Agriculture, poverty, and policy reform in Sub-Saharan by Kevin M. Cleaver

By Kevin M. Cleaver

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An example of food crop market liberalization is Tanzania, which began in 1984 to lift movement restriction on grain. Beginning in 1987, private traders were permitted to purchase grain from cooperatives in competition with the National Milling Corporation, although marketing outlets for farmers were still confined to the primary cooperative societies. In the following year, the grain trade was fully liberalized. In 1990, the remaining restrictions on private grain purchase at the farm level were removed.

In most areas, population growth has been so rapid that the reduction of arable land per farmer and the associated soil degradation have greatly outpaced the countervailing innovation and adjustment by farmers. When farming is no longer viable, people migrate to establish new farms on land previously not used for farming in semi-arid areas and in tropical forests where soil and climatic conditions are poorly suited to annual cropping. In some countries, land continues to be more abundant in relation to current population.

11842-Mali. C. In nearly every country for which data is available, the majority of the poor are rural. Data from alternative sources confirm the same phenomenon in other African countries. 4 Page 2 Quality of life indicators reinforce the finding that rural comminities fare worse than urban communities. These indicators include access to safe water, secondary enrollment rates of female in schools, primary school enrollment rates, and the incidence of childhood stunting. The following table shows that in three countries having high quality primary survey data, The Gambia, Zambia, and Kenya, rural populations do worse according to every single indicator.

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