There is broad agreement that growth in agriculture usually generates the greatest improvements for the poorest people – particularly in poor, agriculture-based economies. Agricultural and rural sectors have suffered from neglect and underinvestment over the past many years. Entrepreneurship is a key element in assisting and improving rural income opportunities and economic growth.
There remains an urgent need to invest more and better in agriculture and rural areas based on a new approach to smallholder agriculture that is both market-oriented and sustainable. It is time to look at poor smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs in a completely new way – not as charity cases but as people whose innovation, dynamism and hard work will bring prosperity to their communities and greater food security to the world in the decades ahead.
-- from IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011