World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development

Published on World Bank.org, Oct. 19, 2007.

Download the report (exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese).

October 19, 2007 – World Development Report 2008 calls for greater investment in agriculture in developing countries.

The report warns that the sector must be placed at the center of the development agenda if the goals of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 are to be realized.

While 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, a mere 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.

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 … See more with this link.

On this page find links for two videos (scroll down): Africa’s Agriculture for Development Agenda, Part one (17,16 min.), and Part two (2 h 10.18 min).


The World-Bank claims: “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 are engaged in agriculture,” said Robert B. Zoellick, World Bank Group President. “We need to give agriculture more prominence across the board. At the global level, countries must deliver on vital reforms such as cutting distorting subsidies and opening markets, while civil society groups, especially farmer organizations, need more say in setting the agricultural agenda.”

Links: The World Bank Group WBG on the Internet: on WBG’s Homepage; on WBG’s data site; on WBG’s Global Development Finance 2007; on wikipedia a longer description about the WBG.

NGOs looking specially to the WBG (out of wikipedia, scroll totally down):

My comment: Asian farmers have the same struggles: for ex., how many Indian peasants have committed suicided only today?

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