Crimson Publishers Publish With Us Reprints e-Books Video articles

Full Text

Modern Concepts & Developments in Agronomy

What are the Moderating Effect of Active Agricultural Population, Ethnicity Rate and Urbanization on Agricultural Reforms and Agricultural Growth? From Theory to Empirical Evidence in Benin

Ichaou Mounirou*

Faculty of Economic and Management (FASEG). University of Parakou (UP), POB: 123 Parakou, Benin

*Corresponding author: Ichaou Mounirou, Faculty of Economic and Management (FASEG). University of Parakou (UP), POB: 123 Parakou, Benin

Submission: August 20, 2020Published: September 24, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/MCDA.2020.07.000662

ISSN 2637-7659
Volume7 Issue 3


This mini review aims to evidence the moderating effect of agricultural population, ethnicity rate and urbanization on agricultural reforms and agricultural growth. Results from the estimation of VAR (1) confirm this relationship and urge the necessity to consider the main driving factors including the population, the ethnicity index and urbanization in the development and implementation of reforms in the agricultural sector for the sake of agricultural growth in developing countries.

 Keywords: Agricultural reform; Agricultural Growth; Benin


Theoretical and empirical review

Agricultural land is first and foremost a means of production. According to Adam Smith [1], it is a source of income for its holder as soon as the land becomes private property. In his famous land rent theory, David Ricardo [2] relies on the natural fertility differentials of soils to explain the advantage provided to the holders of the most fertile land by the cultivation of less fertile land in the face of population growth. The theory of agricultural land rent is still very relevant today, but it has been revised and amended many times (Cavailhès et al. 1996). Overall, the models derived from the Ricardian formula of capitalization gave often disappointing results. Agrarian reform is always part of contradictory dynamics that unfold over time. The work of Laurence et al (2008) has shown that land policies are not the only ones to influence the transfer of rights to land. Fiscal policies relating either to land tenure or to transactions and inheritances, economic and monetary policies, rural and territorial development policies, favoring the installation of young farmers or compensating for regional handicaps can weigh heavily on the configuration that take the agrarian structures. In the interface between urbanization and rural environment, dynamics take hold of the land, causing it to change its value and function and directing spatial planning in places Mongbo [3], Mongbo [4] and Oloukoi et al. [5]. Intergenerational transmission, demographic changes and social logics are incorporated into land tenure situations and create local markets, leading to ad hoc institutional productions. Schaffer and Wen [6] shows that reform programs were designed around two main axes. Firstly, they report that the reconstruction of the rural institutional system at the economic level of the smallest farmers makes it possible to better stimulate economic agents. Second, reforms in agriculture allow the gradual relaxation of government control at the macroeconomic level over marketing and pricing to put the rural economy back on the market.

Similarly, the work of Wen [7] and the OECD [8] have shown that land reforms must be organized around agricultural policies aiming at a variety of objectives, in particular: guaranteeing a supply of food products in sufficient quantity to reasonable prices, support farm household incomes contribute to the well-being of rural communities and ensure ecological sustainability and other societal goals. For the World Bank (2019), agriculture is the backbone of the economy in many developing countries focused on fair and equitable land reform. This land reform drives around 25% of the GDP of low-income countries and 80% of the population living in extreme poverty live in rural areas. For the work of Nguyen et al. [9] and Lin [10], the acceleration of land reforms remains essential for agricultural growth with a view to responding more to the needs of small farmers who are the majority in developing countries. These land reforms in Asian countries helped accelerate agricultural growth in China in the first half of the 1980s and its apparent slowdown thereafter. The work of Shantanu [11] and Jialing et al. [12] explained that the land reforms allowed economic liberalization, allowed producers to reinvest the surplus from the crop to bring about long-term improvements term on land and increase agricultural productivity and agricultural growth rate. Rosenzweig et al (2018) has shown the relationship between the active agricultural population and land reforms in countries of Asia and Latin America.

