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The State of Food and Agriculture 1981

The Least Developed Countries and World Review - Alleviating Rural Poverty

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 1981

In addition to the usual review of the recent world food and agriculture situation, each issue of The State of Food and Agriculture from 1957 has included one or more special studies of problems of longer-term interest. This year’s edition focuses on alleviating rural poverty.

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Rural poverty in developing countries and means of poverty alleviation

In recognition that the majority of the world’s poor are rural people and that the extent of rural poverty has not diminished and, indeed, may have increased in recent years, the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD), held in July 1979, adopted a concrete Programme of Action for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development for the alleviation of rural poverty. This Programme included a recommendation to FAO and other UN agencies to sensitize member countries to the problem of rural povery. The programme recommended, amongst other things, to national governments of developing countries specific targets for the reduction of rural poverty in the 1980s and 1990s within the framework of national development plans and programmes. Nutrition and literacy figure prominently among the areas for which targets with specified dates were set. Elimination of conditions of under-nutrition and the achievement of universal literacy by the year 2000 were commended. Health for all by 2000 is also the declared goal of member governments in pursuance of the recommendations of the Alma Ata Conference sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO 1980) and UNICEF. These targets were recommended by WCARRD within the context of integrated national programmes for accelerated rural development, poverty alleviation and supporting international policies (WCARRD - FAO 1979a).

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