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									                                                                         WDR 2008
                  www.future-agricultures.org                            Jan 2007

  What role for ministries of agriculture?
            Narratives and policy space*

                                     Lídia Cabral
                    Overseas Development Institute

* based on FAC paper by Lídia Cabral and Ian Scoones (www.future-agricultures.org)
and fieldwork in Mozambique for FAO study on Sector Wide Approaches in agriculture
                                            WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org   Jan 2007

1. Problem
2. Hypotheses
3. Concepts
4. Approach
5. Findings
6. Example
7. Conclusion
8. WDR 2008
                                                                  WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                         Jan 2007

1. Problem                   Most research on African agriculture is
                           irrelevant because overlooks importance of
2. Hypotheses              the policy process (Omamo 2004)
3. Concepts                 Need to look at institutional structures,
                           political context to understand the „political
4. Approach
                           feasibility of policies‟ (Birner & Resnick 2005)
5. Findings                 We propose to unpack different narratives
6. Example                 about agricultural policies pushed by different
7. Conclusion
                                 What role for ministries of agriculture
8. WDR 2008                      in the 21st century?
                                                                  WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                         Jan 2007

1. Problem                    Disconnect between policy narratives
2. Hypotheses                 and realities on the ground

3. Concepts                   MoA no longer the key driver of
                              agricultural policies and policy reform
4. Approach
                                     leaving a VOID relative to the
5. Findings
                                    coordinated investment effort
6. Example                          required to address current
                                    challenges to pro-poor agricultural
7. Conclusion                       growth, particularly in remote and
8. WDR 2008                         underdeveloped rural areas
                                                                                     WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                                            Jan 2007

                             Three overlaping concepts
1. Problem
                                 Narratives / discourse
2. Hypotheses
                               Actors         / networks
3. Concepts
                                 Politics / interests
4. Approach
5. Findings                                 Narratives/    Actors/
                                            discourse     networks
6. Example                                                                 ‘policy space’ or
                                                    Politics/            ‘room for manouvre’
7. Conclusion                                      Interests

8. WDR 2008
                                                                Keeley and Scoones (1999, 2003)
                                                                      WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                             Jan 2007

                             Analysis at three levels
1. Problem
                             1. Intellectual debates on role of the state
2. Hypotheses
                                and implications for MoA
3. Concepts                  2. Donor agency narratives on agricultural
4. Approach                     policy and implications for MoA

5. Findings                  3. MoA realities on the ground, as
                                determined by:
6. Example                          aid framework (MDGs, PRSs, SWAps...)
7. Conclusion                       resources flows
                                    institutional setting and capacity
8. WDR 2008
                                    political context
                                                                         WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                                Jan 2007

1. Problem                  Intellectual debate: state in agriculture
                             perceptions of market vs government failure
2. Hypotheses               driving agricultural policy reform
3. Concepts                  1970-1980s: state-led agricultural
                            development... yet govt failure („urban bias‟)
4. Approach                 1980-1990s: market liberalisation... yet
5. Findings (1)             market failure (↓ input use and pc production...)
                               PWC: impasse or compromise?
6. Example
                                   partial reform: complete liberalisation, focus
7. Conclusion                     on public goods, limited role for MoA
                                     coordination failure: significance of market
8. WDR 2008                       failures, state should „establish the basics‟ and
                                  „kick-start markets‟, important role for MoA
                                                                     WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                            Jan 2007

                           Donor agency narratives
1. Problem
                            Differences in agency position not always
2. Hypotheses              clear and some provide rather mixed messages

3. Concepts                World Bank: implementation of unfinished
                           market reforms, MoA no longer key player
4. Approach                 DFID: wider scope for state intervention (and
                           MoA), in „kick-starting‟ markets, specially in
5. Findings (2)
                           remote areas where coordination failures high
6. Example                  OECD: middle-of-the road view, highlighting
                           need for innovative public-private partnership
7. Conclusion              and potential of NGOs and CSOs in service
8. WDR 2008                provision and market coordination
                              USAID: virtually silent about role of the state
                                                                        WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                               Jan 2007

                           MoA’s policy space
1. Problem
                              MoA‟s capacity & agency undermined by:
2. Hypotheses                     reduction in aid and public spending in ag
                                 over last two decades – even in areas of
3. Concepts                      consensus (rural infrastructures and R&D)
                                  drainage of technical expertise to central
4. Approach
                                 ministries and private sector
5. Findings (3)                   limited attention by PRSPs and MDGs

                                    difficulty in building consensus
6. Example
                            And...  internal resistance to MoA
7. Conclusion              institutional reform (streamlining) which
                           would further undermine their influence –
8. WDR 2008                incentive to retain fragmental sectoral focus
                           and paternalistic attitude towards agriculture
                                                                      WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                             Jan 2007

