# 12. Effects of Agricultural Aid on Food Security1

Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong

Department of Economics

University of South Florida

4202 E. Fowler Avenue

Tampa, FL 33620

email: kgyimah@usf.edu


IZA, Bonn

Margaret Adesugba


6 Ogbagi St, Garki II

Abuja, FCT


email: m.adesugba@cgiar.org

March 24, 2015


Food security has been the bane of African countries even though these countries are agrarian economies. On average, about 50% of the labor force in African countries are engaged in agriculture which accounts for about 30% of GDP generally in Africa. This suggests that productivity in agriculture is very low in African countries. Low productivity in the largest sector of African economies has not only left many Africans poor, it has left African countries food insecure. The issue of food insecurity in African countries was brought to the fore during the 2008 world food crisis when grain prices in African countries almost doubled. In spite of the fact that African countries are agrarian economies, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) data indicate that Africa is the only region in the developing world where food production per capita decreased during the last two decades. Despite e_orts to increase agricultural output,productivity continues to be low with the consequence that food security is not assured. As a result, African countries have come to rely on food aid to meet food short falls. In addition to food aid, Sub-Saharan African countries have been, and continue to be, the recipients of large amounts of agricultural aid|including inputs, technology, infrastructural support, policy advise and capacity building to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security. For example the U.S. government has promised about half a billion US$ to the Nigerian government in support of its agricultural transformation agenda (ATA), and the G-8's New Alliance for Nutrition (located at the World Economic Forum) has promised large infusion of aid and private sector investment to improve agricultural productivity in African countries. In spite of this large aid ows to the agricultural sector, very few studies have been conducted to test the e_ectiveness of this aid ows|studies that will inform aid policy of both donors andrecipients.

This paper uses panel data from a large number of African countries to investigate the impact of agricultural aid on food security in recipient countries. Specifically, we investigate the effects of agricultural aid on agricultural productivity in African countries over the 1980{2012 period. Particularly, we investigate whether agricultural aid has significant positive impact on agricultural productivity and if so, whichcomponents of agricultural aid are effective in improving agricultural productivity. Controlling for several variables, we _nd that agricultural aid, especially the provision of improved seeds and capacity development improves agricultural productivity in African countries. On the other hand, the provision of mechanical aid does not signi_cantly improve agricultural productivity in African countries, contrary to expectations. We also find regional differences in the effect of agricultural aid on agricultural productivity in Africa: the effects are highest in Southern Africa and lowest in West Africa.

Our results have aid policy implications for both donors and recipients alike at a time when African

countries are making e_orts to modernize their agricultural sectors and to improve productivity in the sector at a time when they are faced with rapidly growing populations. For donors, our results provide guidanceon aid delivery mechanisms that are likely to achieve the objective for which they were intended.

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