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Selected Publications

Agriculture for Development: Toward a New Paradigm

Byerlee, Derek, Alain de Janvry, and Elisabeth Sadoulet. 2009. “Agriculture for Development: Toward a New Paradigm”` Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2009(1): 15-31.


The fundamental role that agriculture plays in development has long been recognized. In the seminal work on the subject, agriculture was seen as a source of contributions that helped induce industrial growth and a structural transformation of the economy. However, globalization, integrated value chains, rapid technological and institutional innovations, and environmental constraints have rapidly changed the context for agriculture’s role. We argue that a new
paradigm is needed that recognizes agriculture’s multiple functions for development in that emerging context: triggering economic growth, reducing poverty, narrowing income disparities, providing food security, and delivering environmental services. Yet, governments and donors have neglected these functions of agriculture with the result that agriculture growth has been reduced, 75% of world poverty is rural, sectoral disparities have exploded, food insecurity has returned, and environmental degradation is widespread. Mobilizing these functions requires shifting the political economy to overcome anti-agriculture policy biases, strengthening governance for agriculture, and tailoring priorities to country conditions.

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