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Future Agricultures, Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation: Searching for the New Agenda. John Thompson Research Fellow, Knowledge, Technology and Society Institute of Development Studies, UK Presentation for the Stakeholder Meeting on ‘Rethinking Agriculture in Development’

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future agricultures rural development and poverty alleviation searching for the new agenda
Future Agricultures,

Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation:

Searching for the New Agenda

John Thompson

Research Fellow, Knowledge, Technology and Society

Institute of Development Studies, UK

Presentation for the Stakeholder Meeting on

‘Rethinking Agriculture in Development’

The Hague, The Netherlands – 14 December 2006

focus
Focus
  • Challenges and opportunities for ‘pro-poor’ agriculture and rural development
  • Comparison of donor policies on agriculture  emergence of ‘new agenda’
  • Lessons from the Future Agricultures Consortium  focus on Africa
  • New directions?
challenges for pro poor agriculture rural development
Challenges for Pro-Poor Agriculture & Rural Development
  • Rural poverty, food insecurity and low agricultural growth persists in most low income countries, esp Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Agriculture must grow fasterand benefits must be shared more widely to achieve MDGs
  • Sharp bifurcations remain poverty is located differentially across and between populations  need for poverty mapping and/or typologies/ taxonomies to identify appropriate investments for particular people/systems in particular places?
slide4

Inherent Productivity Potential

Low

High-Medium

Medium to Good Market Access

MAs

Total 69%

Isolation Factor

65%(40% irrig)

4%

Poor

MarketAccess

MAs

Total 31%

MAs

196 million

567 million

97 million

1,620 million

23%

8%

Total 88%

Total 12%

Source: FA0 2005

Bifurcations by Context:Productivity Potential and Market AccessAg population mostly located in medium and high potential areas,but many with poor market access

slide5

Cereal Yields (Mt/Ha)

Agricultural Labour Productivity

(value added per ag worker)

Productivity BifurcationsStagnation in land and labour productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa compared to growth in other regions

Source: FAO 2005

slide6

Off-farm income supports

persistence of family farm

& food security

Bifurcations in Livelihood DiversificationAdvantage of middle-income countries in providing access tonon-ag rural income sources

Source: World Bank 2006

slide7

Dynamic Pathways: Five ‘Rural Worlds’

  • Rural World 1 – large-scale commercial agricultural households and enterprises
  • Rural World 2 – traditional agricultural households and enterprises, not internationally competitive
  • Rural World 3 – subsistence agricultural households and micro-enterprises
  • Rural World 4 – landless or near-landless rural households and micro-enterprises
  • Rural World 5 – chronically poor rural households, many no longer economically active
  • Sources: OECD 2006; Pimbert, Thompson, et al 2003; Vorley 2002
three types of livelihood strategy
Three Types of Livelihood Strategy
  • ‘Hanging-in’ – where activities are undertaken to maintain livelihood levels at a ‘maintenance and survival’ level
  • ‘Stepping-up’ – where investments are made in existing activities to increase their returns
  • ‘Stepping-out’– where existing activities are engaged in to accumulate assets as a basis for investment in alternative, higher-return livelihood activities

Source: Dorward, et al 2006

donor policies and perspectives
Donor Policies and Perspectives
  • World Bank - argues for implementation of unfinished market reforms and emphasises the role of the private sector and NGOs.
  • DFID - leaves a wider scope for direct state intervention in ‘kick starting’ rural markets, especially in poorly resourced remote rural areas. Strong emphasis on S&T and infrastructure development
  • OECD - highlights public-private partnerships and the potential of NGOs and CSOs (farmer associations) in service provision and market coordination. Strong emphasis on targeted policy according to the ‘rural worlds’ and prioritises smallholder and landless people
  • USAID – virtually silent about role of the state and its strategy is defined by its direct interventions in the sector. Its major stakeholder seems to be the smallholder farmer treated as a homogeneous private sector operator
emerging agenda for pro poor ag rural development
Emerging Agenda forPro-Poor Ag & Rural Development
  • Enhancing agricultural sector productivity and market opportunities Making Markets and Science and Technology Work for the Poor
  • Promoting diversification Sustainable Livelihoods (Rural + Urban)
  • Reducing risk and vulnerability Social Protection + Investments in agriculture + environmental management
getting to grips with the policy process
Getting to Grips with the Policy Process
  • Despite enormous energy devoted to finding the ‘right policy models’ in agricultural development, little attention is given to the relationship between these models and the practices and procedures that they are expected to generate or legitimise
  • We need to look beyond the policy to the actual process – and the politics that drive it
  • In reality, ‘policy is … what policy does’
slide12
Learning Consortium on African Agriculture

Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi + UK (IDS-ODI-Imperial)

  • Critical research and reflection new agricultural agenda
  • Platform for policy debate + communication hub
  • Networking among different institutes – north-south / south-south / north-north adding value through synergies
  • Solid partnerships in Africa  linking local debates and contexts to wider discussions
  • Why now? Lack of focus on local conditions and contexts, and challenges of policy process
slide13
Four Themes
  • Policy processes: what political, organisational budgetary processes promote or hinder pathways to pro-poor, agriculture-led growth? What role should different actors, including Ministries of Agriculture, have in this?
  • Agriculture, growth and social protection: what are the trade-offs and complementarities between agricultural growth and social protection objectives?
  • Agricultural commercialisation: what types of commercialisation of agriculture both promote growth and reduce poverty? What institutional and market arrangements are required?
  • Technology & innovation: How can agricultural technology be made to work for the poor? What are the implications for technology choice and priority setting mechanisms?
slide14
Where Next?
  • Deepening the dialogues on future agricultures/ reflections on policy processes in 3 focal countries
  • Extending the thematic work, linking with emerging issues from country studies
  • Developing strategies for policy engagement – with DFID (through new policy), AU-NEPAD (through CAADP process), World Bank (WDR 2008), others…
  • Continuing to develop and promote the website as an information/debating platform
  • Broadening partnerships – new collaborators, new countries  W Africa?
new directions
New Directions?
  • Avoid generalised diagnosis and prescription  recognise dynamics and diversity of agri-food systems  ‘Rainbow Evolutions’?
  • Understand interactions of economic, social and political processes
  • Locate change processes in particular contexts
  • Focus on politics – avoid simple fixes
  • Recognise multiple pathways – negotiate trade-offs
food politics
Food Politics

“Food is central to the debates on the environment, development, trade and globalisation – but the potential for food choices to change the world should not be overestimated. The idea of saving the world by shopping [for fair trade, organic or local products] is appealing; but tackling climate change, boosting development and reforming the global trade system will require difficult political choices”

-- The Economist

9-15 December 2006

thank you
Thank You

www.future-agricultures.org