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FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM: DOOM OR DELIVERANCE FOR SOUTH ASIAN AGRICULTURE?

The new millennium has seen a
spectacular improvement in the
fortunes of some South Asian countries, particularly India. Although
GDP growth rates are slowing from
India’s peak of nearly 10% in 2006,
most South Asian countries managed nearly 7% in 2007. Yet headline development success stories
mask the worsening outlook for poor
people. Agriculture growth, critical
for poverty reduction, stagnated.
Progress on poverty reduction was
consequently disappointing and the
decline in poverty levels of less than
1% a year was only possible due to
low food prices in the early years of
the new millennium. The global food
price crisis now threatens to undermine even this meagre progress.
But this isn’t a one-off crisis.
Uncertainty and shocks are the
emerging features of the global economic system of the 21st century.
Unless South Asian agriculture can
continuously innovate and stay onestep ahead, progress in reducing
poverty might not only be slowed; it
could be reversed

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