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Agricultural research and urban poverty in India:

  • Fan, Shenggen

Using a similar analytical approach to a study in China, this paper analyzes the impact of agricultural research on urban poverty reduction in India. State level data from 1970 to 1995 were used in the empirical analysis. It is found that in addition to its large impact on rural poverty reduction, agricultural research investments have also played a major role in the reduction of urban poverty. Agricultural research investments increase agricultural production, and increased production in turn lowers food prices. The urban poor often benefit proportionately more than the non-poor since they spend 50-80% of their income on food. Among all the rural investments considered in this study, agricultural research has the largest impact on urban poverty reduction per additional unit of investment. The results from this study are similar to earlier findings for China. Today, urban poverty still accounts for one quarter of total poverty in India, and this share is expected to rise in the future. Policymakers cannot afford to be complacent about this trend and continued investments are still needed to keep food prices low. Among all government policy instruments, increased agricultural research is still the most effective way to achieve this objective.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 94.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:94
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  1. Fan, Shenggen & Fang, Cheng & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "How agricultural research affects urban poverty in developing countries: the case of China," EPTD discussion papers 83, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Evenson, Robert E. & Pray, Carl E. & Rosegrant, Mark W., 1999. "Agricultural research and productivity growth in India:," Research reports 109, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Alston, Julian M. & Craig, Barbara J. & Pardey, Philip G., 1998. "Dynamics in the creation and depreciation of knowledge, and the returns to research:," EPTD discussion papers 35, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Haddad, Lawrence James & Ruel, Marie T. & Garrett, James L., 1999. "Are urban poverty and undernutrition growing?," FCND discussion papers 63, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Alston, Julian M. & Wyatt, T. J. & Pardey, Philip G. & Marra, Michele C. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2000. "A meta-analysis of rates of return to agricultural R & D: ex pede Herculem?," Research reports 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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