that the crisis stems from a seamless web of political, technical and structural constraints which are a product of colonial surplus extraction strategies, misguided development plans and priorities of African states since independence, and faulty advice from many expatriate planning advisers. These complex, deep-rooted constraints can only be understood in historical perspective (Eicher 1982: 157). Yet there were also agricultural and other developments prior to the colonial period that led in part to colonial strategies for the production and extraction of surpluses; events since independence have a contributory role as well. Therefore, although a discussion of agriculture and food during the colonial period forms the heart of this chapter, it is also necessary to consider briefly developments both before and following that era.

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 153 EARLY AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA Agriculture in Africa resulted from a process that was evolutionary in nature, spanning a lengthy period of time for each of the domesticated crops or complex of crops rather than stemming from a series of specific events. Local circumstances determined the pace at which different populations changed from food gathering to food production. In general, compelling reasons growing out of stresses on existing food systems were necessary to cause people to adopt stock keeping or cultivation or both. The diversity of crops, techniques, and traditions also suggest that farming emerged at various times in divergent areas of the continent, rather than from a single center of diffusion or a nuclear area for the development of plant domestication. Thus, from its inception food production in Africa involved the initiative of farmers in terms of adopting innovations when these changes became manifestly advantageous. When did Africans first begin to farm? This question is asked frequently, as Thurstan Shaw conceded by noting: "In the present state of our knowledge any consideration of the beginning and development of agriculture in Africa must largely be a survey of our ignorance and a reasoned essay in speculation" (Shaw 1976: 107). The archeological evidence indicates that wheat and barley entered Egypt from Asia not later than the sixth millennium B.C. It is likely, though, that the sites of earlier cultivators lie beneath the silt of the Nile delta. Archeological evidence also suggests that millets and wheat were grown in the central Sahara perhaps as early as 6100 B.C. and millets were grown in Mauretania at DharTichitt by the middle of the second millennium B.C. In southeastern Africa, domesticated millets appeared before the end of the first millennium A.D. The archeological evidence, however, cannot answer the question of whether domesticated millets were in use in Sub-Saharan Africa for five hundred or five thousand years before that date (Shaw 1976). Regardless of when food production took hold in various parts of Africa, it is clear that farming was well established throughout the bulk of the continent by the time the American crops-manioc (cassava), the sweet potato, corn (maize), and peanuts (groundnutst-entered the scene after 1492. These crops spread rapidly, and frequently displaced earlier staples. Maize, for instance, became the most widely cultivated food plant in Africa long before the colonial period. African farmers demonstrated a receptiveness to new crops when the farmers recognized the advantages of the new crops over existing crops-namely that maize provided higher yields than existing cereals and that manioc could be harvested throughout the year and was resistant to drought and locusts (Hogendom 1975284285). Food production led to trade in agricultural commodities, part of the wider range of trading activities that were associated with a settled agricultural way of life. Generally, due in part to the high bulWlow value ratio of food and the absence of suitable transport, trade in agricultural products took place in local and regional markets in exchange for both local goods and those that came via the long distance trade routes. In West Africain particular, the trade in agricultural commodities de

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154 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND veloped to a significant degree as part of the overall growth of advanced commercial networks. Sufficient cotton was raised in Nigeria, for example, to supply a textile industry in Kano that on the eve of the colonial period was said to serve two-thirds of the population of the western Sudan. Kola nuts from the Ashanti region of present-day Ghana constituted a highly valued agricultural commodity that was widely traded throughout West Africa, especially after the Islamic revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Hogendorn 1975:287). The slave trade also helped promote the production of foodstuffs for sale since it was necessary to feed both the slave cargos and the ship crews during the trans-Atlantic voyage. THE PRECOLONIAL CENTURY A principal feature of African agriculture in the colonial period was the large-scale production of cash crops for external markets. The roots of cash-crop agriculture, however, lie largely in the precolonial century. African farmers, as noted previously, had long been involved in selling some of their crops in local and regional markets. In limited instances, such as with kola nuts or the sale of foodstuffs to provision slave ships, cash crops had even emerged. Major portions of the continent had also been commercially linked with Europe through the slave trade (which had been based upon previous well-developed commercial systems, particularly those in West Africa). Industrialization in Europe, the emergence of the "humanitarian factor," and the abolition of slave trade-all developments that became important during the decades bordering on 180CLhad combined to produce the era of "legitimate commerce" that was to last until the onset of colonial rule. Herein lay the first extensive production of cash crops for external markets. Commercially oriented agriculture also emerged in South Africa in association with the expansion of European colonial rule' and in East Africa where Arab-owned plantations had begun producing for external markets. Industrialization in Europe had created a demand for raw materials from the tropics, especially for oil from palms and peanuts. At the same time, industrialization had helped create a political and economic climate conducive to ending the slave trade, which in turn had led to a sharp growth of slave labor within Africa that could be turned to agricultural enterprises. The palm plantations of the king of Dahomey constituted one example. Another was in Senegambia where "enterprising traders took their domestics and slaves down with them to the vicinity of the sea and had them grow ground-nuts," thus establishing the basis for the later migrant farmers of the region (Freund 1984:63). The new European demand had produced a sharp expansion in trade. For palm oil alone, British imports from West Africa grew from one thousand tons in 1810 to ten thousand tons in 1830; twenty thousand tons in 1842; thirty thousand tons in 1853; and forty thousand tons in 1855. Thereafter they averaged fifty thousand tons per year from 1860 to 1890. Peanut exports were negligible in the 1840s, but were to average twenty-nine

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 155 thousand tons a year by the late 1880s (Hopkins 1973:128). This dramatic growth led one economic historian to conclude: "While the ratio of 'planted' to 'gathered' palm oil in total exports cannot be calculated, the fact of its existence, when coupled with ground-nut production, justifies the claim that for the first time in West Africa's economic history the international economy had an influence on the choice of crops and techniques employed in agriculture" (Munro 1976:48). Along with the production of cash crops, two other features from the colonial economy affecting the relationship of agriculture to overall economic development had strong roots in the precolonial century. The first of these was the purchase of imported manufactured goods with the proceeds from exports. Manufactured goods had long been imported in small quantities along the trans-Saharan trade routes, and European slave traders had purchased their human cargos with textiles, frequently produced in Bengal, and other manufactured goods. The era of legitimate commerce saw a sharp upsurge in imports. "For instance, the quantity of cotton goods (measured by the yard) exported from the United Kingdom to West Africa increased thirty times in the short period between 1816-1820 and 1846-1850" (Hopkins 1973: 128). The familiar colonial and postcolonial pattern of agricultural production for external markets, which provided income to purchase imported goods, thus was firmly established prior to the colonial era. Furthermore, this exchange not only failed to promote the development of domestic manufacturing but frequently undermined it through a flood of imports, as occurred in the Kano textile industry. The second feature was the gradual intrusion of European merchants into the continent, who in turn forced aside their African counterparts. During the slave trade era, Europeans in most instances purchased slaves from African traders at the coast. Initially, Africans served almost exclusively as the middlemen in the sale of cash crops to European merchants. These transactions again took place at the coast. Starting in about the mid-1800s, however, British merchants pushed up the Niger with steamships, and French merchants penetrated the Senegal interior. In the process they usurped the middleman role from Africans, setting the stage for their full domination of large-scale commercial enterprise during the colonial era. Although West Africa was the principal region for growing cash crops for exchange with European manufactured products, there were also important developments in the commercialization of agriculture elsewhere. In South Africa today, few Africans are able to earn a living from the land, and productive farming is almost exclusively the preserve of South African whites. However, prior to the massive loss of ownership and access to the land, and the rapid population growth of the twentieth century that intensified pressure on the little land that remained in their hands, African agriculturalists in South Africa responded to market opportunities. They adopted new tools and crops and became engaged in the money economy. Indeed, a distinct peasant class topped by a strata of small farmers flourished in the latter part of the nineteenth century (Bundy 1979). White farmers were also important, but they were not nearly as dominant in agricultural production as they later became. Elsewhere, commercially oriented plantations gradually

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156 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND emerged along the East African coast and islands during the mid-1800s as the Arab aristocracy began to use slave labor to produce export crops such as cloves, copra, and sesame seed. In contrast to the growing cash-crop economy of West Africa, however, the Arab plantations in East Africa did not provide a basis for agricultural expansion-essentially they were dead ends (Munro 197655; Freund 1984:70). THE COLONIAL PERIOD The colonial period grew out of developments that preceded it, particularly those of the precolonial century, but it also marked a dramatic break with the past. African dependency on the West was not a foregone conclusion in 1880, but by 1960 it was firmly in place. The changing conditions that produced the greatly altered relationships inherent in colonialism lay largely in Europe. Two major forces-the rise of the new nation states in Europe, primarily Germany and Italy, and the second industrial revolution that led to the geographical spread of industrialization that increasingly utilized science in the production process4ombined to produce the "new" imperialism of the late nineteenth century. One result was the colonial conquest of Africa. As indicated earlier, there was a gradual expansion of European enclaves during the precolonial century, but most of Africa remained under indigenous rule in 1880. However, by the eve of World War I England and France had pushed into the interior from their various enclaves, vying with each other in their efforts to gain territory; Portugal had expanded its holdings in southern Africa in an effort to keep from being completely squeezed out; Germany and Italy had entered the fray; and a single individual, King Leopold of Belgium, ruled the single largest colony, the Congo Free State (also known as the Belgian Congo, now Zaire), as his personal possession-in fact, Europe ruled the entire continent except for Liberia and Ethiopia. Europeans conquered Africa to benefit themselves primarily in two ways: to obtain commodities that they needed and to secure markets for their manufactured goods. Colonialism was essentially exploitative, although attempts were made to justify it in terms of "the white man's burden" or a "civilizing mission." Its purpose was to benefit the colonizers and not the colonized, and the purpose was the same whatever the nationality of the colonizer. Policies for securing maximum benefits from the colonies varied significantly, depending on the resource base of individual colonies as much as, if not more than, on the identity of the colonial power. Therefore, the following discussion approaches developments affecting agriculture and food in the colonial period more in terms of the resources available to the colonial rulers than in terms of the overall African policies of the various colonial powers. In other words, differences within the British empire in Africa were as great or greater than those between the British and French empires in Africa. The initial colonial conquest involved the extensive use of force in both political and economic terms. Europeans used their military might to wrest political power from the hands of Africans. Forced taxation, forced cultivation, and forced

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 157 labor constituted principal features of the economic systems of the early colonial era. Nowhere was force as intensively applied as in King Leopold's Congo. In order to generate the necessary capital for the colony's infrastructure, Leopold turned over large areas to concession companies. The companies resorted to mass terror to enforce the collection of wild rubber (demand for tires and other rubber products made rubber a highly profitable commodity). Although useful in the short run for establishing both economic and political control, in the long run the raw use of force proved incapable of developing the potential of the colonies to benefit the metropolitan countries. Exceptions such as compulsory cultivation in Angola and Mozambique notwithstanding, by the end of World War I the era of force had given way to other forms of exploitation (Freund 1984: 114-118). Mining was the most successful means colonial rulers had for extracting wealth from their colonies. Where mineral resources were available, they served as the core of the colonial economic system. The first great mineral discoveries were in South Africa; the discovery of diamonds there in 1867 was followed by discovery of the gold reefs of the Transvaal in 1886. Ultimately, the "revolution of diamonds and gold" in South Africa and the industrialization that followed were to destroy African cash-crop agriculture in that country. "European-owned mining and agricultural enterprises would compete with African agrarian societies for the resources [i.e., labor] necessary to production for the international economy" (Munro 1976:82). Copper became the mainstay of the Congolese economy by 1920 and of the Northern Rhodesian economy beginning in the 1930s. Tin mining flourished in northern Nigeria, and mining was also important in Southern Rhodesia. Most colonial territories, however, lacked significant mineral deposits or they lay untapped until after World War 11. For instance, iron mining only became important in West Africa in the 1950s when production boomed from 70,000 to 2,180,000 metric tons between 1947 and 1957 (Munro 1976: 179). Early colonial authorities considered white settlers to be excellent agents for developing colonial territories, and there were many precedents of white settlers' involvement in development including those of South Africa and Algeria within the African continent. However, although small numbers of white settlers existed in many colonies, they never constituted the core of the economy except in Kenya, Southern Rhodesia, and (somewhat later) Angola and Mozambique.* Aside from South Africa, Kenya was the premier settler colony. Its commercial base depended mostly on white-owned farms. The success of these farms depended largely upon the protection they received from the colonial state. For example, African smallholders were prohibited from growing the profitable arabica coffee, and maize production was not promoted in Nyasaland (Malawi) in an effort to protect the markets for Kenya's white farmers. A few major European-owned plantations also emerged such as the Firestone rubber plantation in Liberia, Unilever palm oil plantations in the Belgian Congo, sisal plantations in Tanganyika, and sugar estates in Mozambique. These enterprises, though individually important, lacked major economic significance for the continent as a whole. After World War 11, the export boom of the African economies enabled white settlement to increase rapidly. At the same

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158 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND time, however, Africa was moving rapidly toward independence. White settlers sought to entrench themselves politically, especially in Rhodesia with the 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence, but they failed in the attempt, except in South Africa where they had long held political sway. Faced with a need to develop the economic potential of their colonies, lacking mineral resources in most of them, having learned that white settlers were not generally a satisfactory means for economic development, and having had commercial experience with trade in African-produced cash crops, colonial authorities in most territories soon settled on smallholder production of export crops. This smallholder production of export crops became the major means for supplying raw materials that would benefit the colonial powers and generate revenue to run the colonies and pay for imported goods. The focus on African-produced cash crops in turn had major implications not only for agriculture but for the overall development of the colonies. The remainder of this chapter focuses largely on the principal cash crops and how export agriculture affected the overall colonial economies. In turn the independent African states inherited these economies. From the beginning of the colonial period the authorities specifically encouraged African smallholders to produce cash crops. After World War I, during the heyday of the colonial era, the colonial governments launched large-scale development projects to further the production of these crops. Some projects, such as the Gezira cotton scheme in the Sudan that began in the 1920s, enjoyed a considerable degree of success. others, such as the mechanized peanut scheme inTanganyika in the late 1940s, were disasters. For the most part, however, governments used direct taxation and various forms of promotion, such as the distribution of seeds, as ways to increase the production of export crops. The incentive of earning cash income to purchase consumer goods also stimulated cash-crop production. The result was to link Africans in an unprecedented way to the international economy. The principal peasant cash crops of the colonial era were cotton, cocoa, peanuts, and palm products (kernels and oil). Coffee became important in the 1930s, though much of it was grown on white-owned farms or on plantations. The production of other important cash crops such as sisal, tobacco, and tea was largely under control of whites. Although African farmers grew export commodities throughout the continent, the greatest region of activity was in West Africa (see Table 10.1). Prior to World War 11, cash crops were the mainstay of all but a few of the colonial economies; after the war, cash crops increasingly shared the spotlight with expanding mineral production. Those colonies with the most favorable weather tended to grow the crops, while neighboring areas served as reservoirs of labor. For example, the production of cocoa and palm products in West Africa took place in the southern forest zones, while the interior savanna regions provided migrant laborers to do the work of raising and transporting the crops. Growing realization of the importance of cash crops led the colonial authorities to pay attention to their production. Where white settlers were important to the colony, Africans were excluded from growing export crops. Africans in Kenya were prohibited from growing coffee for this reason (Eicher 1982:20-21).

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 159 In some colonies the authorities also continued to utilize force to compel Africans to grow cash crops, as occurred with cotton and rice production in Mozambique (Vail and White 1978). For the most part, however, Africans were not under direct compulsion to raise export crops nor did they find themselves excluded from such activities. More typically, colonial governments combined basic economic incentives, such as direct taxation and the need for cash to purchase imported goods, with active promotion of specific crops. Often, however, government efforts at encouraging cash crops failed to produce significant results. On other occasions, African farmers took the initiative and established major export crops without government backing. The histories of cotton and cocoa illustrate these two contrasting outcomes. From the start of the colonial era cotton was the cash crop that received the greatest attention. Indeed, the first major large-scale colonial development project, the Gezira scheme in the Sudan, produced cotton. The emphasis on cotton stemmed from the widespread nature of the textile industry in Europe. Not only was there a high demand for cotton products in Europe, but cotton goods also found a ready market in the colonies. Even an underdeveloped country such as Portugal was able to have a textile industry and find both the raw materials and the market for the finished product in its colonies. Thus cotton well exemplifies the heart of the colonial relationship: the colonies produced raw materials and imported manufactured goods, often made from the raw materials they exported. Not only did colonial governments discourage the growth of industries that could process cash crops locally, but the increasing availability of cheaper imports undercut existing industries such as the textile industry in Kano. A further result was that cities in Africa did not, for the most part, develop significant industrial labor forces, which in turn would have stimulated African agricultural production for internal markets. The success of cotton as a smallholder crop was uneven. In Uganda, cotton production zoomed upward starting about 1905 and reaching substantial proportions by 1928 (seeTable 10.1). Although the chiefs, who retained considerable authority, played an important role in the spread of cotton, small farmers also actively adopted the crop for the income it produced. The Gezira scheme was another success. In most areas, however, efforts at promoting cotton production yielded poor results: in Nyasaland (Malawi) inadequate information on the part of agricultural officials, wrong-headed efforts at enforcing certain planting times, diseases, pests, and other factors severely hindered the crop. During the first decade of the century, authorities promoted cotton growing to settlers. When settler production failed, the authorities sought to induce African farmers to grow cotton. The outcome, however, was largely a failure. In some areas, efforts at promoting cotton production failed due to the lack of sufficient economic incentives. British authorities attempted to push cotton in southern Nigeria, but plant diseases and pests hampered the effort as well as competition from cocoa, which provided a much more attractive alternative cash crop. In northern Nigeria, low fixed purchase prices provided little incentive to farmers. In the end, the peanut boom that began with the arrival of the

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TABLE 10.1. Principal Export Cash Crops From Africa During the Colonial Period (1,000 tons) Crop Year Country/Region 1895 1905 1920 1928 1934 1938 1941 1950 1955-58 Coffee Anaola ~eigian Congo Ivory Coast Kenya Tanganyika Uganda Cotton Belgian Congo (fibre) French Eauatorial Africa French west Africa Nigeria Uganda Sudan Cocoa Cameroon Gold Coast Ivory Coast Nigeria Togo Bananas Cameroon Guinea (French) Peanuts Gambia Nigeria Senega 1

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Palm Kernels Belgian Conqo Cameroon Oa homey French Equatorial Africa Ivory Coast Nigeria 121.0 174.0 Sierra Leone Togo Palm Oil Belgian Congo Cameroon Da homey Nigeria Sisal Kenya Tanganyi ka Tobacco Southern Rhodesia Sources: For 1895-1941, Bi 11 Freund, 1984, The Making of Contemporary Africa (Bloominqton: Indiana University Press), pp. 141-42; for 1950 and 1955-58, Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann, 1975, Economic Achievements of the Colonizers: An Assessment, in Colonialism in Africa, 1870-1960, Volume IV, The Economies of Colonialism, edited by Peter Ouignan and L.H. Gann (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 628-83. aFrench West Africa b~ritish East Africa CRhodesias and Nyasaland d~uignan and Gann also provide figures for 1938, which are in general agreement with those of Freund except for peanut production for French West Africa. Their figures are 169.4 in contrast to the figure of 601.0 which Freund provides.

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162 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND railway in Kano in 1912 doomed cotton-growing efforts. Similar results occurred in French West Africa (Hogendorn 1975:3 12-3 16; Munro 1976: 128-129; McCracken 1982: 102-105). The history of cocoa as a cash crop differs considerably from that of cotton. First of all, African initiative was responsible for the introduction and growth of the cocoa industry. The Gold Coast (Ghana) was the site of the largest and most sustained development (Hill 1963). African farmers initially turned to the crop to replace palm oil, which was in decline, and production soared during the first two decades of the twentieth century (see Table 10.1). Major capital investment was required on the part of the producers. Prior toworld War I, tens of millions of cocoa trees, which took six to seven years to mature, were planted annually by hired laborers paid cash wages on land that often had to be purchased. This investment pointed to the second feature of cocoa-it was tremendously profitable. The 50,600 tons exported from Ghana in 1913 were worth f 2,489,000. In fact, the crop was so valuable that for the first twenty years of its development in the Gold Coast human portage was utilized to convey cocoa from its interior production area to the coastal ports. It is little wonder, then, that cocoa was able to gain the upper hand against competing economic alternatives such as palm oil, cotton, and rubber among African farmers in southern Nigeria (Hogendorn 1975:320-324). Only with the depression in the 1930s did cocoa production begin to level off. The depression also provided government officials with an opportunity to intervene in the marketing process through establishing marketing boards, which shifted much of the profit from the farmer to the government for its own uses. Government encouragement of cash crops for export contrasted sharply with a near total neglect of food crop production. Except for supporting white commercial farmers, i.e., those in Kenya producing corn or in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) producing foodstuffs for the workers on the Copperbelt, a hallmark of colonial agricultural policy was the almost total neglect of food crops. The focus of colonial agricultural policy, as indicated by its research efforts, was squarely on cash crops. The implicit assumption was that Africans would continue to grow sufficient food for themselves, as they always had. In some instances, as with cocoa, it was possible in terms of available land and labor for staple production to continue. Also, cocoa production tended to stimulate foodstuff production in neighboring areas since migrant workers needed to be fed and had a cash income to purchase food. At the opposite end of the scale was cotton. It interfered with the cultivation of foodstuffs because of the intensive labor demands of the crop, and because it generated very little income for the producers. As a result, cotton-producing areas often had severe food shortages (Freund 1984: 131; Berry 1975: 169-170). The direct impact of cash cropping on food production in both place and time thus varied considerably. For the most part, however, the key factor was the colonial governments' neglect of staple crops and the technology associated with them, leaving Africa with systems for the production and distribution of food that were increasingly inadequate to the task at hand. Colonial economic development had other consequences for food production

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 163 besides the emphasis on export crops and the neglect of food crops. One consequence was the diversion of labor from growing crops for food. Mining, particularly in the southern part of the continent, needed large numbers of African workers. In South Africa, for instance, the agricultural decline of the rural African areas was a direct result of demands by mine owners and white commercial farmers for African labor, demands they were able to satisfy through their monopoly of the political system. Some scholars view the whole of southern Africa as a vast labor reserve for the white-controlled South African economy. Elsewhere on the conti-. nent the most significant demand for labor was associated with cash-crop production. In West Africa the major export-producing regions, generally located near the coast, lacked sufficient labor. They thus created a labor demand that had to be met by migrant workers who generally came from the savanna and Sahelian regions of the interior. By the 1920s, sixty thousand to seventy thousand migrant laborers were working annually in the peanut-producing areas of Senegambia. As many as two hundred thousand workers entered the Gold Coast to work on cocoa farms in the 1950s (Hopkins 1973:223-224). In this manner, regions "became informally divided into 'rich' export producing zones and 'underdeveloped' reservoirs of migrant labor" (Freund 1984: 135). This process had severe negative consequences for the agricultural sector in the labor-producing zones. Colonial authorities fostered the development of an infrastructure that can best be described as "lopsided." Those components of the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the export of raw materials and the importation of manufactured goods were built and maintained; those components necessary for the internal development of the individual colonies were ignored. The railway maps of Africa during the colonial period provide vivid illustrations of the distorted infrastructures and the economies they se~ed.~ With the exception of railways in South Africa, nearly all of the railways ran from port cities on the coast to the interior: their purpose was clearly to support and promote an export economy. There was virtually no railway construction to enhance and encourage development within the colonies. The early realization that the growth of cash-crop production depended upon railway transportation provided a major stimulus for their construction. Even where other motives were involved for building specific railways, as for the St. Louis-Dakar line in Senegal or the Uganda railway, once in place they greatly facilitated cash crops such as peanuts on the Cayor Plain in Senegal or cotton in Uganda. In addition to promoting the spread of cash-crop production, railways also increased the flow of imported consumer goods into the interior and thus undercut local manufacturing (Hogendorn 1975:294-297). Similarly, the principal cities of the colonial period were usually port cities designed to handle the exports and imports vital to the colonial economy. Generally they also were the principal administrative centers. Consequently, their fundamental orientation was outward in nature, and they depended for their existence principally on external economic relationships. African cash-crop agriculture came into existence to meet the needs of markets outside the continent. In other words, cash crops were for export and not for domestic consumption. Internal markets did, of course, exist for agricultural prod

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164 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND ucts. African farmers responded to the economic opportunity these markets presented in the same way that they responded to the markets for cash crops. Yet the overall trend during the colonial period was a diminution in the internal markets for African-produced foodstuffs. In some instances-as in South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and Kenya-white farmers used their political clout to dominate markets to insure the sale of foodstuffs they produced through the utilization of lowly paid African labor. In other cases, imperial policy created markets in Africa for food produced elsewhere in a colonial empire: in French West Africa a major market was created for rice French planters grew in Indo-China. Economic policies that favored imported goods over locally manufactured ' products also hindered the growth of markets for African foodstuffs by hampering the growth of an urban African wage labor force. Furthermore, the infrastructure of the colonies, geared as it was toward exports, did little to promote internal agricultural markets. Food-producing areas, unless along the line of rail, lacked adequate transport. Other farm-to-market links were also neglected. Finally, the infrastructure of support services for agriculture was totally oriented toward export crops, white commercial farmers, and land settlement schemes. For instance, the post-World War I1 expansion of biological research in Nigerian and other West African research institutes "was heavily biased toward export crops with repercussions for the development of staple food crop technology in the future" (Forrest 1981:224). A final factor for consideration is that of demographic changes and their relationship to the production, distribution, and consumption of food during the colonial era. By 1980 Africa faced a food crisis that resulted in part from population growth having outstripped food production. Rapid urban growth in recent decades has made increasing numbers of Africans rely hpon purchasing food rather than growing their own. Yet the cities in which they live are inadequately linked to the food-producing areas. A contributing factor has been the urban bias of most African rulers. At the end of the colonial period, population growth had not yet exceeded Africa's food production capabilities and, until the 1950s, towns in tropical Africa tended to remain small. The roots of the gap between population growth and food production, and the basis of urban growth and bias, however, lie in the colonial period. In the first place, Africa's population expanded at an increasing pace during the colonial period, perhaps by as much as 1.3 percent per year between 1930 and 1950 and by another 30 percent over the decade 1950-1960. The emphasis on cash-crop agriculture and the neglect of food crops, however, left Africa ill prepared to increase or even to maintain per capita food output, especially once urban growth became a factor-that is when each rural producer had to feed more and more people. Since the colonial infrastructure did not effectively link the urban with the rural areas, African farmers could not ship sufficient quantities of the food they did produce to the cities. Finally, the ruling elite incorporated the urban bias that had its roots in the education and training these Africans received during the colonial period. Thus once the new rulers assumed political office, like the colonial authorities before them, they neglected food production.

