Flagship 2: Economywide Factors Affecting Agricultural Growth and Rural Transformation



Progress toward creating decent jobs and reducing rural poverty requires transformations of economies, rural spaces, and food systems. Economywide transformation brings changes in relative factor costs (i.e., land, labor, and capital), new patterns of consumption, and changes in opportunities for trade and specialization. Food system transformation is shaped by changing food demand, which creates investments and jobs in food value chains and increases commercial farming opportunities. Both transformations will have substantial effects on rural economies, but maximizing the positive effects requires attention to policies and investments.
PIM’s Flagship 2 teams study these processes and analyze policy options to promote inclusive rural growth and transformation. Specific topics include assessment and implications of transformation processes, agri-food systems as source of jobs, key public and private investments to stimulate rural development, and the political economy of agricultural and food policy reforms.

Late-transforming countries face internal challenges in a context of external and global grand challenges. Among the latter are climate change, degradation of water, soil, forests, fish stocks, and biodiversity, urbanization without significant industrialization, high levels of youth unemployment, and increasing competition for land. Many of these challenges are particularly acute in Africa south of the Sahara, where most late-transforming countries are located. Therefore, the work of Flagship 2 is primarily concentrated in this region, with emphasis on Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The work is well aligned with the Malabo Declaration, the articulation in 2014 by African Heads of State and Government of their new commitments to the CAADP agenda.

The Client-Responsive Country and Regional Engagement and Partnership research cluster reflects the importance of country partners for achieving outcomes. It includes the IFPRI Country Strategy Support Programs in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Rwanda, and the programs of research and policy support in India, Papua New Guinea, Central Asia, and China, as well as the ReSAKSS-Asia network, which focus on partnerships with and building capacities of national stakeholders for improved policy making.

Research questions

What is the nature of transformation in late-transforming countries (those undergoing the process in the 21st century), and what is the role of agriculture? How are land and labor markets transforming, and where are jobs created for rural young people?

What levels and composition of public spending for agriculture contribute to growth and poverty reduction in late-transforming countries? How can budgets best be executed to deliver high quality goods and services to rural constituents?

What are political economy factors that influence agricultural and rural outcomes in late-transforming countries? At what entry points in the policy process can evidence influence outcomes?

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Research Clusters

Cluster 2.1: Agricultural Transformation and Rural Incomes
Cluster 2.2: Public Investments and Institutions
Cluster 2.3: Political Economy and Policy Processes
Cluster 2.4: Client-Responsive Country and Regional Engagement and Partnership

Leadership Team

Xinshen Diao (IFPRI)
Flagship 2 co-leader
Thomas Jayne (MSU)
Flagship 2 co-leader
James Thurlow (IFPRI)
Cluster 2.1 leader
Hiroyuki Takeshima (IFPRI)
Cluster 2.2 leader
Danielle Resnick (IFPRI)
Cluster 2.3 leader
Adam Kennedy (IFPRI)
Cluster 2.4 leader

Flagship Insights

PIM Webinar with Danielle Resnick (IFPRI)

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PIM Webinar with Jordan Chamberlin (CIMMYT)

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PIM Webinar with Hiroyuki Takeshima (IFPRI)

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PIM Webinar with Tewodaj Mogues (IFPRI)

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Banner photo: Patrick Sheperd/CIFOR