Transforming agrarian economies: Opportunities seized, opportunities missed
Tomich, Thomas P.
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The world's 58 poorest countries share the characteristic of a labour force overwhelmingly dependent on agriculture. Challenging the assumption that mass poverty and chronic hunger are unsolvable problems, this book explores the multiple aspects of economic development in these countries, which are home to 60% of the world's population. A broad based development strategy to raise incomes through agricultural productivity growth and expanded rural employment is offered. Information on the rural informal sector and on agriculture-industry interactions are presented, and the impact of macroeconomic and social policies on the rural economy are analysed. Policy instruments aimed at bringing a broad based development are assessed, from fiscal policy to development of new seeds and farm implements. The book includes case studies of countries that have seized or missed development opportunities. Comparison of the successful economic transformations of Japan and the USA shows how key ideas have enabled policymakers to act with foresight. Analyses of strategic choices in China, the USSR, Taiwan, Mexico, Kenya, and Tanzania also show how development strategies that emerge from the real-world political economy reflect a mix of individual interests and strategic notions.