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Abstract

Recent studies have examined the relationships between agricultural innovations and rural poverty in LDCs, concentrating on either exchange or nonexchange inoome. However, neither approach is adequate if employed independently. Growing concen~ration of control of land and the effects. of components of new agricultural technology on ancillary resources are docwnented for Bangladesh. Access to land and other natural resources by the rural poor is gradually diminishing. Increasing landlessness and near landlessness have resulted in greater dependence on wage employment for subsistence. However, agricultural wages, being close to the subsistence level, provide little scope for carry-over into periods of slack agrirultural activity. Even though real wages may be trending upwards slightly. much of their effect on rural poverty is neutralized because of seasonality in employment and real wages. The nonexchange component of income is important in slack periods and may become critical in abnormal years when both real wages and employment fall sharply. With rapid population growth and resource depletion and greater penerration of technological and market forces, access to natural resources with a cushioning effect on the rural poor in adverse circumstances has become more limited and income security has been undennlned.

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