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Agriculture, rural development, and pro-poor growth (Inglês)

This paper reviews the contribution of agriculture and rural development to pro-poor growth by examining the experience of 12 countries as documented in case studies commissioned for a multi-donor project on "Operationalizing Pro-Poor Growth." The countries fell into three distinct regional groupings based on national statistics on the importance of agriculture and relative land and labor productivities: five are in Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia), four in Asia (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam), and three in Latin America (Bolivia, Brazil, and El Salvador). The role of agriculture in structural transformation was demonstrated successfully through the green revolution in many countries, especially in Asia, where agriculture now has a declining share in many national economies. Partly because of this success, a growing number of "agro-pessimists" are questioning the role of agriculture in current strategies for pro-poor growth. These questions are brought on by low commodity prices in world markets, the apparent lack of new technological breakthroughs in agriculture, and the growing importance of trade in a globalizing economy. This report reviews the record of pro-poor growth since 1990 in the case study countries, with respect to five core themes: (1) the response of the sector to liberalization and its impacts on pro-poor growth, (2) drivers of agricultural productivity growth, (3) the contribution of the rural nonfarm sector and migration, (4) the effects of initial asset distribution, and (5) management and impacts of shocks.

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