The State of Food and Agriculture 2015

Social Protection and Agriculture - Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty

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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on reducing poverty have been met by many countries, yet many others lag behind and the post-2015 challenge will be the full eradication of poverty and hunger. Many developing countries increasingly recognize that social protection measures are needed to relieve the immediate deprivation of people living in poverty and to prevent others from falling into poverty when a crisis strikes. This edition of The State of Food and Agriculture 2015 makes the case that social protection measures will help break the cycle of rural poverty and vulnerability, when combined with broader agricultural and rural development measures.



Social protection and agricultural development

Evidence presented in the previous chapters makes a strong case for providing social protection measures, particularly income transfers, to rural households, who comprise the vast majority of the world’s poor and rely on agriculture for substantial parts of their incomes. While recipients of social protection transfers can become more productive, their purchases of food and other local goods and services can also stimulate the local economy more broadly. But social protection, as essential as it is for the poor and vulnerable, will not transform local economies by itself: it can only play a supporting role. Social protection cannot address all the structural constraints as well as market and infrastructural weaknesses that rural farm households face. To address poverty and food insecurity in the context of rural development and agricultural transformation, both social protection and agricultural policies and interventions are needed.


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