They explained the large-scale existence between the agricultural populations and the various agrarian reforms. They therefore highlight the tensions between obtaining new freedoms, especially through access to land, and vulnerability to new subsistence vulnerabilities. Similarly, the work of Ulla et al. [13], Mizero et al. [14] has shown that the internationalization of land reforms limited by the rate of population growth is high. They explain that the active agricultural population participates in the agrarian reform, in the mode of access to land with a view to boosting agricultural growth. On the other hand, Gunya [15] shows that land reforms led to the abolition of the state monopoly of land ownership, to the involvement of local communities and to the emergence of a market. Land reforms have stimulated the emergence of a multitude of actors representing the state, communities and individuals, as well as formal and informal institutions regulating the relationships between these actors. Anastasia [16], Henning [17], and Boone [18] has shown that access to land remains marked by tensions. They note that high rates of ethnicity have acted as a real brake on land reform as a consequence of agricultural growth in Africa. Likewise, Sánchez [19] shows the traditional obstacles to the effective implementation of reforms aimed at securing land tenure, providing access to vulnerable groups and realizing productive potential. Lin (2015) and Jong-Sung [20] show that the failure of land reform is often due to high rates of ethnicity. They find that the success and failure of land reform is attributable to corruption but largely determined by exogenous factors such as external threats and pressures for reform. However, Benabed et al. (2014) has shown that urbanization focused on land reforms negatively impacts agricultural growth in developing countries. Similarly, Valette et al. [21] show that various factors such as public policies in favor of the rehousing of poor populations, the promotion of the privatization of agricultural land rights, as well as more generally economic growth have favored urban sprawl. in the main cities. The work of Sabyasachi et al. [19], and Moula et al. (2019) have shown that urbanization has a mixed impact on land reforms, insofar as it promotes decent housing, but considerably reduce agricultural growth in other countries where agricultural forests are destroyed.

Empirical evidence from Benin

In Benin, the urban population represented 27% of the total population in 1979, 36% in 1992 (MPREPE, 1998), 38.85% in 2002 [22] and a projection of 45% was planned for 2012 [23]. Cotonou recorded an extremely rapid spectacular expansion and the adopted plans were continued, but without taking into account the marshy areas [24]. Individual housing represents at the national level more than 50% of artificial surfaces while collective housing represents nearly 1.5%. Despite efforts to develop a few tools to better manage land in Benin, their inclusion in decisions leaves much to be desired Comby (2004).

The objective pursued in this research is to assess the relevance or otherwise of the effects of population, ethnicity and urbanization on the growth of agricultural GDP. it has been observed that the growth of agricultural GDP is explained positively by the ethnicity index and agricultural investments delayed by a period. We used secondary data from FAO statistics over the period 1995 to 2019 and estimated a VAR (1) model with all diagnosis tests. The time horizon for responses is set at 10 years, assuming that this horizon corresponds to the time needed for the variables to return to their long-term levels. It emerges from this causality test in the sense of Granger that there is a feedback effect between agricultural GDP and the ethnicity index, between agricultural GDP and agricultural investments between the active agricultural population and agricultural investments then between the ethnicity index and agricultural investments. It is therefore important to revitalize other sectors of activity likely to consume part of the working population in order to avoid the intensification of the workforce which often reduces the income of agricultural workers. We must also work for flexibility in the ethnicity index in order to promote social cohesion. Finally, priority must be given to efficient agricultural investments likely to facilitate intensive cultivation due to advanced urbanization in residential areas.

Agricultural growth supported by adequate agricultural investments and an active agricultural population is a particularly effective means of reducing hunger; malnutrition; food insecurity and above all due to food in African countries south of the Sahara Most of the very poor derive much of their livelihood from family farming and related activities. Agricultural growth achieved by smallholder farmers in African countries, and especially women, is particularly effective in reducing extreme poverty and hunger when it increases the output of labor and creates jobs for the poor. With a view to boosting green growth, African countries south of the Sahara are strongly confronted with recurring problems such as land reforms, urbanization, ethnicity and especially agricultural investments.


