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Social protection and growth: the case of agriculture.

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Written by John Farrington, Rachel Slater, Rebecca Holmes

This article discusses how and how far complementarities can be achieved between policies designed to promote agriculture and those providing social protection, so that desired combinations of growth and poverty reduction can be achieved more efficiently. It suggests that a framework distinguishing between shocks and stresses is likely to be of strong policy relevance. Those concerned with productive sectors such as agriculture generally perceive farmers as needing protection from shocks through insurance or related mechanisms. Yet some shocks, such as price crashes, are uninsurable, and vulnerability in the face of stresses, such as long-term decline in natural resources, needs to be reduced. Funds flow freely between domestic and productive spheres and this means that shocks and stresses in both need to be addressed simultaneously. Mechanisms for addressing stresses will tend to focus on the building of assets (broadly defined) and so are likely to differ from those addressing shocks.

Rebecca Holmes, John Farrington and Rachel Slater