Beyond Food Production
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Beyond Food Production

The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction

Edited by Fabrizio Bresciani and Alberto Valdés

The importance of agricultural growth to poverty reduction is well known, but the specific channels through which the poor can take advantage of growth require further research. Beyond Food Production takes on this challenge, investigating four important channels: rural labor markets, farm incomes, food prices, and linkages to other economic sectors.
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Chapter 1: The Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction: A Synthesis of the Country Case Studies

Fabrizio Bresciani and Alberto Valdés

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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...

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