As part of the launch of Foresight Africa 2014, Brookings has posted a short 2-minute video of me answering some questions on African economic and jobs priorities for the year ahead:Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
I have a new Brookings paper out today, entitled “Good Things Grow in Scaled Packages: Africa’s Agricultural Challenge in Historical Context.” The abstract is pasted below, as are the links to the relevant Brookings summary page.
ABSTRACT: This paper describes sub-Saharan Africa’s contemporary small-holder agricultural challenges in relation to the 20th century’s “green revolutions,” especially in Asia. Distilling evidence from the agronomics and economics literatures, four key points stand out. First, each country’s deployment of its own green revolution package typically amounted to a discernible policy event, driven by active public sector involvement rather than emerging as a simple product of factor scarcities or market forces. Second, green revolutions are not characterized by a breakthrough in any single intervention technology, but instead by a set of key inputs—namely seeds, fertilizer, water and farmer extension—that are successfully deployed as complements in production. Third, the specific biophysical sub-elements of the package differ by crop type, geography and farming system, so the process of technology diffusion is limited by physical factors. Fourth, much of Africa has faced unique challenges to wide-scale deployment of modern input packages, and there is little evidence of policy efforts having been appropriately targeted to overcoming the region’s core constraints.
Brookings page here: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/05/africa-agriculture-challenge-mcarthur.