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In the final analysis, rural development policy provides no grounds for easy optimism. Yen even in the framework of an open economy such as Senegal's, the results for rural producers appear better in the Ivory Coast or Kenya. Possibly, however, the choice of groundnuts, which face strong competition from other types of oils such as soya and sunflower, does little to help the country.

Retaining, even developing the groundnut option' at the expense of food crops, however, is a development policy option chosen by the state. Agriculture in itself is not at all curse that consigns those who work in it to poverty and ruin, the responsibility for this situation lies principally with the 'statist paths of development chosen.34

In Senegal, this statist mode has consisted, through money creamed off from agriculture, in enabling other sectors of production to survive and proliferate, and above all to ensure the growth and development of the intellectual and political fraction of the bourgeoisie and its allies. This is the political choice that explains the maintenance of parasitical supervisory structures that forestall any autonomous initiatives and forms of organization by the rural masses. It is this political will that leads to the destruction and increased impoverishment of the countryside which is reflected in increased food dependence and indebtedness tying the fate of the national economy to the will and choices of fund-donors. Possibly, however, these latter, more conscious of the risk of a social explosion that maintaining such a policy threatens to precipitate, may demand a different alternative.

The Berg Plan, the World Bank's measures and programmes for Senegal, seem to indicate such a variant. Envisaging the dissolution of the parasitical supervisory structures, calling for the promotion of food self-sufficiency, asking for the rural producers' purchasing power to be raised, are today the minimal measures to halt the deterioration of living conditions in the rural areas. But can such a series of measures be enough when it is essentially motivated by the prospect of ensuring repayment of debts and ensuring the liberal character of economic systems? Can the interests that have lived off this money extracted from rural producers carry out and agree to follow a different policy? Can they be forced to?

The future of agriculture, the success or failure of a different rural development strategy or New Agricultural Policy depends on the answers that the next quarter of a century will give to these questions.

But it can already be asked whether the targets set by the New Agricultural Policy are not compromised as a result of the political strategy that underlies the current reform.

Was not the New Agricultural Policy set out following the Paris meeting in 1979 between the government and the creditors dictated rather by financial imperatives in a context of the restructuring of international finance capital? This would mean that the reform of agricultural policy flows less from a domestic will to change its focus and a dynamic that takes full account of the urgent need to lay the bases of an autocentred policy, than from the demands imposed by the state's creditors.

In addition, the New Agricultural Policy set out to promote and liberate the producers. What tools and what framework exist to ensure that this necessary emancipation comes about? The co-operative system was conceived by Mamadou Dia's Circular No. 32 as a weapon of peasant self-emancipation. But as a result of successive shifts, it turned out, as we have seem to be the key instrument for dragooning and stifling peasant initiative. In short, it became an institution at the service of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie.

The reconstruction of the co-operative system, which resulted in the creation of village sections, does not yet seem to have given the producers their freedom as decision-making economic agents in the rural areas. Was it not an attempt to resolve the peasant discontent against excessive indebtedness?

Peasant self-development requires that the producers' autonomous organization are encouraged and their acceptance as fully accredited participants in deciding on policies and the exchange system.

Table 10.2
Output of industrial crops (selected years)
(hectares/metric tonnes)












Total: 1983-84 965,502 559,828 21.963 9,000 33,653 31,000
1982-83 1,121.180 18,198 18,244 42,018 47,400  
1978-79 1,154.000 1,050,300 21,100 17,100 48,200 33,800
1977-78 1,161,000 508.100 23,700 11,200 47,100 37,100

Sources: NPA, op, cit. (adapted).

Table 10.3
Output of food crops (selected years)
(hectares/metric tonnes)


Millet/ sorghum


Paddy rice










Total: 1983-84 783,619 351,812 70.512 60,594 52,006 108,540 39.433 12,857.5
1982-83 990.865 585,223 86,241 82,148 68,165 95,025 45,886 10,889
1978-79 1,054,700 301,700 56,700 44.800 91,400 146,000 - 22,500
1977-78 942.800 420,000 53,600 33,100 63,300 62,000 - 11,719

Source: WPA, op, cit. (adapted).

