Growth and rural poverty
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1986. Growth and rural poverty. Spore 2. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44456
'Agricultural Change and Rural Poverty'', edited by J W Mellor and G M Desai is published for the International Food Policy Research Institute by the Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1985 (hardback. 233pn).
What are the determinants of rural poverty? Drawing mainly on data from India, the 18 essays in 'Agricultural Change and Rural Poverty' explore this, and related questions, and include analyses of agricultural development in Japan, the Philippines and Africa. A number of the contributors look closely at the 'Green Revolution' debate in the Indian context. Their broad conclusion is that while it is essential, growth alone cannot eliminate rural poverty. Other factors, particularly inequalities in the distribution of land and the rapid growth of rural populations tend to exacerbate rural poverty unless development policies operate in favour of the disadvantaged. Chief among these policies is the maintenance of low consumer food prices. By contrast, landlessness is not so significant in the African context. Here rural poverty relates to the near complete reliance of African agriculture on rain, and the high level of exposure of African economies to international trade in agricultural commodities whose price is determined elsewhere. 'Agricultural Change and Rural Poverty' ultimately endorses accelerated growth in agricultural production, but not without important caveats. Unfortunately, the book demonstrates the 'environmental blindness' which is all too common among economists not one article makes the links between rural poverty and environmental degradation. This book makes an important contribution to the understanding of rural poverty, and contains two striking findings: that there are enormous short-term fluctuations in the number of rural people in absolute poverty, and that significant variations in poverty levels exist from place to place, even where other conditions are equal. 'Agricultural Change and Rural Poverty'', edited by J W Mellor and G M Desai is published for the International Food Policy Research Institute by the Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1985 (hardback. 233pn).