Agriculture and Pro-Poor Growth: An Asian Perspective
No country has been able to sustain a rapid transition out of poverty without raising productivity in its agricultural sector. Despite this historical role of agriculture in economic development, both the academic and donor communities lost interest in the sector, starting in the mid-1980s. This was mostly because of low prices in world markets for basic agricultural commodities, caused largely by the success of the Green Revolution in Asia. After two decades of neglect, interest in agriculture is returning. This paper explores the reasons why agriculture is back on the policy agenda for donors and poor countries alike. The most important reason is new understanding that economic growth is the main vehicle for reducing poverty and that growth in the agricultural sector plays a major role in that overall growth as well as in connecting the poor to growth. There is a sharp debate, however, between “optimists” and “pessimists” over the potential for small-scale agriculture to continue to play these historic roles. In a world of open trade, ready availability of cheap food in world markets, continued agricultural protection in rich countries, and economies of scale in access to food supply chains that are increasingly dominated by supermarkets and export buyers, large-scale farms with state-of-the-art technology and access to efficient infrastructure can push smallholders out of commercial markets. Consequently, the paper concludes, geographic coverage and operational efficiency of rural infrastructure, coupled to effective investment in modern agricultural research and extension, will determine the future role for agriculture in poverty reduction.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Thirtle, Colin G. & Lin, Lin & Piesse, Jenifer, 2003.
"The Impact Of Research Led Agricultural Productivity Growth On Poverty Reduction In Africa, Asia And Latin America,"
2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa
25834, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Thirtle, Colin & Lin, Lin & Piesse, Jenifer, 2003. "The Impact of Research-Led Agricultural Productivity Growth on Poverty Reduction in Africa, Asia and Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 1959-1975, December.
- Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
- Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004.
"Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth,"
44, Center for Global Development.
- Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
- C. Peter Timmer, 1969. "The Turnip, the New Husbandry, and the English Agricultural Revolution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 375-395.
- Robert P. King & Derek Byerlee, 1978. "Factor Intensities and Locational Linkages of Rural Consumption Patterns in Sierra Leone," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(2), pages 197-206.
- Dawe, David, 2001. "How far down the path to free trade? The importance of rice price stabilization in developing Asia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 163-175, April.
- Ravallion, Martin & Huppi, Monika, 1991. "Measuring Changes in Poverty: A Methodological Case Study of Indonesia during an Adjustment Period," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 57-82, January.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
- Moon, Pal Yong, 1975. "The Evolution of Rice Policy in Korea," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 04.
- Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001.
"The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries,"
Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists,
International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 26(1), October.
- Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, October.
- Kravis, Irving B, 1970. "Trade as a Handmaiden of Growth: Similarities between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(323), pages 850-72, December.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002.
"Growth Is Good for the Poor,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
- Naylor, Rosamond L. & Falcon, Walter P. & Goodman, Robert M. & Jahn, Molly M. & Sengooba, Theresa & Tefera, Hailu & Nelson, Rebecca J., 2004. "Biotechnology in the developing world: a case for increased investments in orphan crops," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 15-44, February.
- Mellor, John W & Johnston, Bruce F, 1984. "The World Food Equation: Interrelations among Development, Employment, and Food Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 531-74, June.
- Dinghuan Hu & Thomas Reardon & Scott Rozelle & Peter Timmer & Honglin Wang, 2004. "The Emergence of Supermarkets with Chinese Characteristics: Challenges and Opportunities for China's Agricultural Development," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22, pages 557-586, 09.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:63. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Roodman)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.