Policy support for sustainable crop intensification in Eastern Africa
This article in the Journal of Rural Studies looks at the level of policy support for Sustainable Crop Intensification (SCI) in Eastern Africa. Designing and implementing policies that address the bottlenecks to SCI interventions is pertinent to address low crop productivity. However, little attention is geared towards analyzing the existing policies and examining their provision in addressing the key challenges. Therefore, this analysis of policy documents and perception of key policy actors in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda was performed. Results indicate that lack of incentives to invest in SCI, and poor capacity of agricultural extension system in technology development and dissemination constrain implementation of policies supporting SCI. Additionally, mistrust among policy actors over ‘hidden’ interest of international donors in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and failure to have open discussion to clarify the involvement of multinational companies in regional trade hamper the implementation. Policies lack emphasis on protecting farmers rights’ over land tenure and local varieties, posing a challenge to policy harmonization and regional trade. Therefore, developing incentive mechanisms for SCI, and strengthening the capacity of agricultural extension system to meet the requirements of SCI are needed. Encouraging public dialogue on GMOs could enhance the acceptability of the policies supporting SCI. Strengthening farmer groups at different levels could also play an important role in protecting farmers’ rights in regional trade.