Steven Haggblade and Peter B. R. Hazell (Eds.): Successes in African agriculture: lessons for the future
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In popular representations of agriculture in Africa, some of the classic narratives include a continent consumed by famine, declining per capita food production, and Malthusian crisis. Pictures of starving children—in the Horn of Africa in particular—are all too familiar in prominent newspapers such as The Guardian and The New York Times. Indeed, Polly Hill was right when she once remarked that “[s]ince the famines in Ethiopia and Sudan became public knowledge, Africa has become a doom-laden word” (Hill 1986, p. xiii).
Thankfully, the recent edited volume, Successes in African Agriculture,paints an optimistic picture. The book was commissioned by the International Food Policy Research Institute in collaboration with the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Based upon research conducted in eleven African countries (with heavy reliance on Kenya and Zambia), the book’s polemical purpose is to identify “episodes of successful agricultural growth, a series of region-...
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