Agriculture for Development

Development in Agriculture

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Agriculture is a vital development tool for achieving the Millennium  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
The 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, nonfarm sector.




Abbreviations and Data Notes


Part I What can agriculture do for development?

Part II What are effective instruments for using agriculture for development?

Part III How can agriculture-for-development agendas best be implemented?

Selected indicators


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