Book Chapter, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, pages 142-165
Author: Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
Other Chapters in The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa:
- The Growing Economy
- Advances in Science, Technology, and Engineering
- Agricultural Innovation Systems
- Enabling Infrastructure
- Human Capacity
- Governing Innovation
- Conclusions and the Way Ahead
The creation of agricultural enterprises represents one of the most effective ways to stimulate rural development. This chapter will review the efficacy of the policy tools used to promote agricultural enterprises, with a particular focus on the positive, transformative role that can be played by the private sector. Inspired by such examples, this chapter will end by exploring ways in which African countries, subregional, and regional bodies can create incentives that stimulate entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector. The chapter will take into account new tools such as information and communication technologies and the extent to which they can be harnessed to promote entrepreneurship.
Agribusiness and development
Economic change entails the transformation of knowledge into goods and services through business enterprises. In this respect, creating links between knowledge and business development is the most important challenge facing agricultural renewal in east African countries. The development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been an integral part of the development of all industrialized economies. This holds true in Africa. Building these enterprises requires development of pools of capital for investment; of local operational, repair, and maintenance expertise; and of a regulatory environment that allows small businesses to flourish. Africa must review its incentive structures to promote these objectives. 1
A range of government policy structures is suitable for creating and sustaining enterprises–from taxation regimes and market-based instruments to consumption policies and changes in the national system of innovation. Policy makers also need to ensure that educational systems provide adequate technical training. They need to support agribusiness and technology incubators, export processing zones, and production networks as well as sharpen the associated skills through agribusiness education....
The entire chapter may be downloaded below.
1. M. Pragnell, "Agriculture, Business and Development," International Journal of Technology and Globalisation 2, nos. 3–4 (2006): 289–99.
- Full text of "Entrepreneurship" (80K PDF)
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