Table 10.4
Growth in agricultural investments by sector (%)

  81-82 82-83 83-84* Annual growth rate
Agriculture 7.9 16.5 22.2 18
Livestock 1.4 1.6 2.8  
Forest 1.7 2.8 4.4  
Fishing 2.1 2.5 4.7  
Water 6.3 4.1 9.3  
Total primary 19.4 27.5 43.4 18
Agricultural investment:        
primary/total investment: 41/9 60/13 51/14  

* Estimated.
Source: NPA, op, cit. (adapted).

Table 10.5
World prices of Senegal's principal exports and imports: actual and forecast
(constant US$/mt)

  Annual average Forecast
1960-70 1971-78 1979-83 1990 1995
Groundnut oil 981 1,245 787 685 670
Groundnut cakes 293 326 208 183 182
Cotton 2,040 2,234 1,740 1,730 1,750
Fertilizers 46 211 145 170 170
Rice (Thai 5% broken) 500 500 349 339 327
Wheat (Can.No. IWRS) 211 226 173 153 149
Sugar 240 461 302 315 315
Petroleum products 32 91 206 190 265
MGPI* (1983= 100) 31.49 62.5 103.7 165.0 220.8

* MGPI = manufactured goods price index.
Source: World Bank: Price forecasts. July 1984.



1. World Bank, Report No. 5243. Sénégal. Memorandum Économique.

2. Pierre Thenevin. Quelques réflexions pour des politiques de développement au Sénégal. May 1980.

3. Situation Économique du Sénégal. 1962, p. 32.

4. Sénégal, Memorandum, op, cit., p. 99.

5. Ibid.

6. CNES. Réflexions sur la Nouvelle Politique Industrielle, April 1986, p. 3.

7. Mémoire d'un militant du Tiers Monde. Premier Mamadou Dia explicitly said 'That was the touchstone of my policy, my objective: the end of the économie de traite in Senegal' (p. 120).

8. Le Soleil. 20 June 1986, p. 3. 'La filière arachide'.

9. NPA. Réflexion Association Sénégalaise des Ingénieurs de l'Agriculture. 1986.

10. Situation Économique du Sénégal. 1 976, p. 83.

11. Inspectorates of Agriculture, Livestock and CERP.

12. See A. Lake and E. Seydou N. Touré. L'Expansion du Bassin Arachidier. Dakar. IFAN 1981, p. 61.

13. El Hadji Omar Touré. Analyse des incidences des politiques adoptées depuis 1960 sur la situation alimentaire du pays, July 1985.

14. Le Soleil.. 'La filière arachide', opt cit.. p. 3.

15. El Haji Omar Touré, op cit.

16. Ibid.. p. 26.

17. Memorandum, op, cit.. p. 1.

18. Nouvelle Politique Agricole. Dakar, March-April 1984.

19. See 'Les Facteurs directs', in NPA, p. 23.

20. L'Afrique en panne: see 'Des greniers qui vent vices', p. 39 and 'La fin des eldorados', p. 117.

21. 'Communication sur la Politique Industrielle', p. 4. Conseil Interministériel of 10 February 1986.

22. Ibid.. p. 2.

23. 'La filière arachide', op, cit.. p. 3.

24. Memorandum, op, cit.. p. 80.

25. Ibid.. p. 68.

26. Banque Centrale des Etats del 'Afrique de l'Ouest. L'endettement bancaire de l'ex-ONCAD, p. 8.

27. Rapport général sur la gestion des entreprises publiques. CVCCEP.

28. Memorandum, p. 54.

29. Ibid.

30. Preface by Abdou Diouf, president of the Republic, p. 2 in NPA, op, cit.

31. ILO. Pour une politique de l'emploi au Sénégal 1982, pp. 73.21.

32. NPA, op, cit., p. 21.

33. ILO, op, cit.. p. 23.

34. To use Samir Amin's terminology.

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