The Role of Agricultural Growth in South Asian Countries and the Affordability of Food: An Inter-country Analysis

Zulfiqar Bashir


Agriculture is the mainstay of the most developing countries,
which supplies food and employment to the majority of the population.
Because of the dominance of the agricultural sector, a sufficient supply
of domestic food is indispensable to support stable socio-economic and
political systems in these countries. To attain a sustained growth of
agricultural productivity, sufficient investment in the agricultural
sector is crucial, particularly in the initial stages of economic
development. This increases agricultural production and as a result,
there is a shift in (human) resources from the agricultural sector to
the industrial and services sectors. According to Duranton (1998), in
order to transform from agricultural sector to industrial sector a
significant increase in the agricultural sector productivity is
necessary. On the demand-side, the growth in agricultural production
increases agricultural income which leads to increase in the demand for
industrial products; whereas on the supplyside, the increase in the
agricultural productivity shifts human resources from the agricultural
to the industrial sector [Jorgenson (1967)].

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