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 165 THE COLONIAL LEGACY At independence, Africa's agricultural structure and food production capabilities were substantially different from what they had been prior to the colonial era. Africa's new leaders were not in a position to depart radically from the agricultural strategies of their colonial predecessors, even if they were so inclined. Cash cropping, which had developed along the fringes of the continent during the precolonial century, constituted the principal economic entry into the world economy for the majority of newly independent African states. Intent upon building "modem" societies, which by the very definition of the time were oriented toward the urban sector, Africa's rulers continued to emphasize export crops in order to generate the foreign exchange earnings they considered necessary for (and were so advised by Western experts) modernizing their countries. Those aspects of the infrastructure needed for exports (mineral or agricultural) continued to receive attention, thus building further on the structural lopsidedness inherited from the colonial era. For example, the primary purpose of the majorrailway construction project of the independence era, the Tanzam Railway in Zambia and Tanzania, was to facilitate the export of Zambia's copper. And in Sudan the government undertook a major extension of the Gezira cotton scheme. Africa's new rulers focused their attention on the cities, where ordinary people sought economic opportunity and an escape from the imagined drudgery and dullness of the rural areas. With independence, some of the resources that had previously flowed overseas were diverted to Africa's booming cities. To generate sufficient funds for urban development, African governments continued the marketing boards that their predecessors had established. To insure cheap food in urban areas, thereby insuring political stability, the governments extended the domain of marketing boards to include food crops. By necessity and by choice, however, urban areas imported much of the food they consumed from abroad. Thus earnings from agricultural and mineral exports went increasingly to import foodstuffs. Not only had Africa become dependent on external sources for manufactured goods, it was becoming increasingly dependent on many of those same sources for the food it consumed. The economic growth of the postcolonial state in Africa rested, as had that of the colonial state, to a considerable degree on the farming population. If anything, however, African governments neglected farmers even more than had the colonial authorities. Burgeoning cities claimed so great a share of the return generated by exports of cash crops that producers of the cash crops received insufficient return for their commodities. This situation was exacerbated at times by low prices on the world market and eventually led to a decline in production. Although governments paid some attention to the export infrastructure, they placed far greater emphasis on the infrastructures of the urban areas, including the construction of public buildings that befitted the status of independent nations. In the meantime, planners and policymakers continued to ignore food production, seemingly acting under the assumption that African farmers would continue to produce food as they always had.

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166 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND It was not until 1980 with the appearance of the Lagos Plan of Action that African governments began to orchestrate their efforts to overcome decades of neglect of the food-producing sectors of the economy and to reverse the per capita decline in food production that had emerged in the 1970s (see Asante in this volume). By this time, however, Africa found itself in the midst of a food crisis. Perhaps no single factor contributing to the crisis has been more dramatic than the population explosion. The number of Africans increased from 285 million to 551 million people between 1960 and 1985. Thus, in the way that the colonial period introduced factors built upon the precolonial heritage, new factors built upon the colonial heritage are being introduced. What, then, has been the impact of the colonial period on the agricultural history of Africa? How much did it contribute to the food production gap and hunger that constitute the African food crisis of the 1980s? Clearly, the colonial period left a legacy of cash cropping, an export-oriented economy, structural lopsidedness, a reliance on imported manufactured goods, a neglect of food production, a bias toward urbanization and modernization, a diversion of labor away from food production, and the beginnings of an upsurge in population. Not all of these developments had their origins in the colonial period, as the discussion of the emergence of cash cropping and of the gradual growth of a dependence on imported manufactured goods in the precolonial century demonstrated. The first twenty-five years of African independence witnessed the emergence of cities on a large scale, a boom in population, environmental degradation of increasing severity, and political instability. None of these developments were very pronounced in the colonial era, even though they had their roots in that period, yet all have contributed significantly to the contemporary food crisis. An understanding of why Africa is in the throes of a food crisis must begin with an examination of the impact of the colonial period on African agriculture and on the wider African economy. Between the 1880s and the 1960s, Africa changed from a continent of primarily self-sufficient agriculturalists unengaged with the world economy to a continent with far greater diversities of economic pursuits, whose remaining agriculturalists had, by and large, become inextricably linked to the world economy. As a result of this fundamental transformation, the colonial period established to a significant degree some of the basic parameters for the production, distribution, and consumption of food in Africa. NOTES 1. Although most of the continent remained free of colonial control until after 1880, throughout the nineteenth century there was a steady expansion of colonial rule in presentday South Africa in association with a substantial European settler population. Elsewhere there was a limited colonial expansion that "consisted largely in the seizure of points here and there along the coast which appeared most appropriate for controlling long-distance commerce, often under the cover of suppressing the slave trade" (Freund 1984:73). These included the British in Sierra Leone (1787), at the mouth of the Gambia (1816), on Lagos

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AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD 167 TABLE 10.2. Colonial European Settler Population in Africa Period Pre-World War I1 Pre-Independence North Africa Southern Africa South Africa South-West Africa Other Subtotal Tropical Africa Southern Rhodesia Angola French West Africa Belgian Congo Kenya Mozambique Northern Rhodesia Other Subtotal Total Source: Floyd Dotson and Lillian 0. Dotson. 1975. The Economic Role of Non-Indigenous Ethnic Minorities in Colonial Africa in Colonialism in Africa, Volume IV. The Economies of Colonialism, edited by Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Pg. 612. Island (1851), and increasingly along the Gold Coast after 1850; and the French founding of a territorially extensive colony in Senegal in the 1850s, and establishment of fingerholds on the Ivory Coast and in Gabon. Portuguese rule, especially in East Africa, actually constricted during the precolonial century. 2. European settler communities in Africa numbered approximately 3.6 million in the mid-1930s and 5.9 million prior to independence. The total population of the African continent in 1960 was approximately 285 million. The greatest settler concentrations were in the north and in the south (the figures for North Africa date from 1931 and 1954 respectively; those for the rest of the continent from 1935 to 1936 and various dates in the 1950s and early 1960s respectively) (seeTable 10.2). 3. For an excellent set of maps that show the railways of Africa and their relationship to cash-crop and mineral production areas, see Kwamena-Poh et al. (1982:6M5,70-71). Railway construction since independence has served largely to entrench the export function of Africa's railway system.

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168 ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN BACKGROUND SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Berry, Sara S. 1975. Cocoa, Custom and Socio-Economic Change in Rural Western Nigeria. Oxford: Clarendon Press. . 1984. The Food Crisis and Agrarian Change in Africa: A Review Essay. 1984. African Studies Review 27:2:59-112. Bundy, Colin. 1979. The Rise and Fall of the South African Peasantry. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. Freund, Bill. 1984. The Making of Contemporary Africa: The Development ofAfrican Society Since 1800. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Heyer, Judith, Pepe Roberts, and Gavin Williams, eds. 1981. RuralDevelopment inTropical Africa. London: Macmillan Publishing Co. Hill, Polly. 1963. The Migrant Cocoa Farmers of Southern Ghana. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hogendorn, Jan S. 1975. Economic Initiative and African Cash Farming: Pre-colonial Origins and Early Colonial Developments. In The Economics of Colonialism in Africa, 1870-1960. Peter Duignan and L. H. Gann, eds. Pp. 283-328. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Munro, J. Forbes. 1976. Africa and the International Economy, 1800-1960: An Introduction to the Modern Economic History ofAfrica South of the Sahara. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield. Palmer, Robin, and Neil Parsons. 1977. The Roots of Rural Poverty in Central and Southern Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press. Yudelman, Montague. 1975. Imperialism and the Transfer of Agricultural Techniqties. In The Economics of Colonialism inAfrica, 1870-1960. Peter Duignan and L. H. Gann, eds. Pp. 329-359. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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African Soils: Opportunities and Constraints HUGH POPENOE M any different causes have been proposed for the food problem in Africa, the only major continent where per capita agricultural production is declining. Seldom is mention made that Africa is less endowed with suitable growing conditions than other major world regions. No volcanic chain is running the length of the continent as in Latin America nor are large delta areas present as in Asia. Much of the continent is also affected by an erratic semiarid or arid climate. All of these climatic and geological features affect the quality, productivity, and management of soils. This discussion of African soils proceeds from the following definition: soil is a three-dimensional, dynamic, and natural body occurring on the surface of the earth, which is a medium for plant growth and whose characteristics have resulted from the forces of climate and living organisms acting upon parent material, as modified by relief, over a period of time. This concept is often expressed in the following form: where: s = soil, cl = climate, p = parent material, r = relief, o = organisms (including humans), and t = time (Donahue et al. 197 1). Usually the best agricultural soils in the tropics are "new" soils, those of the large river deltas, in areas of recent volcanic activity, and on not too steep mountain slopes that are continually rejuvenated through the action of mild erosion. In Africa, these soils are concentrated in a very few narrow river basins and in some of the volcanic highlands in East Africa, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Burundi. Much of Africa is very old geologically, and the parent material is acidic or granitic. The topography is mostly flat or undulating, and the derived soils are old, highly weathered and, consequently, low in nutrients. Under a layer of natural vegetation, nutrients are constantly recycled by plants and active earth fauna. Earthworms in some areas are reported to recycle fifty tons of soil per hectare in a year (Nye 1955).

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170 FOOD PRODUCTION Many landscapes are also dotted with termite mounds, which serve to concentrate particles of clay and add some relief to monotonous plains. If this vegetation is removed, much recycling halts, and rains quickly wash nutrients out of the soils. The distribution of different soil types in Africa is related to climatic patterns. Sandier soils with more nutrient reserves are found in drier regions, whereas soils higher in clay but lower in nutrients are common in wetter areas. Soil moisture is the main limiting factor in the arid and semiarid zones. In the subhumid and humid tropics, soil erosion, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the most significant limiting factors. Some of the most widely distributed soils in the different climatic zones will be discussed in terms of their management problems. SOIL AND MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS Humid 'Ikopics The most common soils in the wet equatorial belt are the Oxisols (also known as Latosols or Ferralsols) and Ultisols (alternatively called Red-Yellow Podzols or Acrisols). Both soils are generally acid and low in nutrients. Traditional exploitation has occurred mainly through shifting cultivation and, more recently, by production of plantation crops suih as cacao, oil palm, and rubber. Shifting cultivation, although not highly productive, is an easy method of recycling nutrients and controlling weeds, pests, and diseases (Andreae 1980). However, as human population density increases, the forest fallow period decreases and the system begins to deteriorate. Useful alternative subsistence systems include various types of agroforestry, such as the cultivation of annual crops under perennial crops, that diminish the loss of nutrients occurring when annual crops such as cassava, corn (maize), or upland rice are planted as monocultures. Subhumid lhpics Alfisols (Red-Yellow Mediterranean or Planosols) dominate the subhumid tropics in Africa, particularly in the western part. Traditionally, these soils have been used for shifting cultivation since they are highly susceptible to erosion. The International Institute ofTropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, has devoted many resources to the development of more permanent types of agriculture. Although minimum tillage techniques looked promising at first, eventually they proved only to delay soil losses for a few years, and bench terraces have been of little value. Current work on alley cropping appears quite promising and may be the eventual solution for the production of food crops (Kang et al. 1984). In this system lines of leguminous trees such as Leucaena or Gliricidia are planted three or four meters apart. At the onset of the rains the trees are pruned to provide mulch for the soil. Firewood or animal fodder may also be extracted. Such crops as corn, cow-

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AFRICAN SOILS: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS 17 1 peas, or soybeans are planted in the alleys between the trees. In the dry season, the trees are allowed to grow, thus shading and protecting the soil. Such a practice protects the soil against erosion and helps to recycle plant nutrients. Hydromorphic Soils These soils might include almost all soil orders but are characterized as soils that occur with a high water table (at least part of the year) or occasional flooding. A recent Netherlands survey team estimated that the wetland area of West Africa is about one-half million square kilometers. These soils are underutilized in many parts of Africa compared with other regions of the world-especially Asia, where these are the most productive soils and have the highest priority for development. Although they are productive, these soils require large investments in reclamation, drainage, human disease eradication, and water control. In spite of these problems, Africa may witness considerable expansion of production in these regions during the next decade. Wetland rice is one of the most productive crops where water can be controlled. It is also one of the best examples of sustainable agriculture. In China this system has produced continuous crops for four thousand years on the same piece of land (King 1911)! Stability in the system is provided by the influx of nutrients in irrigation water, the control of weeds by flooding, and the high rates of biological nitrogen fixation found in many rice fields. Flooded soils usually have less acidity, less aluminum toxicity, and more available phosphorus than their upland counterparts. One problem encountered in West Africa by bringing these extensive areas into production is iron toxicity. However, this problem can be ameliorated through management practices and the use of crop varieties resistant to iron toxicity. Furthermore, iron toxicity tends to decrease with time if lands are continuously used. There is no doubt that the wetter areas of Africa have the greatest potential for increased food production; they also require the most research in order to overcome biological problems and soil constraints. Semiarid 'hpics The main limiting factor in this region is the distribution and amount of rainfall. Below normal rainfall in the semiarid tropics results in crop failures, which is why much of the famine in Africa occurs in the semiarid region. A positive factor in the region is that soils are less highly weathered than in the more humid regions and are, therefore, usually less acidic and higher in plant nutrients. Soil crusting may occur, and in some areas salinity may be a problem. Consequently, management techniques are oriented toward the manipulation and conservation of soil moisture. Several soil management methods have been devised to conserve and concentrate soil moisture. Soil imprinting may be done by hand or with animal

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172 FOOD PRODUCTION and tractor-drawn equipment. In this system, pockets are dug or impressed in soil where crops are planted. Sometimes small channels may be constructed that slope down to the impressions. At the beginning of the rainy season, water accumulates in the impressions around the plant allowing a good root system to develop. The pockets also trap organic matter and fine soil particles and partially protect seedlings against wind. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has developed another method that uses tied ridges: small lateral dikes are constructed in furrows, thus preventing runoff and concentrating rainfall. By this method crop yields often double. One of the main management strategies for the drier tropics is to use appropriate plants that require less rainfall. Since livestock raising is widespread in this zone, browse shrubs and trees have received some attention. With their deep root systems they more efficiently use soil moisture, prevent erosion, and may serve as an important source of browse in the dry season. (However, these need to be protected from grazing for two or three years after establishment.) One popular tree, the Acacia albida, bears leaves in the dry season and loses them in the rainy season. Thus other crops can grow beneath these trees during the rains. Since they bear foliage in the dry season, they are an important source of shade and fodder. The firewood crisis in this part of Africa has also promoted much interest in these fast growing trees (see Webley in this volume). Other edible crops particularly adapted to drier climates are sorghum, millet, Bambarra groundnut, buffalo gourd, tepary bean, and the marama or tsai bean. Sixty-day varieties of corn and cowpeas have also been successfully grown in this region, and two industrial crops-jojoba and guayule-have been recently introduced into several places. IMPROVING SOIL FERTILITY The two plant nutrients most often lacking in African soils are nitrogen and phosphorus. Either can be replaced with chemical or organic fertilizers. Although the use of chemical fertilizers has increased substantially in recent years and is one of the most cost-effective inputs into agriculture, their manufacture requires large amounts of fossil fuels, which are scarce in most African countries. For a comparison of energy use in fertilizer between developed countries and developing countries (most of which are found in the tropics), see Table 11.1. The developing countries use a larger percentage of their commercial energy in the agricultural sector, especially in fertilizers, than the industrial countries use. (The manufacturing of fertilizers consumes more energy than any other agricultural activity in developing countries.) Since developing countries must import most of this energy, it poses a drain on foreign currency reserves. Approximately two thirds of the energy used for fertilizers is used in the production of nitrogen, which is most often made with natural gas. Nitrogen can also be produced in agricultural systems through biological processes. The largest pro

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AFRICAN SOILS: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS 173 TABLE 11.1. Share of Total Commercial Energy Used in the Fertilizer and Agricultural Sectors of Developed and Developing Countries Region Percent of Energy Used In Percent of Aoricultural Fertilizer Agricultural Production ~ner~y Used Sector Production In Fertilizer Sector Developed Countries 1.3 3.4 Developing Countries 2.7 4.0 World 1.5 3.5 Source: Mudahar, M.S. and Hignett, T.P. 1981. Energy and Fertilizer--Policy Implications and Options for Developinq Countries. International Fertilizer Development Center IFDC-T-19. ducers of nitrogen, leguminous plants (members of the bean and pea family), produce (fix) nitrogen through an association with organisms (Rhizobium sp.) in their root zone. Many food plants such as cowpeas, soybeans, peanuts (groundnuts), and pigeon peas fix large amounts of nitrogen in this way. Leguminous trees are used in agroforestry and alley cropping systems because of their nitrogen contribution. Soil fertility can also be improved through the addition of locally produced organic materials. In areas where animal production is common, the use of animal manures increases the nutrient content of soil and improves its structure and water holding capacity. In one system commonly used in Africa, called "foraging for fertility," animals are allowed to graze or browse in surrounding grasslands during the day; as nightfall approaches they are penned in small corrals; in the morning they are released to graze again. The manure that accumulates is removed for use on small garden plots. In this manner, animals scavenge nutrients from a large area for people to use in the intensive production of food crops. Many households also make compost: crop residues, weeds, animal wastes, kitchen refuse, ashes, and even house sweepings are placed in piles to decompose. The decomposition process eliminates most weed seeds, insect pests, and diseases; thus it yields a fertilizer (or compost) suitable for gardens. SOIL EROSION AND CONSERVATION Many African soils are highly susceptible to erosion, particularly the Alfisols. Rainfall is usually more intense under tropical conditions than in temperate climates and thus erosion risks are higher in the tropics. Erosion is greatest on steep slopes and on bare soils, or soils with poor vegetative cover. The traditional practice of shifting cultivation minimizes erosion since the soil is protected most of the

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174 FOOD PRODUCTION time by a dense stand of vegetation. Several methods of reducing soil erosion are commonly practiced. One of these methods, alley cropping, has already been discussed. Planting row crops on slopes so the rows follow contour lines reduces erosion. Several rows may also be alternated with strips of grass so that the velocity of water flowing downhill is reduced, which in turn reduces the water's erosive capacity. Terraces and minimum tillage techniques may also minimize soil losses. The most important systems for erosion control are those that keep the ground constantly covered with vegetation. Farmers in the more humid regions plant several crops such as cassava, corn, cowpeas, squash, and bananas interspersed throughout the same field. Since these crops have different periods of maturity, they are harvested at different times; thus, when one is harvested, the others continue to protect the soil. FIRE AS AN AGRICULTURAL TOOL Much maligned fire is important in many tropical agricultural systems. Fire can eliminate large amounts of unwanted vegetation; reduce insect pests, diseases, and weeds; and, in some cases, improve the soils. Temperate climate agriculture is favored by cold winters, which break life cycles of weeds and pests. In the humid tropics no such mechanism exists, but fire can perform some of the same functions. Shifting agriculture, which produces about 60 percent of the food in Africa (Okigbo 1984), utilizes fire to improve soil fertility and break life cycles. In this system the vegetation is felled and subsequently burned; the remaining ash increases the nutrient content of the soil. The farmer extracts one or two crops from the clearing before weeds and pests threaten to overwhelm production. The farmer then moves to a new site and repeats the process. Although nitrogen is lost from the burned vegetation, none is lost from the soil as a direct consequence of fire. Some, however, is lost subsequently by leaching. Ash also improves soil acidity, or pH; this is especially useful where aluminum toxicity may be a problem. The use of fire is also important in many rangeland areas. Since grass is usually more resistant to burning than many broadleaved species, burning reduces competition between the two and the grass can dominate. Burning may also reduce livestock pests such as tsetse fly and ticks. Moreover, the new growth after burning is much more palatable and nutritious for livestock. SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, FARM SIZE, AND LABOR Much has been written recently about agricultural systems that are ecologically balanced, require low levels of industrial inputs, and do not degrade with time. Wetland rice of Asia is a prime example since many fields have continuously provided annual crops for four thousand years. Obviously, most of the agriculture of Sub-Saharan Africa is much younger and has not withstood this test of time. Shift

