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Agriculture and development : a brief review of the literature

Listed author(s):
  • Dethier, Jean-Jacques
  • Effenberger, Alexandra

After 20 years of neglect by international donors, agriculture is now again in the headlines because higher food prices are increasing food insecurity and poverty. In the coming years it will be essential to increase food productivity and production in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and with smallholders. This however requires finding viable solutions to a number of complex technical, institutional and policy issues including land markets, research on seeds and inputs; agricultural extension; credit; rural infrastructure; storage; connection to markets; rural nonfarm employment and food price stabilization. This paper reviews what the economic literature has to say on these topics. It discusses in turn the role played by agriculture in the development process and the interactions between agriculture and other economic sectors; the determinants of the Green Revolution and discuss the foundations of agricultural growth; issues of income diversification by farmers; approaches to rural development; and finally issues of international trade policy and food security which are at the root of the crisis in agricultural commodity volatility in the past few years.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5553.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5553
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  1. Vernon W. Ruttan, 2002. "Productivity Growth in World Agriculture: Sources and Constraints," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 161-184, Fall.
  2. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2013. "The Basic Public Finance Of Public–Private Partnerships," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 83-111, 02.
  3. Kym Anderson & John Cockburn & Will Martin, 2011. "Would Freeing Up World Trade Reduce Poverty and Inequality? The Vexed Role of Agricultural Distortions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 487-515, 04.
  4. Hazell, Peter & Poulton, Colin & Wiggins, Steve & Dorward, Andrew, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: Trajectories and Policy Priorities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1349-1361, October.
  5. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
  6. David Coady & Margaret Grosh & John Hoddinott, 2004. "Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14902, September.
  7. Christiaensen, Luc & Demery, Lionel & Kuhl, Jesper, 2011. "The (evolving) role of agriculture in poverty reduction--An empirical perspective," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 239-254, November.
  8. Fan, Shenggen & Mogues, Tewodaj & Benin, Sam, 2009. "Setting priorities for public spending for agricultural and rural development in Africa:," Policy briefs 12, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 349-373, April.
  10. Brian D. Wright, 2012. "International Grain Reserves And Other Instruments to Address Volatility in Grain Markets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 27(2), pages 222-260, August.
  11. Birkhaeuser, Dean & Evenson, Robert E & Feder, Gershon, 1991. "The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 607-650, April.
  12. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
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