Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Agriculture and Development

Although fewer and fewer Americans are working in agriculture (see yesterday), in a lot the developing world agriculture (particularly Africa) employs a large majority of the population. This past Friday the World Bank released its annual World Development Report this one features the role of agriculture in development.
Some highlights from the press release linked here

“Agriculture consumes 85 percent of the world’s utilized water and the sector contributes to deforestation, land degradation, and pollution. The report recommends measures to achieve more sustainable production systems and outlines incentives to protect the environment.”

“…in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the [agricultural] sector employs 65 percent of the labor force and generates 32 percent of GDP growth.”

“The report says rich countries need to reform policies which harm the poor. For example, it is vital that the United States reduces cotton subsidies which depress prices for African smallholders.”

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