Martine Dirven


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Institution: UN-Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)



Born in Antwerp, she has a Licence in Applied Economics (State University Antwerp), a Masters Degree in Development Planning (College for Developing Countries, Antwerp) and short post-graduate studies in project evaluation (U.K.), marketing (Brussels). Applied econometrics (Santiago).

She has worked with the United Nations since 1977, in Colombia, Bolivia, Congo, Mozambique, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives, as well as in Vienna, New York and presently, Santiago, since 1988, at the Agricultural Development Unit of the UN-Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, with emphasis there on the socio-economic aspects of agricultural and rural development.

Title: "Rural poverty and innovation in agriculture."

Theme: 1C


With data and examples from Latin America we will show that there is a kaleidoscope of poverty situations –or rather deficiencies and inadequacies, including income- that are especially prevalent in rural areas and that hamper the adoption of new crops and technologies. Agricultural R&D and extension efforts have to address these situations if they are to make a real impact on poverty reduction.

The new orientation toward demand-led and co-financed agricultural R&D has some very positive underlying aspects. It has however to be accompanied with determined empowerment efforts if the poorer population is to have equal demand and access opportunities.

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