Agricultural policies and support

Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction


With more than two-thirds of the world’s poor living in rural areas, higher rural incomes are a pre-requisite for sustained poverty reduction and reduced hunger.

This book sets out a strategy for raising rural incomes which emphasises the creation of diversified rural economies with opportunities within and outside agriculture.

» Read the complete report online

» Read the press release

The report proposes a three-pronged approach to strengthening rural incomes and reducing poverty:

  • Improve productivity and competitiveness in the agricultural sector
  • Help households diversify their  sources of income
  • Facilitate the movement of labour from the agricultural sector to better-paid non-farm jobs

Agricultural policies need to be integrated within an overall mix of policies and institutional reforms that facilitate, rather than impede, structural change. By investing in public goods, such as infrastructure and agricultural research, and by building effective social safety nets, governments can limit the role of less efficient policies such as price controls and input subsidies.


 Table of contents

Agricultural Policies for Raising Rural Incomes: An Introduction

Chapter 1. A Strategic Framework for Strengthening Rural Incomes in Developing Countries
- Economic development and the structural transformation
- Policy responses to structural change
- A strategic framework for strengthening rural incomes and facilitating smallholder adjustment

Chapter 2. Distributional Impacts of Commodity Prices in Developing Countries
- Methodology and data
- Hypothetical price shocks and illustrative results
- Retrospective look at the 2007-08 food price crisis
- Prospective look at the 2009-18 period

Chapter 3. The Distributional Implications of Agricultural Policies in Developing Countries: Findings from the Development Policy Evaluation Model (DEVPEM)
- The Development Policy Evaluation Model (DEVPEM)
- Agricultural policy simulations with DEVPEM

Chapter 4. Stabilisation Policies in Developing Countries after the 2007-08 Food Crisis
- Economic Environment
- Objectives
- Policy instruments
- Institutional arrangements

Chapter 5. The Use of Input Subsidies in Low-income Countries
- Unpicking the arguments: Objectives of the input subsidy programmes
- Disadvantages and dangers of input subsidies
- Experiences of input subsidies
- Design of subsidy programmes


 How to access this publication

This report is complemented by a synthesis edition, Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction: A Synthesis, which is also available at the sites above.


 Further reading

  • Agricultural progress and poverty reduction
    Agricultural income growth is the main factor behind poverty reduction in developing countries. An OECD study analyses the role of agricultural progress in poverty reduction, to find out why some countries are doing better than others.


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