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Agriculture and Poverty Reduction. Is agriculture still the key to rural development?








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    Rural development and poverty reduction: is agriculture still the key? 2007
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    This paper examines the relationship between rurality and poverty, and the role the agricultural sector can play in rural development, poverty reduction, and overall development. The historical views regarding the role of the primary sector in development are presented, and then using original data, the paper argues that there was an historical misjudgment against the primary sector that served as a foundation for anti-agricultural bias in public policy until the late 80’s. Finally, this paper explains how under certain conditions territorial/regional development strategies may prosper, but in other conditions, particularly in the least-developed countries rural space, agriculture is still necessarily the starting point for rural development.
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    Rice prices and growth, and poverty reduction in Bangladesh 2018
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    This paper examines the complex relationship between rice prices and economic growth, poverty reduction, and food security in Bangladesh including the impact on producers and consumers. The impact on macro variables is also examined. Using available literature and knowledge of Bangladesh, the researchers examine whether or not a relationship between economic growth/poverty reduction in Bangladesh and rice prices likely exists, and also discusses the mechanisms through which the two are potentially related. The paper finds that historically, the rice sector used to dominate Bangladesh agriculture and the economy as a whole, determining GDP growth rates, inflation, wages, employment, food security and poverty with the rice price being a very sensitive economic and political economy variable. This has changed dramatically with a much more diversified agricultural economy, declining share of agriculture and rice in GDP and rapid industrialization and growth of services. The rice sector (production) has benefited immensely from the Green Revolution, tripling production in three decades and continuing to play a significant role in employment creation and food security. It also benefited from the trade liberalization and structural adjustment reforms of the 1980s and 1990s that served to open up agriculture to world market forces while also reducing subsidies and withdrawing from a number of direct interventions. The startling fact is that the performance of the sector was accompanied by a long–term decline in real rice prices. It is unlikely that this kind of performance is sustainable in the absence of any further technological, cost–reducing breakthroughs so that policy makers need to focus on how to deliver price and non–price incentives to this important sector.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Food insecurity, poverty and agriculture: A concept paper 2002
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    This paper argues for a twin-track approach to hunger and poverty reduction that combines measures to promote rural development through growth in agriculture and rural off-farm activities with measures to provide direct and immediate access to food for the most needy. The paper begins with an exposition of the concepts of food insecurity and poverty and shows that the majority of the hungry and poor in developing countries still live in rural areas. It then documents the substantial economic costs of hunger to show that direct action against hunger can itself contribute to poverty reduction. It goes on to argue that if the income from agricultural growth is spent locally and promotes growth in rural off-farm activities, this can have a strong impact on the incomes of the poor. Evidence is presented to substantiate this argument. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the twin-track approach for anti poverty strategies.

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