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Heavy clouds but no rain

agricultural growth theories and peasant strategies on the Mossi Plateau, Burkina Faso

Hårsmar, Mats (2004). Heavy clouds but no rain. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria, 1401-6249 ; 439
ISBN 91-576-6488-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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The thesis discusses different theories about agricultural growth and their applicability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Starting in a debate about lack of expected results from economic reform programmes, the study goes on to describe the situation prevailing on the Mossi Plateau of central Burkina Faso. This area has been selected as a case where agricultural reforms have been implemented properly, and hence positive results from liberalisation in terms of agricultural growth should be expected. In spite of this, what is found is an increasing level of income diversification, combined with the upholding of self-subsistence farming with traditional methods. The factor explaining the prevalence of income diversification is the level of reluctance to change. Underlying this reluctance to change are four indigenous institutions: the upholding of social relationships, the household as the basic production unit, customary land tenure and the upholding of local power structures. These four institutions are also found to influence the level of economic dynamism more broadly. Hence, they determine the scope for agricultural growth. However, some growth is taking place first and foremost in the fields of vegetable gardening, cotton cultivation and cattle breeding. In these areas change is possible because it can take place without challenging the identity of Mossi peasantries. Some members of households are also able to be more dynamic than others since they have roles that are freer. The indigenous institutions that guide Mossi economic behaviour are rules that are constitutive, that is, the upholding of them contribute to create meaning for those who follow them. In this they way, they belong to logic of appropriateness. Based on these findings neoclassic as well as New Institutional Economic theories are criticised, as are other theories that indirectly make the assumption that agricultural growth is hindered or held back by an irrelevant institutional pattern. In order to make sense, theories about agricultural growth in Sub-Saharan Africa need to take indigenous institutions into consideration and give them a proper role.

Authors/Creators:Hårsmar, Mats
Title:Heavy clouds but no rain
Subtitle:agricultural growth theories and peasant strategies on the Mossi Plateau, Burkina Faso
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
Year of publishing :January 2004
Number of Pages:252
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6488-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E14 Development economics and policies
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E51 Rural population
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:economic theories, agricultural economics, agrarian reform, income, rural development, developing countries, burkina faso
Keywords:Economic theory, agricultural growth, income diversification, institutions, economic reform, Mossi peasants, land tenure
Permanent URL:
ID Code:437
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Institutionen för landsbygdsutveckling (fr.o.m. 960901)
Deposited By: Mats Hårsmar
Deposited On:12 Jan 2004 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:04

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