At its 2003 meeting, the steering committee of the Agricultural Policy Expertise Network (REPA) decided to focus the network’s research on the articulation between poverty reduction strategies (PRS) and agricultural policies.
The purposes of the study were: to critically review the PRS (orientations, objectives, priority actions and axes of interventions); to assess the participatory approach and the decision-making process; and to analyse the coherence (compatibility and complementarities) between the PRS and agricultural policies at national and regional levels. The study focuses on the agricultural sector given the size of the rural population, the prevalence of rural poverty, the contribution of agriculture to gross domestic product (GDP) and its provision of livelihoods to the vast majority of the population. The research methods included a literature review of available documents on the topic produced by national institutions and international organisations such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa (CEMAC). The countries covered in the study were those which have at least two years of experience with PRS and have delivered at least a progress report (Benin,Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Senegal). This article draws on the expert studies and the regional synthesis and covers an evaluation of PRS (design, implementation and monitoring) and of agricultural policies at both national and regional levels (Baye and Douya 2004; Hamadou and Mohamadou 2004; Martin et al. 2004; Zerbo et al. 2004). It suggests some recommendations for improving future PRSs and policies.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 36.2 (2005) Do Poverty Reduction Strategies and Agricultural Policies Engage in West and Central Africa?