A crucial factor behind pervasive poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has been the lack of robust agricultural productivity growth. While in recent decades, other regions have successfully raised their agricultural productivity, SSA continues to lag behind. Investments in core public goods combined with better policies and institutions have been major drivers of agricultural productivity growth and poverty reduction around the world.
A key question for policy makers and development practitioners in African countries is what kinds of spending decisions can yield the highest return in achieving public policy objectives. What are the options to re-prioritize agriculture public spending to increase efficiency of limited resources for inclusive growth? This research project, funded by the Chief Economist’s Office of the World Bank Africa Region and the Gates Foundation, aims to investigate the effectiveness of agriculture public spending in Africa to understand what works, what does not and what needs to be done going forward. Synthesizing and advancing the state of knowledge to support these policy decisions is an important objective of this project.