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ing cultivation is perhaps the nearest counterpart, but this system is much less intensive and degrades very rapidly if the ideal equilibrium between fallow and cropland is upset by the growth of human populations. Many African countries are caught in the dilemma of whether to follow an agricultural strategy that seeks to maximize output through large infusions of industrial inputs or one that seeks to develop a more self-sustaining system that reduces reliance on expensive imports. Policies are partly dictated by the amount of nonagricultural resources available in each country, which in turn dictates how much can be imported or manufactured and also the amount of nonfarm employment available. Some countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, and Malawi are following a labor-intensive agricultural strategy by necessity, whereas others such as Nigeria are opting for more reliance on industrial inputs. The dilemma in Africa is exacerbated by the relatively high wages of nonfarm laborers in rapidly industrializing areas, as compared with the wages of farm laborers-nonfarm laborers' wages are four to six times higher than farm laborers' wages. (In Asia nonfarm laborers' wages are two or two and one-half times higher than farm laborers' wages.) Recent studies in several tropical countries show that food production per area rises dramatically as farm size drops below three hectares (Harwood 1979). Small farms are usually more productive per area than large farms because the smaller system can be much more diversified-such small-farm techniques as kitchen gardens, intercropping, multiple cropping, twoor three-story agriculture, and-the use of many different species are difficult, at best, in a large, mechanized system. Also, small farms usually make better use of organic residues and integrate animals into the system. Therefore, a country that wants to maximize agricultural production could develop a strategy to increase the number of small farms. Unfortunately, although small farms produce more per area than large farms, farmers on small farms receive less total income than farmers on large farms. Thus, the question is often asked: should a country maximize agricultural production or income per farmer? One of the most important dilemmas in tropical agricultural production for our times is this trade-off between yields per hectare and income per farmer. In general, the most effective industrial input for increasing food production is fertilizer. Costs are returned in the same season that fertilizer is purchased, unlike costs for machinery. Fertilizer use is also scale neutral-yields are increased as much on large farms as on small ones. fiat developing countries use 68 percent of their energy devoted to agricultural production for fertilizer manufacturing (compared to 40 percent for developed countries) indicates that they are confident of the effectiveness of fertilizers. The most important strategy for a country attempting to increase production on small farms is probably to use chemical fertilizers-that is if foreign exchange reserves are available to purchase them. Unlike fertilizer use, the use of farm machinery is not scale neutral. Farm machines are primarily used to displace labor; the reduced labor costs result in more income for the owner-operator, but reduced labor results in less employment. Therefore, farm machinery is most useful in countries that have an industrial ca

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176 FOOD PRODUCTION pacity to absorb labor. A problem in many African countries is that farm labor may be scarce; however, in many countries unemplayment is very high since urban areas are increasing at the fastest rate in the world largely because of the influx of people from rural areas. Unless labor can be effectively absorbed in the cities, much more needs to be done to make rural employment more rewarding. This is particularly important for the many African countries that have the problem of scarce farm labor. The quick solution of adding farm machinery is often only a temporary panacea. National agricultural strategies should address the labor issue as well as food production. Some countries in other continents have adopted the strategy of development of technologies that increase productivity per farmer while not risking displacing farmers. CONCLUSION Some of the opportunities and constraints for increasing agricultural production on African soils have been addressed. The technology to improve food production on a plot of land exists. We can usually tell a farmer how much chemical fertilizer and machinery to use to obtain maximum yields. What we often cannot tell him is whether he should fertilize with chemicals or use machinery. The ultimate answers often depend on policy issues ranging from farm credit, marketing and prices, to the larger issues of farm size, labor absorption, and national strategies. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Ahn, Peter M. 1970. West African Soils. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 1974. Shifing Cultivation and Soil Conservation in Africa. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. Greenland, D. J., and R. Lal, eds. 1977. International Conference on Soil Conservation and Management in the Humid Tropics. London: John Wiley & Sons. International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). 1980. Soil-Related Constraints to Food Production in the Tropics. IRRI and New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University. Jones, M. J., and A. Wild. 1975. Soils of the West African Savanna. Farnharn Royal, Slough, England: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau. Moss, R. P., ed. 1968. The Soils Resources of Tropical Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). 1972. Soils of the Humid Tropics. Washington, D.C.: NAS Printing and Publishing Office. Nye, P. H., and D. J. Greenland. 1965. The Soil Under Shifting Cultivation. Farnham Royal, Slough, England: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau. Sanchez, Pedro A. 1976. Properties and Management of Soils in the Tropics. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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Major Domesticated Food Crops CLIFTON HIEBSCH STEPHEN K. O'HAIR c ereal grains and farinaceous crops are the principal components of SubSaharan African diets. These crops provide 65 percent of the nutritional energy requirements in all regions (see Table 12.1) and more than 50 percent in all countries-even those with highly nomadic people such as Somalia or those as cattleoriented as Botswana. These starchy energy sources, except for cassava roots and plantain, also provide significant quantities of protein due to the large quantities consumed (see Table 12.3). Legume grains are produced and consumed in smaller quantities than these other crops in all regions (see Table 12.2), but are a valuable portion of the diet due to their high protein content (see Table 12.3). The distribution of staple food crops depends on cultural preferences and adaptation of the crop species to ecological zones defined by rainfall, temperature, and soils. South of the Sahara Desert, zones of rainfall form parallel belts running west to east and then circling clockwise with northern Zaire as the hub. Zones continue southward through East Africa and backtrack westward to the Angolan coast (see Figure 12.1). Moving south from the Sahara and toward the center of the hub, rainfall and humidity generally increase. Cereal grains-millet, sorghum, and corn (maizebare the major staples from the semiarid regions, where millet is dominant, to the drier forested areas (receiving less than 2000 millimeters of annual rainfall), where corn:is dominant. Root crops, principally cassava, and bananas and plantains are the major staples in the wetter forested regions, but corn is also grown there. Rice production is increasing in higher rainfall areas and where irrigation is available, particularly on wet-natured soils. Wheat is adapted to cooler highland areas found in East Africa and southwest Angola. The Sahel, Northeast Africa, and southern Africa are drier regions where cereal crops are the most important staples (see Table 12.1). A wide range of rainfall is found south of the Sahel and in East Africa, where cereal and farinaceous crops are consumed in nearly equal quantities. Due to higher rainfall in Central Africa, farinaceous crops, particularly cassava, are the predominant food energy source. Rice and wheat are

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178 FOOD PRODUCTION RGURE 12.1. Suitable Areas for Rainfed Production of Millet, Sorghum, Corn (Maize), and Cassava in Africa Source: Revised from U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1981. FoodProblems and Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Decade of the 1980s. Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 166. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Pp. 63-67. Originally from Food and Agricultural Organization. 1978. Report on the Agro-Ecological Zones Project. Vol. 1. Methodology and Results for Africa. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. becoming major staples among many of the urban populations. Leguminous crops are poduced and conskmed in all rainfall belts, or from semiarid to humid regions (see Table 12.2). The pulses of major importance are: (1) cowpeas in the drier lowland tropics, particularly of West Africa; (2) lima

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TABLE 12.1. Average Annual Production and Per Capita Production Index, 1981-1983,and Caloric Intake, 1972-1974, for Staple Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa Food Crop Production 1981-1983 Caloric Intake Percentao~ Roots & Starchy Fruits Per Capita 1 97 21.3%in Cereal ~quivalents~ Cereals (1000 metric tons) (1000 metric tons) Index Roots, Sorghum OtherC Banana Base = 100 1969-1971 tubers and Rice Root and snd African Regiona Millet Corn Paddy Wheat Cassava Crops Plantain (Percent) Cereal Plantains Total West Sahel 4167 269 328 -200 52 -87 72 3 75 South of Sahel 7250 3547 3007 -7302 9424 2171 87 4 1 36 77 Central 100 931 272 11 6616 191 686 89 19 56 7 5 Northeast 4497 3319 39 1132 50 198 25 85 60 7 67 East 1660 1984 214 87 3197 1108 1675 9 1 30 35 6 5 Southern 520 4718 2162 193 1848 232 117 8 1 59 16 75 Source: Adapted from two reports: (1) USOA (United States Department of Agriculture). 1981. Food Problems and Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Decade of the 1980's. Foreign Agricultural Economic Report NO. 166. Economic Research Service. Washington, D.C.: USDA. Pg. 32. (2) USDA. 1984. Sub-Saharan Africa Outlook and Situation Report. Economic Research Service. Washington, D.C.: USDA. Pp. 31-33. awest Sahel and South of Sahel combine to 'form the West African region in Figure 6.2, except Cameroon is included in South of Sahel due to its proximity and food production similarity to this region. b~oots, tubers and plantains reported at approximately equal water content as cereals (12 percent) to allow for more direct food production comparison. Average water content and multiplication factor used to convert from fresh wet to dry reported weight are cassava, 64 percent and 0.41, and other root crops and bananas and plantians, 70 percent and 0.34. Cother root crops include yams, cocoyams, sweet potatoes and white potatoes.

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180 FOOD PRODUCTION beans in the humid lowland tropics; (3) common or kidney beans in cooler regions, particularly at higher elevations in East Africa; and (4) pigeon peas with a wide range of adaptation and good potential. Leguminous oilseed crops, high in both oil and protein, are peanuts (groundnuts), which are adapted to drier subhumid environments but grown in all regions, and soybeans, which have good potential in subhumid to humid areas but are not now commonly grown. The declining per capita production of food in Sub-Saharan Africa is of major concern. Except for Ghana, Angola, and Mozambique, all major countries produced more food from 1981 to 1983 than from 1969 to 1971. Yet due to the fastest population growth rate of any continent-2.5 to 3.0 percent growth annually-per capita production of food for all regions was down by 9 percent or more in the same fourteen-year period (seeTable 12.1). Per capita food production improved only in Ivory Coast and was within 2 percent of 1969 to 1971 levels in Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Malawi. The potential for a per capita increase in food production is great in most areas since the population density and average yields are relatively low. Yields in Sub-Saharan Africa of roots, tubers, and pulses average 70 percent of yields in Latin America and Asia; yields in Sub-Saharan Africa of cereals average 50 percent of cereal yields in Latin America and Asia (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1981). At one time it was thought that traditional diets low in animal products were the cause of malnutrition, particularly protein deficiency. However, malnutrition generally does not occur unless the normal quantity and variety of food in the traditional diet are restricted by adverse conditions such as those that may occur seasonally or that are experienced by the poorest residents or by adverse changes in eating habits that can occur with urbanization and other forms of migration. The bulk of the diet provides energy from carbohydrates (starch and sugar), oil, and protein sources at recommended levels from 2200 to 3000 kilocalories per day for adolescents and adults. Carbohydrate-rich cereal grains and farinaceous crops (roots and starchy fruits) provide most of this energy, but it may also be supplied by legume grains (see Table 12.3), other plants, and animal products. Protein also is needed in large quantities-29 to 38 grams per day for adults. Protein quality (composition) as well is critical-the building units of human protein are amino acids, eight of which must be supplied at minimum levels by dietary protein (see Wagner in this volume). The protein requirement can be satisfied by a particular diet if three criteria are met: the total energy supply is adequate, 5.0 to 5.3 percent of the total energy supply is from protein, and all eight essential amino acids are supplied in sufficient quantities. The ratio of energy supplied from protein to total energy supplied (the PIE ratio) is 0.9 percent for cassava, 1.6 percent for plantain, 4.6 percent for yam, 5.9 percent for potato, 4.7 percent for maize, 4.9 percent for rice, 5.3 percent for pearl millet, and 5.9 percent for wheat (Payne 1975, as cited in Aykroyd et al. 1982). These ratios have been adjusted to account for the most limiting amino acid in each food. In order to prevent protein deficiency, high protein supplements can be added to a staple or diet that has a PIE ratio beneath the requirement level.

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TABLE 12.2. Average Annual Production, 1981-1983, and Estimate of Supplies for Consumption, 1975-1977, for Legume Grains in Sub-Saharan Africa Production (1000 metric tons) Daily per Capita Supplies (q/head/day) Pulses Oi 1 seeds African Dry in Shell Dry She1 led Regiona A1 1 Beansb Peanuts Soybeans A1 1 Beansb Cowpeas Peanuts Others West Sahel 5 38 -1044 52 15 9 15 13 South of Sahel 1148 151 575 7 5 ' 29 2 14 9 4 Central 188 133 7 6 14 30 11 15 4 Northeast 1319 32 654 12 36 < 1 4 3 1 S East 1161 965 213 12 7 1 4 3 5 10 13 e 0 w Southern 359 144 397 87 29 7 2 9 11 u S 6 9 13 3 Total 4713 1425 2959 200 Meanc 38 10 m cn =! n Sources: Adapted from two reports: (1) FA0 (Food and Agriculture Orqanization). 1984. 1983 FA0 Production Yearbook 5 37:132-135. Rome: FAO. (2) W.R. Aykroyd, Joyce Doughty and Ann Walker. 1982 Legumes in Human Nutrition. FA0 Food and Nutrition Paper No. 20. Rome. FAD. Pg. 104. B ?t awest Sahel and South of Sahel combine to form the West African region in Figure 6.2, except Cameroon is included in South of Sahel due to its proximity and food production similarity to this region. 0 b~pecies of beans in FAD production statistic not indicated. Species in daily per capita supplies mainly common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus). Discrepancy for the Sahel may be due in part to the inclusion 21 of secondary legumes such as tepary b-s-cutifol ius) in per capita supplies. 00 CWeighted by human population of the region. +

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e-. w TABLE 12.3. Average Nutritional Composition of Major Food Crops and Three Animal Products of Sub-Saharan Africa N Crop Water Energy Proteina Carbohydrate Fa t Product (Percent) Kca1/100g (Percent) (Percent) (Percent) Cereals Corn, meal Sorghum Pearl Millet Rice brown white Wheat whole grain white flour Roots, Tubers and Starchy Fruits (Fresh) Cassava 64 Yam 7 3 Taro 74 Cocoyam 64 Potato 78 Sweet Potato 7 1 Plantain 67 Banana 7 4

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(Recalculated with Percentage of Water equal to Cereals, Grouped by Protein and Averaqed) Cassava & Plantain 12 340 2.8 Sweet Potato & Banana 12 345 4.6 Yam, Taro, Cocoyam, Potato 12 335 6.9 Legumes Cowpeas Beans Pigeon Peas Peanuts Soybeans Animal Products Fish, lean fillet Beef, lean Egg, chicken Sources: Adapted from three reports: (1) B.S. Platt. 1962. Tables of Representative Values of Foods Commonly Used in Tropical Countries. Medical Research Crops Special Report 301. (2) Stephen K. O'Hair. 1984. Farinaceous Crops. In Handbook of Tropical Food Crops. F.W. Martin, ed. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. Pg. 109-137. (3) W.R. Aykroyd, Joyce Doughty and Ann Walker. 1982. Legumes in Human Nutrition. FA0 Food and Nutrition Paper No. 20. Rome: FAO. Pq. 108. aprincipal deficient essential amino acids are: lysine amonq cereals; methionine among roots, tubers and starchy fruits; and methionine and cystine among legumes.

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184 FOOD PRODUCTION Many animal products and legume grains contain more than double the protein of the starchy staples. Including these animal products and legumes in the diet can significantly raise the total protein content. In addition, cereal grains and legume grains have complementary levels of amino acids in their protein content. Cereal grains are generally most deficient in the essential amino acid lysine, which prevents people from utilizing to the full the more than adequate levels of methionine and cystine. Legumes are high in lysine and low in methionine and cystine. When a cereal and a legume are consumed together, more of the cereal protein can be utilized due to the additional lysine from the legume. More of the legume protein can be utilized due to the increased levels of methionine and cystine from the cereal. A diet of a cereal and a legume in which the legume constitutes 5 percent of the total has a PIE ratio of over 6 percent. In more general terms, if a diet combines both cereals and legumes, then all essential amino acids can be supplied in the ratios needed, making a complete protein. The proteins of legumes and starchy roots and fruits are not complementary but additive as the deficient amino acids in the two crop groups are the same. Therefore, if a diet of legumes, starchy roots, and fruits is to meet the protein requirement, then larger quantities of legume grains are needed, to compensate for deficient amino acids, in order to raise the protein percentage of the diet after adjustment for protein quality. Processing, such as milling cereals and peeling root crops, can reduce protein quantity and quality. The most common way to prepare the staple starches is by grinding them into flour, then boiling the flour in water to make porridges of various consistencies, from thin gruels to those that are stiff enough to be shaped. Doughs, which may be first fermented, are made into various breads by boiling, steaming, baking, and frying. Beer is commonly made in most areas. Pulses are boiled alone or in combination with vegetables and spices, and are generally eaten with a cereal or farinaceous crop product. Peanuts are eaten raw, roasted, or as pulses. CEREAL GRAIN CROPS (CLIFTON HIEBSCH) Cereal grains are of major importance in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing 45 percent of the total caloric intake. Cereal grains are easy to produce and have fair to good protein content and high carbohydrate supply (seeTable 12.3). Seed of cereal crops can be stored for long periods, which makes cereals particularly valuable in regions with intermittent and unpredictable food supplies. This is true in areas of Africa with wet and dry seasons. Cereal grain crops are members of the grass family. Seed have a single unit, producing a seedling with a single seed leaf; seed of legumes such as bean have two seed leaves. The plant is erect with a cylindrical stem that is hollow between nodes, with exceptions of corn (maize) or sorghum. The seed head is formed at the top of the stem, except for corn that forms an ear about halfway up the stem at the base of a leaf. Leaves are attached directly to the stem and are long, slender and tapered with veins parallel to the length. Cereal

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 185 grain crops are annuals or are managed as annuals, completing their life cycle in one year. The three major cereal grain crops in Sub-Saharan Africa are corn, sorghum, and pearl millet. Rice and wheat production is small but increasing in certain areas. Rice, corn, sorghum, and pearl millet form a continuum according to their adaptation to available water. Rice performs best under flooded conditions-both naturally occurring flood plains and controlled irrigation-and under heavy rainfall where soils are kept continuously wet. Corn is produced in dryer forested regions or wetter savannahs, where annual rainfall is less than 2000 millimeters (mm) and soils are well drained. In wetter regions banana, cassava, and other root crops constitute the principal starch source. In drier regions, first sorghum and then pearl millet produce crops most reliably. The points of transition from corn to sorghum to pearl millet are gradual, with overlap of regions and even mixing in the same field. The switch from one cereal to another is dependent not only on total rainfall but on distribution within the year, reliability of rainfall within the rainy season, and moisture-holding capacity of the soil. Pearl millet, the most drought tolerant, progressively replaces sorghum as the primary crop as annual rainfall falls below 750 mm; it is the most common crop where annual rainfall is from 400 to 500 mm. : it is produced where as little as 250 mm of rain falls per year. Short season sorghums can be grown in regions with 400 mm of annual rainfall. The differences in tolerance to marginal water supply among crops correspond to a crop's water-use efficiency. Corn, sorghum, and millet-highly water use efficient crops-produce 2.0, 2.4, and 2.5 times, respectively, as much yield per unit of water used as rice produces per unit of water used (Shantz and Piemeisel 1927). Wheat requires cool temperatures and moderate rainfall and performs better at higher elevations. Fertility management requirements of the five cereal crops are similar; lowland rice is the most unique among them. Management inputs must account for the resources of the farmer and country, as well as the limitations of the crop and environment, to create reasonable yield objectives and to determine practices that are not too costly or risky. Within these'constraints, nitrogen is often the most limiting factor for cereal crops. The amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed for a cost-effective yield depends on the supply in the soil, the crop needs, and prices. It generally varies from 0 to 15 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha)--for soils with good nitrogen supply such as newly cleared forest land or for crops with low yields such as pearl millet when grown in drought-prone regions-to 150 kglha for high-yielding, well-watered corn. The need to supplement with other nutrients depends upon the supplying capacity of the soil and the needs of the crop and must be determined locally. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the nutrients most commonly deficient in soil, but eight others-out of the total of thirteen essential plant nutrients obtained from the soil-occasionally may be the deficient factors that limit cereal crop growth in less usual situations. Each succeeding crop grown on the same plot of land increases the probability of nutrient inadequacy. Nutrients deficient in the soil can be supplied: (1) by growing a leguminous, green manure crop prior to the cereal to supply nitrogen; (2) by spreading ashes from burned vegetation or cook

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186 FOODPRODUCTION fires (ashes contain all nutrients but nitrogen and sulfur, which are vaporized in the fire); (3) by adding compost or animal manure that have not been leached by rains; and (4) by fertilizer. The nutritive value of the cereal grains listed in Table 12.3 can vary greatly due to such factors as genetics and processing. For example, the protein content for most types of pearl millet ranges from 10 to 15 percent, but for some genetic types it is as high as 23 percent. Rice still in the hull or husk is known as paddy rice, and these fibrous husks are removed to produce brown rice. When brown rice is milled to produce white rice, the outer layer, or bran, which is 15 percent protein, is abraded away. This process reduces the weight (by 10 percent) and both the quantity and quality of the protein in the remaining material. Similarly, to mill bread wheat to produce white wheat flour, the protein-rich bran and embryo, or germ, is removed, resulting in weight loss of up to 28 percent, lower protein content, and reduction in the usable portion of the protein due to a disproportionate loss of the amino acid lysine. In some areas of Africa corn is pounded wet and 20 percent of the protein and much of the lysine are removed with the hull and germ. Sorghum and millet are generally utilized or ground whole and so have little nutrient loss. Breeding programs are under way to increase the protein and lysine level of several cereals, especially corn. The development of semidwarf wheat, rice, sorghum, and millet has been a milestone in plant breeding; semidwarf varieties are better suited to the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Local varieties of these crops are relatively tall; when fertilized, they become even taller with heavier seed heads atop the stems, which then fall over (lodge), especially with moderate to high levels of nitrogen. Semidwarf varieties maintain short, stiff stems at higher nitrogen levels and are capable of seed yields up to four or five times that of local varieties. Shorter stature is also advantageous to corn, but to a lesser extent since the heavy seed head or ear is not at the top, so corn plants are less likely to lodge, regardless of height. Shorter plants are also advantageous because they tend to put more of the production into the grain and less into stalk. Many of the semidwarf varieties also have greater disease resistance; reduced sensitivity to day length, thereby providing increased adaptive range; and a shorter growing season. Local farmers in some regions, however, have rejected semidrawf varieties of sorghum and millet because the long stems of traditional varieties are used for building materials. This example illustrates how important it is to understand the many ways that local farmers utilize different plant parts. Corn Corn (or maize) is widely grown in most food crop producing areas of Africa. Under good soil and weather conditions, corn has the potential to produce high yields due to its abundance of leaves and high rate of photosynthesis. This cereal thrives on soils that are deep, well drained, have good water holding capacity, and

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are relatively fertile. Corn performs poorly on highly acid or waterlogged soils because root growth is restricted. Common varieties of corn mature in 100 to 120 days, with flowering occurring 55 to 65 days after planting. Favorable environmental conditions during flowering are critical for maximum yields. The tassel (male flower) at the top of the plant produces the pollen. For proper development of the ear (female flower), each grain in the ear must be fertilized individually by pollen landing on the silks that protrude from the end of the ear. Hot, dry conditions can kill the pollen, causing inadequate fertilization and improperly filled ears. The time of planting in regions with wet and dry seasons is important because delayed planting may reduce yield. It is very important to control early season weeds; late season weeds are less of a problem since they are often suppressed by the corn canopy. Diseases attacking corn are more severe when humidity is high, which is why this crop is not grown extensively in high rainfall areas. Varietal resistance is the main defense against these diseases. Usually field insects are tolerated, but crop rotation, planting dates, and insecticides may be used to help control these pests in some situations. In Africa, corn food products are varied but may be grouped according to processing methods: (1) ground or pounded and then boiled, (2) ground or pounded and then baked or fried, (3) boiled whole, (4) baked whole, and (5) fermented. The following are some examples of corn preparations in Africa. Corn bread, or kenkey, in Ghana is made by fermenting wet flour, wrapping it in corn husks, and then cooking it. A porridge made of flour mixed with hot water is called akassa in Ghana. In Swaziland a corn gruel called inembe is used as a supplement in the diet of nursing infants. Beer, or utshwala, is made from corn and sorghum. Corn breeding, and the creation of hybrid and synthetic varieties, have been facilitated because male and female flowers are at different locations on the plant. Hybrids, crosses between inbred lines, have been widely accepted in commercial plantings because of higher yields under good management. Seed of hybrid corn is, however, expensive and must be purchased for each corn crop to maintain high yields. High yields from hybrid corn also depend on following other cultural practices such as heavy fertilization, high plant densities, weed control, and pest control. Synthetic varieties are created by allowing cross pollination of several superior races. Growers producing synthetic varieties may keep their own seed for several years. Subsistence farmers often produce open pollinated varieties because they perform as well in their production system and are less expensive. Sorghum Sorghum (or Guinea corn) apparently originated in Ethiopia and Sudan and has been extensively grown throughout Africa since early historical times. This cereal is capable of producing a crop in situations in which rainfall is too low to produce satisfactory corn yields. Sorghum is adapted to a wide range of soil types and textures, from sandy to clayey, but is not well adapted to acid soils common to rain

