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Abstract

Twenty percent of the world population, or 1.2 billion live on less than $1 per day; 70% of these are rural and 90% in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Research led technological change in agriculture generates sufficient productivity growth to give high rates of return in African and Asia and has a substantial impact on poverty, currently reducing this number by 27 million per annum, whereas productivity growth in industry and services has no impact. The per capita "cost" of poverty reduction by means of agricultural research expenditures in Africa is $144 and in Asia $180, or 50 cents per day, but this is covered by output growth. By contrast, the per capita cost for the richer countries of Latin America is over $11,000.

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