The World Bank and Agriculture: A Critical Review of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2008

In many developing countries agricultural development has greatly suffered over the last twenty years and is widely seen as a major contributor to poverty among the world’s poorest nations. This paper examines the World Bank’s history of engagement with agricultural development and faults liberalization of trade and finance and the dismantling of marketing boards as great contributors to poverty. Action Aid suggests that bank policies serve to make countries less reactive to civil society groups representing the rural poor and that future agricultural policies shift to a more socially owned system of policy formation and that the World Bank guide its policies around a right to food. The World Bank has publicly committed itself to re-emphasizing agricultural development and increasing spending on its agricultural programs.

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