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Working Paper 259 - Structural Transformation and Food Security: Their Mutual Interdependence

17-May-2017

A sustainable structural transformation depends, causally, on a society’s widespread confidence in its food security. However, sustaining this confidence in food security at a societal level requires, causally, a successful structural transformation. This mutual dependence of structural transformation and food security has bedeviled the development profession for decades. The profession has often ignored the critical role of agricultural development and food price stability as the underlying foundations to both structural transformation and food security. Without a clear understanding of how these four topics are linked, food policy analysis, advising, design and implementation have usually been piecemeal and incomplete. The purpose of this short chapter is to clarify the issues, even though they can only be resolved in highly specific, country settings. I start with a focus on the historical evolution of thinking about these topics, as the foundation for how to think about them going forward. A proposed research agenda is outlined at the end.

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