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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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Market stabilisation policies

Interest in market stabilisation policies has revived following the 2007-08 food price spike. A large number of developing countries responded to the crisis by seeking to stabilise domestic markets and thereby isolate their consumers from events in world grain markets (Abbott, 2009; Demeke et al., 2008; Jones and Kwiecinski, 2010). Trade policy actions included tariff reductions as well as restrictions on exports via taxes, quantitative restrictions or outright bans. Domestic measures – such as tax cuts on food, subsidies and releases of stocks – were also employed, in order to limit the transmission of world price shocks onto domestic markets.

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