Agriculture and Pro-Poor Growth

Topic :

This paper was prepared as part of the USAID/DAI/BIDE project on Pro-Poor Growth Strategies. Parts of earlier versions were delivered as the Keynote Address at the Workshop on Institutional Innovation for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth: A Case Study in South Africa, held at the University of Ghent, Belgium, December 6, 2002, and at the USAID/ANE Workshop on “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security,” September 30-October 4, 2002. More generally, these ideas have evolved over three decades as a scholar-practitioner, with special interests in East and Southeast Asia. This experience has highlighted the importance of an historical perspective for understanding long-term patterns of economic development and how agriculture’s role changes quite radically by the time a country emerges into postindustrial modernity. This changing role has immediate implications for income distribution, the pace of poverty reduction, expansion of agricultural trade, and the political economy of rural-urban relations. “Agriculture and Pro-Poor Growth” attempts to pull together the lessons learned from research that addresses these issues.

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