Improving Crop Yields in Sub-Saharan Africa - What Does the East African Data Say

23 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020

See all articles by Alun H. Thomas

Alun H. Thomas

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

Recent micro level data from East Africa is used to benchmark aggregate data and assess the role of agricultural inputs in explaining variation in crop yields on smallholding plots. Fertilizer, improved seeds, protection against erosion and pesticides improve crop yields in Rwanda and Ethiopia, but not Uganda, possibly associated with lack of use there. With all positive yield determinants in place, wheat and maize yields could increase fourfold. The data hints at the negative effect of climate change on yields and the benefits of accompanying measures to mitigate its adverse impact (access to finance and protection against erosion). The adverse effect of crop damage on yields varies between 12/13 percent (Rwanda, Uganda) to 36 percent (Ethiopia). Protection against erosion and investment financing mitigate these effects considerably.

JEL Classification: O13, Q1, Q54, E01, Z13, I3, E66

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Alun, Improving Crop Yields in Sub-Saharan Africa - What Does the East African Data Say (June 2020). IMF Working Paper No. 20/95, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3642661

Alun Thomas (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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