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Improving cash crops in Africa : factors influencing the productivity of cotton, coffee, and tea grown by smallholders (English)

This study draws together information on the technology available to small-scale farmers in Africa for the production of cotton, coffee and tea. It records the wide variation in the national average yields of these crops, as well as the differences in productivity that exist between smallholders and commercial growers in the same country. A recurring theme in the paper is that, unlike food crops, which have to be produced for survival irrespective of government interventions, yields of these cash crops are heavily dependent upon government policies and management capacity. These range from the restriction of the growing of cotton to the most favored areas in one country as compared to its encouragement in depressed marginal areas in another, to taxation, exchange rate, subsidy and input-supply policies. Technology suited to the needs of the small-scale farmer has been well developed for these crops and, although labor constraints account for the lack of adoption of some of the yield-enhancing practices, it is often inimical government strategies or failures in public-sector management that have removed the incentives for their uptake. One conclusion of the study is that any projects intended to encourage increased efficiency of production or greater yields per unit of land should first focus on whether there are policy changes that must precede the wider uptake of the available intensifying technology. This paper has been produced as a ready-reference work for agriculturalists and economists responsible for planning, executing or supervising activities relating to these crops in sub-Saharan Africa. It covers the influence of planting material, agronomic practices and purchased inputs on yields, and details some of the constraints that inhibit their use. It highlights the impact that research has had on providing the means for raising productivity but also points out that extension staff must be prepared to look at the entire family-farming operation, as well as its constraints and goals, if farmers are to receive appropriate and applicable advice on these specific crops.

Details

  • Author

    Carr, Stephen J.

  • Document Date

    1993/08/31

  • Document Type

    Publication

  • Report Number

    WTP216

  • Volume No

    1

  • Total Volume(s)

    1

  • Country

    Africa,

  • Region

    Africa,

  • Disclosure Date

    2010/07/01

  • Doc Name

    Improving cash crops in Africa : factors influencing the productivity of cotton, coffee, and tea grown by smallholders

  • Keywords

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Citation

Carr, Stephen J.

Improving cash crops in Africa : factors influencing the productivity of cotton, coffee, and tea grown by smallholders (English). World Bank technical paper ; no. WTP 216 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/314211468742819527/Improving-cash-crops-in-Africa-factors-influencing-the-productivity-of-cotton-coffee-and-tea-grown-by-smallholders