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Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction

image of Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction

With more than two-thirds of the world’s poor living in rural areas, higher rural incomes are a pre-requisite for sustained poverty reduction and reduced hunger. This volume sets out a strategy for raising rural incomes which emphasises the creation of diversified rural economies with opportunities within and outside agriculture. Agricultural policies need to be integrated within an overall mix of policies and institutional reforms that facilitate, rather than impede, structural change. By investing in public goods, such as infrastructure and agricultural research, and by building effective social safety nets, governments can limit the role of less efficient policies such as price controls and input subsidies.

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A Strategic Framework for Strengthening Rural Incomes in Developing Countries

This chapter examines the role of agricultural policies in raising rural incomes in developing countries. The underlying premise is that policies need to be effective given current economic structures, yet anticipate and facilitate the transition to structures that are capable of generating higher incomes. This means improving the productivity and competitiveness of smallholder farmers, who dominate developing country agriculture, while widening opportunities outside the sector as the economy diversifies. Many of the required policies are not agriculture-specific, and agricultural policies need to be framed in the broader context of rural development strategies. The primary need is for investments in public goods that can support agricultural and rural development, such as agricultural research and rural infrastructure.

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