Article ID: CBB120857807

African agricultural productivity and the transatlantic slave trade: evidence from Senegambia in the nineteenth century (2019)

unapi

Agriculture has played a central role in Africa's long-term economic development. Previous research has argued that the low productivity of African economies has posed significant challenges to African efforts to produce an agricultural surplus or to develop commercial agriculture. Low agricultural productivity has also served as a key explanation for the transatlantic slave trade, on the basis that it was more profitable to export humans overseas than to grow and export produce. However, the field has suffered from a lack of comparable empirical evidence. This article contributes to this field by presenting quantitative data on historical land and labour productivity in Africa, from a case study of the agricultural productivity of Senegambia in the early nineteenth century. Focusing on five key crops, our results suggest that both land and labour productivity was lower in Senegambia than it was in all other parts of the world for which we have found comparable data. This article thus lends support to claims that stress ecological factors as one of the main determinants of Africa's historical development.

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http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB120857807/

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Authors & Contributors
Lambruschini, Raffaello
Gabbrielli, Veronica
Ait, Ivana
Redmore, Ken
Bromyard & District Local History Society
Duncan, James S.
Journals
Studi Storici: Rivista Trimestrale dell'Istituto Gramsci
French Historical Studies
William and Mary Quarterly
Research in the History of Technology
Journal of Global History
Journal of Historical Geography
Publishers
Polistampa
Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology
Bromyard & District Local History Society
Ashgate
Windgather Press
Bloomsbury Academic
Concepts
Agriculture
Agricultural economics
Agricultural technology
Farmers
Agronomy
Colonialism
People
Lambruschini, Raffaello
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
Early modern
17th century
20th century, early
Places
Italy
England
Tuscany (Italy)
West Africa
United States
Rome
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