Simon Maxwell

New Trends in Development Thinking and Implications for Agriculture

New Trends in Development Thinking and Implications for Agriculture, (with R. Percey), in K. Stamoulis (ed) Food, Agriculture and Rural Development: Current and Emerging Issues for Economic Analysis and Policy Research. FAO: Rome. June 2001

The food, agriculture and rural development sectors (FARD) have a symbiotic relationship with development more generally, providing livelihoods for poor people in rural areas, but also contributing foreign exchange, food for the cities, raw materials, a market for industry, and an investible surplus for the country as a whole. By the same token, thinking about FARD has had a symbiotic relationship with wider thinking about development, contributing many ideas about growth, distribution, and poverty reduction, and also receiving many ideas in return. These relationships justify attention to context in a volume dealing with future priorities for research in food, agriculture and rural development.

In tackling context, the paper deals mainly with thinking about development, rather than with changes in the objective reality confronting the FARD sectors. However, a small deck-clearing operation examines whether the changes experienced and to come constitute slow trends or substantial discontinuities. Beyond that, the paper identifies a current conventional wisdom on FARD and then tests it against themes in current thinking about development. From a long list of candidates, the paper focuses particularly on thinking about

  1. poverty, social exclusion and sustainable livelihoods,
  2. globalization,
  3. the `post-Washington Consensus', and
  4. aid.

The paper ends with a summary of the implications for economic and policy research in the FARD sectors..... (for full article see link above)

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