World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development

The WDR 2008 calls for placing the sector at the center of the development agenda if the goals of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 are to be realized. The last time a WDR on agriculture was published was in 1982, making this a landmark report that comes when many are calling for an African agricultural revolution. While 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, only 4 percent of official development assistance goes to agriculture. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a region heavily reliant on agriculture for overall growth, public spending for farming is also only 4 percent of total government spending and the sector is still taxed at relatively high levels. The report finds that for the, poorest people, GDP growth originating in agriculture is about four times more effective in raising incomes of extremely poor people than GDP growth originating outside the sector. The ,authors argue that a dynamic ‘agriculture-for-development’ agenda can benefit the estimated 900 million rural people in the developing world who live on less than $1 a day, most of whom rely on agriculture for a living. http://go.worldbank.org/ZJIAOSUFU0

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