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New development paradigms come and go, seemingly with increasing rapidity, yet poverty remains the scourge of the developing nations. As we enter the new millennium, we fear that still more development fads and fancies will emerge, to be taken up and then dropped by the development community. These swings in fashion bring with them the danger that the ‘basics’ of effective development strategies for poverty reduction will be neglected. In this article, we advance some personal and perhaps controversial views about the virtues of getting agriculture moving as a means of reducing poverty, and about the role that agricultural economists can and should play in that endeavour.


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