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188 FOOD PRODUCTION forests, which have developed under conditions of heavy rainfall and leaching. This crop is generally grown in regions with distinct wet and dry seasons, often with limited rainfall even during the wet season. Soils in those regions may be moderately high in native nutrients since nutrient leaching is minimal with low rainfall. Water may be so scarce that there is little response to fertilizer. Sorghum is widely distributed in warm climates because it matures in ninety days to six or eight months. Under poor management or dry conditions, yields are approximately 700 kg/ ha. Yields increase two to three times under favorable conditions and proper management. Sorghum is susceptible to a number of root, leaf, and grain diseases. Insect damage may result in death of the stalk, damage to leaf tissue, and empty seed. Losses from these diseases and pests can be reduced by producing more resistant varieties, removing infected plants and crop residues, rotating crops, and applying chemicals. Sorghum is harvested by cutting the heads from the stalks, then drying and storing the heads. The grain is threshed by beating the heads manually. In SubSaharan Africa sorghum grain is consumed primarily as a stiff porridge, although in Botswana sorghum is used to make beer. In the processing to make beer, more than 50 percent of the calories are lost. Couscous and hura are dishes made from sorghum that are found in the daily diet of northern Africans. Couscous is a popular dish consisting of finely ground sorghum flour rolled into balls, which is eaten with green leaves or other vegetables and seasoned with a spicy sauce of chili and peppers. Hura is based on a mixture of sorghum and millet. The cereals are cooked and served as a porridge. Compared to some other major crops in the world, breeding and selection of high-yielding varieties of sorghum have been limited. Because of sorghum's drought tolerance, future research should prove valuable for the drier regions of Africa. Pearl Millet Pearl millet, also known as bulrush or cattail millet, is the staple crop for many semiarid regions of Africa, particularly in the Sahel. It tolerates drought conditions better than sorghum and also tolerates low fertility soils. Until recently the importance of pearl millet has been overlooked because it is traditionally grown on relatively unproductive land. But due to the expanse of semiarid land in Africa, millet's potential to contribute to the food supply is great. Because it is grown in the most drought-prone and unproductive locations, average yields in Africa are now only 600 kglha, lower than either sorghum (700 kglha) or corn (1300 kglha). Millet production is affected by several plant and environmental characteristics. Because millet is often planted in seasons with short periods of rainfall, it is important to plant at the beginning of the rains. Planting at this time also helps reduce losses from some insects. Since millet seed size is small, it is planted shal

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 189 lowly and a fine seed bed must be prepared. Early plant growth of pearl millet is slow; thus, it is important during this time to protect the small millet from weeds, which compete with it for moisture. Several diseases and insects attack millet, but with normal yields, chemical control is rarely economical; removal of the infected plants is the most economical option. Most millet varieties are photoperiodic, i.e., the millet does not flower unless the period of daylight is less than twelve hours. To a great extent the reproductive cycle, including seed production, begins on a certain date instead of a certain number of days after planting. This is advantageous for forage production since more leafy animal feed can be produced during a long vegetative period prior to flowering. Pearl millet has been found to produce flowers and set seeds in temperatures from 25" C to 45' C. By contrast, corn pollen is killed by temperatures at the upper end of this range, and grain formation is prevented. At maturity, millet seeds are exposed and may be damaged by birds; therefore, early harvest is important, and mature fields demand labor to scare birds away. Little breeding development has been done on millet. Research is being done on varieties that are not daylength sensitive to increase the range of adaptability of given varieties through successful growth in seasons and locations with different daylengths. The main objective in breeding, however, is to develop shorter varieties that will not lodge when fertilized with nitrogen and will have the potential for holding heavier seed heads. Most native varieties of pearl millet are tall, from 2 to 5 meters. Grain weight is a relatively small percentage of the total plant. Dwarf types from 0.5 to 3.0 meters have been developed through breeding. Breeding for disease resistance is also being conducted. Based upon experience with sorghum, it is possible that pearl millet yields will be increased in even drier regions by improved varieties and cultural practices. Rice African rice species have been cultivated in parts of West Africa for three thousand years. For the last two thousand years, Asian rice seed have been introduced repeatedly. A lack of the unique technology that is required to grow rice accounts for currently limited rice production in Africa, but since 1920 Africa's rice production has increased because of large irrigation resettlement schemes, availability of mechanization, and training of African farmers by Chinese specialists. Rice has potential for increased production in Africa due to its adaptability to a wide range of waterlogged soils. Other cereals perform poorly in these environments. Rice and rice culture are of three basic types: lowland, floating, and upland. Lowland, or paddy, rice is produced under nearIy continuous, controlled flooding. Floating, or deep water, rice is produced under uncontrollable flood conditions. Upland rice requires wet soil and is produced on fields that are generally not flooded but which receive high rainfall. All three types are produced in Africa; lowland and upland rice have the greatest potential there.

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190 FOOD PRODUCTION Lowland rice is the most highly managed type and produces the greatest yields-yields of 4000 kglha are common and 7000 to 8000 kglha are obtainable. After the land is prepared, it is flooded and the soil is puddled (worked when wet to make an impenetrable layer) to reduce seepage. Paddy rice may be direct seeded or, to more efficiently utilize the land, transplanted from a nursery when three to four weeks old. Flooding creates an environment quite different from upland conditions and affects management tactics. To illustrate, flooding makes soil acidity more conducive to plant growth, increases the availability of phosphorus, increases nitrogen losses and also adds natural nitrogen through biological nitrogen fixation by blue green algae, and changes weed, disease, and insect populations. To prevent germination of the seed in the seedhead, fields are drained one to two weeks prior to maturity when possible, or varieties with postmaturation dormancy are used. Floating rice is direct seeded or transplanted to coordinate with expected flooding of rivers. As the water level rises, floating rice elongates by as much as 0.3 meters a day, reaching over 6 meters in some cultivars. The seed head is held above the water level. As floodwater recedes, the leaves and stems fall into a mass while the seedhead is held vertically, allowing for maturation and harvest. Yields rarely exceed 1500 kglha, but no other food crop can grow under such flood conditions. Upland rice can be produced in areas of high, uniformly distributed rainfall where the soil is continually moist for four to six months. It is direct seeded at the beginning of the rains. Upland rice is not tolerant of dry conditions, particularly during flowering. Erratic rainfall, poor weed control under nonflooded conditions, and diseases are some reasons why upland rice has lower yields than irrigated rice. Rice is harvested by cutting seedheads when the grain is slightly moist. The grain is dried slowly to prevent cracking. Rice is thrashed by people or animals walking on it, or by beating the sheaves against wooden blocks or ladders, or by mechanical thrashers. Rice breeding and selection is conducted in many parts of the world with the center of activity at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. As discussed in the introduction, greater yields from nitrogen fertilization have been realized through the development of varieties with shorter, stiffer stems that resist lodging. Other breeding objectives include developing varieties with higher protein, more resistance to diseases and insects, and tolerance to adverse soil conditions. Wheat Wheat has been produced in Sudan and the Sahel for several centuries on small irrigated plots during the dry season. Current wheat production in Africa is small, located primarily in the cooler highlands of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan, but is slowly increasing as irrigation schemes increase. Bread wheat, which originated

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 19 1 in the Near East, is the principal type produced. Durum wheat, used for macaroni and pasta, is grown to a lesser extent. Semidwarf bread wheat varieties developed at the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) in Mexico produce higher yields, particularly in fertile soils, have greater resistance to rusts, and possess better baking quality than taller traditional varieties. Because of lodging resistance and increased capacity to utilize nitrogen fertilizer, the semidwarf varieties often yield up to 5000 kglha in research plots-four to five times the yield of local varieties. Small farms commonly produce between 1000 and 2500 kglha of these semidwarf varieties. Even though most wheat is currently produced in higher cooler regions, other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa can produce wheat satisfactorily if it is planted at the beginning of the cooler, dryer season, particularly where irrigation is available. Recent development of semidwarf varieties that mature in one hundred days takes advantage of these short, cool periods. Humid conditions during vegetative growth favor leaf diseases that cause yield losses. Wheat is planted at high seeding rates120 to 150 kglha for semidwarf varieties, with little space between plants. Therefore, cultivation is difficult and weed control requires a weed-free seed bed, crop competition, and perhaps herbicides. If planted too late, grain fill occurs during warmer months and yield is decreased. Warmer, dryer conditions near maturity aid in proper drying of the crop. Bread wheat is in demand in Africa, particularly in urban areas, because of its unique baking characteristics. Bread wheat is high in the protein gluten, which is capable of entrapping gas formed from leavening agents and stretching to form small bubbles that cause bakery products to rise. In areas where wheat has been grown traditionally, it is also used to make porridge and beer. Development of semidwarf short-season bread wheats by CIMMYT has increased the potential for wheat production in Africa. Due to the requirement for cool to moderate temperatures and the rising demand, however, production will probably continue to fall behind consumption. FARINACEOUS CROPS (STEPHEN K. O'HAIR) Farinaceous crops are grown for their starchy, nonseed storage organs; they serve as a low cost source of readily digestible carbohydrates in many African diets. The leaves of several of these crops are regularly eaten as relish and are high in protein. Bananas and cassava are the most common farinaceous crops grown in Africa, followed by sweetpotato, yams, cocoyam, taro, and potato. All are vegetatively propagated, but each crop has special qualities and growing requirements. Planting usually begins at the onset of the rainy season, generally in mixed planting with other vegetables and fruits. Industrially produced fertilizer is usually applied only to crops, such as bananas, intended for sale in the international market. Diseases and pests are numerous, commonly transported with the planting material, and spread by man throughout wide production areas. Each crop has special

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192 FOOD PRODUCTION problems, some of which are very regional. Control measures include destroying diseased plants, avoiding land with a history of disease, rotating crops, carefully selecting planting material based on parent-plant health, utilizing disease-free tissue-cultured plants, and planting resistant cultivars. Foliage diseases and pests are less of a problem in mixed plantings. Yields vary considerably depending on cultivar, plant age at harvest, and local environmental conditions, which include soil fertility and pest and disease presence. Cultivar names vary from one region to the next, and no attempt is made here to present specific names. In general, the food preparation measures are similar to those of the potato. Although the processing of farinaceous crops into food items is not a major industry, there is potential for expanded local use of industrially produced products such as chips, bread, flour, and other dried products. Many research and development needs are common and include: (1) reduce labor inputs in all aspects of production; (2) improve quality control in the production and handling of planting material; (3) develop appropriate soil management practices to maintain soil fertility and prevent soil erosion; (4) evaluate cropping systems; (5) germplasm collection, breeding, and selection (for pest and disease resistance; tolerance to drought, high soil acidity, and low soil fertility; and improved quality); (6) review current marketing and distribution systems and improve efficiency; (7) develop means to minimize production gluts and periods of unavailability; (8) develop and improve processing, postharvest storage, and utilization; and (9) train extension personnel in appropriate production innovations. Cassava Cassava, or manioc (French), is a very adaptable crop that is considered outstanding in its food producing ability and economy of production. It grows well in many soil types and excels over other crops in production on marginal lands unsuitable for most crops. However, it does not tolerate waterlogged conditions. Cassava originated in Brazil and was carried to Africa by traders. Over one-third of world cassava production is now in Africa; the largest producing country is Zaire, followed by Nigeria and Tanzania. Cassava is planted by hand. Instead of using seeds, farmers plant sections of the plant stem as propagules. Unless rainfall is minimal, less than 750 millimeters, the crop does not respond to supplemental irrigation. In drought situations, cassava conserves moisture by shedding its leaves. Major factors leading to yield reduction are weed competition during the early stages of plant growth, diseases, and pests. When disease resistance is not present, yields can be reduced by as much as 50 percent if healthy, pathogen-free propagules are not utilized. Individual plants are uprooted by hand as needed, or large roots can be individually harvested from the plant in a nondestructive manner. All plants are usually harvested from eight to eighteen months after planting. Plants can be left in the ground for several years (with the roots enlarging each year), but these become

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 193 fibrous and woody and have a lower starch content. Average yields are nine metric tons per hectare (Mt/ha) per annum, but the highest experimental yields exceed sixty Mt/ha. Thus, the potential for higher yields is great. Harvested roots deteriorate to an inedible state within a few days after harvest, so they must be consumed quickly or special storage techniques must be employed including keeping the roots in a cool, humid location. Without processing, the roots and leaves of some cultivars may be toxic due to the presence of cyanogenic glucosides (HCN). Toxicity from cassava may develop when considerable quantities with a high HCN content are consumed, particularly if the high HCN content is a result of poor processing or if the diet is poorly balanced nutritionally. Cultivars low and high in HCN are termed "sweet" and "bitter," respectively, due to a bitter taste that usually accompanies HCN. Juice extraction, cooking, fermentation, or combinations of these are processing treatments that aid in reducing HCN to safe levels. Most cultivars have white fleshed roots with up to 30 percent starch, and in many parts of Africa the young, tender leaves and growing tips are collected and cooked as potherbs (similar to spinach). Cassava leaves are composed of up to 40 percent protein on a dry-weight basis, but the sulfur amino acids are low or missing, thus cassava diets need the addition of foods high in methionine to supply complete protein. Several different foods in West and Central Africa are made from cassava roots including: chikwange-a heavy boiled or steamed bread; fufu-a cooked paste; and gari-grated and fire dried root. Gari and well dried whole roots, known as cossettes in Zaire, can be stored for extended periods in dry locations. Dried roots can be pounded to flour and made into fufu. Plantains and Bananas Bananas and plantains are grown as food and cash crops in regions having a major wet season. The distinction between banana and plantain is largely a reflection of their end use where bananas are sweet dessert fruits and plantains are starchy, nonsweet cooking fruits. The greatest advantage for both over other starchy crops is that they are productive over a number of years; land preparation and planting occur only once every five or six years. Cultivars are denied from Musa acuminata (A genome) or are hybrids of M. acuminata and M. balbisiana (B genome). The former prefer a long, wet season, but the latter tolerate a monsoon type of climate with a pronounced dry season, typical of that found in most of SubSaharan Africa. Countries with the greatest production in decreasing order of annual production include: Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Burundi. Plantains are the major crop in each. Both crops are adapted for growth from sea level up to eighteen hundred meters and can be grown on a wide range of soils, if there is good drainage. The best soils are of volcanic or alluvial origin, well drained, and with a high humus content. Suckers are planted up to four meters apart. Cash-crop production includes

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194 FOOD PRODUCTION the use of herbicides and, during rapid plant growth periods, fertilization or manuring. Diseases are the most serious problems, but due to the value of the exported product, fruit rots are the most well known. Insect pests can be controlled in severe situations with biological control; introducing predatory insects is successful in many locations. The time from planting to harvest ranges from nine to eighteen months with yields ranging up to 45 MVha for the first year's crop, and up to 75 Mtlha per annum in subsequent years. Typical bunch weights average 20 kg. Bunches are often wrapped in dried banana leaves to protect the fruit during local shipment. Otherwise, no special practices are used to store fruit that is to be consumed domestically. Most bananas consumed locally are eaten as cooking bananas. Unpeeled green plantains are roasted over charcoal fires, and peeled green bananas and plantains are fried, boiled, or steamed. Peeled ripe bananas are fried or eaten uncooked as a dessert fruit. Alternatively, bananas and plantains are brewed and converted into alcoholic beverages. Nutritionally, bananas are similar to other starchy staples. Of the farinaceous crops, they are second highest in vitamin A content, after the yellow fleshed sweet potatoes. The dessert bananas tend to have more moisture and less carbohydrate than the plantains. Breeding has primarily been limited to producing disease resistant dessert types. It is believed that several commercially grown cloned varieties resulted from chance mutations during natural vegetative propagation, which suggests that there is great potential for using genetic engineering and plant tissue culture to develop new clones. Sweetpotato Sweetpotatoes, also known as yams (in the United States) and patates douces (French), are completely different than the true yam (Dioscorea spp). They are perennial herbaceous twiners that are cultivated as annuals. Roots thicken to form tubers with white to red skins. The top producing countries (in decreasing order of production) include: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zaire, and Nigeria. Sweetpotatoes are commonly grown from sea level up to one thousand meters and have good drought tolerance as well as high rainfall tolerance, providing there is adequate drainage and good soil aeration. They also tolerate low soil fertility, and their potential production range is great. The shape and color of the leaves and roots are used to distinguish clones, but most cultivated varieties (cultivars) produce white-fleshed roots. Stem cuttings or sprouts taken from storage roots are hand planted into moist soil at densities up to 30,000 plantstha in monoculture; mixed plantings are less dense. Weed control during the first month of growth allows the plants adequate time to develop a complete canopy, which limits additional weed competition. Sweetpotato weevil damage to the roots and stems is the major production problem. Roots are harvested as needed four to six months after planting. Larger roots

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 195 can be carefully removed ahead of smaller roots, allowing smaller roots additional time to enlarge. Yields average 6 Mt/ha in farmers' fields, but experimental yields are as high as 53 Muha, showing the considerable potential for improving farm yields. Since sweetpotatoes are harvested as needed, postharvest storage is only for a few days. If longer storage is expected, care must be taken to minimize root damage during harvest and transport. In addition, the roots must be cured prior to storage by exposing them to high temperatures and humidity for three to four days. Yellow fleshed cultivars contain higher amounts of vitamin A than white fleshed cultivars; therefore, when diets are low in vitamin A it is best to choose the former. Roots are usually boiled and consumed without additional preparation. Young leaves and tender shoots are used as potherbs in some regions and add to the protein and vitamin content of the meal. Little is known about variability in leaf protein content, a topic worth investigating. The amount of genetic variability for many qualities is great and, since sweetpotatoes can produce large amounts of carbohydrates in a relatively short time, they are a promising crop for the future. Yams Yams, or igname (French), are important tuber crops in many parts ofAfrica. They are herbaceous climbers producing enlarged, starch filled, stem tubers. Cultivated types include: the white (guinea) yam, the yellow (quinea) yam, the lesser or potato yam, and the water or greater yam. Other types are grown on a regional basis-some for their production of toxic substances. Production is primarily in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Dahomey, and Togo (together these countries grow over 96 percent of the world's supply of yams). Harvested yam tubers have a distinct dormancy period lasting several months. Thus, they are better suited than fresh cassava for long distance transport and export. Once dormancy requirements are completed, the tuber is reabsorbed by the plant during the production of new shoots. A new tuber is formed by the end of the season. This cycle can continue for several seasons, and each resulting tuber grows larger than the previous one. Tuber weight can vary from 0.5 to 10 kilograms. Yams are more specific in soil requirements than other root crops, growing best in fertile well-drained soils. Mounds or beds are formed to improve drainage or concentrate top soil. Propagules, averaging 200 grams, are taken from the sprouting end of the tuber. Plant populations range up to 20,000 plantstha in monoculture. Mulching is recommended to control weeds and conserve moisture if a prolonged dry period is expected. Weeds need to be controlled during the first two to three months after emergence; as the vines grow, they are manually trained onto poles. nber rots are probably the greatest production problem. Harvesting is done by hand beginning six to ten months after shoot emergence. Nondestructive harvesting is occasionally practiced, the first harvest beginning as soon as four months after emergence. Yams can be stored and cured much the same as sweetpotatoes. Aside from other methods noted earlier, boiled

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196 FOOD PRODUCTION yams also are pounded or mashed and eaten as fufu. Some species contain dioscorene and, prior to cooking, are sliced and soaked in salt water or running water for several hours or days to remove this toxic substance. Cocoyam and Taro The cocoyarns and taro are among the most shade tolerant of terrestrial food plants. These edible aroids are often confused with each other and, in Africa, are both known as cocoyam. Both store starches in stem structures termed "corms," and both are perennial herbs with erect, heart-shaped leaves. Major production areas are in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast, producing approximately 40, 28, and 4 percent of world production, respectively. Cultivars are distinguished by cormel (secondary corms) and leaf pigmentation. Taro cultivars are mostly white fleshed, and cocoyam flesh may be white, pink, or yellow. The cylindrical corms are produced at or below the soil surface. In cocoyam, few to many lateral, starch-filled, club-shaped cormels develop below the soil surface around the corm base. The stem of the taro leaf is attached to the lower surface, not the base. The aroids grow best along rivers and streams and in regions such as coastal areas where rainfall is regular. Soil type is generally not a limiting factor. Taro has a better tolerance of saturated soils than does cocoyam, which must be grown on beds if flooding is likely. Some taro clones can be grown under continuously flooded conditions if the water is flowing. Others prefer little or no flooding. In general, cultural practices for these crops are similar to those used for other root crops. Corms or parts of corms are used as propagules. Diseases appear to cause the greatest problems; corm and root rots are the most important of these. Planting cocoyams in well-drained soil tends to reduce root rot problems. Harvesting begins seven to fifteen months after planting. Cocoyam cormels are of marketable size when they are as large as the potatoes that are sold in U.S. markets. Harvesting begins with removing soil from the base of the cocoyam plant, then the larger cormels are removed and the soil replaced. This process can be repeated two to three times until the entire plant is harvested. Marketing in Africa is limited to selling fresh corms and cormels in local or nearby city markets. Cocoyam cormels have a long shelf life and are better suited than taro for long distance transport. Young, unopened leaves and, occasionally, fully expanded leaves of selected clones are eaten as cooked potherbs. The starchy taro corm or cocoyam cormels are prepared as potatoes are. For populations dependent on wetlands for energy foods, edible aroids may be a better choice than rice from the standpoint of human nutrition. Taro equals the potato in amino acid content, and taro leaves are nutritious. Cocoyam corms are not usually eaten by Africans, but are sometimes boiled and fed to swine.

