Impact assessment

The contribution of agricultural growth to poverty reduction

Date released
15 February 2012
Publication Code

Bhajan Grewal, Helena Grunfeld and Peter Sheehan



There is general consensus that, since 1980, there has been a significant reduction in poverty in many developing countries, and studies have pointed to the strong link between agricultural growth and poverty reduction. Nevertheless, the interest of government policymakers and donor organisations in agriculture declined from the 1980s onwards, regaining momentum only when the price of staple food crops started to rise sharply in the mid 2000s. This report outlines the poverty experiences of five countries – China, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Vietnam – all of which have been substantial long-term research partners with ACIAR. The poverty status of each country was examined in terms of monetary indicators as well as the Multidimensional Poverty Index. The aim of the report is to assess the role that agricultural growth has played in poverty reduction in the past, and what role it can play in the future.