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Reducing poverty and hunger in Asia: The role of agricultural and rural development

  • Islam, N.

After 30 years of dynamic growth and substantial poverty reduction in Asia, do agriculture and rural development still have a role to play in that region? The policy briefs in this collection provide abundant evidence that they do. Although the incidence of people living in poverty fell from more than 50 percent in the mid-1970s to 18 percent in 2004, and the incidence of hunger fell to 16 percent, Asia is still home to more than half of the world&rsquo;s poor, most of whom live in rural areas. Agriculture and rural development are thus still key to reducing poverty and hunger in the region. <br /> <br /> These policy briefs explore how agriculture and rural development can play this vital role. The authors examine the scale and nature of poverty and hunger in rural Asia and explore growth and structural changes in Asian agriculture and rural nonfarm activities. They discuss strategies for economy-wide and trade policies to encourage inclusive rural growth, key emerging risks such as climate change, and instruments for mitigating and managing risks.<br /> <br /> These briefs arise out of a high-level policy forum, &ldquo;Agricultural and Rural Development for Reducing Poverty and Hunger in Asia: In Pursuit of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth,&rdquo; organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila in August 2007. The forum brought together about 100 leaders and stakeholders from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society from all over Asia and around the world. This forum was part of a wider consultation process leading up to the IFPRI-facilitated conference &ldquo;Taking Action for the World&rsquo;s Poor and Hungry People,&rdquo; held in Beijing in October 2007.

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    International Food Policy Research Institute and ADB. 2020 Focus 15: http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus15/focus15.pdf