How do institutions affect the way agricultural research contributes to rural prosperity and poverty reduction? What matrices do we need when measuring poverty reduction? For a more detailed answer, you can turn to additional services that can conduct research for you and provide relevant graphs/tables, and you can easily buy term papers online when needed.

policies breakout session flipchart On day one of the Science Forum, participants joined one of four breakout groups to show how agricultural research on different commodities has/can contribute to poverty reduction.The session on the contribution of research on agricultural policies, institutions, and markets to poverty reduction was coordinated by Karen Brooks (Director – CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets) framed the session of how agricultural research affects poverty under three pathways:

  1. Direct income pathways – i.e. The introduction of a new technology
  2. Indirect pathways – i.e. The impact of additional income from the new technology, through wages, job creation, and more affordable food
  3. Intra-household economics – i.e. how different members of households benefit from additional incomes.

Two success stories from Ethiopia provided insights into the role of institutional, policies and markets in shaping the Ethiopian Economy and the contribution of the agricultural sector to the economy.

Alemayehu Seyoum from the IFPRI-Ethiopia Strategy Support Program described the unprecedented growth in Ethiopia over the past decade and the drivers responsible for this growth, including the expansion of new technologies and better market development. Among the factors that contributed to reduction of poverty through facilitating agricultural change, education came top as a key determinant.

Tassew Woldehanna from the Ethiopian Development Research Institute presented the agricultural growth in Ethiopia and the impact the general economic growth has had on poverty reduction. He noted that gaps between the rural and urban poverty have narrowed. He reiterated that complementarity among investments is key, and that increased wealth at the household level has brought significant improvements in the nutritional status and educational attainment of children.

Evaluation of major agricultural projects and investments shows that institutional factors such as education, health, the productive safety nets program among others have played a major role in agricultural development and consequently rural prosperity. Ethiopia has experienced rapid growth in the agricultural sector over the past years, contributing to poverty reduction beyond income.

Agriculture in Ethiopia has played a significant role in rural prosperity through increased production and productivity.  Land has significantly made contribution. Labour expansion is still gradual. Expanded use of improved seed and chemical fertilizer among smallholder farmers has led to increase in production and productivity. Ongoing road expansion is key in market development and productivity in agriculture. The productive safety nets program, a dimension unique to Ethiopia, implemented by government and development partners, has proved to be important in enhancing resilience and agricultural growth. The gap between rural and urban poverty has declined substantially over the past 15 years.

What institutional factors have greatly contributed to poverty reduction?

Education is number one determinant of the likelihood of a household coming out of poverty. The likelihood that a farmer will adopt a given technology is enhanced by education. The government of Ethiopia has invested a lot in education right from primary to university education. The education system is, however, not well matched with demand and the area needs further policy research. Nutrition is a key dimension as it determines the cognitive ability. Trends in child malnutrition (stunting, underweight and wasting) show are decline from 2000 to 2014. However, stunting is still higher in rural than urban areas.

Seyoum: ‘There is no single magic bullet to bring about rural prosperity. Multiple domains of innovations have to come together –education, good roads, good weather, safety nets etc. The complementary of all institutional factors is important to maximize impact’. He added that policies have differentiated impacts on individuals and households which makes it complex in highly diverse countries like Ethiopia.

Story by Annet Mulema, ILRI and Petra Brown, IFPRI

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