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close this bookBriefs for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment - 2020 Vision : Brief 1 - 64 (IFPRI)
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View the document2020 BRIEF 1 - AUGUST 1994: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
View the document2020 BRIEF 2 - AUGUST 1994: WORLD SUPPLY AND DEMAND PROJECTIONS FOR CEREALS, 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 3 - AUGUST 1994: WORLD PRODUCTION OF CEREALS, 1966-90
View the document2020 BRIEF 4 - AUGUST 1994: SUSTAINABLE FARMING: A POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
View the document2020 BRIEF 5 - OCTOBER 1994: WORLD POPULATION PROJECTIONS, 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 6 - OCTOBER 1994: MALNUTRITION AND FOOD INSECURITY PROJECTIONS, 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 7 - OCTOBER 1994: AGRICULTURAL GROWTH AS A KEY TO POVERTY ALLEVIATION
View the document2020 BRIEF 8 - OCTOBER 1994: CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
View the document2020 BRIEF 9 - FEBRUARY 1995: THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN SAVING THE RAIN FOREST
View the document2020 BRIEF 10 - FEBRUARY 1995: A TIME OF PLENTY, A WORLD OF NEED: THE ROLE OF FOOD AID IN 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 11 - FEBRUARY 1995: MANAGING AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION
View the document2020 BRIEF 12 - FEBRUARY 1995: TRADE LIBERALIZATION AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 13 - APRIL 1995: THE POTENTIAL OF TECHNOLOGY TO MEET WORLD FOOD NEEDS IN 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 14 - APRIL 1995: AN ECOREGIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON MALNUTRITION
View the document2020 BRIEF 15 - APRIL 1995: AGRICULTURAL GROWTH IS THE KEY TO POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN LOW-INCOME DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
View the document2020 BRIEF 16 - APRIL 1995: DECLINING ASSISTANCE TO DEVELOPING-COUNTRY AGRICULTURE: CHANGE OF PARADIGM?
View the document2020 BRIEF 17 - MAY 1995: GENERATING FOOD SECURITY IN THE YEAR 2020: WOMEN AS PRODUCERS, GATEKEEPERS, AND SHOCK ABSORBERS
View the document2020 BRIEF 18 - MAY 1995: BIOPHYSICAL LIMITS TO GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION
View the document2020 BRIEF 19 - MAY 1995: CAUSES OF HUNGER
View the document2020 BRIEF 20 - MAY 1995: CHINA AND THE FUTURE GLOBAL FOOD SITUATION
View the document2020 BRIEF 21 - JUNE 1995: DEALING WITH WATER SCARCITY IN THE NEXT CENTURY
View the document2020 BRIEF 22 - JUNE 1995: THE RIGHT TO FOOD: WIDELY ACKNOWLEDGED AND POORLY PROTECTED
View the document2020 BRIEF 23 - JUNE 1995: CEREALS PROSPECTS IN INDIA TO 2020: IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY
View the document2020 BRIEF 24 - JUNE 1995: REVAMPING AGRICULTURAL R&D
View the document2020 BRIEF 25 - AUGUST 1995: MORE THAN FOOD IS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE GOOD NUTRITION BY 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 26 - AUGUST 1995: PERSPECTIVES ON EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE IN 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 27 - AUGUST 1995: NONDEGRADING LAND USE STRATEGIES FOR TROPICAL HILLSIDES
View the document2020 BRIEF 28 - AUGUST 1995: EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS FOR FOOD SECURITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
View the document2020 BRIEF 29 - AUGUST 1995: POVERTY, FOOD SECURITY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT
View the document2020 BRIEF 30 - JANUARY 1996: RISING FOOD PRICES AND FALLING GRAIN STOCKS: SHORT-RUN BLIPS OR NEW TRENDS?
View the document2020 BRIEF 31 - APRIL 1996: MIDDLE EAST WATER CONFLICTS AND DIRECTIONS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
View the document2020 BRIEF 32 - APRIL 1996: THE TRANSITION IN THE CONTRIBUTION OF LIVING AQUATIC RESOURCES TO FOOD SECURITY
View the document2020 BRIEF 33 - JUNE 1996: MANAGING RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN SOUTH ASIA
View the document2020 BRIEF 34 - JUNE 1996: IMPLEMENTING THE URUGUAY ROUND: INCREASED FOOD PRICE STABILITY BY 2020?
