Written by James Sumberg, this report from New Economics Foundation’s food programme for Oxfam examines current interest in the proposition that enhancing the productivity of family farms is the most effective way to reduce rural poverty in the developing world. This prod-pov consensus is examined from a number of angles including agro-ecological and socio-economic diversity, the re-structuring of the agri-food system, agricultural research, rising fertiliser prices, climate change, and the assumption that young people will be content to live in rural areas and construct their livelihoods around agriculture. The report concludes that while increasing the productivity of family farms in Africa can play an important role, poverty reduction on a mass scale, particularly in Africa, will require a more comprehensive and integrated approach.
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Sumberg, James. 2006. A long row to hoe: family farming and rural poverty in developing countries.