Key messages of Rural Poverty Report, 2011


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Key messages of Rural Poverty Report, 2011

  1. 1. Conference on New Directions for Smallholder Agriculture Edward Heinemann IFAD 24 January 2011
  2. 2. Rural populations, today and tomorrow <ul><li>Overall, the developing world is still more rural than urban: 55% of pop’n – 3.1billion people – are rural </li></ul><ul><li>Populations are changing (first in E. Asia and LAC, last in SSA), with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographic transition: declining dependency rates creating conditions for ‘demographic dividend’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total ru ral populations peaking, and then starting to decline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total urban populations overtaking rural populations </li></ul></ul>S&C Asia E&SE Asia S&C Asia LAC MENA SSA <ul><li>Today, rural populations either already in decline, or growing at ever slower rates. (What are implications for land fragmentation / consolidation?) </li></ul>
  3. 3. What’s changing for those rural populations? <ul><li>More and more rural people emerging from extreme poverty. Between ~1988 and 2008: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nos. rural people on > $1.25 a day up from 1.1 billion to 2.0 billion (67% increase) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nos. of rural people on >$2 a day up from 430m to 1.16 billion (>70% increase) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New economic opportunities for rural people are emerging: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher rates of economic growth in all regions, in many cases driven by agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapidly growing urban markets for high value agricultural products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of urban and rural areas - ‘new rurality’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New opportunities, beyond agriculture, for growth in rural economy </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What’s changing for those rural populations? (contd.) <ul><li>On the other hand, rural poverty remains widespread: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 billion rural people still live on <$1.25 a day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In SSA >60% of rural population (300m people), in S. Asia 45% (500m) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rural people – particularly poorer – also face substantial risks, some new and growing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal / household level risks: ill health, death, social ceremonies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-2008 food crisis, higher, more volatile international food prices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to land and water under multiple threats - competition, scarcity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural resource degradation, compounded by climate change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State as a source of risk – conflict / weak governance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High risk environment pushes people into poverty, prevents them from seizing new economic opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciation of risk central to RPR’s discussion of opportunities open to poor rural people, in smallholder farming and RNFE </li></ul>
  5. 5. The role of agriculture for poor rural people <ul><li>In most countries, most rural households depend on non-agricultural as well as agricultural income sources </li></ul><ul><li>Everywhere, non-farm income of growing importance for growing numbers of rural households </li></ul><ul><li>Yet overall, 4 out of 5 rural households engage in some sort of farm activities. On-farm production: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important in SSA, least in LAC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important, along with agric. labour, for poorer households </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will smallholder agriculture be the route out of poverty for the 1 billion rural people on <$1.25 a day? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not for all – for many, rural employment / self-employment, migration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But it will be for some – ever-declining numbers over time, with increasingly commercialised systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And it will be a first step up out of poverty for many others </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. And what sort of smallholder agriculture will provide that step up? Accessible to rural households with limited resources Productive Profitable Sustainable, resilient
  7. 7. Smallholder agriculture that is profitable <ul><ul><li>Profitability and production systems: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On one hand, a function of productivity and sustainability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On the other, a pre-requisite for the increased investment that makes possible higher productivity and greater sustainability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A driver of commercialisation – restructuring - of production systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profitability shaped by markets: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Growing domestic markets for higher value products offer new opportunities – often more accessible to smallholder farmers than global markets, though some impose similar requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Distinction may be restructured vs. traditional markets rather than export vs. local markets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support to focus on expanding opportunities, reduce risk and transaction costs, shift power within value chains </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Smallholder agriculture that is p roductive, sustainable and resilient <ul><li>‘ Sustainable agric. intensification’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Urgency of agenda to respond to growing threats of NR degradation and scarcity, and reduce exposure to shocks and of climate change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on improved soil / water management; harnessing of agro-ecological processes for enhancing soil fertility; selective/frugal use of external inputs; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes e.g: conservation tillage; range of water and soil conservation / management techniques; integrated plant nutrient management; crop rotation; integrated crop and livestock/fish systems; agro-forestry; IPM </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not an alternative to conventional approaches to agricultural intensification, rather complementary; not an exclusive approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a blueprint for intensification: means different things in different regions (Asia vs. SSA) and in different contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge intensive: need for systemic understanding; contextualisation, adaptation and innovation, linking farmers’ own and scientific knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agenda to focus on security of tenure, incentives for adoption – including PES, institutional transformation, skills development </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How to make that happen? <ul><li>In addition to specific measures, attention and investment needed around four cross-cutting issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The rural areas must become a place where people want to live and do business: need to invest in the rural areas in infrastructure, utilities, services, and improve governance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing risk prevents poor rural people from taking advantage of opportunities: need to make the rural environment less risky, and help people to better manage risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge-intensive agriculture requires individual skills and capacities: need to expand access to education, technical and vocational skills development, all adapted to rural needs, and with focus on agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizations of poor rural people give them confidence, power and security: strengthened collective capacities for reducing risk, managing assets, marketing produce, representing and negotiating interests </li></ul></ul>