Latest News on Poverty Alleviation : May 2020

Poverty Alleviation and Tropical Forests—What Scope for Synergies?
This paper explores the “state-of-the-art” of the two-way causal links between poverty alleviation and natural tropical forests. Microimpacts of rising poverty can increase or slow forest loss. At the macrolevel, poverty also has an ambiguous effect, but it is probable that higher income stimulates forest loss by raising demand for agricultural land. The second question is what potential forest-led development has to alleviate a country’s poverty, in terms of producer benefits, consumer benefits and economy-wide employment. Natural forests widely serve as “safety nets” for the rural poor, but it proves difficult to raise producer benefits significantly. Urban consumer benefits from forest, an important target for pro-poor agricultural innovation, are limited and seldom favor the poor. Absorption of (poor) unskilled labor is low in forestry, which tends to be capital-intensive. Natural forests may thus lack comparative advantage for poverty alleviation. There are few “win–win” synergies between natural forests and national poverty reduction, which may help to explain why the loss of tropical forests is ongoing. This may have important implications for our understanding of “sustainable forest development” and for the design of both conservation and poverty-alleviation strategies. [1]

Agricultural Productivity Growth and Poverty Alleviation

How important is agricultural growth to poverty reduction? This article first sets out the theoretical reasons for expecting agricultural growth to reduce poverty. Several plausible and strong arguments apply ‐ including the creation of jobs on the land, linkages from farming to the rest of the rural economy, and a decline in the real cost of food for the whole economy ‐ but the degree of impact is in all cases qualified by particular circumstances. Hence, the article deploys a cross‐country estimation of the links between agricultural yield per unit area and measures of poverty. This produces strong confirmation of the hypothesised linkages. It is unlikely that there are many other development interventions capable of reducing the numbers in poverty so effectively. [2]

The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation

This paper contributes to explain the cross-country heterogeneity of the poverty response to changes in economic growth. It does so by focusing on the structure of output growth itself. The paper presents a two-sector theoretical model that clarifies the mechanism through which the sectoral composition of growth and associated labor intensity can affect workers’ wages and, thus, poverty alleviation. Then, it presents cross-country empirical evidence that analyzes, first, the differential poverty-reducing impact of sectoral growth at various levels of disaggregation, and, second, the role of unskilled labor intensity in such differential impact. The paper finds evidence that not only the size of economic growth but also its composition matters for poverty alleviation, with the largest contributions from unskilled labor-intensive sectors (agriculture, construction, and manufacturing). The results are robust to the influence of outliers, endogeneity concerns, alternative explanations, and various poverty measures. [3]

Farmers’ Participation in Homestead Fish Production: Implications for Poverty Alleviation in Bayelsa and Delta States, Nigeria

The study examined participation of farmers in homestead fish production and its implications for poverty alleviation in Bayelsa and Delta States, Nigeria. Primary data were sourced from one hundred and ninety two (192) respondents, spread across eight local government areas in Bayelsa and Delta States. Data from respondents were analyzed using percentages and means. Multiple regression was used to analyze the hypotheses of the study. Results showed that most (64.6%) of the farmers were part-time fish farmers, majority of the farmers (34.4%) primary occupation was civil service jobs and the mean number of years of being fish farmers was 12 years, indicating that they are experienced in the business. [4]

Profitability Analysis of Timber Trade in Benue State, Nigeria: Implication for Poverty Alleviation

This study analyzed the profitability of timber trade and examined its effects on poverty in Benue State. Multistage sampling technique, purposive sampling at 30% sampling intensity and complete enumeration were applied to determine the study sample. Out of the 23 LGAs of the state, seven (7) LGAs were sampled. Thus, 160, 73 and 13 respondents from timber traders, chainsaw millers, and sawmillers adding up to 246 were randomly selected and interviewed to elicit data. [5]


[1] Wunder, S., 2001. Poverty alleviation and tropical forests—what scope for synergies?. World development, 29(11), pp.1817-1833.

Irz, X., Lin, L., Thirtle, C. and Wiggins, S., 2001. Agricultural productivity growth and poverty alleviation. Development policy review, 19(4), pp.449-466.

[3]  Loayza, N.V. and Raddatz, C., 2010. The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation. Journal of development economics, 93(1), pp.137-151.

[4] Okwuokenye, G.F. and Ikoyo-Eweto, G.O., 2016. Farmers’ participation in homestead fish production: implications for poverty alleviation in Bayelsa and Delta States, Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, pp.1-13.

[5]  Sambe, L. N., Tee, N. T. and Dagba, B. I. (2016) “Profitability Analysis of Timber Trade in Benue State, Nigeria: Implication for Poverty Alleviation”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 11(3), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.9734/AJAEES/2016/26123.