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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fan, Shenggen, 2002. "Agricultural research and urban poverty in India:," EPTD discussion papers 94, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:94

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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).
    2. Fan, Shenggen & Fang, Cheng & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "How Agricultural Research Affects Urban Poverty In Developing Countries? The Case Of China," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20636, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. 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).
    4. 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).
    5. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. Kiresur, V.R. & Melinamani, V.P., 2008. "Inter-Linkages Among Agricultural Research Investment, Agricultural Productivity and Rural Poverty in India," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44389, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. World Bank, 2013. "Republic of Senegal Basic Agricultural Public Expenditure Diagnostic Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 20141, The World Bank.
    3. Ramasamy, C., 2004. "Constraints to Growth in Indian Agriculture: Needed Technology, Resource Management and Trade Strategies," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 59(1).
    4. Lahiri, Radhika & Ratnasiri, Shyama, 2013. "Costly technology adoption, redistribution and growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 440-449.
    5. Zuzana Smeets Kristkova & Michiel van Dijk & Hans van Meijl, 2015. "Long-term projections of global food security with R&D-driven technological progress," EcoMod2015 8601, EcoMod.


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