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Agricultural Science and Politics: The Dynamics of Politically Motivated Funding for Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kearney, Diana LU (2010) SIMT24 20101
Master of Science in Development Studies
Graduate School
Department of Human Geography
Abstract (Swedish)
What is the current state of agricultural research and development (R&D) in sub-Saharan Africa, how does it intertwine with politics, and why? How can roadblocks to agricultural science be overcome? This thesis addresses these questions, first by demonstrating the necessity of agriculture for nationwide development in sub-Saharan Africa, then by moving more specifically into agricultural research and development, with special emphasis on the role of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Agricultural science is a critical yet underutilized tool in a Less Developed Country’s (LDC) struggle to pull itself out of poverty and achieve nation-wide economic growth. Despite agricultural science and technology’s proven track record of increasing... (More)
What is the current state of agricultural research and development (R&D) in sub-Saharan Africa, how does it intertwine with politics, and why? How can roadblocks to agricultural science be overcome? This thesis addresses these questions, first by demonstrating the necessity of agriculture for nationwide development in sub-Saharan Africa, then by moving more specifically into agricultural research and development, with special emphasis on the role of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Agricultural science is a critical yet underutilized tool in a Less Developed Country’s (LDC) struggle to pull itself out of poverty and achieve nation-wide economic growth. Despite agricultural science and technology’s proven track record of increasing smallholder yields and decreasing poverty in rural and urban alike, policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa often prefer spending scarce resources on themselves or on issues that are more significant politically. Until recently, agricultural research and development has received little attention from the press and from voters, making it relatively easy for politicians to overlook. In addition, the significant time lag between funding and results discourages policy makers from focusing on this sector: developing a new seed may take a number of years, whereas election cycles are comparatively short, making it irrational for a politician to spend money on a politically irrelevant sector, regardless of its positive effects in the long run. Fortunately, recent developments such as rising food prices have drawn more attention to the agriculture, and as a consequence, funding and production have increased. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Kearney, Diana LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT24 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Agriculture, Africa, Research and Development, Politics
language
English
id
1627464
date added to LUP
2010-07-13 14:31:32
date last changed
2015-12-14 13:34:52
@misc{1627464,
  abstract     = {What is the current state of agricultural research and development (R&D) in sub-Saharan Africa, how does it intertwine with politics, and why? How can roadblocks to agricultural science be overcome? This thesis addresses these questions, first by demonstrating the necessity of agriculture for nationwide development in sub-Saharan Africa, then by moving more specifically into agricultural research and development, with special emphasis on the role of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Agricultural science is a critical yet underutilized tool in a Less Developed Country’s (LDC) struggle to pull itself out of poverty and achieve nation-wide economic growth. Despite agricultural science and technology’s proven track record of increasing smallholder yields and decreasing poverty in rural and urban alike, policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa often prefer spending scarce resources on themselves or on issues that are more significant politically. Until recently, agricultural research and development has received little attention from the press and from voters, making it relatively easy for politicians to overlook. In addition, the significant time lag between funding and results discourages policy makers from focusing on this sector: developing a new seed may take a number of years, whereas election cycles are comparatively short, making it irrational for a politician to spend money on a politically irrelevant sector, regardless of its positive effects in the long run. Fortunately, recent developments such as rising food prices have drawn more attention to the agriculture, and as a consequence, funding and production have increased.},
  author       = {Kearney, Diana},
  keyword      = {Agriculture,Africa,Research and Development,Politics},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Agricultural Science and Politics: The Dynamics of Politically Motivated Funding for Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa},
  year         = {2010},
}