Saturday, December 12, 2015

On Africa's low adoption of modern farm inputs

Vox EU - on sub-Saharan Africa's low adoption of high-tech farm inputs.

This was a really interesting study, and I encourage you to go beyond the Vox EU abstract and read the actual article.

African farming has not seen the productivity revolution that has occurred elsewhere in the world; and, summing up, the reason is that all the fertilizer and hybrid seeds available for purchase have been adulterated and diluted to the point that any farmer using them will experience a net loss.

I.e., it doesn't even pay to buy hybrid seeds or fertilizer, because the stuff available in local stores isn't even what it's supposed to be. And all the farmers know this.

Douglass North actually explains why this happens in detail. I've been reading his Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance during exam period. It's very sad that here's yet another pioneering, Nobel-winning economist that I won't even be allowed to study in grad school.

Unless I go into political economy instead of economics.

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