Investing to promote agricultural growth and poverty reduction is a central pillar of the World Bank's current rural strategy, Reaching the Rural Poor (2003). One major thrust of the strategy outlines the priorities and the approaches that the public sector, private sector, and civil society can employ to enhance productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in ways that reduce the rural poverty and sustain the natural resource base. These actions involve a rich mixture of science, technology, people, communication, management, learning, research, capacity building, institutional development, and grassroots participation. This Sourcebook addresses how to implement the rural strategy, by sharing information on investment options and identifying innovative approaches that will aid the design of future lending programs for agriculture. It provides generic good practices and many examples that demonstrate investment in agriculture can provide rewarding and sustainable returns to development efforts. It is divided into eleven self-contained modules. Each module contains three different types of subunits that can also be stand-alone documents: I. Module Overview, II. Agricultural Investment Notes, III. Innovative Activity Profiles. The stand-alone nature of the subunits allows flexibility and adaptability of the material, as well selected readings and web links are provided for readers who seek more in-depth information. The Sourcebook draws on a wide range of experience from donor agencies, governments, institutions, and other groups active in agricultural development. It is an invaluable reference tool for policy makers, professionals, academics and students, and anyone with an interest in agricultural investments.
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