Kjell Havnevik, Deborah Fahy Bryceson, Atakilte Beyene and Prosper Matondi look at the destructive role the world bank has played in African agriculture and food production
Agriculture’s dominant role in Sub-Saharan Africa’s local, national and regional economies and cultures throughout pre-colonial history has been foundational to 20th century colonial and post-colonial development. No other continent has been so closely identified with smallholder peasant farming. Nonetheless, smallholder farming has been eroding over the last three decades, perpetuating rural poverty and marginalizing remote rural areas. Donors’ search for rural ‘success stories’ merely reinforces this fact. Certainly many farmers have voted with their feet by increasingly engaging in non-agricultural livelihoods or migrating to urban areas. In so doing, the significance of agriculture for the majority of Africa’s population has altered.