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Impacts of agricultural research on poverty

Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Michelle Adato, Lawrence Haddad and Peter B. R. Hazell

No 164, FCND briefs from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract: "This paper reports findings of a CGIAR research project including seven case studies of different types of agricultural research: aggregate investments in agricultural research in China and India; rice, vegetable, and fishpond technologies in Bangladesh; soil fertility replenishment in Kenya; hybrid maize in Zimbabwe, and creolized maize in Mexico. The case studies found adoption was influenced by the technologies' likelihood to increase or decrease vulnerability, whether the poor have the assets needed to adopt, the nature of disseminating institutions, and cultural factors such as gender roles and taste preferences. Dissemination processes have become increasingly diversified and have a significant impact on who is reached with the technology and how well they are able to take advantage of it. A wide variety of direct impacts on adopting households were identified, including those related to increased production, income, knowledge, changes in power relationships (favoring men or women; richer or poorer farmers), and increased or decreased vulnerability. Poor people often benefit from these technologies, especially if these technologies are designed to build on assets that they have, though the studies also showed that impacts on the poor were sometimes limited by asset requirements for adoption or dissemination practices. Indirect effects were also important. Poor people were helped by declining food prices, though benefits to poor farmers were dampened by falling output prices. Increased stability and even marginal improvements in agricultural production were valued by poor households for providing food security and a launching pad into other activities. Increased agricultural employment was also a major benefit, improving incomes and stability of employment. " Authors' Abstract

Keywords: Agricultural research; Sustainable livelihoods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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