View the document2020 BRIEF 35 - JULY 1996: SOCIOPOLITICAL EFFECTS OF NEW BIOTECHNOLOGIES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
View the document2020 BRIEF 36 - OCTOBER 1996: RUSSIA'S FOOD ECONOMY IN TRANSITION: WHAT DO REFORMS MEAN FOR THE LONG-TERM OUTLOOK?
View the document2020 BRIEF 37 - OCTOBER 1996: UNCOMMON OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY - An Agenda for Science and Public Policy
View the document2020 BRIEF 38 - OCTOBER 1996: WORLD TRENDS IN FERTILIZER USE AND PROJECTIONS TO 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 39 - OCTOBER 1996: REDUCING POVERTY AND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT: THE OVERLOOKED POTENTIAL OF LESS-FAVORED LANDS
View the document2020 BRIEF 40 - OCTOBER 1996: POLICIES TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE FERTILIZER USE AND SUPPLY TO 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 41 - DECEMBER 1996: STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE DEMAND FOR FOOD IN ASIA
View the document2020 BRIEF 42 - MARCH 1997: AFRICA'S CHANGING AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
View the document2020 BRIEF 43 - JUNE 1997: THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF AIDS ON POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES
View the document2020 BRIEF 44 - JUNE 1997: LAND DEGRADATION IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD: ISSUES AND POLICY OPTIONS FOR 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 45 - JUNE 1997: AGRICULTURE, TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN LATIN AMERICA: A 2020 PERSPECTIVE
View the document2020 BRIEF 46 - JUNE 1997: AGRICULTURE, TRADE, AND REGIONALISM IN SOUTH ASIA
View the document2020 BRIEF 47 - AUGUST 1997: THE NONFARM SECTOR AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT: REVIEW OF ISSUES AND EVIDENCE
View the document2020 BRIEF 48 - FEBRUARY 1998: CHALLENGES TO THE 2020 VISION FOR LATIN AMERICA: FOOD AND AGRICULTURE SINCE 1970
View the document2020 BRIEF 49 - APRIL 1998: NUTRITION SECURITY IN URBAN AREAS OF LATIN AMERICA
View the document2020 BRIEF 50 - JUNE 1998: FOOD FROM PEACE: BREAKING THE LINKS BETWEEN CONFLICT AND HUNGER
View the document2020 BRIEF 51 - JULY 1998: TECHNOLOGICAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUSTAINING WHEAT PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH TOWARD 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 52 - SEPTEMBER 1998: PEST MANAGEMENT AND FOOD PRODUCTION: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
View the document2020 BRIEF 53 - OCTOBER 1998: POPULATION GROWTH AND POLICY OPTIONS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
View the document2020 BRIEF 54 - OCTOBER 1998: FOSTERING GLOBAL WELL-BEING: A NEW PARADIGM TO REVITALIZE AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
View the document2020 BRIEF 55 - OCTOBER 1998: THE POTENTIAL OF AGROECOLOGY TO COMBAT HUNGER IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
View the document2020 RESUMEN No. 56 - OCTUBRE DE 1998: AYUDA A LA AGRICULTURA EN LOS PAÍSES EN DESARROLLO: INVERSIONES EN LA REDUCCIÓN DE LA POBREZA Y NUEVAS OPORTUNIDADES DE EXPORTACIÓN
View the document2020 BRIEF 57 - OCTOBER 1998: ECONOMIC CRISIS IN ASIA: A FUTURE OF DIMINISHING GROWTH AND INCREASING POVERTY?
View the document2020 BRIEF 58 - FEBRUARY 1999: SOIL DEGRADATION: A THREAT TO DEVELOPING-COUNTRY FOOD SECURITY BY 20207
View the document2020 BRIEF 59 - MARCH 1999: AGRICULTURAL GROWTH, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: HAVING IT ALL
View the document2020 BRIEF 60 - MAY 1999: CRITICAL CHOICES FOR CHINA'S AGRICULTURAL POLICY
View the document2020 BRIEF 61 - MAY 1999: LIVESTOCK TO 2020: THE NEXT FOOD REVOLUTION
View the document2020 BRIEF 62 - OCTOBER 1999: NUTRIENT DEPLETION IN THE AGRICULTURAL SOILS OF AFRICA
View the document2020 BRIEF 63 - NOVEMBER 1999: PROSPECTS FOR INDIA'S CEREAL SUPPLY AND DEMAND TO 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 64 - FEBRUARY 2000: OVERCOMING CHILD MALNUTRITION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE CHOICES
View the document2020 BRIEF 65 - MARCH 2000: COMBINING INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL INPUTS FOR SUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION