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 197 Potato The potato is a minor, yet potentially important staple food in Africa. Its production in Sub-Saharan Africa is limited to regions where night temperatures are cool at least four months of the year, and the best production occurs between the altitudes of 390 to 2,100 meters. Most production now is in (by order of decreasing volume) Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, andTanzania. Potatoes are propagated from whole tubers that have been stored from one crop to the next. Certified, disease-free propagules are recommended for planting. These propagules can be produced locally by trained personnel or may be imported from Europe. The latter are rather expensive and generally uneconomical. Water requirements are rather exacting, since potatoes do not tolerate moisture stress during tuber formation stages. A large number of diseases and pests are associated with potato production. Most clones were developed in Europe and are referred to by their European names in Africa. Harvesting begins with uprooting the plant about one hundred days after planting. Tubers develop close to the soil surface, so harvesting is relatively easy. Yields range up to 10 Mtlha, considerably less than the 20 to 42 Mtlha recorded in temperate regions that employ high technology cultural practices. Potatoes can be stored for several months in well-ventilated shelters receiving diffuse light; inspection on a regular basis is necessary to remove spoiled tubers. Although potatoes are a source of vitamin C, most of this is lost in the cooking process. Leaves are especially high in toxic solanine and are inedible. The future for potato production in Sub-Saharan Africa is good in many cool, high altitude regions. Crops such as sweetpotato are better adapted to warmer conditions. The potential for expanded farinaceous crop production in Africa and the need for additional research are great. Probably the greatest need is to improve crop utilization. Therefore, most research should be oriented toward minimizing the seasonal surplus and scarcity of fresh products, developing new processed products, and developing efficient marketing systems. LEGUME GRAIN CROPS (CLIFTON HIEBSCH) Legume grains are valuable to the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa for three reasons: (1) They provide cheap, concentrated, high quality protein to supplement the high carbohydrate cereals and farinaceous crops (see Table 12.3). (2) Leguminous oilseeds, i.e. peanuts (groundnuts) and soybeans, can provide large quantities of quality cooking oils (see Table 12.3). (3) Unlike most crops, legumes are not dependent upon expensive nitrogen fertilizer for high yields. (For crops other than legumes, the lack of nitrogen naturally present in the soil is often the most limiting factor to production.) Protein, which is essential for human and animal nutrition, is 16 percent nitrogen, and the ultimate source of protein is plants. Air is 78 percent nitrogen, but this nitrogen is in a form not usable by plants. Specific nitrogen

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198 FOOD PRODUCTION fixing bacteria infect the roots of legumes, and nodules are formed. Utilizing energy from the legumes, these bacteria in the nodules convert atmospheric nitrogen present in the soil to a form usable by the legumes for making protein. When a legume is produced for the first time on a site, the bacteria specific to that legume, if not naturally occurring in the soil, needs to be introduced in order to prevent nitrogen deficiency. The three principal legume grains produced in Sub-Saharan Africa are peanuts, cowpeas, and beans (common beans and lima beans), all of which are geographically widespread. Pigeon peas are grown principally in East Africa, but due to their wide range of adaptation they have good potential for production in other areas. Soybeans also have potential for more widespread production; currently their production is small but increasing. Cowpeas, beans, and pigeon peas are classified as pulses, and peanuts and soybeans are referred to as oilseeds. These legumes are adapted to the same regions as corn, sorghum, and millet are. Cowpeas, peanuts, beans, and pigeon peas are often intercropped with these cereals; soybeans also could be managed in this way. Cowpeas, peanuts, beans, and soybeans are generally understory components in intercrops, with climbing cowpeas and beans using the overstory crop for support. After the cereal is harvested, the slowly establishing pigeon peas develop and mature. Many other legumes-Bambarra groundnuts, Kersting's groundnut, locust beans, rice beans, jack beans, sword beans, African yam beans, velvet beans-have localized or unknown production and potential. All legumes produce seeds in pods with two lobes. Flowers contain both male and female parts, making commercial hybrid production currently unfeasible. Legume plants may be erect, prostrate, or climbing. Erect types of pigeon peas and soybeans, prostrate and erect types of peanuts, and all three types of cowpeas and beans are cultivated. Many crops, including cowpeas, pigeon peas, and soybeans, have cultivars with varying photoperiod or daylength sensitivity. The length of the nights influences the date of flower initiation and grain formation. This sensitivity causes a cultivar planted on different dates to initiate seeds and mature on nearly the same date. Away from the equator, daylength varies during the year, and this trait can be advantageously used to time crops to mature toward the end of the rains to maximize water use and then allow for proper grain drying. All five crops have determinate and indeterminate cultivars. Vegetative growth stops in determinate cultivars when flowers and pods are formed. After vegetative growth stops, the plants flower and produce seed in a relatively short period of time, and all grain matures about the same time. Indeterminate cultivars, however, flower and produce seed over a longer period, helping reduce the risk of crop failure due to droughts during pod initiation. If evenly distributed over the growing season, 600 millimeters of rainfall can produce good crops of cowpeas, peanuts, pigeon peas, beans, and soybeans-the first three crops can be produced with even slightly less rainfall (seeTable 12.4). Short-season cowpeas are capable of producing grain during short rainy seasons with only 250 to 300 millimeters of rain. Pigeon peas, lima beans, and soybeans can tolerate heavier rainfall by virtue of greater disease resistance, which is re

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 199 quired in humid environments, and for soybeans by their capacity to withstand periods of water-saturated soils. Wet soils are particularly harmful to peanuts, causing rotten pods. Pigeon peas are adapted to the widest range of rainfall. All of these crops do best if grain maturation occurs at the end of the rains, which allows for proper drying. This is particularly true for peanuts, which must dry shortly after being dug. Weeds, insects, diseases, and nematodes can severely reduce yields. Weeds can be controlled by hand or machine cultivation or by use of numerous herbicides. Weed control by these means is particularly important when legumes are small. Generally, once a full leaf canopy is formed, the shade it provides controls weeds by cutting their sunlight. Prostrate cowpeas cover soil rapidly, minimizing the requirement for weeding; thus these are an excellent choice for intercropping with crops that develop ground coverage more slowly. Pigeon pea establishes slowly and early in its life competes poorly against weeds. Late mechanical weeding of peanuts is not recommended, as it may destroy the pod forming underground. If properly timed and selected, insecticides may be very cost effective. Cowpeas appear to be the grain legume most vulnerable to insects in West Africa. Stem borers cause reduced nutrient and water supply, and pod feeders cause pod abortion and improper seed development; these insects may cause more economic loss than the more obvious foliage feeders cause. Seedling diseases may be controlled economically by applying small quantities of systemic fungicides to the seeds prior to planting. Foliar diseases can reduce yields significantly. Effective foliar fungicides probably are not economical or desirable in most African situations, but resistant varieties and cultural practices may be used to remedy these problems. Close monitoring of fields and rotations may be used to reduce damage from nematodes. Cowpeas Cowpeas (southern peas, blackeye peas) are some of the most important food legumes in Africa and are used in different localities as a vegetable, pulse, fodder, and green manure. Cowpeas are adapted to the hot semiarid and subhumid tropical areas with 250 to 1000 mm of rainfall per year. This environment is found along the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert and in the east from Ethiopia to South Africa. Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Niger, Senegal, and Tanzania grow most of the world's supply of cowpeas. Intercropped local varieties commonly produce 120 to 150 kglha; with improved practices and sole cropping they can usually produce 750 kglha (improved varieties have produced as much as 1500 kglha). Cowpeas are adapted to a wide range of well-drained soil; they produce well on fertile soils and tolerate less fertile, acid soils. Local varieties tend to be prostrate, low yielding, indeterminate, and susceptible to diseases and insects. Introduced varieties are generally erect, higher yielding, determinate, less daylength sensitive, and often more pest resistant. Unfortunately, many introduced varieties do not cook easily. Pods and seeds are held high on the plant on a long fruiting

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TABLE 12.4. Legume Grain Crop Environmental Preference and Plant Characteristics Environmental Preference Plant Characteristics Legume Grain Rainfalla Soi 1 Disease Days to Seed Resistance Maturity Plant Type Cowpea semiarid to well drained subhumid sandy loam Common bean subhumid sandy, peat to clayey Lima bean Peanut Pigeon pea Soybean subhumid to well drained very humid poor excellent semiarid to friable, well fair subhumid drained sandy loams semiarid to well drained humid sandy to clayey 1 oams good 65200 erect, climbing, or procumbent 60-100 dwarf bush to climbinq 100-270 bush to climbing 100-150 low bunchy herb 90-300 erect, semiwoody shrub subhumid to well drained fai r/good 80-200 erect bush humid to slightly waterlogged Source: K.O. Rachie and L.M. Roberts. 1974. Grain Legumes of the Lowland Tropics. Advances in Agronomy 26: 1-132. asemjarid is less than 600 millimeters (mm), subhumid is 600 to 1000 mrn, humid is 1000 to 1500 mm and very humid is greater than 1500 mm annually.

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 20 1 stalk, which eases both hand and machine harvesting. Humid conditions increase severity of several seedling and foliar diseases. Estimates of loss from disease are as high as 75 percent for seedling diseases, 50 percent for anthracnose, 30 percent for leaf spot, and 50 percent for viruses (Rachie and Roberts 1974). Diseases may be controlled by removing all top growth at the end of the season, planting diseasefree seed, and producing disease-resistant varieties. Cowpeas are consumed in three basic forms. They are frequently cooked together with vegetables and spices to make a thick gruel. Deep fried cakes (akara balls) are made from a dough of dehulled (seedcoat removed) cowpea flour mixed with onion and seasonings. Steamed bean cakes (moin-moin) are prepared from a similarly seasoned dough that is wrapped in leaves and steamed. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) at Ibadan, Nigeria is the center for testing and evaluating cowpea varieties. Development of varieties resistant to insects, nematodes, and diseases is being pursued. Cowpeas are selfpollinating, thus they breed true to type. Once a superior variety is developed, growers can produce their own seed. Cowpeas should remain one of the most important food legumes in Africa for the foreseeable future. Beans The statistics on production and consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa show that beans are consumed in larger quantities than any other pulse (seeTable 12.2). The term "bean" refers to several related species of grain legumes-mainly the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and lima bean (Phaseolus 1unatus)-that are adapted to different environments, though often produced in the same areas. Determining which species of bean is produced in a certain area is difficult: world production statistics lump the species as dry beans, and surveys often refer to them as "beans" without further differentiation. Common beans (also known as dry, dwarf, field, French, haricot, navy, pinto, runner, salad, snap, and string beans) and lima beans (also known as butter, Madagascar, pole, and sieva beans) are believed to have spread to Africa from tropical Americas. Common and lima beans fill the same role in the diet, and both have similar average yields of 500 to 700 kg/ha and maximum yields near 2500 kg/ha. Common beans are adapted to cooler climates and are particularly important at higher elevations in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. Common beans are best adapted to moderate temperatures, well-distributed rainfall, and medium-textured well-drained soils. They are not tolerant of frosts, high temperatures, droughts, or high humidity and are highly susceptible to diseases and insect pests that are encouraged by warm, humid environments. Black seeded cultivars are better adapted to the lowland tropics, but their higher tannin content makes them less acceptable and digestible than other cultivars. In spite of the constraints, common beans are sometimes grown in lowland humid areas and harvested as vegetables, at the snap bean stage, and as pulses. Lima beans are more adapted to higher rainfall and are

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202 FOOD PRODUCTION a major pulse in the humid rain forests, with extensive production in Madagascar. Lima beans are adapted to a wider range of environments. They tolerate high temperatures, poor soil, and drought, but have higher yields in the hot, humid tropics. Lima beans are less susceptible to diseases and insect pests than most grain legumes. Both species of beans require moderately dry weather toward the end of seed formation in order to produce good quality dry seeds. Common and lima beans have two basic plant types: bush and trailing, or climbing. Bush types are erect with strongly developed central stems and branches and are generally determinate. Climbing types are generally indeterminate and are often included in mixed-cropping systems, where they use other crops for support. Maturity occurs in two to five months for common beans and three to nine months for lima beans; the bush types generally mature earlier. Seeds vary greatly in size, shape, and color. Oblong, round, or kidney-shaped seeds of common beans and flat or round lima beans may be white, buff, red, purple, brown, black, or mottled. The nutritional value of dry beans is high (seeTable 12.3). Beans are usually consumed as dry seed after boiling in salted water to which other vegetables, spices, and, occasionally, meat have been added. This dish is eaten with a cereal or farinaceous food, often prepared as a porridge. Beans are also consumed as green, immature pods and seeds, and the leaves are sometimes used as a potherb. Beans, however, have drawbacks: dried beans require a long cooking time, some cultivars may cause flatulence, and some cultivars of lima beans contain toxic levels of hydrocyanic acid and require special preparation. Considerable research has been conducted on variety development and cultivation practices particular to Europe, North America, and Latin America. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia is the world, particularly the tropical world, center for research. Little research has been done in Africa. Application of current scientific knowledge could increase average yields by two to three times. After peanuts, pigeon peas, and cowpeas, lima beans may be the most important grain legume to address in African research programs because of its wide range of adaptation, excellent disease and pest resistance, high yield potential, and excellent nutritional quality. Peanuts Peanuts or groundnuts originated in Bolivia and spread to both East and West Africa during the sixteenth century. Peanut production has become important in Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Zaire, Niger, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi, Chad, and Mali. Although a nutritious food crop, peanuts are grown primarily as a cash crop, and between 75 and 90 percent of production is processed or exported. Comparison of yields in Africa (600 to 700 kglha) with those in Asia (1 100 kglha) and the United States (2900 kglha) indicates that there is great potential to increase production. There are two basic types of peanuts. The Spanish Valencia type is erect with pods clustered around the base and produces uniformly mature seeds in

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90 to 100 days. The Virginia type includes runner and upright varieties with pods and seeds maturing continuously from 120 to 150 days. Virginia varieties require better growing conditions and have higher yields than the Spanish Valencia varieties. Peanuts thrive in lowland tropics with moderate rainfall, producing good yields on 500 to 600 mm of rainfall when well-distributed during the growing season. A well-developed taproot contributes to their reputation as a drought-resistant crop. Production in the humid tropics is poor due to increased diseases and pests. Due to their unique flowering and fruiting characteristics, peanuts perform best on well-drained sandy-loam savanna soils. Flowers are formed where the leaf connects to the branch. After self-pollination, the ovary stalk (peg) elongates and pushes the fertilized ovary into the soil-where the peanut develops. The correct soils allow easy penetration of the peg and growth of the peanut, minimize mold growth due to generally drier conditions, and ease digging up the pods. Peanuts are produced on clayey soils in Africa, but yields from these are lower. Several production practices for peanuts are affected by their unique underground fruiting pattern. The crop may be planted on a ridge to improve drainage and increase ease of harvest. Due to the short stature of peanuts, they provide little competition for weeds, so good weed control is important for high yields. Cultivation or hoeing for weed control should be done before pegging to prevent damage to the developing pods. Peanuts have a unique nutritional requirement for relatively high calcium levels around the pods for proper development of the seed. Peanuts should not be left in the ground long after maturity, nor should the dug peanuts remain wet for a long period, otherwise the mold Aspergillusj7avus could form and produce the chemical aflatoxin, which is quite poisonous and carcinogenic. Pods should be lifted from the ground together with the above-ground parts attached to them, then placed inverted in a wind row or small stack to minimize soil contact. Drying should continue in the field or on drying mats until the moisture content in the peanut drops to 10 percent. Peanuts are commonly roasted, boiled, or eaten raw as a snack for consumption by producing households, but most of the production is exported or processed into oil and high protein cake, the solid left after oil is extracted. When processed on a small scale, cold, roasted peanuts are pressed to extract oil. Oil is commercially produced by cooking peanut pulp in a humid atmosphere, then extracting the oil by a hydraulic press. Commercial processing of unshelled roasted peanuts results in 27 percent oil, 41 percent cake, or meal, and 32 percent shell. The decorticated (without seedcoat) cake is approximately 47 percent protein. This crop will continue to be important in African agriculture as a nutritious food and profitable cash crop. Production is relatively simple and requires little fertilizer or crop protection input. Diseases limit higher yields, and breeding pro, grams are placing major emphasis on the development of disease-resistant varieties.

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204 FOOD PRODUCTION Pigeon Peas Pigeon peas probably originated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many are grown in home gardens, making estimates of total production difficult. Most field plantings are found in East Africa, particularly in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. This legume is adapted to a wide range of environments and is being grown at low to medium elevations and in semiarid to humid regions; its resistance to fungal diseases allows it to grow well in the humid lowland tropics. Pigeon peas do best on deep, welldrained soils and are tolerant of saline or alkaline ones, but do poorly on acid and watehogged soils. Yields of dry seeds from 300 to 3000 kglha are obtainable; yields of 500 to 1000 kglha are more common. Pigeon peas are a woody, short-lived perennial with a productive life of five to six years, although the crop may be managed as an annual, producing the first seed crop 90 to 300 days after planting. Most varieties flower and produce seed in response to daylength, so the amount of time between planting and seed set can be manipulated with planting dates and variety selection. This legume is valuable as a component of intercrops, as a cover crop, and as bush fallow. Because early growth of pigeon peas is slow, it is seldom used as a sole crop; more commonly it is found intercropped with yam, corn, sorghum, or millet. Plant height ranges from 0.7 to 4.0 meters for erect and branching types, and both types may be used to support other climbing plants. During the first two to three months of growth, 500 to 600 millimeters of rainfall are required. Then, in soils with no restrictive layers, the pigeon peas produce a deep taproot that allows for drought tolerance during the remainder of the growing season. Pigeon pea competes less successfully than other legumes against weeds because of the pigeon pea's slow early growth; thus, weed control during the first four to six weeks is especially important. After full canopy forms, the plant competes well. This legume is an excellent green pea vegetable and dry seed pulse. It requires a longer cooking time than other legumes require, due to its hard seedcoat, which varies depending on the variety of pigeon pea and weather conditions during and after seed maturation. Pigeon peas are palatable and more easily digested than some legumes, due to their lower quantities of metabolic inhibitors and flatusproducing sugars. The leaves are eaten as greens and used for forage, and the stems are used for fuel. Breeding and selection of adapted pigeon pea varieties for Africa is in its infancy. Breeding objectives include high-yield capability, early maturation, determinate production of seed for more uniform maturation, increased drought resistance, clustering of flowers for harvest convenience, resistance to disease and insects, and better quality for seed and for cooking. Its value as a livestock feed in savannas during the dry season is currently being investigated.

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MAJOR DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS 205 Soybeans Soybeans have been produced in China and parts of Asia for centuries, but did not spread throughout the world until the twentieth century. Production in Africa is limited now due to a lack of market availability and knowledge about domestic utilization and production practices. Soybeans have great potential, as they consistently produce more high quality protein and oil than any other crop. Yields of 1000 to 2000 kglha are obtainable when conditions are favorable. Most soybeans are produced in temperate areas and in the tropics at intermediate elevations, but soybeans can be produced in lowland tropics as well. This crop is adapted to soils ranging from sand to clay loams. They are less drought resistant than cowpeas, but can tolerate more waterlogging. Africa's soybeans are produced primarily as a cash crop that is processed locally or exported. Oil, extracted for industrial uses and cooking, constitutes 18 percent of the bean. The remaining soybean meal is greater than 44 percent protein and can be ground into soybean flour; up to 10 percent soybean flour may be mixed with manufactured cereal products to significantly increase protein content without affecting taste. Soybeans consumed by humans should be boiled to eliminate a beany flavor and a protein digestive inhibitor. A wide range of genetic material is available to assist in the selection and breeding of soybeans for Africa. Breeders are trying to develop varieties with less sensitivity to daylength and temperature; earlier maturity for short growing seasons; better palatability for direct human consumption; greater tolerance of high soil temperature; more resistance to diseases, insects, and nematodes; and improved seed quality. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Aykroyd, W. R., Joyce Doughty, and Ann Walker. 1982. Legumes in Human Nutrition. FA0 Food and Nutrition. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. Dovlo, Florence E., Caroline E. Williams, and Laraba Zoaka. 1976. Cowpeas-Home Preparations and Use in West Africa. Ottawa: International Development Research Center. Hahn, S. K. 1977. Sweet Potato. In Ecophysiology of Tropical Crops. P. de T. Alvin and T. T. Kozlowski, eds. Pp. 237-247. New York: Academic Press. Harper, A. E. 1964. Modern Banana Production. London: Leonard Hill. Litzenberger, Samuel C. 1974. Guide for Field Crops in the Tropics and the Subtropics. Washington, D.C.: Technical Assistance Bureau, United States Agency for International Development. Martin, J. H., W. H. Leonard, and D. L. Stamp. 1976. Principles of Field Crop Production. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. Onwueme, I. C. 1978. Sweet Potato. In The Tropical Tuber Crops. Pp. 167-195. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons. Rachie, K. O., and L. M. Roberts. 1974. Grain Legumes of the Lowland Tropics. Advances in Agronomy 26: 1-1 32. Simmonds, N. S. 1966. Bananas. London: Longman.

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206 FOOD PRODUCTION Smith, 0. 1977. Potatoes: Production, Storing, Processing. Westport, Connecticut: AVI Publishing Company. Stoskopf, Neal C. 1985. Cereal Grain Crops. Reston, Virginia: Reston Publishing Co. Stover, R. H. 1972. Banana, Plantation and Abaca Diseases. Kew, Surrey, England: Commonwealth Mycological Institute. Thirty Years of Cooperative Sweet Potato Research 1939-1969. 1970. Southern Cooperative Services Bulletin 159. United States Department of Agriculture. 1981. Food Problems and Prospects in SubSaharan Africa: The Decade of the 1980s. Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 166. Washington, D.C.: Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Von Loesecke, H. W. 1950. Bananas. New York: Interscience Publications. Wardlaw, C. W. 1961. Banana Diseases. London: Longman.

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Livestock in the Economies of Sub-Saharan Africa JAMES R. SIMPSON ROBERT E. McDOWELL s ub-Saharan Africa is rich in animal biomass. There are many indigenous species of game, reptiles, birds, rodents, ants, termites, locusts, and others, which either support humans through food or are detrimental to crop production (R. E. McDowell 1984). Africa also has the usual domesticated species (livestock): camels, cattle, goats, poultry, swine, and equines, none of which are indigenous to Africa. As Africans shifted from gathering and hunting to agriculture, these introduced livestock became sources of food and providers of other goods and services such as manure for soil fertility and traction power for agriculture. Presently, the whole of Africa is highly dependent on its animal population. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the contributions of food animals, particularly those of livestock. Chapter 14 in this volume focuses on nondomesticated animals. ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE The estimated annual value of domestic livestock production in Sub-Saharan Africa is approximately $10 billion-about half of this is from meat, fiber, and skins and half is from nonfood products and services (International Livestock Center for Africa [ILCA] 1983). Additional contributions from meat, tourism, and trophies associated with game animals are valued at another $3.5 billion per year (McDowell et al. 1983). Seafood from rivers, lakes, and coastal waters add another $3 billion per year of food supplies. Total annual output from animals (livestock, game animals, and seafood), considering only their food value, equals or exceeds the $8.5 billion annual output from crops (Brumby et al. 1984). Output of products per livestock unit in Sub-Saharan Africa is low by developed-country standards. Nevertheless, these modest quantities of meat, milk, and eggs serve as

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208 FOOD PRODUCTION an important source of high quality protein to complement African diets based on starch crops. There are tradeoffs, however: even though cattle are important for traction and manure and contribute to the protein supply, the animals also consume crop residues that could otherwise enrich the soil. Milk is a precious commodity, especially for pastoralists and agropastoralists for whom it is a major source of food. Pastoralists must continually decide how to allocate available milk--either as family food or as a nutrient source for calves. The purchase of many foods-maize and other grains, tea, sugar, fats, and oilsby pastoralists and agropastoralists increases and decreases inversely to the availability of milk produced by their own animals. During the wet, rainy season, milk is available for both humans and calves. During the dry period when supplies of milk are reduced, the consumption of purchased foods and the cash outflow increase markedly. As the human population has increased in the arid and semiarid areas, emphasis has tended to shift from meat production to milk production. Hence, milk production has increased by 2 to 3 percent per year over the past decade, whereas meat production has increased only 1.3 percent per year in that time (ILCA 1985). Income from livestock provides the main source of cash for both pastoralists and agropastoralists in virtually all of Sub-Saharan Africa. Livestock and livestock product sales enable low-resource farmers to earn cash to purchase inputs such as fertilizer and better seed to increase grain production, which suggests that expanded livestock output serves as a catalyst for growth. Exchanges of milk or small ruminants (sheep and goats) for grains between pastoralists and agropastoralists are important, particularly in arid and semiarid areas. The grazing of crop residues by pastoral herds leads to manure deposits that better support crop production (Brumby et al. 1984; Von Kaufmann 1982). Livestock provide key factors of production in agriculture. Manure for fuel and fertilizer, and draft power for land preparation, are often more important than the edible products produced (see Table 13.1). In fact, meat production is frequently a minor product to both pastoralist and agropastoralist, although it is the product most African governments encourage. The contribution of nonfood items (fiber, skins or hides, and other inedible products) is noteworthy in many areas. It is also important to recognize that animals are multifaceted, very liquid savings mechanisms: livestock provide security of capital and a source of cash, especially in times of drought. Furthermore, they are a means for producers to build up equity capital and are one of the few good investments open to a wide segment of Africa's rural population. In good times livestock serve as a social convenience for bride price, weddings, etc.; in bad times animals are one of the few hedges available against financial and food disasters. Livestock contribute 20 to 30 percent of the gross domestic product in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. This percentage, although very large, underestimates the total value because difficult to measure contributions such as traction power and manure have not been included. Furthermore, livestock production may continue to grow because a sizeable proportion of Africa's urban dwellers are sufficiently affluent to effectively demand more and

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 209 TABLE 13.1. Classification of Contributions of Livestock to Human Welfare Classification Some Contributions Food Fiber Traction Waste Conservation Pest Control Cultural Inedible Products Income Storage and Investments milk, meat, eggs, prepared products wool, hair agriculture, cartage, packinq, herding, power, irrigation pumps, threshing grains, passenger conveyance fertilizer, fuel, methane gas, construction, recycled as feed grazing, seed distribution fa1 low between crops, plants in waterways exhibition, fightinq, huntinq, racing, status symbol, religious, barter, ceremonial horns, hooves, bones for processing into feed supplements and other products ready source of cash for daily needs and production inputs capital, grains Source: Adapted from R.E. McDowell. 1977. Ruminant Products: More than Meat and Milk. Morrilton, Arkansas: Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center. higher quality livestock products. It is critical to understand that Africans themselves desire greater per capita livestock products-it is not just a goal foreigners hold for Africans. DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK Cattle Cattle first arrived in Africa from Western Asia about 5000 to 2300 B.C. (Payne 1970). Three types were introduced by nomadic peoples or by migration: the Hamitic "Longhorn" of Egypt, the "Shorthorn" of Egypt, and the Zebu. These types are not related to the Longhorn of the United States or the Shorthorn breed developed in England. The first admixtures of Zebu with Longhorn or Shorthorn or both probably took place as early as 2000 to 1500 B.C. at various centers in North and East Africa. Cattle that resulted from indigenous admixtures between humped and humpless cattle are generally classified as Sangas. A typology of more than

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2 10 FOOD PRODUCTION fifty breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa is found in The World's BeefBusiness (Simpson and Farris 1982). In the early 1980s there were about 174 million head of cattle in Africa, or 0.34 head per person. In contrast, the world average for this time was 0.26 head per person (see Table 13.2). Cattle are mainly concentrated in the east central part of Africa (see Figure 13.1). Examination of livestock inventories and meat production in Sub-Saharan Africa on a country by country basis reveals considerable differences among them. For example, cattle inventory varies from less than onetenth of a head per person in Zaire to 3.6 head per person in Botswana. Another FIGURE 13.1. Distribution of Cattle in Africa Source: Reprinted with permission from M. M. Rweyemamu. 198 1. Surveillance and Control of Virus Diseases: Africa. In Virus Diseases of Food Animals. Vol. 1. International Perspectives, E. P. J. Gibbs, ed. London: Academic Press. Pp. 79-100. Originally from Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources. 1976. Nairobi: Survey of Kenya.

