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Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan AfricaCurrent and Emerging Issues$
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Andrew McKay and Erik Thorbecke

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728450

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728450.001.0001

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Agriculture as an Engine of Growth and Poverty Reduction

Agriculture as an Engine of Growth and Poverty Reduction

Lessons for Africa

(p.91) 4 Agriculture as an Engine of Growth and Poverty Reduction
Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa

Douglas Gollin

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews theories and empirical literature on the relationship between agricultural development, economic growth, and poverty reduction, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa. Data show clearly and consistently that smallholder agriculture remains a dominant source of livelihoods in Africa, with more than half of the economically active population working in that sector. Rural people also tend to be poor; although data are sparse, evidence supports the idea that poverty is concentrated in rural areas. As a result, it seems reasonable that agricultural development can play a key role in poverty reduction. But the evidence base remains sparse, and many fundamental questions remain unanswered; the chapter sets out a series of research questions that require further exploration. It is suggested that structural transformation will take place in Africa as it has in other parts of the world, largely as a process linked to economic growth.

Keywords:   sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture, structural transformation, public goods, economic growth, productivity, agricultural development

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