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.
"Nowhere is the missed opportunity to build human capacity more evident than in the case of women and agriculture in Africa. The majority of farmers in Africa are women. Women provide 70%–80% of the labor for food crops grown in Africa, an effort without which African citizens would not eat. Female farmers make up 48% of the African labor force. This work by women is a crucial effort in nations where the economy is usually based on agriculture."
"Enabling infrastructure (public utilities, public works, transportation, and research facilities) is essential for agricultural development. Infrastructure is defined here as facilities, structures, associated equipment, services, and institutional arrangements that facilitate the flow of agricultural goods, services, and ideas. Infrastructure represents a foundational base for applying technical knowledge in sustainable development and relies heavily on civil engineering. This chapter outlines the importance of providing an enabling infrastructure for agricultural development."
"The use of emerging technology and indigenous knowledge to promote sustainable agriculture will require adjustments in existing institutions. New approaches will need to be adopted to promote close interactions between government, business, farmers, academia, and civil society. The aim of this chapter is to identify novel agricultural innovation systems of relevance to Africa. It will examine the connections between agricultural innovation and wider economic policies. Agriculture is inherently a place-based activity and so the chapter will outline strategies that reflect local needs and characteristics."
"The Green Revolution played a critical role in helping to overcome chronic food shortages in Latin America and Asia. The Green Revolution was largely a result of the creation of new institutional arrangements aimed at using existing technology to improve agricultural productivity. African countries are faced with enormous technological challenges. But they also have access to a much larger pool of scientific and technical knowledge than was available when the Green Revolution was launched in the 1950s."
By Justin Dargin, Former Associate, The Dubai Initiative
Dubai Initiative Research Fellow Justin Dargin contributes two chapters in the book Natural Gas Markets in the Middle East and North Africa, an in-depth study of the MENA states' individual gas markets.
Chapter 9: The Gas Revolution in Qatar
Chapter 10: The United Arab Emirates Gas Sector: Challenges and Solutions for the 21st Century.
African countries are increasingly focusing on promoting regional economic integration as a way to stimulate economic growth and expand local markets. Considerable progress has been made in expanding regional trade through regional bodies such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC). There are six other such Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that are recognized by the African Union as building blocks for pan-African economic integration. So far, regional cooperation in agriculture is in its infancy and major challenges lie ahead. This chapter will explore the prospects of using regional bodies as agents of agricultural innovation through measures such as regional specialization. The chapter will examine ways to strengthen the role of the RECs in promoting innovation. It adopts the view that effective regional integration is a learning process that involves continuous institutional adaptation.
The current global economic crisis, rising food prices, and the threat of climate change have reinforced the urgency to find lasting solutions to Africa's agricultural challenges. Africa is largely an agricultural economy with the majority of the population deriving their income from farming. Agricultural development is therefore intricately linked to overall economic development in African countries. Most policy interventions have focused on "food security," a term that is used to cover key attributes of food such as sufficiency, reliability, quality, safety, timeliness, and other aspects of food necessary for healthy and thriving populations. This chapter outlines the critical linkages between food security, agricultural development, and economic growth and explains why Africa has lagged behind other regions in agricultural productivity. Improving Africa's agricultural performance will require significant political leadership, investment, and deliberate policy efforts.
"This book argues that sustaining African economic prosperity will require significant efforts to modernize the continent's economy through the application of science and technology in agriculture. In other words, agriculture needs to be viewed as a knowledge-based entrepreneurial activity. The argument is based on the premise that smart investments in agriculture will have multiplier effects in many sectors of the economy and help spread prosperity. More specifically, the book focuses on the importance of boosting support for agricultural research as part of a larger agenda to promote innovation, invest in enabling infrastructure, build human capacity, stimulate entrepreneurship and improve the governance of innovation."
"Why Do States Proliferate? Quantitative Analysis of the Exploration, Pursuit, and Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons"
By Philipp C. Bleek, Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2009–December 2010
"In Chapter 8, Philipp Bleek, like Muller and Schmidt, regards quantitative analysis as a valuable tool for understanding why states proliferate. More so than his German colleagues, he also makes the case for employing quantitative analyses explicitly for forecasting purposes...."