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 21 1 measure, production of beef and veal per head of cattle (obtained by dividing total national production, including estimates of home slaughter, by total cattle inventory), further reveals that differences are very large, ranging from just 8.3 kilograms (kg) in Ethiopia to 25.7 kg in Rwanda. There are good reasons for these differences. About 40 percent of cattle are raised on rangelands, mainly by traditional pastoral groups, while virtually all of the remainder are kept in traditional (subsistence or small farmer) mixed crop-and-livestock systems. Crop residues play a critical role in cattle feeding and account for approximately half of cattle feedstuffs. Sheep and Goats About one-seventh of the world's sheep and goats are found in Africa. Distribution of inventory varies widely, from 0.04 head of livestock (both species) per person in Mozambique to 5.74 head per person in Burkina Faso (Simpson and Evangelou 1984). The average for Sub-Saharan Africa is 0.66 head per person. Yearly production of lamb, mutton, and goat meat varies widely, from 0.2 kg per person in Mozambique to 18.5 kg in Somalia. The yearly average for Sub-Saharan Africa, including both sheep and goats, is 2.4 kg per person (Jahnke 1982). The following inventories of goats indicate their relative importance in Africa: there are 0.31 head per person in Africa, only 0.10 head per person for the world, and 0.03 head per person in Europe (see Table 13.2). Sheep are a well-recognized commercial enterprise in developed countries as in Africa and number 0.37 head per person in Africa and 0.36 head per person in Europe. In Africa sheep are used for meat, and goats are for both milk and meat (Wilson 1984a). Camels Approximately 71 percent of the world's 17 million camels are found in the very arid regions (less than 400 millimeters of annual rainfall) of Sub-Saharan Africa. Camels are the oldest domestic species in Africa, having arrived via migration during the Pleistocene period about 3 million years ago (Wilson 1984b). They are most widely used for riding and transport, but certain ethnic groups such as the Somali and Afar in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan maintain large herds almost solely for milk production. Camels prefer grass but shift to browse when grass quality is poor. They can consume plants from highly saline areas. Camels have a tolerance to plants that have a high salt content to conserve water; thus camels are well suited to arid and semiarid areas (Demment and Van Soest 1983).

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TABLE 13.2. Cattle, Sheep and Goat Production in Africa and Selected Areas, 1983 I tem Unitsa Africa World Europe USA Population, human Cattle Annual Inventory Per person Beef & Veal Total production Production per person Production per head of cattle in inventory Sheep Annual Inventory Per person Sheep meat Total production production per person Production per head of sheep in inventory Goats Annual inventory Per person Goat meat Total production Production per person Production per head of goats in inventory 1,000,000 1,000,000 head Head 1,000 Mt kg kg 1,000,000 head Head 1,000 Mt kg kg 1,000,000 head Head 1,000 Mt kg kg Source: Adapted from FA0 (Food and Agriculture Organization). 1984. Production Yearbook. Rome: FAO. aMetric ton (Mt), kilogram (kg).

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 21 3 Swine and Poultry There is only a relatively small amount of production and consumption of pork and poultry meat in any country of Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, just 2.8 kg of poultry meat are produced on a per person-per year basis. In contrast, production is about 15.2 kg per person per year in Europe and 30.9 kg per person per year in the United States. The production per person comparisons demonstrate the importance of these two commodities in diets of two major developed areas relative to their importance in diets of Sub-Saharan Africa. Per capita consumption figures are useful, but it is more important to understand the reasons for differences in consumption levels. Concerning poultry, production systems in developed countries are based on confinement and a total concentrate ration. Inventory turnover in the United States is high, about seven to nine weeks, and so is the total production: 19.1 kg of meat are produced per bird in the annual inventory (the number at any one time in the year). In contrast, approximately 2.2 kg of meat are produced per bird in the annual inventory in Africa where there is very little confinement in poultry operations, despite the great benefits in reduced mortality, disease control, and feeding efficiency. There are no blueprints to describe the roles of poultry or swine in optimizing resource utilization or to quantify their relation to food and development in Africa. However, Robert McDowell and Peter Hildebrand (1980) identified poultry in eight of the ten major agricultural systems in Africa and swine in five of these ten systems. Both species have traditionally been scavengers, converting byproducts and waste such as garbage, vegetable tops, sweet potato or yam vines, unmarketable roots, grasses, insects, and other consumable materials. Prices for poultry products in certain urban areas are such that grains, dried fish, and ground nuts, ordinarily used for human consumption, are being profitably used as feed for poultry. Nigeria has developed a number of commercial swine units. Other countries will no doubt follow this example. Africa's production of pig meat may be analyzed in terms similar to that of poultry with the additional analysis of the role religion plays. In many areas, such as those with Moslems, consumption of pig meat is taboo. Furthermore, pig products may be dangerous due to trichinosis (disease from eating undercooked pork containing a parasitic worm) and to the ease with which other parasites can be transmitted to humans. Techniques to enhance swine and poultry production are well known, thus there is great potential for reduced production costs and expanded output. However, these technologies cannot be employed until a multitude of economic and institutional constraints are overcome. Swine and poultry production must be intensive to realize efficiencies. Also, expanded demand will be mainly from the urban population. Consequently, even though these two species may potentially make a major contribution to meeting food needs in Africa, progress will be made only as each country experiences economic growth. An important benefit is that expansion of poultry and swine production would stimulate grain production in

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TABLE 13.3. Swine and Poultry Production in Africa and Selected Areas, 1983 8 0 u I tem Unitsa Africa World Europe USA 2 0 u Population, human 1,000,000 514.0 4,670.0 490.0 234.0 g Chickens in Annual Inventory 1,000,000 650.0 7,063.0 1,237.0 379.0 8 z Chickens per person Birds 1.26 1.51 2.52 1.62 Poultry Meat Total Production 1,000 Mt Production per person kg Production per bird in Annual Inventory kg Pigs 1,000 head 11.045.0 773,599.0 173,555.0 53,935.0 Pigs per person Head 0.02 0.17 0.35 0.23 Pigmeat Total Production Production per person Production per pig in Annual Inventory Source: Adapted from FA0 (Food and Agricultural Organization). 1984. Production Yearbook. Rome: FAO. aMetric tons (Mt), kilograms (kg).

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 215 some areas, leading to even more economic activity-exactly what is needed for development. LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS Agricultural production systems of Sub-Saharan Africa are numerous, highly complex, and vary widely depending on ecological zones and social patterns. For example, ten major smallholder crop-and-livestock systems and twelve subsystems have been identified in this region as compared with only four major systems in Latin America (McDowell and Hildebrand 1980). If the ten systems are redefined from a descriptive to a management viewpoint, three classifications can be identified: pastoral, transhumant, and sedentary. Pastoral systems are associated with rangelands in arid and semiarid zones. These rangelands consist of natural or seminatural vegetation suitable for herds of wild or domestic ungulates (Pratt and Gwynne 1977). Although pure pastoralism is restricted to dry areas, there may be migrations into wetter areas and, in fact, there are several higher rainfall areas with a tradition of pastoral land use (Jahnke 1982). Pastoralists have no fixed home base, and their mobility is high. They utilize mixed species of ruminants, mainly camels and goats and sometimes cattle and sheep (Wilson 1984a, 1984b). Multispecies are preferred in order to reduce risks from loss by disease. The complementarity of species in feeding behavior and reproductive patterns-to ensure optimal use of rangeland resources and obtain maximum milk for food-is well recognized by pastoralists. As indicated in Table 13.4, the linkage between pastoralism and agriculture is weak. Some pure pastoralists may own or have access to plots or arable land for cropping, but their security rests principally in consumption of animal products and the barter of milk or small ruminants for grains. The term "transhumant" denotes land-use systems in which livestock husbandry and cropping are practiced in association with each other. The relationship may be close, or the herding and cropping may be parallel activities without interaction. Quite often the two activities are not even carried out by the same management unit. Transhumants, in contrast to pastoralists, have a fixed base; however they are quite mobile depending upon rainfall distribution. The transhumant system prevails mainly in marginal areas with 300 to 600 millimeters of annual rainfall, i.e., those posing high risks for cropping. R. T. Wilson (1982) identifies two types of transhumance in Mali: dryland cropping and flood plain grazing with cropping. But H. E. Jahnke (1982) identifies at least four transhumant subsystems. Jahnke points out that transhumance is also practiced in Mali in subhumid areas with 600 to 1,000 millimeters of annual rainfall, where herd movements alleviate the threat of tsetse flies and the disease of trypanosomiasis. The characteristics of livestock production in Mali illustrate the complexity of livestock systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and the wide differences among systems, even in a single country, as a result of apparently small differences in a host of conditions.

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TABLE 13.4. Major Characteristics of Livestock Production Systems in Mali !2 Pastoral Agropastoral Flood plain Rainfed Irrigated Rainfed cash/ Orvl and arazina and millet rice subsistence U I tem Pure cropping cropping cropping cropping cropping Contribution of livestock (I gross revenue) 95 Rainfall (mm) <400 Importance of nil to agriculture negligible Linkage with very weak agriculture Current carrying capacity: People very low Livestock 1 ow TLU per capitaa 0.8-1.6 Market production 40% barter mild/grain Mobility high with no fixed base some cultivation, manure exchanged for stubble grazing 50-60% sale rnilk/animals high with fixed base 60 200 (floodplain) can be quite important cultivates or arranges to produce crops high/very high medium/high 1.2-1.6 45-503 sale animals/grain high wet season fixed base 25 15 10 400-800 500 (irrigation) 700-1400 considerable very paramount important cultivates own crops: work oxen important and consume crop residues medium high medium/high low/medium medium/high ----------0.4-1.6 0.4-1.2 0.4-0.8 10-50% 60% 60% sale animals (sells rice) (cash crops) low, short distances during cropping season, permanent base Source: Adapted from R.T. Wilson. 1982. Livestock Production in Central Mali. ILCA Bulletin No. 15. Addis Ababa: ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa). aTotal 1 ivestock units (TLU).

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 2 17 Transhumant herders generally practice cropping, but they obtain 60 to 90 percent of their food and income from livestock. These people use mixed herds of cattle, goats, and sheep. They place the highest value on milk for food or barter for grains. Manure is gathered during the dry season to ensure higher crop yields. Each household is usually geographically divided during the wet season-some members of the household tend livestock, which are grazing rangelands, and other members of the household cultivate crops. During the dry season, livestock are brought back to the household area to utilize crop residues as feedstuffs. A third system, sedentary, denotes those people who have a permanent base. Subsets of this system denote those people (1) in mixed farming (crop-andlivestock systems) or agropastoralism, (2) in livestock ranching, and (3) who are landless or nearly so. Sedentary systems are found in all the major ecological zones: arid, semiarid, subhumid, humid, and highlands. The main emphasis in the sedentary agropastoral subsystem is cropping; dependence on animals for income is variable, as illustrated for Mali inTable 13.4. Animal holdings are usually composed of multiple species. Livestock may be herded on fallow lands or rangelands away from the household during the cropping season and allowed to feed on crop residues during the dry season. Services rendered by animals are at least as important as the food they provide. Animal traction is generally used for land preparation and sometimes for weeding. There is high dependence on animal manures to support cropping. Income from sales of livestock is primarily used to support crop production. For example, this income allows for purchases of seed and fertilizer and provides economic security if crops fail due to low rainfall or pests. The sedentary ranching subsystem and the pastoral system are often outwardly similiar (having range livestock production), but they have radically different management practices. The ranching subsystem is labor extensive and focuses on managing one or two livestock species to produce marketable commodities-mainly animals for slaughter, but in some instances for wool and milk. The function of livestock is to generate cash income; thus the operations are commercial or semicommercial. Livestock graze within fixed boundaries on land improved by such capital investments as fencing and watering points; purchased minerals or other supplements are used for animal nutrition. The ranches are not always private property; some are group or peasant cooperatives established with capital provided by governments and donor agencies (Behnke 1984). In a number of countries cattle are the dominant species used in ranching. But sheep ranching for skins or pelts (karakul) and wool occurs in some of the dry areas, particularly in Southern Africa. The landless subsystem is a system in which land is markedly less important than it is in the systems described so far. This subsystem primarily refers to the situation of livestock that are not highly dependent on grazing-i.e., swine and poultry raised in confinement and cattle fed to achieve slaughter weight in confinement. This subsystem exists in all but the arid and semiarid areas. It incorporates situations in which swine and poultry obtain their feed as scavengers about the household, consuming household waste and scraps such as maize and sorghum

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2 18 FOOD PRODUCTION bran from meal preparations. This subsystem shows how landless people can still be productive; they can purchase feed from commercial sources as a substitute for owning land. In addition to the livestock sector, Africa's wild game population-the world's largest-contributes to the economy. In several countries the viewing of game, hunting, and photography are large generators of foreign exchange. Not a single country currently has any organized harvest system for their game animals, despite game meat being of some importance as a source of human food. In a few countries large tracts of land have been set aside for meat production from game, but harvest and transport costs have made these operations uneconomical. In areas where game roam freely, there are a larger number of predators and thus higher risks for herding goats and sheep. Even though there are these problems, game and cattle complement each other by making the best use of rangeland forage and browse, leading to a higher total production of meat per area of land. We conclude that more effort should be made to increase the contribution made by game animals to African food supplies (McDowell et al. 1983; see McGlothlen in this volume). CONSTRAINTS, PROBLEMS, AND PROSPECTS FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION Seasonal shortages of water for plant growth and for animals are the major ecological constraints to increasing livestock production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over 70 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa is located in areas with less than 1,000 millimeters of rainfall per year, i.e., lands classed as arid, semiarid, and subhumid. Annual fluctuations in rainfall of more than 50 percent in these areas further accentuate problems of inconsistent feed resources. Livestock are widely found in arid areas and have been accused of being the major contributor to increased desertification. It is important to note the influence of drought cycles and many other factors in the fragile environment of the Sahelian region (see Nicholson in this volume). For instance, crop production and cutting trees to fuel furnaces for iron making during precolonial times were important destructive forces in Ghana and possibly many other localities (Haaland 1979). An alternate view is that animals have actually slowed desertification. Many of the plants that have survived in the more arid areas produce hard-coated seeds. When these seeds are ingested and passed by animals, the outer coat can be more easily broken down, making the seeds responsive to rainfall. The tsetse fly infests over two thirds of the subhumid zone (600 to 1100 millimeters of rainfall per year), an area covering about 4.9 million square kilometers or 22 percent of all tropical Africa. This infestation is a serious obstacle for ruminant livestock production since the tsetse fly transmits the disease trypanosomiasis, for which there is still no effective control. Only 1.6 million square kilometers of this zone are tsetse free. Nevertheless, the subhumid zone harbors important livestock populations, including 33 million cattle or 22 percent

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 2 19 of the total cattle population of Sub-Saharan Africa. There are also 14 million sheep or 14 percent of Africa's total and 16 million goats or 16 percent of the total (ILCA 1985). Another problem in the subhumid zone is rapid human population growth due to both natural population increase and high rates of immigration. The considerable untapped potential of the area attracts people from neighboring semiarid and humid zones, both for cropping and livestock development (Jahnke 1982). High population growth compounds other problems that also obstruct development and require further attention. One unresolved problem is that livestock in the subhumid zone have the lowest productivity of livestock anywhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, the conventional long-term fallow necessary to maintain land fertility has declined with rising human population. It must be concluded, from both a land conservation and a potential livestock production standpoint, that research on crop-and-livestock systems that maintain land in continuous production should be a high priority (R. E. McDowell 1984). Genetic improvement in livestock is frequently given a high priority because animals themselves are so visible, even to the casual observer. Not all genetic development efforts have been successful. Attempts to improve stocks and semen to produce crossbreeds and upgrade stock have often failed or, at best, have met with limited success because imported livestock could not survive in conventional systems. Frequently, disenchantment with the use of improved breeds resulted because attempts at genetic improvement were introduced as a single rather than plural phase of technological intervention. The single phase technology approach led to rapid expansion in animal numbers without due consideration to feed resources and other inputs for sustained animal production. The focus on importing stocks and semen was based on the assumption that new stocks or crossbreeds would be more efficient than native types in using locally available resources. Failure to effectively utilize improved breeds will continue until feed resources are more stable, their quality raised, and better management available (McDowell 1985). Africa's livestock industry is also plagued with periodic outbreaks of epizootic diseases such as East Coast fever and rinderpest. East Coast fever is yet without an effective vaccine, but this is one of the two diseases being researched by the International Livestock Research Centre for Animal Diseases (ILRAD) in Nairobi, Kenya. In the 1950s and 1960s, national and international agencies collaborated to eradicate rinderpest. Control was effective for a time, but countries did not allocate adequate resources to maintain a vaccination program. The result was a major widespread outbreak in the early 1980s that will take years to control. In spite of the real constraints to productivity already noted, certain allegations concerning the low productivity of African livestock are unfounded. African pastoralists are as rational and productive as their counterparts elsewhere, given the economic and natural environment within which they operate (de Leeuw and Konandreas 1982; Shapiro 1979). For example, the output per head of cattle in Africa is about $30 per annum or 15 percent of the purchase price, while the U.S.

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220 FOOD PRODUCTION output is estimated at $126 per head per year or approximately 13 percent of the purchase price (ILCA 1983). Increased output with lower production costs is needed, but this will take time and resources. Overthe 1965 to 1980 period, donors channeled around $600 million into livestock programs in Africa based on the assumption that direct transfer of technology was appropriate. Results have been disappointing because much of that technology was inappropriate, especially given pricing patterns and social constraints. During colonial times, Africa had a large commercial cattle industry and a considerable export market. Now governments in most countries have instituted controlled meat prices at low levels to placate urban populations or, at least, to prevent social unrest in the short term. Productivity per head of livestock has hardly increased since colonial times and in many areas it has decreased. At the same time, there has been an expansion of cropping into former grazing lands, resulting in commercial meat production becoming almost nonexistent except in Southern Africa. It must be recognized that higher prices to producers are a requirement to bring about increased meat production, but it is difficult to determine the extent to which prices should increase in the short and intermediate terms as part of national economic development strategies. The complexity of livestock systems in Sub-Saharan Africa is difficult for Westerners to fathom, mainly because of extensive-yet often very subtle+ultural relationships in ownership, tenure, peer evaluation, prestige, trade, and so forth (Horowitz 1979). All of these infringe upon "improvement" or at least inhibit change at the level of individual herders and their herds. There are spatial aspects of traditional herd movements that must be taken into account in any planning exercise, along with all of the physical and economic variables (Little 1984). Terms of trade for livestock producers must be carefully weighed regarding the desire for cash and short-term wants versus long-term wants. Many of the vast host of variables exogenous to livestock production and marketing per se are covered in other parts of this volume. A large percentage of livestock in Sub-Saharan Africa is grazed on "communally owned" land, which compounds management problems. The social organization that regulates the use of communal grazing lands and the ownership of livestock is difficult for outsiders to perceive and understand, even though input by anthropologists and economists is becoming ever more helpful (Sullivan et al. 1985; Horowitz 1979). For instance, it has become apparent that pastoralists need to maintain large herds for survival under harsh ecological conditions (Simpson and Sullivan 1984). Thus, much of the argument about increased livestock as "greed rather than need" is unfounded. There is also widespread agreement that livestock support a number of social, ritual, and economic functions; the relative ranking in importance of these functions varies depending upon ethnic groups, country, and environmental constraints (Schneider 1984). Decisions by herders that were viewed a few years ago as ultraconservative are now deemed prudent. The problem is failure to recognize that livestock cjevelopment in Sub-Saharan Africa must be based on promotion and proper stimulus for two sectors+ommercial

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LIVESTOCK IN THE ECONOMIES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 22 1 and traditional-and that each has its own requirements, needs, and barriers to development. Numerous additional constraints could be identified, but enough have been presented to point out the need for well-developed programs that take a multitude of factors into consideration rather than single phase technology transfers. Recognition of the multitude of factors is especially important as overcoming one constraint such as genetic improvement often leads to more ready identification of other constraints. Finally, although opportunities to increase livestock production are restricted, the livestock sector has done as well as or better than cropping (Brumby et al. 1984). Increases in meat and milk production in Sub-Saharan Africa from the 1969-1971 period to the 1979-1981 period were considerably greater than the increases in cereal production on the average, even in the eight countries with the worst production records. In the top eight countries in terms of production increases, outputs of all commodities rose, suggesting that the challenge of overcoming these constraints to livestock production may be met. Just as a multitude of problem areas exist, so do solutions. There is no single universal solution, but rather each one depends on a complex series of factors, at least including ecological differences, social conditions, government policies, demand and supply situations, and type of systems. Most importantly, each solution depends on a country's longand short-term objectives. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Dahl, G., and A. Hjort. 1976. Having Herds: Pastoral Herd Growth andHousehold Economy. Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, University of Stockholm. Galaty, J. G., D. Aaranson, P. C. Salzman, and A. Chouinard, eds. 1981. The Future of Pastoral Peoples: Proceedings of a Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, 4th-8th August 1981. Ottawa: International Development Centre. Horowitz, Michael M. 1979. The Sociology of Pastoralism and African Livestock Projects. USAID Program Evaluation Discussion Paper No. 6. Washington, D.C.: United States Agency for International Development. ILCA (International Livestock Centre for Africa) Bulletin. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: ILCA. Monod, T., ed. 1975. Pastoralism in Tropical Africa. London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute. Pratt, David, and M. D. Gwynne. 1977. Rangeland Management and Ecology in East Africa. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Sandford, Stefen. 1983. Management of Pastoral Development in the Third World. London: Overseas Development Institute. Shapiro, Kenneth H., ed. 1979. Livestock Production and Marketing in the Entente States of West Africa: Summary Report. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Research on Economic Development. Simpson, James R., and Phylo Evangelou. 1984. Livestock Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Constraints, Prospects, Policies. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Simpson, James R., and Gregory M. Sullivan. 1985. On Institutional Change in Utilization in African Common Property Range Resources. African Studies Review 27:4:61-78. Wilson, R. Trevor. 1984. The Camel. New York: Longman.

