The Impact of Infrastructure on Agricultural Productivity
Recent literature indicates the significant role played by rural infrastructure in improving agricultural productivity in developing economies. While the availability and quality of rural infrastructure are never substitutes to efficient macroeconomic and agriculture-specific policies and the effective implementation of such policies, inadequate infrastructure can be a significant constraint to growth and productivity. Rural infrastructure, like other public investments, raises agricultural productivity, which in turn induces growth in the rural areas, bringing about higher agricultural wages and improved opportunities for nonfarm labor. The rise in agricultural productivity, which reduces food prices, benefits both urban and rural inhabitants who are net food buyers. Thus, aside from its growth benefits, agricultural productivity has significant poverty-reduction effects. The paper`s overall empirical results indicate a significant link between rural infrastructure and agricultural productivity. Electricity and roads are significant determinants of agricultural productivity. This is consistent with a related finding on the constraints imposed on growth by inadequate infrastructure. Rural roads provide the important connectivity with growing markets adjacent to rural areas; they also lessen input costs and transaction costs of rural producers and consumers. Access to electricity creates various income-earning opportunities for rural households.
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