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Aid to Agriculture, Growth and Poverty Reduction


  • Peter Hazell
  • Joachim Von Braun


Agriculture and rural growth promotion show a recent ‘comeback’ in development cooperation, but action on the ground so far is not sufficient. After years of neglect, policy makers have recognized that poverty reduction in many low income countries can only be achieved if development efforts are clearly focused on the sector which employs most of the poor, and the space where most of the poor live. The importance of agricultural growth was amply demonstrated during the economic transformation of Asia. Forty years ago, Asia was a continent of widespread poverty. Today, most Asian countries are experiencing significant growth and poverty reduction. Rapid growth in productivity in the small‐farm sector helped drive this process. Sub‐Saharan Africa, however, failed to achieve rapid agricultural growth and remains mired in poverty and hunger. If Africa is to halve poverty by 2015 in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), agriculture will need to maintain an annual growth rate of 6 per cent between 2000 and 2015. China's experience from 1978 to 1984 shows such growth is possible. Achieving the desired rapid rates of growth in Africa will require coherent policies by governments and donors, a substantial investment of public resources in rural infrastructure and access to agricultural technology, and significant improvement in national governance. Dans les milieux de la coopération et de l'aide au développement, même si les actions sur le terrain sont encore insuffisantes, on assiste depuis peu au retour en scène de l'agriculture et du monde rural. Après s'en être désintéressés pendant des années, les décideurs politiques finissent par admettre que, dans beaucoup de pays a faible revenu, il ne sera pas possible de réduire la pauvreté sans focaliser les efforts de développement sur les secteurs qui emploient le plus de pauvres et les zones dans lesquelles ils vivent pour la plupart. Les transformations économiques de l'Asie montrent bien l'importance de la croissance agricole. Il y a quarante ans, l'Asie étaient le continent de la pauvreté généralisée. Aujourd'hui, la plupart des pays d'Asie connaissent une croissance très significative et la pauvreté s'y réduit. L'augmentation de la productivité dans le secteur des petites exploitations a contribuéà la mise en œuvre de ce processus. L'Afrique sub‐saharienne, au contraire, n'a pas réussi à développer une croissance agricole rapide, ce qui la fait s'embourber dans la faim et la pauvreté. Si l'Afrique doit réduire de moitié la pauvreté d'ici 2015 comme l'y invitent les objectifs millénaires du développement (MDG), il faudra y maintenir un taux de croissance annuel de 6% pour l'agriculture entre 2000 et 2015. L'expérience de la Chine entre 1978 et 1984 montre que c'est possible. Mais pour obtenir en Afrique le taux de croissance élevé qui est souhaité, il faudra de la cohérence dans les politiques entre les gouvernements et des donneurs, un investissement public substantiel dans les infrastructures rurales et les moyens d'accès aux techniques modernes, enfin, des modes de gestion publique significativement améliorés Die Förderung der Landwirtschaft und des Wachstums im ländlichen Raum erfreut sich seit kurzem erneuter Beliebtheit in der Entwicklungszusammenar beit; die bisher ergriffenen Maßnahmen sind jedoch noch nicht ausreichend. Nachdem dieses Thema jahrelang vernachlässigt wurde, haben die Politikakteure festgestellt, dass die Armutsbekämpfung in zahlreichen Ländern mit geringem Einkommen nur dann erfolgreich durchgeführt werden kann, wenn die Bemühungen zur Entwicklung deutlich auf den Sektor ausgerichtet werden, in welchem die meisten Armen beschäftigt sind, und auf die Räume, in welchen die meisten Armen leben. Bei der wirtschaftlichen Transformation in Asien wurde sehr deutlich, wie wichtig das landwirtschaftliche Wachstum ist. Vor 40 Jahren war Armut in Asien weit verbreitet. Heute zeichnen die meisten asiatischen Länder durch signifikantes Wachstum und durch Armutsverringerung aus. Ein schneller Anstieg der Produktivität bei den kleineren landwirtschaftlichen Betrieben half dabei, diese Entwicklung voran zu treiben. In den afrikanischen Ländern unterhalb der Sahara (Sub‐Sahara‐Afrika) konnte schnelles landwirtschaftliches Wachstum jedoch nicht erreicht werden, dort dominieren weiterhin Armut und Hunger. Wenn Afrika gemäß der Millenniumsentwicklungsziele (Millennium Development Goals, MDG) die Armut bis zum Jahr 2015 halbieren soll, muss die Landwirtschaft eine jährliche Wachstumsrate von sechs Prozent zwischen den Jahren 2000 und 2015 aufrecht erhalten. Die Erfahrungen aus China aus den Jahren 1978 bis 1984 belegen, dass ein solches Wachstum möglich ist. Damit die gewünschten hohen Wachstumsraten in Afrika erzielt werden können, sind kohärente Politikmaßnahmen seitens der Regierungen und der Geldgeber, erhebliche Investitionen von öffentlichen Ressourcen in die ländliche Infrastruktur und in den Zugang zur Agrartechnologie sowie eine signifikante Verbesserung der nationalen Governance erforderlich.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Hazell & Joachim Von Braun, 2006. "Aid to Agriculture, Growth and Poverty Reduction," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 5(1), pages 6-13, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:5:y:2006:i:1:p:6-13
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-692X.2006.00020.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank, 2005. "Agricultural Growth for the Poor : An Agenda for Development," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 7247, December.
    2. Peter B. R. Hazell, 2005. "Is there a future for small farms?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(s1), pages 93-101, January.
    3. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2004. "A Policy Agenda for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-89, January.
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