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Undomesticated Animals and Plants MICHAEL E. McGLOTHLEN PAUL GOLDSMITH CHARLES FOX u ndomesticated animals and plants are important sources of food in rural African systems, but that importance often goes unrecognized in discussions of food and development. For most rural Africans, undomesticated animals and plants provide foodstuffs, energy, monetary income, and useful materials that complement cultivated crops and livestock. Fish and game are the major sources of animal protein in large areas and probably for the majority of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Food and Agriculture OrganizationIInternational Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (FAOIIUCN) special project on African wildlife (Riney 1967; Riney and Hill 1967a, 1967b) estimated game constitutes 80 percent of fresh meat eaten in Ghana and 50 percent in Congo. This amount is probably typical in Sub-Saharan Africa, since heavily populated Nigeria gets 60 percent of its animal protein from fish, 19 percent from game, and 21 percent from livestock, i.e., 48 percent of fresh meat (game and livestock) comes from game. Even Botswana, a mainly pastoral country, gets 80 percent of its animal protein from game (Butynski and von Richter 1974). Livestock, especially cattle, are usually more important as sources of byproduct foods (milk, eggs), draft power, and manure and as economic investments and savings than as sources of meat (see Simpson and McDowell in this volume). Undomesticated trees are the major source of rural and urban household energy, since firewood and charcoal are the main cooking fuels of Africa (see Webley in this volume). Undomesticated plants, including trees, are used in construction and the manufacture of utensils, implements, medicines, and fishing and hunting poisons. Rural people also exploit undomesticated animals, plants, and products such as wild honey for cash income; the ultimate purchasers and consumers of some of these foods and materials live in urban areas.

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 223 INDIGENOUS ANIMALS EXCLUDING FISH (MICHAEL E. McGLOTHLEN) Indigenous animals have a much more prominent role in the economy and diet of Africa than they do in Europe or North America. At present, more game meat than domestic meat is consumed in most of Sub-Saharan Africa (Riney 1967; Riney and Hill 1967a, 1967b; Pullan 1981; von Richter 1979; Roth 1966; Pollock 1974; Asibey 1974; Charter 1971). Increasing use of indigenous animals with improved management is required if the nutritional needs, especially for protein, of Africa's expanding human population are to be met. Strategies include: (1) increasing supplemental use with livestock, (2) game ranches, and (3) continuing to domesticate more species. A mixture of several species of indigenous animals can use the vegetation in a balanced nondestructive manner and produce much greater quantities of meat than can domestic animals. Meat production from these animals may be greatly expanded in a permanent manner, whereas the traditional domestic animals are already exceeding the maximum carrying capacity in many areas. To increase production of animal protein and to stop ecological damage such as desertification, in many cases domestic animals must be replaced or, at least, supplemented with indigenous animals. Present Importance and Utilization Exact data on the extent of present utilization of indigenous animals are hard to find (Riney 1967). After fish, game meat is the main source of animal protein in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by milk and meat from domestic livestock (Asibey 1974; Ajayi 1971, 1983). Most of the meat is obtained from small animals that are not controlled by government agencies. Even for larger animals, much meat is consumed that does not pass through formal markets where it can be measured. Studies on specific cities and countries are the best present source of information (Riney and Hill 1967a, 1967b. In Botswana, for instance, which has a lot of cattle and is usually thought of as a pastoral economy, people get about 80 percent of their meat from game and the rest from domestic stock (Butynski and von Richter 1974; von Richter 1979). More meat is harvested from larger game animals covered by hunting licenses than from cattle, but the main source of animal protein in Botswana is the springhare, a large rodent not covered by the license. Over seven million pounds of springhare meat are consumed every year (Butynski 1973). From a nutritional viewpoint, springhares are more important than cattle. In the forest zone of West Africa, the most important meat animal is another rodent, the grasscutter, or cane rat (Asibey 1974). The grasscutter and the African giant rat have been domesticated in Nigeria and Ghana and are productive enough to repay their feed costs twice over at present market prices (Ajayi 1975, 1983). About one hundred seventy thousand pounds of grasscutter meat a year are sold in Accra, the capital of Ghana, constituting more than 70 percent of all bush meat sold there

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224 FOOD PRODUCTION (Asibey 1974). In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and where comparatively little wildlife still exists, game meat accounts for 19 percent of consumed animal protein, compared with 21 percent from domestic animals and 60 percent from fish (Charter 1971). In one year, Charter estimated that six hundred seventeen thousand tons of bushmeat were consumed. In Zambia a similar pattern is noted; fish are the largest single source of animal protein, but cattle, wildlife, and poultry are all significant (Pullan 1981). Beef is only available in the cities and certain rural areas because of nagana, or trypanosomiasis. For much of the population, fish and game meat are the only sources of animal protein. Legal hunting of controlled animals, not including small mammals such as hares and springhares and birds such as guinea fowl and francolins, yields some four thousand tons of meat; there is much illegal poaching as well (Pullan 1981). The cropping of elephants in the Luangwa Valley National Park was estimated to have provided half of the meat in Zambia's Eastern Province in the late fifties (Darling 1960a). Most of the meat from larger animals is dried to make biltong (jerky) in Zambia, as elsewhere in Southern and East Africa. Four pounds of fresh meat dries to one pound of biltong. Invertebrates are also a very important food source, and their contribution is hard to quantify. Termites are widely eaten in Africa and provide protein for many people. Although humans do not possess the enzyme that enables some animals to digest chitin, termite alates are a valuable source of protein and fat (Redford and Dorea 1984). In Zambia the alates come out in very large numbers early in the rainy season and are easy to collect. An added advantage is that they do not require cooking as they are quite tasty raw. Termites perform some useful functions such as disposing of dead leaves and grass and creating fertile soil. With the aid of intestinal microflora, they can digest structural carbohydrates even more thoroughly than can ruminants and can produce large quantities of valuable food from otherwise useless material (Nielsen and Josens 1978). Unfortunately, some types of termites are very destructive of crops (Malaka 1983). Caterpillars are also a popular food. In northwestern Zambia, the Luvale are able to eat caterpillars throughout the year by using different species (White 1967). Utilization of animals for food is influenced by custom and by religion, regardless of whether or not the animals are domesticated. Members of a particular clan avoid eating the totem of their clan, and in some cases, an animal may not be killed at all because of clan pressure (deVos 1977). Norris Dembetembe stated that many Shona in Zimbabwe do not approve of the domestication and use of eland by white farmers because it is the most popular totem animal (Dembetembe 1984, personal communication). Muslims will not eat suids or rats; many other people also will dt eat pork. Antoon De Vos (1977) cites many examples of animals that are not supposed to be eaten by certain people; for instance, many animals are only supposed to be eaten by men. The Bisa of Zambia will not kill striped animals such as the zebra and eland, even though this restricts the supply of available meat (Marks 1973). Traditional beliefs also give special importance and value to certain wildlife products. The meat of certain animals or even certain parts of an animal may be

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 225 thought to have medical properties, especially regarding fertility and virility as with, for example, the rhinoceros horn. In another example, house rats, which are not commonly eaten in Ghana, are given to children with whooping cough (Asibey 1974). Commercial exploitation of wildlife as food is still rather limited, and little game meat is exported from Africa (Krostitz 1979). Game ranching and supplementing domestic stock with indigenous animals are still on an experimental basis in Africa, except in the Transvaal, Republic of South Africa, and in Zimbabwe. Many white farmers there have supplemented cattle with various antelope, and a few have converted to game ranching completely. InZimbabwe in 1964,1,145 tons of game meat were produced by commercial cropping, compared with 1,460 tons from licensed hunting (Roth 1966). H. H. Roth stated that twice as much would have been cropped except for a partial ban on hunting to control hoof and mouth disease. Hunting small animals, which do not require licenses, probably provides more meat to the rural population, but commercial production is important. Production of game meat by private farms in theTransvaal was reported to be over five million pounds in 1959 (Riney 1963). This was mostly from farms where the animals had been reintroduced specifically for meat production and brush control. Kudu and impala were the most important, but blesbuck, bushbuck, springbuck, wildebeest, zebra, francolin, guinea fowl, and ostrich all contributed significantly. Some farms eliminated cattle and stocked only indigenous animals, but more had both (Riney and Kettlitz 1964). Game Parks, Tourism, and Cropping Most commercial exploitation of African game animals has been through tourism, which has been widely proclaimed as the reason for preserving wildlife. But it is a remarkably poor argument from an African perspective: large tracts of land are to be set aside forever for the entertainment of foreigners with the wealth to enjoy it, while little or no benefit comes to local people (Myers 1981). Hotels, restaurants, tour companies, and so forth are mostly foreign owned-the profits leave Africa and all that is provided to Africans is employment for a few. In most cases, the cost to African countries of providing protection for game animals and tourists far exceeds the income from tourism. The failure of tourism to make any substantial contribution to land-hungry local people reinforces Norman Myer's contention that game parks will soon be lost unless they are given value by cropping the animals to provide food. Cropping is essential to give the animals themselves value, so they will be protected from poaching that can destroy needed breeding stock as well as the harvestable surplus (Darling 1960b). In game management, commercial hunting and culling are ways of conserving wildlife. If the harvestable surplus is taken from a population, remaining animals will be healthier and better fed. Since reproduction usually reaches its maximum at about one half of carrying capacity, many animals may be harvested from most

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226 FOOD PRODUCTION populations with a subsequent increase in productivity. Culling animals to preserve their habitat is frequently necessary. Thousands of elephants have died in the drought in Kenya in recent years. Since they were not harvested for human use, many tons of meat were allowed to rot (Myers 1981). Elephants and hippopotami are particularly damaging to their habitat or to farmers' crops when there are too many of them or when they are in the wrong place. Both are valuable sources of meat where culling programs are in operation; hippopotami are also of special value because they are the only local source of lard. Ecological Considerations Mixed indigenous animals can utilize more of the vegetation than domestic stock because different species eat different plants or different levels of the vegetation (Darling 1960a, 1960b). Different species may even prefer different parts of the same plants. When grazing on the same grass, wildebeest tend to prefer the leaves, topi the sheaths, and zebra the stems (Gwynne and Bell 1968); therefore, these animals tend to graze together in joint herds, in a somewhat serial manner. The advantage of using a variety of animals that occupy different ecological niches is widely accepted. When only one type of animal is using the vegetation, the composition can change as desirable plants are removed, leaving undesirable ones to reproduce. A mixed stock can use vegetation in a balanced, nondestructive manner. Many studies have shown that the carrying capacity (on unimproved, poor quality range) for game is at least three times that for cattle or even for a mixed stock of domestic animals (Talbot et al. 1965). If the money, chemicals, water, and machinery are available, improved pasture can be maintained so cattle will be as productive as mixed game. However, lack of capital and a climate with seasonal rains preclude this type of management in most of Africa. Meat Production Using Indigenous Animals There are several ways of using game animals for meat production: (1) to supplement and facilitate livestock production, (2) through game ranches that replace livestock, and (3) by continuing domestication. The most widely adopted of these practices at present is supplementing and facilitating cattle production. For example, various antelope can remove brush cover and improve the grazing for cattle. This practice is common in the Transvaal, where commercial farmers now widely accept that these indigenous animals are superior to sheep and goats for stocking in bush and undeveloped range (Riney 1963). Such a utilization of browsing animals may be profitably extended to any range cattle operation where there is some brush cover, as shown by kudu in Texas, United States (Teer 1974). Since a mix of indigenous grazers can use the grass more completely and less destructively than cattle, in some places domestic animals have been completely

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 227 replaced with wildlife. This is termed "game ranching" if the animals are allowed to wander freely over the range with little handling. It has been especially successful in the Transvaal, where transport to market is easy and the government is cooperative with commercial utilization of wildlife (Deane and Feely 1974). On an experimental game ranch in Zimbabwe, R. F. Dasmann (1964) and A. S. Mossman (1963) found that the income from game meat was the same as that previously provided by cattle ranching; higher productivity of the indigenous animals was offset by lower unit prices for game meat. However, the profits from game ranching were much higher than those from cattle ranching because of lower overhead costs for game animals. Indigenous animals do not require the veterinary care, supplemental feeding, and close management needed for cattle. The third way to utilize indigenous animals is through domestication, in which animals are tamed and managed like traditional domestic animals (Ajayi 1971, 1983). Domestication has been done in several places with the eland, which is as large as domestic cattle and very easy to tame and handle (Posselt 1963). Eland form common herds with cattle and by browsing help clear land for cattle. They can be sprayed for ticks, vaccinated for various diseases, and even castrated just like cattle in the same facilities (Lightfoot and Posselt 1977). A domestic herd of eland kept in the Ukraine, USSR, since the turn of the century is being selected for milk production--eland milk makes excellent cheese (Treus and Kravchenko 1968). The African buffalo has a reputation for being dangerous. It is powerful and can do a great deal of harm, but it is probably no more dangerous than a Jersey or Brahman bull (Myers 1982). Buffalo have even been used as draft animals in Zimbabwe recently. This animal is of special interest because of its greater ability, compared to cattle, to recycle nitrogen; thus buffaloes utilize poor forage that would not sustain cattle. All ruminants excrete some urea in their saliva. Buffalo combine this urea with carbohydrates by the rumen bacteria to make protein that can then be used by the animal. The buffalo recycles more of its own nitrogen than most ruminants (Sinclair 1977)--cattle recycle a moderate portion and the eland, very little. Browsers such as the eland tend to select high protein vegetation such as mopani and acacia, so they do not need to save much nitrogen. Some animals are being domesticated for use in semidesert areas, where cattle are dying in the drought and where the grazing of domestic animals is extending the desert by permanently destroying fragile vegetation. The eland is being domesticated for use here, as it needs much less water than cattle or goats. It is able to withstand heat without such a great energy expenditure and water loss because it can allow its body temperature to rise several degrees without any adverse results. The oryx and addax are even more desert adapted; in addition to having this same thermoregulatory ability, they can survive on metabolic water produced from their feed without drinking at all (Hopcraft 1970). At the Galana ranch in eastern Kenya, fairly large herds of eland and oryx have been kept and handled successfully as domestic animals for some time (King and Heath 1975; King et al. 1977). The oryx can be profitably used as a domestic animal by itself under dry conditions

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228 FOOD PRODUCTION (Thresher 1980). If cattle had been replaced with oryx in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, the losses of stock due to drought would have been much less severe. Many birds such as guinea fowl and francolins are also easy to domesticate and are highly productive. Guinea fowl and francolins have been kept for many years in Africa. When their eggs are found in the bush, they are put under a domestic hen to hatch. Now there is increased interest in their domestic production; they have been shown to breed well in captivity (Ayeni and Ajayi 1983). The ostrich was originally domesticated for its plumage, which is no longer so valuable, but domestic flocks are still kept in some areas for meat. Prospects for Future Utilization Hunting is threatened by the destruction of wildlife habitat as more land is cleared for agriculture. As human population pressure increases, larger wildlife may be kept only where they are the most efficient means of producing food or monetary income. There are many places where this is true today, and as this becomes recognized, game management may increasingly replace pastoralism. Domestic stock damage rangeland. This destruction is minimal if livestock numbers are kept within the capacity of the range, but during periods of drought, the carrying capacity is greatly reduced and a fairly small number of livestock permanently destroy vegetation. Indigenous animals are much less destructive at the same level of production. In some countries, there are now government destocking programs instituted for range conservation, and pastoralists are being forced to sell some of their cattle. This situation indicates the need for national governments to intervene to encourage long-term, sustainable food production systems. In addition to utilizing drought-stricken and overgrazed areas for production with game ranching, marginal land that is not suitable at any time for livestock can be utilized in this way. Such marginal lands include large tracts in Africa where nagana carried by tsetse flies kills livestock. Better-adapted indigenous animals are resistant to many diseases and do not require the medicines and supplementary feed that cattle or goats need. These characteristics, coupled with their balanced, nondestructive use of vegetation, make indigenous animals the method of choice for producing food in large areas of Africa (Darling 1960b; Talbot et al. 1965). Because of this potential, it is important to start now to develop stocks of different types of indigenous herbivores. Not only each species but also local ecotypes with special adaptations need to be preserved. Otherwise, valuable genetic resources that can help to feed a hungry world will be lost forever (Ajayi 197 1; Frankel 1963; Riney 1967; Surujbally 1977). For instance, as trypanosomiasis spreads over South America, importation of African wildlife may become important there. If game ranching is more efficient and better adapted than ranching domesticated animals, and if the need to use less-destructive animals has been recognized widely for over twenty years, the question must arise as to why game ranching has not been widely adopted. Of course, it has been accepted with enthusiasm by some

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 229 white farmers in the Transvaal and Zimbabwe, but it has had little impact north of the Zambezi. The cultural value of cattle is undoubtedly the main reason, but not the only one. Some game-ranching projects have been abandoned because of financial problems. In some cases, production of meat (and income) was lower because the selection of animals was limited to those already present or to those that appealed to cattlemen because they most resembled cattle. This limited selection left gaps in vegetation usage and lowered the carrying capacity of the land. Expensive imported fencing also may increase the cost greatly (McDowell et al. 1983). This fencing is not needed to keep the animals in for harvesting but may be needed to keep the animals from eating neighboring crops or to keep poachers out. In some places, the price paid for game meat was a small fraction of that for beef. This situation may be changed by government intervention. For example, the Zambian government solved a crisis in corn production by paying more for corn than they sold the cornmeal for in the cities. Since the costs of game ranching are largely labor costs paid in local currency, these costs should not be compared to commercial animal production costs, which include many imported medicines, herbicides, pesticides, and feed supplements that must be purchased with scarce foreign currency. If the primary concern is feeding people, and given that game can produce three times the meat that cattle can from the same land, then surely some intervention to encourage game production is justified. Like many other innovations in agriculture, game ranching projects are likely to fail because of inadequate infrastructure such as transport to market or lack of planning and extension to enable local people to master new techniques. Uma Lele (1975) showed that complete package programs such as the Swedish programs in Ethiopia are able to continue working, whereas those programs that ignore infrastructure and ongoing extension always fail. The experiences in the Transvaal and Texas showed how African indigenous animals can contribute greatly to commercial meat production. If these methods spread over Africa, much more meat could be produced with much less environmental destruction. What is required to implement this quickly-the food crisis and range destruction demand speed-is providing complete programs with efforts directed toward marketing, transportation, and extension as well as increased production. FISH (PAUL GOLDSMITH) Fish have a more significant nutritional role than livestock in large areas of SubSaharan Africa, even though fish and fishing'are less visible and have less symbolic significance. Fish make an important contribution to protein-poor diets; they provide high quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and free amino acids that compare favorably with those supplied by beef and eggs (see Table 12.3) (Deestra et al. 1974). The average annual consumption of fish in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be more than nine kilograms per capita. Fish contribute 23 percent of all animal protein worldwide, and according to FA0 data on thirty-four Sub-Saharan

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230 FOOD PRODUCTION African countries, fish provided more than 40 percent of the animal protein consumed in twelve of these countries, between 20 and 40 percent in another thirteen, and less than 20 percent in nine (Eicher and Baker 1982). Traditional fishing is a variation of the hunting and gathering mode of subsistence and predates both agriculture and pastoralism. Early ~frican fishermen exploited shallows of lakes, estuaries, floodplains, and rivers using a variety of ingenious devices. Later, fishing, hunting, and gathering were combined with pastoralism and agriculture in the subsistence strategies of various groups (see ~c~ee in this volume), and the consumption of fish spread to nonfishing peoples as fish were dried and exchanged (Jackson 1971:37). In most areas of Africa today, fish are localized resources that are exploited on a seasonal basis. Given the ease with which fish can be smoked and dried, they represent a major source of storable protein. Extensive trade networks based on dried fish have developed throughout Africa including, for example, Fante women traders in Ghana (Gladwin 1975) and the central African trade in dagaa, or dried minnows (Libaba 1983). African fisheries fall into two main categories: artesanal and industrial. Artesanal fisheries are small-scale fisheries that do not depend on expensive equipment and inputs. Most African fishing falls into this category, and it is even estimated that as much as 95 percent of fish harvested in Africa are taken by artesanal fishermen (Eicher and Baker 1982). Industrial fisheries are a relatively new development in Africa and require expensive mechanized equipment and modem vessels in addition to organizational efficiency to operate at a profit (Luna 1983). Some African countries have attempted to establish industrial fleets in their efforts to promote national economic development. The development of modem fleets entails the export of at least part of the harvest in order to finance capital inputs or repay loans and, in general, does not aim at making fish available at low prices for the African population. In contrast, almost all the fish caught by artesanal fishermen are consumed locally. The fishermen of the East African Great Lakes use a number of different methods that are representative of traditional fishing technology (Jackson 1971). Their equipment includes hooks and lines, harpoons and lances, nonretum traps that catch fish with barriers and mazes, baskets, and movable fences constructed out of papyrus. Poison is used to stun or kill fish in small pools left by receding floods (Jackson 1971). Traditional boats range from rafts made from logs or reeds to wooden dugouts and reed canoes. Recent developments include adding planking and strakes to a dugout keel. The use of twine nets and seines is believed to have resulted from contacts with Arabs and coastal traders who pushed into the interior during the nineteenth century. The Nuer of southern Sudan lookdown upon their neighbors, the Shilluk, who subsist on fishing and hippopotamus hunting. Nevertheless, the Nuer rely on fish

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 23 1 ing and hunting to offset shortfalls resulting from crop failures and outbreaks of disease among their cattle. During periods of famine, these people rely exclusively on fish. Disdaining traps, the Nuer spear the fish, which are located in murky water by subtle movement of the surface or clumps of grass or weeds. They also construct a device of shell and rope that attracts fish and betrays their presence by bobbing (Evans-Pritchard 1940). In Southern Benin, fishermen dig pools in the floodplains or excavate channels to modify natural pools. Fish parks are then created using clumps of aquatic vegetation that are later replaced with terrestrial bushes. Variations on these fish parks are constructed in lakes and shallow areas of rivers. Fish enter the parks seeking food and shelter. To harvest the fish, the fishermen surround the park with nets or fences constructed from palm fronds, remove the vegetation, and then constrict the circle until the fish can be caught in baskets and handnets. Larger parks may be exploited by fishing different sections throughout the year, and some parks are constructed with a reserved central area where the fish are allowed to breed. As in many other variations of traditional fishing, the harvests are controlled to safeguard the fish population on a long-term basis (Welcomme 1971). The Swahili-speaking peoples of the East African coast have a long and highly developed maritime tradition. The Bajuni subgroup of the Swahili are skilled mariners and captain many of the dhows that carry goods to and from India and Arabia. The original Bajuni vessel, the mtepe, was a sailboat sewn together with coir rope and fastened with wooden pegs; it used a sail woven from thin strips of palm leaves (Prins 1965). The mtepe today has iron nails and canvas sails. Traditional twine nets and lines made from the bark of the baobab have given way to monofilament and machine-woven nets. The Bajuni developed a unique and curious technique for capturing two of their preferred catches, the dugong and seaturtles. First, remoras are caught alive and quartered in wooden enclosures on the shoreline, where their owners feed and care for them. When they fish for turtles or the elusive dugong, fishermen take the remoras along as living harpoons. Released in the sea with a rope attached, a remora seeks out its quarry and fastens to it with its suction disc. The fishermen then gingerly pull the remora back to the boat with its prize in tow. An expert at the task dives into the water and dispatches the dugong or turtle in proper Islamic fashion, and the remora is fed and returned to its enclosure until needed again. Other coastal peoples fish the ocean, especially in West Africa, but unlike the Swahili fishermen, they do not indulge in deep-sea fishing, which has become the province of industrial fleets. They only work the shoreline and lagoons with seine nets. The Fante and Ewe of Ghana use large, fine-meshed nets to catch sardines and mackerel along the coast. Larger and more expensive nets are purchased through traditional cooperatives such as the "apapa" system of the Ewe (Kaplan et al. 1971).

