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Thread: The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Poverty in South Africa

Created on: 04/20/10 01:06 PM

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Joined: 04/20/10

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The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Poverty in South Africa
04/20/10 1:06 PM

Presenter: Joshua Green
Presentation Type: Poster
Classification / Majors: Junior / International Agribusiness, Spanish
Institution: Florida A&M University
Internship Site: College of Engineering Science, Technology, and Agriculture.
Supervisor(s): Ms. Harriett Paul, Dr. Daniel Solis

The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Poverty in South Africa

Recent studies show that more than half of the population in South Africa has been living below the poverty line since 2001, and that figure has not significantly changed since 1996. Albeit a stagnate rate, those households which are living in poverty have plummeted deeper into poverty and the actual gap between the rich and poor has broadened.

Experts have suggested that governments should foment viewing agriculture in heterogenic way. In doing so they can combine the positive and negative linkages of agriculture sector with the rest of the market, and examine the impact of agricultural growth in strengthening the economy while providing an effective mechanism for aggrandizing poverty alleviation in South Africa.

The importance of agriculture growth to poverty reduction is well known, but the specific channels through which the poor can take advantage of growth requires further research. The objective of this research is to analyze the contribution of agriculture growth in South Africa towards poverty alleviation based on three major channels:
• The labor market channel, through employment and wage effects;
• The household income channel coupled with the growth multiplier effect
• The food-price effect.

A key focus is the pattern which agricultural growth impacts rural labor markets. This will be examined by measuring the supply elasticity of two types of labor: rural and urban. Under the adequate conditions, agriculture growth will lead to increased wages in both rural and urban labor markets, which will aid in the reduction of poverty. Growth in household income is a powerful factor in reducing poverty in societies where large shares of the population remain self-employed. In addition to the income effect on poverty, increasing the income of households will generate a growth-multiplier effect which will benefit further areas. Food prices play a major role in agriculture growth, especially for the low-income consumers and the poor farmers. The link between agriculture growth and food prices with respect to poverty alleviation is analyzed through a time-series analysis in order to distinguish between short term and long term affects.

In cooperation with the Role of Agriculture, this project will apply similar agricultural methodology to procure empirical data which corresponds to the direct effect that agriculture growth has on reducing poverty.

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