Research Article Open Access

What Accounts for Growth in African Agriculture

Guy B. Nkamleu1, Kalilou Sylla2 and Abdoulaye Zonon3
  • 1 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, Ibadan-Nigeria), Nigeria
  • 2 University of Cocody-Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire
  • 3 University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire


Empirical relationships between the rates of growth and total factor productivity growth, physical input accumulation, as well as institutional and agro-ecological change is evaluated using an international panel data set on 26 African countries and covering the period 1970-2000. The analysis employs the broader framework provided by empirical growth literature and recent developments in TFP measurement. Results suggest a positive evolution of the total factor productivity during the studied period. This positive performance of the productivity of the agricultural sector was due to positive technological progress rather than technology absorption. However, growth accounting computation highlights the fact that factor accumulation accounts for a large share of agricultural output growth and fertilizer has been the most statistically important physical input contributor to agricultural growth. The study also highlights the extent to which agricultural growth contributors vary across countries and regions in relation with different country conditions, institutions and politicohistorical factors.

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 3 No. 1, 2008, 379-388


Submitted On: 15 April 2007 Published On: 31 March 2008

How to Cite: Nkamleu, G. B., Sylla, K. & Zonon, A. (2008). What Accounts for Growth in African Agriculture. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 3(1), 379-388.

  • 3 Citations



  • Growth accounting
  • total factor productivity
  • factor accumulation
  • capital absorption
  • africa