  1. Smith A (1776) Recherche sur la nature et les causes de la richesse des nations, Economica.
  2. Ricardo D (1817) Les Principes de l’Economique Politique et de l’impôt (Réimpression, Champs-Flammarion).
  3. Mongbo R (2005) Les agriculteurs face aux lotissements dans la conurbation d’Abomey-Bohicon, CEBEDES/Ecocité.
  4. Mongbo R (2004) La terre comme fonds de commerce en milieu urbain (cas d'Abomey et de Bohicon), rapport d'enquête, de l'ECRIS Programme Ecocité/CEBEDES.
  5. Oloukoi J, Mama VJ, Agbo FB (2006) Modélisation de la dynamique de l’occupation des terres dans le département des collines au Bé Télédétection 6(4): 305-323.
  6. Shaffer JD, Wen S (1994) The transformation from low income agricultural economies: observations focusing on Africa and China. Invited paper presented at the XX International Conference of the Agricultural Economists. Harare, Zimbabwe.
  7. Wen S (1996) Les récents développements de la politique de réforme agricole en Chine. In: Économie rurale, Globalisation des économies agricoles et alimentaires. Situation et prospective 234-235: 112-116.
  8. OCDE (2001) Editions de l'OCDE | Perspectives économiques de l'OCDE 2001/2. 70: 219-231.
  9. Nguyen DT, Wu HX (1999) The impact of the economic reforms on agricultural growth. In: Kalirajan KP, Wu Y (Eds.), Productivity and Growth in Chinese Agriculture. Studies on the Chinese Economy. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  10. Justin YL (1992) Rural reforms and agricultural growth in China. American Economic Review 82(1): 34-51.
  11. Shantanu De Roy (2017) Economic reforms and agricultural growth in India. Economic and Political Weekly 52(9).
  12. Jialing Yu, Jian Wu (2018) The sustainability of agricultural development in China: The agriculture-environment nexus. Sustainability 10(6): 1776.
  13. Lehmijoki U, Palokangas T (2016) Land reforms and population growth. Portuguese Economic Journal 15: 1-15.
  14. Mireille M, Karangwa A, Burny P, Michel B, Lebailly P (2018) Agrarian and land reforms in Rwanda: situation and perspectives. Agris on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics 10(3): 71-92.
  15. Alexey G (2017) Land reforms in post-socialist mountain regions and their impact on land use management: A case study from the Caucasus. Journal of Alpine Research p. 105.
  16. Giardinelli A (2019) Le Brésil a-t-il besoin d’une réforme agraire? le Calendrier des Lettres et Sciences Humaines et Sociales. Publié le mardi 06 août pp. 1-2.
  17. Melber H (2019) Colonialism, land, ethnicity, and class: Namibia after the Second National Land Conference. Africa Spectrum 54(1): 73-86.
  18. Catherine B (2019) Legal empowerment of the poor through property rights reform: Tensions and trade-offs of land registration and titling in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Journal of Development Studies 55(3): 384-400.
  19. Fernando Varela SD (2019) Rural land reforms in Colombia: policy and institutional challenges for the new administration. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana p. 138.
  20. Sung You J (2014) Land reform, inequality, and corruption: A comparative historical study of Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The Korean Journal of International Studies 12(1): 191-224.
  21. Patrick Dugué VÉ (2017) L’urbanisation, facteur de développement ou d’exclusion de l’agriculture familiale en périphérie des villes: Le cas de la ville de Meknès, Maroc. La Revue Electronique en Science de l’Environnement 17(1): 1-2.
  22. INSAE (2003) Rapport des recensements généraux de la population et de l'Habitation de p. 43.
  23. INSAE (2004) Cahier des villages et quartiers de ville. Département de l’Atlantique (RGPH 3), p. 38.
  24. Nbessa B (1997) Porto-Novo et Cotonou (Bénin): Origine et évolution d’un doublet urbain. Thèse de Doctorat d’Etat ès Lettres, Talence, Bordeaux, France, p. 456.

© 2020 Ichaou Mounirou. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

About Crimson

We at Crimson Publishing are a group of people with a combined passion for science and research, who wants to bring to the world a unified platform where all scientific know-how is available read more...

Leave a comment

Contact Info

  • Crimson Publishers, LLC
  • 555 Madison Avenue, 5th floor
  •     New York, NY 10022, USA
  • +1 (929) 600-8049
  • +1 (929) 447-1137