Agriculture for Development, the Dutch way

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"A dynamic agriculture for development agenda can benefit the estimated 900 million rural people in the developing world who live on less than $1 a day, most of whom are engaged in agriculture." With these words World Bank president Robert Zoellick introduced the recently published World Development Report 2008, Agriculture for Development. This report, the first WDR on agriculture since 1982, reflects a renewed interest in the sector's potential to reduce rural poverty and inequality. Dutch Minister for Development Co-operation, Bert Koenders, acknowledges in his latest policy document to the House of Commons that agriculture is an important productive sector to reach Millennium Development Goal #1. In its briefing note on the WDR Oxfam International argues that the broad messages of the WDR 2008 are most welcome. However, to tackle rural poverty effectively in today's context, policies for rural development will need to change, along with the conception of how different institutions will deliver those policies. How can the Netherlands, with its tradition of multi-stakeholder dialogue, strong farmers organisations, innovative agricultural companies and cooperatives, contribute to a dynamic, renewed and coherent agriculture agenda for economic development? To discuss this issue with government, politics, business, science and NGO professionals, Agri-ProFocus cordially invites you to participate in the debate Agriculture for Development, the Dutch way.

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