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The State of Food and Agriculture 2015

Social Protection and Agriculture - Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2015

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.

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Executive summary

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. Social protection can also help recipients become more productive by enabling them to manage risks, build assets and undertake more rewarding activities. These benefits spread beyond the immediate recipients to their communities and the broader economy as recipients purchase food, agricultural inputs and other rural goods and services. But social protection can only offer a sustainable pathway out of poverty if there is inclusive growth in the economy. In most low- and middle-income countries, agriculture remains the largest employer of the poor and is a major source of livelihoods through wage labour and own production for household consumption and the market. Poverty and its corollaries – malnutrition, illness and lack of education – limit agricultural productivity. Hence, providing social protection and pursuing agricultural development in an integrated way offers synergies that can increase the effectiveness of both.

English

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