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Empowering rural people for their own development

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  • Hans P. Binswanger

Abstract

This Elmhirst lecture first discusses the factors that allow rural people in low-income countries to design, plan, and implement their own rural development. These are divided into two broad groups: the institutional environment for rural development (the private sector, communities, civil society, local government, and sector institutions) and the factors governing profitability of investment in agriculture. While in many poor countries the institutional environment has improved over the last 20 years, the most poorly performing countries still have by far the poorest environment for local government in the world. Within an empowering institutional environment, the rate of agricultural and rural development is determined by investments of many different types that in turn depend primarily on the profitability of agriculture. Among the many factors that determine profitability few are under the direct control of farmers or agricultural sector institutions, but depend on governance and investments in other sectors such as trade and transport. In many of the poorest countries there has been considerable improvement in macro-economic management and sector policies over the past 20 years, but progress in international and intra-regional trade policies, in agricultural trade policies, in transport infrastructure, and in agricultural research and extension has been limited. Copyright 2007 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans P. Binswanger, 2007. "Empowering rural people for their own development," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 13-27, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:37:y:2007:i:s1:p:13-27
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    Cited by:

    1. Derek Headey, 2007. "What Professor Rodrik Means by Policy Reform: Appraising a Post-Washington Paradigm," CEPA Working Papers Series WP052007, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Alain de Janvry, 2010. "Agriculture for development: new paradigm and options for success," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(s1), pages 17-36, November.
    3. Janvry, Alain De & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2010. "Agriculture for development in sub-Saharan Africa: An update," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 5(1), September.
    4. Wilson, Paul N., 2009. "Impact Assessment as Shared Learning," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50739, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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