The enabling environment for agricultural technology in Sub-Saharan Africa and the potential role of donors

Briefing papers
April 2003
Rob Tripp

To improve agricultural technology development in Africa requires strengthening of the enabling environment, including policies, public institutions and regulations. Various types of market failure imply that markets, by themselves, will not elicit the optimum amount of technology for Africa’s farmers. Priorities include more responsive regulations for input supply, support for emerging enterprises, strengthening input marketing, establishing adequate intellectual property protection, and addressing the challenges of biotechnology. Donors can play an important role, but short-term project interventions must give way to longer-term strategies for support to institutions including formal policies and regulations and informal rules and procedures that encourage indigenous organisational innovation.