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The role of agriculture in poverty reduction an empirical perspective

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  • Christiaensen, Luc
  • Demery, Lionel
  • Kuhl, Jesper

Abstract

The relative contribution of a sector to poverty reduction is shown to depend on its direct and indirect growth effects as well as its participation effect. The paper assesses how these effects compare between agriculture and non-agriculture by reviewing the literature and by analyzing cross-country national accounts and poverty data from household surveys. Special attention is given to Sub-Saharan Africa. While the direct growth effect of agriculture on poverty reduction is likely to be smaller than that of non-agriculture (though not because of inherently inferior productivity growth), the indirect growth effect of agriculture (through its linkages with nonagriculture) appears substantial and at least as large as the reverse feedback effect. The poor participate much more in growth in the agricultural sector, especially in low-income countries, resulting in much larger poverty reduction impact. Together, these findings support the overall premise that enhancing agricultural productivity is the critical entry-point in designing effective poverty reduction strategies, including in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, to maximize the poverty reducing effects, the right agricultural technology and investments must be pursued, underscoring the need for much more country specific analysis of the structure and institutional organization of the rural economy in designing poverty reduction strategies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4013.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4013

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Achieving Shared Growth; Economic Theory&Research; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gebregziabher, Gebrehaweria & Namara, Regassa E. & Holden, Stein, 2009. "Poverty reduction with irrigation investment: An empirical case study from Tigray, Ethiopia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(12), pages 1837-1843, December.
  2. Headey, Derek & Chiu, Alice & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2011. "Agriculture's role in the Indian enigma: Help or hindrance to the undernutrition crisis?," IFPRI discussion papers 1085, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Diao, Xinshen & Fan, Shenggen & Headey, Derek & Johnson, Michael & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Yu, Bingxin, 2008. "Accelerating Africa's food production in response to rising food prices: Impacts and requisite actions," IFPRI discussion papers 825, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Martine Audibert, 2011. "Endemic diseases and agricultural productivity: Challenges and policy response," Working Papers halshs-00563389, HAL.
  5. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Thurlow, James, 2010. "The Role of Agriculture in African Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1375-1383, October.
  6. Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen, 2008. "Economic transformation in theory and practice: What are the messages for Africa?," IFPRI discussion papers 797, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Lazaro, Evelyne A. & Makindara, Jeremia R., 2008. "Agriculture and The Challenge to Reduce Poverty in East Africa," 2007 Second International Conference, August 20-22, 2007, Accra, Ghana 52104, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
  8. Headey, Derek D. & Benson, Todd & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Fan, Shenggen, 2009. "Why African governments under-invest in agriculture: results from an expert survey," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51818, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  9. Wiesmann, Doris, 2006. "A global hunger index: measurement concept, ranking of countries, and trends," FCND discussion papers 212, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Moon, Wanki, 2012. "Conceptualizing Multifunctional Agriculture from a Global Perspective," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119751, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  11. Fan, Shenggen & Johnson, Michael & Saurkar, Anuja & Makombe, Tsitsi, 2008. "Investing in African agriculture to halve poverty by 2015:," IFPRI discussion papers 751, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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