These are the key findings of a new research by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
The findings come from a first-of-its-kind analytical framework, which tracks the performance of 117 countries more than 45 years to understand which policies have succeeded or failed.
Carin Smaller, senior policy advisor, IISD, said, “Inclusive agricultural transformation is the bedrock of development. It can lead to increased productivity, higher incomes, food security and women’s empowerment.”
This global analysis explains how progress has been achieved in some countries in recent decades and what steps can be taken for countries to succeed.
David Laborde, senior fellow, IFPRI, explains, “Only 10 countries are still categorised by subsistence agriculture, compared with 30 in 1970. Except for countries at war, no country is worse off than they were decades ago.”
“Our report is a clear indication that agricultural transformation fosters economic empowerment for countries and their communities,” Laborde added.
It was also found that agricultural development began when countries removed price policies that penalise agriculture. Further, the study observed public investment in research, extension services, electricity and irrigation are important but the quality of these services can matter more than quantity.
“None of the countries studied were able to transform without an appropriate mix of policies and public investment that complemented each other at a given juncture. No single measure alone was sufficient to make good progress,” Smaller concluded.