The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has launched the 2016 edition of its 'Rural Development Report.' Focusing on processes of structural and rural transformation, the report shows that while many countries are undergoing rapid transitions out of poverty, there is a need for more inclusive policies that bring poor, rural populations into the economic mainstream to ensure that rural development is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
September 2016: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has launched the 2016 edition of its ‘Rural Development Report.’ Focusing on processes of structural and rural transformation, the report shows that while many countries are undergoing rapid transitions out of poverty, there is a need for more inclusive policies that bring poor, rural populations into the economic mainstream to ensure that rural development is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
Under the theme, “fostering inclusive rural transformation,” the report explores the challenges of structural and rural transformation in developing countries. It notes that rural areas must transform rapidly, “to be sustainably included in growing economies and contribute to overall prosperity.” In order to determine why some countries have been more successful in transforming and reducing poverty than others, the report investigates three questions. It asks which pathways of structural and rural transformation can be observed in developing countries, how these different pathways affect poverty reduction and social and economic transformation, and what policy makers can do to stimulate and support inclusive rural transformation.
The chapters in the first section explore these questions from a regional perspective in: Latin America and the Caribbean; Asia and the Pacific; Africa; and the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia. The following chapters take a thematic approach, discussing challenges of transformation and possible policy measures with regard to: employment and migration; agrifood markets and value chains; rural finance; agricultural technology innovation; land and natural resources; and collective action and empowerment.
Main messages highlight that rural transformation is essential to and part of a broader structural transformation process, and that inclusive transformation requires carefully designed strategies and distinct agricultural policies. The report notes that rapid rural transformation does not automatically lead to poverty reduction, and rural development strategies for inclusive transformation are context-specific.
The report identifies four categories of transformation and inclusion into which most of the countries and regions fall, and it proposes specific objectives for each. Countries that are “fast transformers/fast includers” should aim to adapt to changing conditions to sustain progress and address issues caused by rapid growth. Countries that are “fast transformers/slow includers” should focus on expanding the reach of benefits and opportunities to rural populations. Countries in the “slow transformers/fast includers” category should aim to speed up transformation without sacrificing inclusiveness. Finally, countries that are “slow transformers/slow includers” should try to both speed up the transformation process and expand the reach of benefits to rural populations.
The report, launched during a special event on 14 September 2016, in Rome, Italy, was followed by a series of regional “roll out” events in Côte d’Ivoire, India, Kenya, Mexico and Tunisia. During the launch event, speakers discussed the report’s general implications for agricultural and rural development, including the need to address rural development concurrently with economic development. At the Latin American and Caribbean roll out, event speakers highlighted Bolivia’s success in achieving fast reduction of rural poverty despite slow progress in overall transformation, and stressed the particular challenges that Latin American countries face in reducing poverty in “historically neglected segments of the population, including rural women and youth, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities.”
Reports on the remaining roll out events will be available on the IFAD website. [IFAD Press Release on Report Launch][IFAD Pres Release on Latin America and the Caribbean Roll-out] [UN Press Release] [Report Website] [Rural Development Report 2016: Fostering Inclusive Rural Transformation] [IFAD Press Release on East and Southern Africa]