Aid to Agriculture, Growth and Poverty Reduction
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. Copyright The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2006.
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Volume (Year): 5 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (04)
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