Agricultural and rural development for reducing poverty and hunger in Asia: Past performance and priorities for the future (2008)

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In the past 30 years Asia has experienced dynamic growth, structural transformation and achieved substantial poverty reduction. The extension of current trends will create a dramatically transformed Asia by 2015. The incidence of people living in poverty in the region has fallen from more than 50 percent in the mid-1970s to 18 percent in 2004 and the incidence of hunger from more than 30 percent to 16 percent. Currently the region is home to 520 million hungry people (as defned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO]) and 600 million poor people (as defned by the World Bank).

By 2015 Asia’s share of global gross domestic product (GDP) will approach 42 percent, but Asia will still be home to half of the world’s poor and projections show that three-quarters of these poor will live in rural areas. Currently 85 percent of those who live on less than a dollar a day live in rural areas. Generating productivity increases in agriculture and nonfarm rural industries is critical in a region in which 60 percent of the population will still live in rural areas in 2015. Solving rural poverty in Asia is thus essential to facilitating the participation of the poorest in the region’s growth.
Language: English
Imprint: 2020 Vision. In Reducing Poverty and Hunger in Asia. Focus 15, Brief 1 of 15, March 2008: 2008
Series: Policy brief,