The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on reducing poverty have been met by many countries, yet many others lag behind and the post-2015 challenge will be the full eradication of poverty and hunger. Many developing countries increasingly recognize that social protection measures are needed to relieve the immediate deprivation of people living in poverty and to prevent others from falling into poverty when a crisis strikes.
This edition of The State of Food and Agriculture 2015 makes the case that social protection measures will help break the cycle of rural poverty and vulnerability, when combined with broader agricultural and rural development measures. This introductory chapter provides a conceptual framework that highlights the linkages among social protection, rural household consumption and production, and poverty alleviation. It focuses on rural poverty and emphasizes the importance of agriculture and agricultural development as the primary pathways out of poverty for millions of family farms. It briefly introduces concepts related to social protection and summarizes related recent trends in low- and middle- income countries.