Development Co-operation Report 2013

Ending Poverty

image of Development Co-operation Report 2013

The Development Co-operation Report (DCR) 2013 explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to reduce poverty. The world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day. Nonetheless, we are far from achieving the overarching MDG goal of eradicating extreme poverty. While we have learned much about what works in terms of reducing poverty, “getting to zero” remains a challenge in the face of the intractable difficulties of reaching those mired in extreme poverty.

The report  focuses on the very poor and will set out, in concrete terms:

• The nature and dimensions of poverty today

• What development co-operation – and the global partnerships it supports – can do in the fight against poverty

The DCR 2013 will focus on the positive experiences of countries, highlighting policies and approaches that have worked.

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What can Africa learn from China's agricultural miracle?

Although many sub-Saharan African countries have seen notable economic growth recently, this has not always translated into good poverty reduction rates. This chapter shows how China’s dramatic poverty reduction was largely driven by growth in smallholder farming, teasing out possible lessons for Africa. The Chinese experience underlines the importance of focusing on effective agricultural growth as a means of poverty reduction in countries where most people live in rural areas, as is the case in many African countries. The author cautions, however, against encouraging poor people to move off the land and out of agriculture before they have increased their incomes, as this can trap them in poverty. Instead, policies should promote high growth in agricultural productivity – particularly in basic food crops – coupled with diversification to enable the large farming population to generate a surplus, offer lower food prices for consumers and reduce the costs of industrial and service-sector development. The growing agricultural sector provides raw materials, capital and markets for manufacturing and other sectors that stimulate broader economic development and growth in off-farm employment; this, in turn, helps absorb surplus labour from agriculture. The challenge for Africa will be to avoid some of the negative by-products of the Chinese experience, which include environmental damage and growing inequity between rural and urban areas.

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