They encourage balanced budgets by increasing taxes and reducing government spending on essential services like education, health and elimination of subsidies. They also encourage production of goods for export as opposed to consumption and also imports. The market is controlled by demand and supply and not the government even where intervention is required in order to stabilize prices.
These structural policies were supposed to develop the economies of developing countries but less or no achievements have been made. They have discouraged private investors or made them to be monopolies hence straining the poor. The standard of living of member states has deteriorated due to high prices as a result of currency devaluation and lack of price controls. It has also contributed to poverty, unemployment due to reduced investments, and environmental degradation due to overemphasis on cash crop production among others (Holden, 1997). Environmental degradation is a hindrance to agricultural development. Agriculture has further been hindered by removal of subsidies on inputs such as fertilizer and entrance of subsidized imports from European markets as well as lack of credit for agriculture expansion. This paper is a critique of the impact of structural adjustment programmes on agriculture in Southern Africa.
Agriculture is the backbone of most economies in Africa. Many countries engage in food crop production for subsistence, livestock farming and cash crop farming as a foreign exchange earner. Bryceson (1995) observes that agriculture is mostly considered as the practice for women and children as men engage in formal careers or sometimes cash crop production. Many factors affect agricultural activities leading to poor yields, hunger and malnutrition. These include; climate change, cost of farm inputs like fertilizer, market accessibility, land tenure, land degradation and health of workers among others. The southern African