Investing in Agriculture to Reduce Poverty and Hunger
"There is clear evidence that where agriculture contributes a significant portion of gross domestic product, rapid agricultural growth is an effective tool for generating overall economic growth and reducing poverty. There is also good evidence about the types of private and public investment and policy that stimulate agricultural growth. The contrary is also true: there are policies and investments (massive fertilizer subsidies, export restrictions, and severe farm price controls) that inhibit agricultural growth or have negative impacts on natural resources, making agriculture less sustainable. Poor governance and civil unrest also curtail agricultural growth; good governance and stability help it. Public investment programs, supported by aid, in large-scale agricultural programs focused on what works can generate very high agricultural growth rates, in turn contributing to poverty reduction. But operating at scale with substantial resources is no panacea. If policies are not enabling, or governance is bad, big programs at scale are much less likely to work."