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Sheffield Hallam University (2014)

The impact of changing agricultural policies on Libyan agricultural performance

ALLAFI, Khaled A. Mousa

Titre : The impact of changing agricultural policies on Libyan agricultural performance

Auteur : ALLAFI, Khaled A. Mousa

Université de soutenance : Sheffield Hallam University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2014

Before the discovery of oil, the Libyan economy was characterized by its dependence on the agricultural sector. Oil was discovered in Libya in the late nineteen-fifties. High oil revenues provided an appropriate environment for the financing of all development projects, including agricultural projects. Although the agricultural sector in Libya has the financial and natural potential to make the agricultural sector more effective, it is confronted by many challenges that prevent its effective development. The Libyan government in the nineteenseventies and the nineteen-eighties formulated policies for agricultural development through a set of medium-term plans (Three-year Plan 1973-1975, Five-year Plan 1976/1980 and Five-year Plan 1981-1986). However, by the middle of the nineteen-eighties there was a change in the mechanism of these programmes and plans, to a series of annual policies. The main aim of this study was to investigate the impact of changing agricultural policy approaches on Libyan agricultural performance. A mixed methods approach was adopted that rested on the triangulation of data from stakeholders (farmers and agricultural policy-makers) and policy documents relating to the performance of the Libyan agricultural sector. The findings indicated that the performance of the agricultural sector in the period of medium term plans, achieved higher contributions to the GDP. The performance of the agricultural sector declined when policies were developed on an annual basis and the government withdrew its subsidies for the sector. The distinguishing feature of the two approaches to agricultural policies in Libya is their diverse impact on the performance of the agricultural sector. In addition, the decline of oil prices in the eighties was the main reason behind the change in approach to policy. The main contributory value of this research is that it provides for the first time an in-depth understanding of how changing policies impact on the performance of the agricultural sector in Libya. It does this by drawing attention to the consideration of the impact of policy changes on agricultural sector development. The research generates findings that are transferable to other developing countries especially those in northern Africa with economies similar to that of Libya ; it also provides an opportunity for further research into other internal and external factors that impact on policy and agricultural development, especially in oil producing countries in Africa.


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