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Ways sought to end rural poverty
( 2001-11-06 00:37 ) (1 )

Investing in education, agricultural research and transportation is the most cost-effective way to reduce rural poverty in China.

Experts made such remarks in a research seminar at the International Conference on Rural Investments, Growth and Poverty, which opened Monday in Beijing.

``Given the government's desire to reduce poverty and inequality and increase food supplies, such research findings have important policy implications for the ways in which China should spend its limited resources,'' said Per Pinstrup-Andersen, director general of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and also the recipient of the 2001 World Food Prize.

The event was jointly sponsored by the IFPRI and the Institute of Agricultural Economies (IAE) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).

The conference, focusing on the role of public investment in economic growth and poverty reduction in rural China, concluded that education is the best way to reduce rural poverty and the second best way to increase agricultural growth.

Agricultural research is the best way to increase agricultural growth and the second best way to reduce poverty.

Investment in infrastructure, especially roads, is the third most important factor in this endeavour, according to the research.

During the past two decades, China has gained marked achievements in reducing rural poverty through increasing agricultural productivity. However, it has become increasingly difficult for the country to further reduce poverty and regional inequality.

Peter Hazell, and official from IFPRI, said investment in agricultural scientific research accounted for only around 0.2 per cent of the total agricultural output value in the country, which is lower than in many other developing countries.

(China Daily by Song Ping)



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