chapter  9
Conclusion: The Politics of Institutional Development
WithArthur A. Goldsmith
Pages 26

Agrarian political activity in India has prompted the government to lower taxes, to raise price supports, to distribute farm inputs, to maintain and expand the rural infrastructure, and to take other measures that empower farmers to actually use new knowledge as it becomes available. Farmers are politically inert in Nigeria, as they are in many African countries. Domestic politics also sheds light on Nigeria’s inability, and India’s readiness, to foster horizontal links among extension, education, and research. Institutional failures are partly responsible for Nigeria’s subpar performance in agriculture. Indian institutions tend to fuse outreach, training, and scientific inquiry; Nigerian institutions tend to disperse the functions. In addition to making an effective “market” for agricultural institutions, rural interest groups can also ameliorate the wider policy environment within which these institutions operate. Subnational institutions in India did not pose a comparable challenge to that country’s more secure central government.