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232 FOOD PRODUCTION Taboos Some Africans are reluctant to eat fish. In some instances this avoidance may be due to simple unfamiliarity, but there do exist localized traditional sanctions or taboos against the consumption of various food items such as fish, poultry, eggs, etc. These food taboos are especially common among Nilotic and Cushitic pastoralists in East Africa. Maasai, for example, do not eat fish or poultry and only resort to hunting in times of extreme necessity. Environmental conditions may be the basis for much of this cultural refusal to utilize all available food supplies. The pastoral mode of production is found in dry savanna areas, where the costs and benefits of expending human energy in fishing might make this activity impractical. Marvin Harris (1979) demonstrated how environmental factors may become codified in such cases into sanctions and taboos that express the cost-benefit relationship within a cultural context. These cultural expressions or traditions do not necessarily continue to constrain the utilization of fish as food when circumstances force pastoralists into a different economic mode, as evidenced by recent projects that have converted famine-stricken herdsmen into fishermen (Haakonsen 1983). Taboos against eating fish may also act as a manifestation of social distinctions. The Katwa clan of the Siyu Swahili do not eat fish, despite the fact that they live directly on the ocean. The Katwa explain that this taboo resulted from the time when the son of a former sultan choked to death on a fishbone. Because the Katwa are a royal clan and have easy access to beef and poultry, the injunction against fish may be a dramatic way of expressing their wealth and social status. Development of African Ffsheries The food crisis in Africa emphasizes the need to develop fisheries. The nutritional value of fish and its low price compared to meat make it an attractive source of protein. The development of this underexploited resource offers additional benefits in domestic employment opportunities and potential foreign-exchange earnings, especially in light of the declaration of 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Policy options open to African countries are wide (Carroz 1984), and development strategies vary among the three contrasting areas of artesanal fisheries, industrial fisheries, and aquaculture. If the main intent is to meet the food needs of African populations, development emphasis should be on artesanal fisheries. Although they are small scale and local in nature, artesanal fisheries provide most of the fish consumed in Africa. They are often located in remote areas where communications and social services are poor, and they provide employment and supplemental income for many people.

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 233 Some interventions that would benefit the artesanal sector include: (I) constructing and providing more efficient boats, (2) providing motors for existing boats, (3) providing credit so fishermen can upgrade their equipment, (4) constructing and operating facilities that can maintain boats and motors, and (5) constructing cold storage and better drying facilities. Better roads and marketing are also essential, as are making more readily available such necessities as fuel, potable water, and improved medical and social services (Ba 1983). And, as the level of production increases, management and research become more important. Some of the world's richest fishing grounds lie off the coast of Africa, West Africa in particular, and are largely exploited not by Africans but by fishing fleets from Japan, South Korea, the USSR, and several European countries. The FA0 estimated that foreign vessels net 65 percent of the coastal catch from Morocco to Zaire (FA0 1983a). Thus, most of this food is not consumed in Africa, but some returns to Africa in the form of canned and processed fish with the profits accruing to other countries. Establishing 200-mile EEZs partially ameliorates this situation (Brown 1985), but declaring these EEZs does not benefit African countries unless they are able to control and utilize the area, and this requires fishing vessels and naval forces. Recently, a few African countries have obtained mechanized fleets. Tanzania has established a government-owned operation to harvest deep water stocks of species for use in animal feeds and to harvest the popular dagaa, a freshwater sardine, for distribution in fresh and cured forms. Problems with the maintenance of boats and purse seines have plagued the operation, however, and plans for expansion have been cancelled (Libaba 1983). African universities and development planners attach increasing importance to aquaculture, the controlled cultivation of fish. In a sense, aquaculture is domesticating fish, managing them in ponds rather than hunting them as a wild resource. The expansion of human populations and more complete utilization of natural fisheries make aquaculture an attractive venture. It is well developed in China and Japan, where it can be combined with paddy rice production. In Africa, the cost of constructing and managing ponds is a serious barrier. Aquaculture requires a relatively high level of technical management and competes with agriculture for water and land resources. In most of Africa for the foreseeable future, aquaculture is likely to lag behind the increased exploitation of fish stocks in natural waters. Successful utilization of fish depends as much on marketing and distribution as on production. G. K. Libaba (1983) wedTanzania to illustrate the way that fish consumption may vary within a single country: although the national average annual consumption of sixteen kilograms per capita is well above the continental average, local consumption varies from fifty kilograms on the shore of Lake Tanganyika to one kilogram in Dodoma, the capital city, distant from both lake and ocean. To date there has been relatively little research on fish marketing and the impact of different policy interventions, price controls, and relative prices on distribution and production patterns.

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234 FOOD PRODUCTION UNDOMESTICATED PLANTS AS FOOD (CHARLES FOX) Only a few studies mention the extent or significance of the use of undomesticated plants as food in Sub-Saharan Africa, although the importance of trees for fuel is noted (see Webley in this volume). The absence of data does not mean that these plants are unimportant as sources of food for rural Africans, but it does show the lack of scientific attention that these foods have received. Almost all of the available studies are by anthropologists, who have noted medicinal and religious uses as well as dietary information. Much of this data refers to hunting and gathering societies, which represent less than 1 percent of Africa's population (Lee and DeVore 1968; see McGee in this volume). More information about indigenous and undomesticated plants is needed before any definitive statements may be made about their significance today throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. For hunting and gathering groups these plants represent the major source of daily calories (Allan 1965; Schneider 1981). Research on the Dobe !Kung people in the Kalahari shows that an average of 60 percent of daily caloric intake and many essential vitamins are derived from plants gathered by women; these foods include fruits, nuts, berries, gums, roots, and bulbs (Lee 1979). Hunting is the main food production activity for men, and game meat provides most of the protein in the !Kung diet. Undomesticated plants are important to the diets of most agriculturalists and pastoralists even though they rely on undomesticated plants for smaller percentages of their daily caloric intake than do hunters and gatherers. Thayer Scudder (1971) noted that gathered plants represent an essential source of vitamins and minerals in the daily diet (especially during periods of agricultural shortages) of the Gwernbe Tonga, who are Zambian agriculturalists. Patrick Fleuret and Anne Fleuret (1980) cited a similar use of undomesticated plants among non-huntergatherer groups in East, West, and Southern Africa and note that many groups employ a wide variety of plant types. Richard Lee (1979) compared the gathering patterns of the Dobe !Kung and the Gwembe Tonga and found that even though the !Kung rely solely on gathered plants for their vegetable foodstuffs, the GwembeTonga utilize more plant species, consuming at least 131 types of wild plants (Scudder 1971). It is true that there is more plant diversity in the Tonga area, principally due to rainfall patterns, but the Tonga utilize some species that are available in !Kung areas that the !Kung do not consider to be food. Lee characterized Tonga foraging as intensive and !Kung foraging as extensive, noting that the population density of the agricultural Tonga is "approximately 100 times that of the Dobe !Kung" (Lee 1979). The propagation o'f undomesticated plants may be increased by humans. Many plants grow more efficiently or in greater numbers in the ecosystems that are created by agricultural processes (Fleuret and Fleuret 1980). For example, wild grasses that are relatively uncommon in certain areas of Africa appear in large num

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UNDOMESTICATED ANIMALS AND PLANTS 235 bers in fallowed agricultural fields (Scudder 1971). Thus the disruption of natural ecosystems by agriculture does not necessarily mean that undomesticated plants will become unavailable as foods. Farming may enhance the variety and number of wild plants available for human consumption. Categories of Food Use Undomesticated plants that are gathered as food may be categorized according to their use. Four principal categories are: (1) relishes, or side dishes that accompany the staple food in typical meals, (2) snacks that are consumed between meals, (3) short-term staple substitutes, and (4) famine foods. It is important to remember that these categories are not static. Instead, they are flexible and depend largely on such factors as the relative availability of other types of food (domesticated or undomesticated) and local custom. The diet of the Gwembe Tonga illustrates these four uses (Scudder 1962, 1971). During the rainy season, fresh leaves are gathered from numerous varieties of trees, local bushes, and herbs growing in cultivated and fallow fields. The leaves are deveined, pounded, and cooked into a thick souplike relish that accompanies the staple porridge. Other leaves are dried and stored for use during the dry season, when standing leaves may not be abundant or have the desired flavor. Various herbs, amaranths, and jutes are the plants most commonly used. The snacks category consists of a number of different items, of which the most popular are fruits. Numerous different fruits from undomesticated trees and plants are eaten in season. Although fruits are generally popular among all ages, the highest recorded consumption is among children. Honey is a desirable snack and an important source of caloric energy for many people. Honey is often a rich source of insect protein because the combs frequently contain bee larvae and pupae (Bodenheimer 1951). A variety of plants are used as short-term substitutes for staple crops in the diet during the "hungry months," the period just before the harvest when stored supplies of grain from the previous harvest are exhausted (Richards 1939). These alternative staples include roots, fruits, and grasses that are normally used as dietary supplements and are more heavily relied on during times of hardship. Famine foods are those that are only utilized during periods of extreme food deprivation. Foods in this category are not generally used as dietary supplements when other foods are available because of prohibitive cooking procedures, low digestibility, or a combination of the two factors. For example, the beans of Acacia albida, a famine food, frequently cause intestinal disturbance and require long soakings in water, a long cooking time (about a full day), at least three changes of cooking water, and treatment in an ash-and-water solution before they are rendered edible (Scudder 197 1). Gathered wild plants may also be used in the household production of salt. The ashes of certain plants are high in salt content. Frequently the ashes of these

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236 FOOD PRODUCTION plants are mixed into cooking water, or water is filtered through the ashes prior to cooking. The examples cited in this section are by no means exhaustive of the gathered food inventories present in many African homes, but merely suggest the diversity and importance of such foods in the diets of many Africans. Foods gathered as nutritional supplements may also be used as trading commodities. The Hadza highly value honey as a food source, but it is also readily traded with neighbors who use it to make beer (Woodburn 1968). Mushrooms are commonly collected and sold along roads and in markets as well as eaten as subsidiary foods, but they have little nutritional value (Richards 1939). Refugee populations and others who are alienated from their normal food supply may utilize caterpillars, termites, honey, etc. as part of their diet and may devote their time to collecting these to sell as a way to procure their basic subsistence. Such a pattern has been noted for Angolan refugees living in Zambia (Hansen 1981). Collecting wood, reeds, and grasses to sell for fuel and as construction materials are other refugee livelihoods that use undomesticated plants. SUMMARY Indigenous undomesticated animals including fish are extremely important in the African diet and contribute more of the animal protein that is consumed than do domestic livestock. This importance in the diet is not matched by the amount of attention these food sources receive in discussions of food in Africa. It is intriguing to speculate about the possible reasons for this lack of public notice: (1) livestock are more visible than game animals or fish; (2) urban Africans and foreigners, including agricultural and development experts, associate game animals with tourism rather than with a meat supply; (3) urban elites and foreigners share "European" tastes for tender, domestic meat; (4) governments are land based and oriented toward the interior (or the airport) rather than being maritime powers oriented toward the ocean; and (5) domesticated animals are more controlled and, thus, more amenable to development programs, while game animals and fish are "uncaptured"-this is similar to a governmental bias toward totally controlled agricultural schemes rather than working with the "uncaptured peasants" (Hyden 1980). Indigenous plants are also important in the diet, but much less information is available about the uses made of them and the extent of that usage. Leaves from undomesticated and domesticated plants are prepared as the most common relish, making the staple porridge palatable and providing essential vitamins and minerals for people who cannot regularly afford fish or meat-a large proportion of the African population even in urban areas. Fuelwood is obviously a critical resource (see Webley in this volume), and the great majority of all fuelwood comes from indigenous trees that are not grown in managed plantations or groves. Fruit, mushrooms, medicinal plants, wood, and charcoal are sold even in urban markets; thus

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undomesticated plants are a source of food and fuel to urban areas as well as a source of monetary income for the rural areas. Care must be taken to preserve valuable undomesticated plants while crop and firewood production are increasing. Indigenous animals can be used as a supplement to cattle, in game ranching, or as domesticated livestock. Cropping the animals in game parks and supplementing cattle with antelope that help remove bush cover and improve pasture will produce a lot of meat with little cost or political opposition. Destocking rangeland and implementing game ranching would stop the destruction of vegetation by cattle and allow the production of much more meat from the same land, but would obviously be very unpopular with pastoralists. Indigenous animals must be used to increase animal protein production as much as politically possible, and it is essential that the productive potential of these animals not be lost by allowing valuable types to become extinct. Fishing productivity can be greatly increased by providing some needs of the artesanal sector at modest cost. This intervention is probably the most cost effective of any intervention to improve nutrition in Africa. With modem fishing fleets and naval forces to protect African waters, many coastal countries could reap considerable fish crops from the sea, but this involves large capital investment and technological expertise. SUGGESTED FURTHER READINGS Bodenheimer, F. S. 1951. Insects as Human Food: A Chapter of the Ecology of Man. The Hague: Dr. W. Junk Publications. Christensen, James B. 1982. Problems Resulting FromTechnological Change: The Case of Fanti Fisherman in Ghana. In Modernization and Marine Fisheries Policy. John R. Maiolo and Michael K. Orbach, eds. Pp. 249-274. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Science Publishers. Darling, E F. 1960. Wildlife Husbandry in Africa. Scientific American 203:s: 123-128. Dasmann, R. E 1964. African Game Ranching. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Fleuret, Patrick, and Anne Fleuret. 1980. Nutrition, Consumption and Agricultural Change. Human Organization 39:3:250-260. Gibbs, David. 1984. The Politics of Economic Development: The Case of the Mauretanian Fishing Industry. African Studies Review 27:4:79-93. Hopcraft, David. 1970. East Africa: The Advantages of Farming Game. SPAN 13: 1:29-32. Jackson, P. B. N. 197 1. The African Great Lakes Fisheries: Past, Present, and Future. African Journal of Tropical Hydrobiology and Fisheries 1: 1:3548. Lee, Richard B. 1979. The !Kung San: Men, Women, and Work in a Foraging Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. King, J. M., and B. R. Heath. 1975. Game Domestication for Animal Production in Africa: Experiences at the Galana Ranch. World Animal Review 16:23-30. Mann, M. J. 1975. Freshwater Fisheries. In East Africa: Its Peoples and Resources. W. T. W. Morgan, ed. Pp. 229-242. Nairobi: Oxford University Press. Pollnac, Richard B. 198 1. Sociocultural Aspects of Developing Small-Scale Fisheries: Delivering Services to the Poor. World Bank Staff Working Paper No. 490. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. Prins, A. H. J. 1965. Sailing from Lamu: A Study of Maritime Cultures in Islamic East

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238 FOOD PRODUCTION Africa. Assen, Netherlands: Van Gorcum. Riney, T., and W. L. Kettlitz. 1964. Management of Large Mammals in the Transvaal. Mammalia 28: 189-248. Scudder, Thayer. 197 1. Gathering Among African Woodland Savannah Cultivators. Zambian Papers No. 4. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Talbot, L. M., W. J. A. Payne, H. P. Ledger, L. D. Verdcourt, and M. H. Talbot. 1965. The Meat Production Potential of Wild Animals in Africa. Famham Royal, Buckshire, England: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau.

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Postharvest Considerations in the Food Chain ROBERT P. BATES T he Council on Environmental Quality (1980) forecasted malnutrition to increase 160 percent, from affecting 0.5 billion persons in 1975 to 1.3 billion by 2000, despite a 90 percent increase in food production. They projected global population to increase 60 percent during this time (from 4 to 6.4 billion) and be accompanied by chronic shortages of potable water, arable land, and energy in poorer nations due to deforestation and overly intensive agriculture. Unpredictable changes in climate and inevitable environmental deterioration could make this worse. Some countermeasures must be taken to forestall or lessen the impact of this threatening malnutrition. In the sequence of activities from plant and animal breeding and propagation to human food consumption (actual ingestion), the postharvest chain-the segment from harvest to ingestion-has received comparatively little global attention. This lack of attention is particularly true for Africa where many countries lack the infrastructure necessary to effectively transport, store, refine, preserve, distribute, and market foodstuffs (J. McDowell 1984). Consequently, postharvest food losses range from 20 percent to more than 50 percent (May 1977; National Academy of Sciences [NAS] 1978). These are dramatic and tragic losses since all of the care, labor, and agricultural inputs that went into producing and handling the food are lost upon spoilage. Moreover, such waste elevates food prices and causes shortages-burdens inevitably borne by the poor who economically and nutritionally can least afford more problems. This chapter is a revised version of an earlier article by the author entitled "Appropriate Technologies for Increasing Food Utilization," in Malnutrition: Determinants and Consequences, ed. Philip L. White and Nancy Selvey, (New York: Alan R. Liss, 1984), pp. 355364. Used by permission of the publisher.

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240 POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGY, DISTRIBUTION, AND NUTRITION A BALANCED STRATEGY Any strategy designed to overcome limitations in the quantity and quality of food and associated resources requires five distinct but highly interrelated components: conservation, conversion, complementation, innovation, and implementation. Before elaborating on these five components, the concept of interrelationships warrants some emphasis because food handling and preservation (a critical postharvest activity) is only one important link in the food chain. Bourne's (1978) classic pipeline metaphor clearly illustrates the linkages in the food chain (see Figure 15.1). Unbalanced attention to any one element is apt to exacerbate bottlenecks in others. For example, enhanced production efficiencies cannot be fully exploited, even when combined with improvement in food preservation, if other factors such as packaging, transportation, and marketing are not improved concurrently. Although these interrelationships are logical, almost self evident, it is remarkable how frequently inadequate attention is paid to the whole while dedicated capable individuals devote considerable efforts to the parts. Within the context of the need for balanced or appropriate applications of technology, this chapter emphasizes important features of the postharvest food chain, outlines food loss mechanisms, and suggests technologies and application strategies to ameliorate the situation. CONSERVATION Postharvest loss prevention encompasses the major conservation strategy worldwide (Herzka 1980). Wasted food reflects a loss of critically needed nutrients and vital, costly auxiliary inputs throughout the food chain such as seed, feed, labor, fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, irrigation capital, water, land, packaging, transportation, storage facilities, and energy. Furthermore, if spoiled food is consumed, serious human or animal illnesses can result. From one-fifth to one-half of the harvest is estimated to be lost in some lessdeveloped countries (May 1977; NAS 1978). Since this loss can accompany low production yields and preharvest losses due to environmental constraints (vagaries of weather, poor soils, rapacious insects and pests, and persistent plant disease), the consumable food supply is often a pathetically small fraction of the total potential. Postharvest food conservation occupies a high priority within the international technical assistance community (NAS 1978). Goals consist of (1) recovering efficiently and economically the greatest amount of edible food from a harvest, catch, or slaughter and (2) protecting this harvest from spoilage throughout the food chain (Lindblad and Druben 1980; Reusse 1976). A variety of food processing techniques are applicable, but efforts to make the most of available food resources are complicated by the perishable nature of foods (see Table 15.1).

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FIGURE 15.1. Postharvest Food Pipelines I DEVELOPED COUNTRY PRODUCTION TRANSPORT CONSUMPTION DEVELOPING COUNTRY PRODUCTION TRANSPORT STORAGE PROCESSING MARKETING CONSUMPTION ATTEMPTED UNBALANCED IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTION CONSUMPTlON INTERMEDlATE TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION TRANSPORT CONSUMPTION Source: M. C. Bourne. 1978. What is AppropriateIIntermediate Food Technology? Food Technology 32:4:77-78,80.

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242 POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGY, DISTRIBUTION, AND NUTRITION TABLE 15.1. Food Spoilage Categories Type Durables Semi-peri shables Perishables Example Cereals and Roots and and tubers oi 1 seeds Stabilizing Feature Low moisture, Low, balanced protective metabolism hull Vegetables and Meats Low temperature rapid preservation Deterioration Insects, verIn jury, metaMicrobial, min, mold bol ic imbalance enzymatic Storage Life Months-years Days-months Hours-days Tactics required to stabilize foods depend upon the type; handling history; intrinsic physical, chemical, and biological characteristics; and extrinsic interaction with the environment (Bourne 1977). In more-developed countries, food preservation methods are largely based on sophisticated capital and energy intensive practices, although increasingly subject to resource and environmental constraints. Less-developed countries use many of these practices on a smaller scale, sometimes restricted to the major cities; they can afford only the most straightforward preservation alternatives for the majority of their populations, and even these techniques are severely hampered by resource limitations (Brown and Pariser 1975). A few of the potentially most useful methods for that majority are presented in this chapter. Dehydration The bulk of food staples are in the durable category. For millenia the most practical preservation was accomplished by "letting nature take its course" in the form of sunny, dry weather at harvest time. Natural solar drying simplified harvest and storage, although unseasonable rains or excessive humidity often raised havoc. Mechanical drying and other preservation methods evolved to overcome climatic constraints to sun drying (Szulmayer 1971). The need to reduce crop moisture to about 13 percent, depending upon commodity, and keep it dry and protected from insects and pests is still a major challenge. Solar drying methods range from simply spreading the food out during sunny days to elaborate double-walled structures that serve as both solar collectors/dryers and food storage facilities (Midwest Plan Service 1980). There are many examples of drying systems suitable for durables; some are even applicable to higher mois

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POSTHARVEST CONSIDERATIONS IN THE FOOD CHAIN 243 ture semiperishables and perishables under more humid conditions (Clark 1976; Moody 1980). These involve indigenous construction materials, supplemented by industrial materials (glass, plastic sheets, screening, and aluminum foil) when economically and logistically practical (Coleman et a1. 1980; Doe et al. 1977; Darrow and Pam 1976). Even indirect absorption drying is used in some systems (Srinivas et al. 1976). Once the food is dry, storage facilities can be constructed from local materials such as bamboo, mud, plant fibers, ceramics, etc. Sound construction and design are necessary to protect the stored food from flooding, driving rains, larger predators, and insect contamination (Majumder 1980; Anandaswam and Iyengar 1980; Dichter 1980). In Africa a common inexpensive solution is a simple, wellconstructed thatched hut. At greater expense, ferrocement is a durable alternative (NAS 1973). Simple protection such as the coating of dry legumes with about 0.5 percent vegetable oil (League for International Food Education [LIFE] 1979) and the use of small amounts of inorganic powders are promising approaches to counteract insect infestation, though additional alternatives based upon local resources are needed. Semiperishables and perishables represent a more difficult drying problem. Since deterioration is more rapid at the higher moisture contents characterizing these foods, more extensive drying is required for them. Auxiliary preservation steps such as salting, smoking, and use of chemicals often accompany dehydration. Any combination of salt, pH reduction, and smoke helps to retard microbial growth (Labuza 1978). Indigenous methods for producing reasonably pure salt are in need of development (NAS 1974), as are other curing compounds and substances that reduce the water activity of foods (Flink 1978). Water activity refers to establishing an equilibrium between the relative humidity of the food and the relative humidity of the atmosphere and is related to the moisture content of the food. Intermediate moisture foods-moist enough to be eaten out of the hand, yet dry enough to resist microbial growth-are a useful preservation category. Dried fruits, prunes, raisins, jams, jellies, other sugar confections, and certain cheeses are examples (Gee et al. 1977). High concentrations of sugar, salt, or acid are the preservation agents involved. Water activity reducing substances such as glycerol, corn syrup, and other palatable humectants are effective, if available. Wet Preservation To deal with perishable foods in the moist state, methods such as thermal processing, fermentation, and chemical stabilization apply. Canning is hampered by the expense and scarcity of hermetic containers (NAS 1974). In the United States, home and community canning are practical processes that now rely more on reusable glass canning jars than on metal cans. In less-developed countries, community canning with canning jars and lids would function on an institutional or small, cot

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244 POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGY, DISTRIBUTION, AND NUTRITION tage industry scale (Jackson and Mehrer 1978). The concept of a local canning center may be extended to other food preservation practices. A well-designed food preservation center could serve for both training and utilization research, involving a variety of foods and processes including canning in a realistic local setting. The moderate expense of a small, versatile facility is a more logical step in exploring and demonstrating food preservation alternatives than a turnkey processing plant-many turnkey plants now stand in less-developed countries as rusting monuments to poor planning. Fermentation is such an appropriate preservation method that there are few cultures that have not developed some type of indigenous fermentation (Beuchat 1978; Hesseltine 1979; Eka 1980). Lactic and acetic acid fermentations lower pH and thereby extend shelf life (Pontecorvo and Bourne 1978; Rao et al. 1978). These fermentations also simplify canning by reducing both process temperature and time (Worgan 1977; Anand 1975). Properly controlled proteolytic processes can change fish, a highly perishable commodity, into a fairly stable, nourishing, and flavorful product. Specifically, under high salt and anaerobic conditions the digestive enzymes of small fish reduce the flesh to a semifluid paste. Although the product