The State of Food and Agriculture 2017

Millions of young people in developing countries who are poised to enter the labour force in the coming decades need not flee rural areas to escape poverty, argues a new FAO report published. Rural areas actually have vast potential for economic growth pegged to food production and related sectors, The State of Food and Agriculture 2017 says. And with the majority of the world's poor and hungry living in these areas, achieving the 2030 development agenda will hinge on unlocking that oft-neglected potential, it adds. Doing so will require overcoming a thorny combination of low productivity in subsistence agriculture, limited scope for industrialization in many places, and rapid population growth and urbanization — all of which pose challenges to developing nations' capacity to feed and employ their citizens. There is ample evidence that changes to rural economies can have major impacts. Transformations of rural economies have been credited with helping hundreds of millions of rural people lift themselves up out of poverty since the 1990s, the report notes.