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This paper argues for a twin-track approach to hunger and poverty reduction that combines measures to promote rural development through growth in agriculture and rural off-farm activities with measures to provide direct and immediate access to food for the most needy. The paper begins with an exposition of the concepts of food insecurity and poverty and shows that the majority of the hungry and poor in developing countries still live in rural areas. It then documents the substantial economic costs of hunger to show that direct action against hunger can itself contribute to poverty reduction. It goes on to argue that if the income from agricultural growth is spent locally and promotes growth in rural off-farm activities, this can have a strong impact on the incomes of the poor. Evidence is presented to substantiate this argument. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the twin-track approach for anti poverty strategies.


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