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A review of the economic impact of malaria in agricultural development


Corresponding author: Tel.: +251 11 646 2325; fax: +251 11 646 2927. E-mail address: (K. Asenso-Okyere).


This paper surveys the linkages between malaria and agriculture, focusing on the economic impacts of the disease. We adopt Negin's (2005) conceptual framework to examine the potential impacts of malaria in the agricultural sector, including both direct and indirect impacts. In addition to health care costs, malaria causes loss of agricultural labor and slows adoption of improved practices in agriculture. Furthermore, some agricultural practices and development interventions are known to facilitate the spread of malaria, exacerbating its impacts. Given the importance of both agriculture and malaria in developing countries, especially in Africa, the interaction between them could be a significant factor in economic growth. The review identifies gaps in past research on this topic. A better understanding of malaria's impact on agricultural productivity, coupled with efforts to strengthen capacity to deal with malaria, would enhance policies and programs aimed at combating malaria and curbing its impacts on agricultural productivity.