Promoting Agriculture for Social Protection or Social Protection for Agriculture: Strategic Policy and Research Issues. Discussion Paper


It is increasingly recognised that agriculture must play a role in pro-poor economic growth in countries with large, poor rural sectors. There is also a major focus on social protection interventions to address risks and insecurity affecting poor people. However current policy debate and formulation makes only limited attempts to integrate agricultural and social protection policies. This paper outlines significant paradigm shifts in policies affecting both these fields and highlights pertinent issues arising from interactions between agricultural and social protection policies.

The paper seeks to assist policy makers, policy analysts and policy implementers in agriculture and social protection to better understand each others' interests and activities and to work together to build synergies and reduce conflicts between these two policy spheres. It begins by considering the sources and effects of stresses and shocks in the livelihoods of poor rural people. This provides the essential context for an exploration of broad historical patterns of change in agricultural and social protection policies, and in the relation between them. On the basis of this analysis the authors suggest four broad strategic approaches to social protection and agricultural growth, and then consider the main instruments that have been used in each of these approaches, and their interactions and effects. It concludes with some tentative strategic recommendations and highlight issues for policy research.


49 pp.[Also published as FAC Discussion Paper No. 4, August 2006, 36 pp.]

Published 1 January 2006