                           Mozambique: MoA trajectory through a
1. Problem                 Sector Wide Approach (PROAGRI)
2. Hypotheses              Pre-SWAp:
                                  Independence and civil wars – migration
3. Concepts                       SAPs – privatisation, state withdrawal

4. Approach                       ∆- MoA funding/investment and skilled HR

                                  fragmentation of aid operations in agriculture
5. Findings                       private sector failing to emerge

6. Example (1)                    gaps in agric services (less favoured areas)

                           SWAp aims:
7. Conclusion
                                  common vision for agrarian development
8. WDR 2008                       more effective use of public resources

                                  institutional transformation of MoA
                                                                   WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                          Jan 2007

                          PROAGRI I
1. Problem                 narrative: revitalise, capacitate, modernise
                           widespread donor support, important driver, basic
2. Hypotheses             principles agreed with govt
                           reforms (5 years of investment - $200 million):
3. Concepts
                          mainly focused on process of absorbing resources
4. Approach               rather than policy objectives
                           impact: little evidence, dissatisfaction, NGOs
5. Findings               moving in to fill some gaps (but localised)

6. Example (2)            PROAGRI II
                           narrative: broader sector definition, sector-wide
7. Conclusion             coordination, streamlining the MoA, core functions,
                          demand-driven services, outsourcing
8. WDR 2008
                           but… dissent, internal and across donors
                           lack of political backing… proposal shelved
                                                                      WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                             Jan 2007

                           Beyond PROAGRI and towards…?
1. Problem
                            new government and new lay out for MoA -
2. Hypotheses              back to „core‟ agricultural remit but with heavier
3. Concepts                 emphasis on rural space and acting locally and
                           urge to show quick agric production results
4. Approach
                             episodes of ad-hoc direct policy interventions
5. Findings                in the search for quick wins (seed, fertiliser and
                           credit distribution to selected farmers without
6. Example (3)             clear targeting approach)
                             donors confused, divided and loosing influence
7. Conclusion              at sector level, MoA institutionally weak and
                           fragmented, no clear policy strategy but strong
8. WDR 2008                political backing from the President who seems to
                           be pushing for the „peasantrification‟ of the poor
                                                             WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                    Jan 2007

1. Problem
                             Ambivalence of narratives and mismatch
2. Hypotheses                with realities…
3. Concepts                  …combined with local interests and
4. Approach                  resistance to change…
                             …are generating MoAs which are neither
5. Findings
                             capable of delivering on conventional
6. Example                   roles nor have the capacity to act as
                             the new-style regulator and
7. Conclusion
8. WDR 2008
                                                                      WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                             Jan 2007

                          “Realignment of the relative roles of the market
1. Problem                (and the private sector), the state, and civil society”
                          (p.6); “The ‘new agriculture’ is market-driven,
2. Hypotheses             state-assisted, and civil society-influenced” (p.7)
                          more in theory than in practice
3. Concepts
                          “proliferation and empowerment of civil society
4. Approach               organizations, taking on a wide range of forms and
                          functions, helping compensate for some market
5. Findings               failures, and beginning to provide the farm
6. Example                constituency with voice and influence over political
                          affairs and the delivery of public services” (p.7)
7. Conclusion             CSOs still very localised and there are
                          unresolved issues regarding accountability,
8. WDR 2008               elite capture, sustainability and interfaces with
                          public and private sectors
                                                                            WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org                                   Jan 2007

                          Key messages for WDR 2008
1. Problem
                          Evolution of policy debates in academic &
2. Hypotheses             donor circles have gone further than what is
                          politically feasible to deliver on the ground
3. Concepts                      easier to back ideological positionings on paper
                                than before highly diverse and often disagreeing
4. Approach                     constituencies

5. Findings               Rationale for the state clear in textbooks but
                          day-to-day local realities call for pragmatism
6. Example                       fill vacuum – private sector absent and
                                NGOs/CSOs localised, have own agendas and
7. Conclusion                   unaccountable
                                 domestic constituencies – pressure to deliver
8. WDR 2008                     quick results, political cycle driving policy choices
                                 MoA internal politics – resistance to downsizing
                                as implied by new facilitator role
                                                     WDR 2008
              www.future-agricultures.org            Jan 2007

1. Problem                 Bottom line dilemma
2. Hypotheses              How to bridge the gap between
3. Concepts
                           the muddled realm of politics
                           and the neat realm of policy
4. Approach                storylines and prescriptions?

5. Findings
6. Example
7. Conclusion
8. WDR 2008

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