OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Macro-Micro Linkages

Structural Adjustment and Fertilizer Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

In the 1960s, the principle of subsidies for agricultural inputs was unquestioned. The advent of Structural Adjustment Plans led however to a re-examination of this principle, as preference moved towards liberalisation of the agricultural sector. Given the very low consumption of fertilizers in sub-Saharan Africa — a consumption level which is currently the lowest for all world regions — its agricultural development calls imperatively for an increase in the use of fertilizers.

Widespread diffusion of the most modern agricultural practices is therefore a sine quo non for agricultural policies in this region. Hitherto, the cessation of subsidies has always resulted in reduced use of fertilizers. This is due to the specific nature of private demand for agricultural inputs, which is particularly sensitive to the risk factor associated with the use of fertilizers. Users must accordingly be protected against the economic hazards consequent upon the introduction of modern ...


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