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Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction

A Synthesis

image of Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction

This book synthesizes the findings of a longer work which sets out a strategy for raising rural incomes. It 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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Long-term structural change and the agricultural transformation

The process of long-term economic development is characterised by a sectoral transition away from an economic structure based on agriculture to one dominated by manufactures and services.1 The nature of this transition away from agriculture is apparent from the evolution of agriculture’s share of GDP and employment, shown in Figures 3.1 and 3.2 respectively for a range of OECD and emerging economies between 1961 and 2008. Graphs showing the evolution of agriculture’s share of GDP in a wider range of African, Asian and Latin American countries are contained in Annex 3.A.

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