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World development report 2008 : agriculture for development (Inglês)

Agriculture is a vital development tool for achieving the Millennium Development Goal that calls for halving by 2015 the share of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger. That is the overall message of this year's World Development Report (WDR), the 30th in the series. Three out of every four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. This report provides guidance to governments and the international community on designing and implementing agriculture for development agendas that can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of rural poor. The report highlights two major regional challenges. In much of Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture is a strong option for spurring growth, overcoming poverty, and enhancing food security. Agricultural productivity growth is vital for stimulating growth in other parts of the economy. But accelerated growth requires a sharp productivity increase in smallholder farming combined with more effective support to the millions coping as subsistence farmers, many of them in remote areas. Recent improved performance holds promise, and this report identifies many emerging successes that can be scaled up. In Asia, overcoming widespread poverty requires confronting widening rural-urban income disparities. Asia's fast-growing economies remain home to over 600 million rural people living in extreme poverty, and despite massive rural-urban migration, rural poverty will remain dominant for several more decades. For this reason, the WDR focuses on ways to generate rural jobs by diversifying into labor intensive, high value agriculture linked to a dynamic rural, non-farm sector. In all regions, with rising land and water scarcity and the added pressures of a globalizing world, the future of agriculture is intrinsically tied to better stewardship of natural resources. With the right incentives and investments, agriculture's environmental footprint can be lightened and environmental services harnessed to protect watersheds and biodiversity.

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