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Spurring the Rural Economy

Harnessing the full potential of the countryside to ensure food security,

achieve environmental sustainability, and drive economic opportunity.


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Shared Vision, Mutual Accountability

In low-income countries such as the Philippines, investment in agriculture has been proven to have a greater impact on poverty reduction than in any other sector. This is because it offers the most direct way for rural workers to benefit from their main assets: land and labor. 

Development cooperation focusing on rural development is a very important component for poverty reduction for the following reasons:

  • Over a third of the rural inhabitants in the Philippines are poverty-stricken. 
  • Urban poor are mainly migrant workers and farmers who came from rural areas. 
  • Improved rural areas present a safety net against the lack of job opportunities in cities.
Farmers have to contend with a general dearth of resources or knowledge to invest in the land, inability to effectively cope with conflicts and climate change, reluctance to embrace new technologies that would unlock new markets that would boost their productivity and income.

To achieve a realistic and sustainable country-wide development, the agriculture sector must build on the efforts of the government and strengthen its programs to simultaneously deliver food security, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity through a coordinated effort by all stakeholders.

    The key success factors of the agriculture-sector at the national level include setting the right direction through effective leadership, strategy and investment models, and scaling the transformation through finance, infrastructure, institutions, and monitoring based on a shared vision.

    The scope of the challenge is large and complex, with many overlapping and interlinked issues that cut across sectors, geographies, and players. Interdependent stakeholders must take action together to develop solutions at scale. The programs and efforts MUST:

    • Be owned and driven by a commitment to strengthen the agricultural sector
    • Support the country’s national direction guided by shared goals and collaborative consultation among relevant stakeholders
    • Build trust and alignment of core competencies among partner agencies while ensuring mutual accountability
    • Holistic, integrating full value chains that benefit all players in the agricultural system

    Approaches to Rural Sustainability

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