Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Hiv/Aids and the agricultural sector in Eastern and Southern Africa: anticipating the consequences
URL http://fsg.afre.msu.edu/adult_death/cross_cutting/eJade_Jayne_Villarrea_Pingali_Hemrich.pdf
This paper draws upon development economics theory, demographic projections, and
empirical evidence to consider the likely consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for the
agricultural sector of the hardest-hit countries of Eastern and Southern Africa. We identify
four processes that have been underemphasized in previous analysis: 1) the momentum of
long-term population growth rates; 2) substantial underemployment in these countries’
informal sectors; 3) sectoral declines in land-to-person ratios in the smallholder farming
sectors; and 4) effects of food and input marketing reforms on shifts in cropping patterns. The
paper concludes that the conventional wisdom encouraging prioritisation of labour-saving
technology or crops has been over-generalised, although labour-saving agricultural
technologies may be appropriate for certain types of households and regions. The most
effective means for agricultural policy to respond to HIV/AIDS will entail stepping up
support for agricultural science and technology development, extension systems, and input
and crop market development to improve the agricultural sector’s potential to raise living
standards in highly affected rural communities.

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