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Title: Economics and Policy of Food Production
Contributor(s): Rola-Budzen, MF (author); Hardaker, John Brian (author)
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: Despite decades of development efforts, poverty and food insecurity are still core problems that beset the modern world. A number of factors contribute to widespread and protracted hunger. These factors are examined, and prospects for mitigating them are considered. Since the 1940s, governments, with the support of international agencies, have adopted various policy measures to improve food security. While there are various policy instruments that governments can and do use to improve food availability, the cornerstone of food security lies in poverty alleviation. Only thereby can there be improvement in the economic and physical access to food for the most needy. In most developing countries (DCs), where the majority of the poor live in rural areas, poverty reduction can be achieved via broad-based rural and agricultural development. For such efforts to succeed requires good macroeconomic policies that encourage long-term development and economic growth, improved technologies for food production and marketing, better infrastructure that will increase the flows of inputs and outputs and enhance the interface between rural and urban areas, improved access to resources by the poor, and investments in people to improve their capacities. About 70% of the world's poor live in rural areas. Targeting poverty reduction in rural areas will therefore do much to reduce the incidence of world poverty and of food insecurity. Agricultural development results in increased employment in the rural sector through jobs created by the multiplier effects of increased incomes of farmers. Benefits from agricultural growth linkages are expected to flow on to the urban sector, too. Developing the agricultural sector is therefore a good way of reaching a large part of the population. In the past, increases in agricultural production have primarily come from expansion of cultivated land as well as from agricultural productivity increases. Most of the productive land is now being utilized. Hence, future increases in food production will have to be as a result of increases in agricultural productivity. The prospect for meeting future food demand is, however, bright. Advances in new technology, particularly in biotechnology, are offering great opportunities to increase food production and meet the food challenge. The real challenge, however, is ensuring access to food by the poor. Agricultural development therefore needs to remain high on the policy agenda.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The Role of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Human Nutrition
Publisher: EOLSS: Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems Publishers
Place of Publication: Oxford, United Kingdom
ISBN: 1848265840
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 140201 Agricultural Economics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 919999 Economic Framework not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): Victor R Squires
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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