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Structural Change and the Future of Indian Agriculture

  • Hans Binswanger-Mkhize ,
  • Marianne Banziger

Binswanger-Mkhize's talk will look at past and likely future agricultural growth and rural poverty reduction in the context of the overall economy of India, in which growth has accelerated sharply since the 1980s, but agriculture still has not followed suit. Despite slow growth, urban-rural consumption, income and poverty differentials have not risen. This is because urban-rural spillovers have led to a sharp acceleration of rural non-farm growth and income. Binswanger-Mkhize proposes an optimistic vision can be realized if agricultural growth accelerates, high and widely shared economic growth leads to strong spillovers to the rural economy, and the rural non-farm sector continues to flourish. This would enable the rural sector to keep up with income growth in the urban economy and rural poverty would rapidly decline. However, if agricultural growth fails to accelerate, and overall economic growth falters, a more pessimistic vision is also possible. Binswanger-Mkhize will also discuss the role of prices and wages in determining agricultural growth, rural poverty and nutrition, and the two interlinked income parity issues: rural-urban and agricultural-non-agricultural incomes parity.

Marianne Banziger, Deputy Director, Research & Partnership at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) will provide commentary.