• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • The size of agriculture
        • Share of GDP
        • Share of employment and employment growth
      • Agriculture and economic growth
      • Agriculture and poverty reduction
        • Food prices
        • Increased farm employment
        • Increased rural non-farm employment – driven by rising farm incomes
        • Rural-urban income disparities
      • Characteristics of agriculture that determine the means of growth
      • Key forces in agricultural growth
        • Technological change
        • Physical infrastructure
        • Private sector input supply and output marketing
      • Change over time in pace and composition of agricultural growth
      • The importance of trade to agricultural growth
      • Foreign aid, agriculture and development
    • See Also
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

agriculture and economic development

John W. Mellor
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

Agriculture plays a vital role in economic development by facilitating the transition from a low-income subsistence to a high-income commercial economy. Agriculture promotes economic transformations by supplying food, foreign exchange, labour, and effective demand to the non-farm sectors, and is the dominant force in poverty reduction. A land constraint makes agricultural growth unusually dependent on technological change, while geographically dispersed production units favour a family-size labour force. These in turn lead to a special role for government in achieving rapid agricultural growth.
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Keywords

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Article

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How to cite this article

Mellor, John W. "agriculture and economic development." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 20 December 2014 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_A000068> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0025

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