The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction
Edited by Fabrizio Bresciani and Alberto Valdés
Chapter 1: The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction: A Synthesis of the Country Case Studies
Fabrizio Bresciani and Alberto Valdés 1.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses the main ﬁndings of the study on the role of agriculture in poverty alleviation, one of the seven modules included in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) study on the role of agriculture (RoA). The analysis builds on that literature and examines four main channels through which agricultural growth may reduce poverty. Six country case studies investigate the importance of rural labor markets, farm incomes, food prices, and linkages with the rest of the economy in connecting agricultural growth with poverty reduction. By comparing the experience of these six countries at diﬀerent stages of development, the RoA Project contributes to the understanding and documentation of how the role of agriculture evolves along the development path. The RoA case studies suggest that governments should look at agriculture in an extended way, including the inﬂuence of forward and backward linkages with the rest of the economy, and the critical role that the often weak degree of labor market integration between economic sectors plays in reducing the potential impact of agricultural growth in raising the income of rural households. An eﬀective rural poverty alleviation strategy calls for a broad economy-wide perspective on the role of agriculture in the overall growth process. 3 4 Synthesis and theoretical background 1.2 POVERTY REDUCTION AND THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE 1.2.1 The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction: The RoA Project’s Contribution Poverty reduction has become a major policy goal for developing-country governments and...
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