Linking Agricultural Growth and Social Protection: Evidence from Malawi, Ethiopia and Bangladesh

Rachel Slater, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK

A protecting: through growth, agriculture enhances the volume and stability of food supplies, keeping down food prices. The landless benefi t from the jobs it creates, and its multiplier effects stimulate growth and job creation in other sectors. However, agricultural growth, and the social protection it can bring, is vulnerable to shocks and stresses because of weather, health, fi nancial and other problems. Particularly vulnerable are small farmers and farm workers, who share their human and fi nancial resources between the domestic (home) and productive (work) environment, and can be affected negatively by problems in either. For these poor people, such shocks and stresses can cause severe
asset loss and further impoverishment. Social protection assists poor people in the agricultural sector by reducing both:
• the risk and vulnerability to shocks and stresses, and
• the perceptions of high risk in the sector, which may otherwise prevent the poor from venturing into new opportunities.
This paper, based on a collaboration between the Overseas Development Institute and the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Renewable Natural Resources and Agriculture Team, sets out current practice and future prospects in respect of how social protection and agriculture (broadly defi ned to include crops and livestock) relate to each other, and offers some conclusions on how social protection can support poor people in the agriculture sector to take advantage of emerging opportunities, and also protect them when their livelihoods are threatened by change.
Link to the paper:

About the speaker
Rachel Slater is a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Specialising in food security, social protection and rural and agricultural development, Rachel has particular expertise in Southern Africa (especially Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia) and has also worked in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. Her most recent work, has included strengthening food staples and fertiliser markets in sub-saharan africa, addressing chronic food insecurity and HIV/AIDS, developing innovative social protection instruments, and understanding linkages between agricultural growth and social protection.

Venue: MGSoG, Kapoenstraat 2, room: 0.009

Date: 13 December 2007

Time: 16:00  CET