2020 BRIEF 1 - AUGUST 1994: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Rajul Pandya-Lorch

Rajul Pandya-Lorch is special assistant to the director general of IFPRI.

Developing countries as a group have experienced rapid economic growth in the last three decades: between 1965 and 1990, their gross national product (GNP) per capita grew at an average annual rate of 2.5 percent to reach US$840 in 1990 (Table 1). However, economic performance has been uneven across developing regions and countries. While Sub-Saharan Africa barely managed to maintain a positive rate of growth during 1965-90, East Asia and the Pacific region had an astonishing average rate of growth of 5.3 percent per year. The other developing regions averaged about 1.8 percent per year in GNP per capita growth.

INCOMES DECLINE, 1965-90

Across 78 developing countries (with available data), 23 countries experienced a decline in their per capita GNP between 1965 and 1990 (Figure 1). Of these, 15 were African countries, and the rest Latin American. Almost 303 million people lived in those 23 countries in 1990. Their average annual per capita GNP growth rates ranged between -0.1 percent and -3.3 percent: for several of the countries with long-term economic deterioration, it will be a struggle to regain the income levels of 1965, let alone to increase them. On the other hand, there were 30 countries with annual growth rates exceeding 2 percent.

The decade of the 1980s has been difficult. Three of the major developing regions - Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean - experienced negative per capita income growth rates. However, East Asia and the Pacific escaped much of the developing world's economic downturn: per capita income in that region grew at 6.3 percent per year during 1980-90. Available data indicate that 43 developing countries experienced negative growth in per capita income during 1980-91 (Figure 2). Of these 43 countries, with a population in 1991 of 680 million, 21 were African and 14 were Latin American. Average annual growth rates of GNP per capita dipped below -2 percent per year for 11 countries.

Table 1 - GNP per capita in the developing world

Region

GNP Per Capita 1990

Annual Average Growth Rate



1965-90

1980-90

1990-2000a



(percent)

South Asia

330

1 9

3 1

31

Sub-Saharan Africa

340

0.2

-0.9

0.3

East Asia and the Pacific

600

5.3

6.3

5.7

Middle East and North Africa

1,790

1.8

-2.5

1.6

Latin America and the Caribbean

2,180

1.8

-0.5

2.2

Low and middle-income economies

840

2.5

1.2

2.9

High-income economies

19,590

2.4

2.4

2.1

Source: World Bank, World Development Report 1992 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1992).
a Estimated.


Figure 1 - Developing-country experience with per capita GNP growth, 1965-90

Note: Calculated from data in World Bank, World Development Report, 1992.

GROWTH IS EXPECTED TO REBOUND

The 1990s are expected to be better. World Bank projections suggest that annual per capita income growth in developing countries will jump to 2.9 percent, and that growth in regions that had negative growth rates in the 1980s will rebound (Table 1). Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to have a slightly positive rate of growth, at 0.3 percent per year, but it is evident that the region will need special attention if it is to achieve growth rates comparable to other developing regions.

Considerable changes have taken place in the structure of production in developing countries. The share of agriculture in total production has declined from 29 percent in 1965 to 17 percent in 1990, while the share of services and industry has correspondingly increased (Figure 3). In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, agriculture is an important sector, contributing about one-third of gross domestic product (GDP). It is a source of employment, directly or indirectly, to a majority of the population.


Figure 2 - Developing-country experience with per capita GNP growth, 1980-91

Note: Calculated from data in World Bank, World Development Report, 1993.

Agricultural growth is essential for economic growth in most low-income developing countries. The sheer size of the agricultural sector often makes it the only viable lead sector for economic growth. Very few countries have experienced rapid economic growth without agricultural growth preceding or accompanying it. In the past 20 years the countries that achieved the most rapid agricultural growth also had rapid economic growth, while the countries that experienced real declines in agriculture had the lowest economic growth rates. Agricultural growth is strongly correlated with growth in other sectors of the economy: growth in agricultural output is matched by an almost equivalent increase in nonagricultural output. Thus, poor performance in the agriculture sector is more likely to inhibit overall growth in low-income countries than poor performance in other sectors.


Figure 3 - Change in structure of production in developing countries since 1965

Note: Calculated from data in World Bank, World Development Report, 1992.


Figure 4 - Poverty in the developing world, 1985-2000

Source: World Bank, World Development Report, 1992.

Poverty is a major consequence of deteriorating or slow economic growth. In 1991, 51.6 percent of the world's population was living in 30 countries that had GNP per capita of less than US$500. World Bank estimates of poverty in the developing world suggest that in 1985, an estimated 1 billion people were poor: they lived below a poverty line of about $420 per person per year. South Asia was home to about half of the developing world's poor (Figure 4), but projections suggest that Sub-Saharan Africa will increasingly become a locus of poverty in coming years as the number of poor people in that region increases from about 184 million in 1985 to 304 million people in 2000. The magnitude of poverty is also anticipated to increase in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East and North Africa between now and 2000, but to decline by more than half in East Asia from 182 million in 1985 to 73 million in 2000. Overall, the absolute number of poor people in all developing countries is expected to increase slightly, but their share of the total population will decline from 31 percent in 1985 to 24 percent in 2000 due to population growth.