Why Is Agriculture So Important in Fighting Hunger and Poverty?

Agriculture is the key to inclusive economic growth that reduces poverty in poor countries.


Economic Growth

Globally on average, every $1 invested in agricultural research and extension generates a 43% return to GDP. In developing countries with significant yield gaps, the returns to GDP are even greater.


Every $1 invested by the Rwandan government in agriculture research generates $3 in GDP.


Gains are greater for locally consumed crops:


Source: Diao et al. Agricultural Growth and Investment Options for Poverty Reduction in Rwanda. IFPRI. 2010. 

Addressing Poverty

Given that in many developing countries, 40% or more of hte population are farmers, agriculture-led growth generates higher reductions in poverty than any other industry.

% of Population Working in Agriculture in 5 Low Income Countries


Source: World Bank. World Development Report 2008. Agriculture for Development


"Every dollar invested in agriculture is twice as effective in reducing poverty as investing in non-agricultural sectors."

Source: World Bank 2008 World Development Report





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