Alternatives to Structural Adjustment Programs


Agriculture, value added (% of GDP). (n.d.). Retrieved August 19, 2017, from

For me the greatest insight from my research is how developing countries can fight back against SAP’s. My research focused on Kenya where the agriculture had been successful for two decades after independence. However, since Kenya was one of the first countries to agree to SAP’s in 1981 the agriculture sector suffered. This is because the government was no longer supporting the sector through state policies. This caused the agriculture sector which employs 75% of the population to drop from 34% of GDP in 1983 to 23% of GDP in 2006 (The World Bank, 2017, Alilia, 2006). However, since 2007 Kenya’s agriculture sector has been making great strides because it has undergone anti free market reforms, notably a significant import tax on foreign food this has allowed the many small farmers to go back to farming and while 10% of Kenya’s agriculture is being sold as exports the other 90% is being traded domestically which has helped shore up food security as well as raise the standard of living (Muuru, 2009).

This compares favorably with the development of the East Asia economies and the US. These countries did not immediately embrace trade liberalization but instead used state support to develop industries internally before opening them up to the world once they were competitive (Carmody, 1998).This demonstrates that it is not a trade reform of liberalization that is needed to develop the economies especially the agriculture sectors of economies in the developing world. Instead, it is policies of state support that allows domestic sectors to be competitive domestically, thereby allowing for growth. Of course, this is opposed by the developed countries that rely on having countries to “dump” their subsidized food on, who will have to make drastic changes if they can no longer rely on this safety net (Carolan, 2013).

Alila, P. O., & Atieno, R. (2006, March). Agricultural policy in Kenya: Issues and processes. In A paper for the future agricultures consortium workshop, institute of development studies (pp. 20-22).

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP). (n.d.). Retrieved August 19, 2017, from

Muuru, J. G. (2009). KENYA’S FLYING VEGETABLES. London: Africa Research Institute.

Carolan, M. (2013). The real cost of cheap food. Routledge.

Carmody, P. (1998). Constructing alternatives to structural adjustment in Africa. Review of African Political Economy25(75), 25-46.


Leave a Reply