China has made dramatic progress in large‐scale poverty reduction over the past 30 years and has greatly contributed to the fulfilment of the MDG poverty goal.
Sustaining agricultural growth is the key driving force for China’s poverty reduction because almost all the poor population are in rural areas and depend heavily on agriculture for their livelihood. Equitable land distribution is another important factor that makes China’s agricultural growth more pro‐poor. Land reform, marketisation and price increases in agricultural products, technological progress and accumulation of human and physical capital all played important roles in promoting agricultural and rural development. However, worsening income distribution, continuous economic structural transformation, resource and environmental constraints and lack of social security of migrant urban populations are major challenges for China’s future poverty reduction. Economic, social and environmental policy adjustments are required to address these issues for sustainable and pro‐poor growth in the future.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 44.5-6 (2013) Reducing Poverty through Agricultural Development in China