Rising agricultural productivity, more jobs off the farm and migration to cities are reshaping rural life – but so too are adverse factors such as climate change, environmental degradation and other risks. Small farms continue to provide livelihoods for up to 2.5 billion people and account for up to 80 per cent of food produced in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In a fast-changing world, rural areas must transform – and rapidly – in order to be sustainably included in growing economies and to contribute to overall prosperity. But if rural transformation is essential to the development process, why have some countries been able to transform and to reduce poverty faster than others? The answer to that question is not only key to focus global efforts on eliminating poverty and hunger and to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but to inclusively and sustainably transform rural areas. This report provides a thorough analysis of this complex picture and seeks to answer three key questions:
- What are the different pathways of structural and rural transformation in developing countries?
- How do the different pathways affect rural poverty reduction and social and economic inclusion?
- What can policy makers do to stimulate and support inclusive rural transformation?