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Food Insecurity, Poverty and Agriculture: A Concept Paper

  • Sumiter Broca
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    This paper argues for a twin-track approach to hunger and poverty reduction that combines measures to promote rural development through growth in agriculture and rural off-farm activities with measures to provide direct and immediate access to food for the most needy. The paper begins with an exposition of the concepts of food insecurity and poverty and shows that the majority of the hungry and poor in developing countries still live in rural areas. It then documents the substantial economic costs of hunger to show that direct action against hunger can itself contribute to poverty reduction. It goes on to argue that if the income from agricultural growth is spent locally and promotes growth in rural off-farm activities, this can have a strong impact on the incomes of the poor. Evidence is presented to substantiate this argument. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the twin-track approach for anti poverty strategies

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    Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 02-15.

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    Length: 87 pages
    Date of creation: 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0215
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome Italy
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    1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 17-38, February.
    2. Shane, Mathew & Teigen, Lloyd & Gehlhar, Mark & Roe, Terry, 2000. "Economic growth and world food insecurity: a parametric approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 297-315, June.
    3. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-95, June.
    4. Krueger, Anne O, 1997. "Trade Policy and Economic Development: How We Learn," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 1-22, March.
    5. Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-93, September.
    6. Bhargava, Alok, 1997. "Nutritional status and the allocation of time in Rwandese households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 277-295, March.
    7. Adams, Richard H. Jr. & He, Jane J., 1995. "Sources of income inequality and poverty in rural Pakistan:," Research reports 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Kanbur, Ravi & Squire, Lyn, 1999. "The Evolution of Thinking About Poverty: Exploring the Interactions," Working Papers 127697, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    9. Haddad, Lawrence & Ruel, Marie T. & Garrett, James L., 1999. "Are Urban Poverty and Undernutrition Growing? Some Newly Assembled Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1891-1904, November.
    10. Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
    11. Boyce, James K & Ravallion, Martin, 1991. "A Dynamic Econometric Model of Agricultural Wage Determination in Bangladesh," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(4), pages 361-76, November.
    12. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Farm productivity and rural poverty in India," FCND discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Delgado, Christopher L. & Hopkins, Jane & Kelly , Valerie & Hazell, P. B. R. & McKenna, Anna A. & Gruhn, Peter & Hojjati, Behjat & Sil, Jayashree & Courbois, Claude, 1998. "Agricultural growth linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa:," Research reports 107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Deolalikar, Anil B, 1988. "Nutrition and Labor Productivity in Agriculture: Estimates for Rural South India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 406-13, August.
    15. Bouis, Howarth E. & Haddad, Lawrence J., 1992. "Are estimates of calorie-income fxelasticities too high? : A recalibration of the plausible range," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 333-364, October.
    16. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
    17. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
    18. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-62, February.
    19. Collier, Paul & Lal, Deepak, 1984. "Why poor people get rich: Kenya 1960-1979," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(10), pages 1007-1018, October.
    20. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
    21. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1989. "Is Variety the Spice of Life? Implications for Calorie Intake," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 666-72, November.
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