Income Diversity, Technology Choice and Agricultural Research Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

16 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2004

See all articles by James Sumberg

James Sumberg

University of East Anglia

Elon Gilbert

Independent Consultant

Malcolm Blackie

University of East Anglia

Abstract

This article makes an initial analysis of the implications of income diversification for technical change and agricultural research policy in Africa, leading to two insights. First, that the dilution effect of income diversification means that, as the proportion of non-farm income increases, so must the expected gains from adopting a new agricultural technology. Second, that diversified producers will face disproportionately large transactions costs associated with information acquisition to inform technology choice decisions. Two hypotheses about how diversified producers are likely to react are then explored. Both point to the conclusion that income diversification among the poor is likely to constrain significantly the direct poverty impacts of agricultural research. The policy implications of these findings are then considered.

Suggested Citation

Sumberg, James and Gilbert, Elon and Blackie, Malcolm, Income Diversity, Technology Choice and Agricultural Research Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Development Policy Review, Vol. 22, pp. 131-146, March 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=513448

James Sumberg (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Elon Gilbert

Independent Consultant

27044 Graywolf Drive
Arlee, 59821

Malcolm Blackie

University of East Anglia

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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