Monday, February 17, 2014

Agriculture; the "new economic relief" for developing countries

Opinion article by: Nathalia Rios Ballesteros*(
*Economics and International Business student at Universidad EAFIT, Colombia.

In recent decades, the emergence of global phenomena including globalization, integrated value chains, technological and institutional innovations, environmental restrictions and the growing demand of agricultural goods -which has raised the price of commodities and has expanded the agricultural global market- have positioned agriculture, once again, as a main topic on the global agenda, while providing it with a renewed role in the development process of countries worldwide.

This new role recognizes agriculture’s ability to exert multiple functions towards reaching integral development by stimulating economic growth, environmental sustainability, reduction of poverty and hunger, and achieving higher levels of equity and food security within societies. Likewise, this sector does not only contribute to the food and raw materials production process, but also seeks for the nutrition and healthcare of people. Finally, it is important to mention that different factors such as the new agribusiness trends along with the strengthening of this activity have stimulated interest in the sector as the basic engine for sustainable development and poverty reduction in emerging economies.

For this reason, agriculture has acquired a new perspective in which this activity is considered as a set of linkages and relationships through which societies can foster and raise its standards of living while offering better and wider opportunities to its citizens, thus generating public recognition of this activity as a ‘profitable getaway’ for developing nations.

In this context, it is necessary for emerging economies to define and structure strategic, modern, and comprehensive policies that recognize the multiplicity of social, economic and natural phenomena surrounding agriculture; to promote and strengthen the development of this sector and the rural areas, so that a full and sustainable use of natural resources is achieved, while a dynamic growth of agriculture along with equal social development is ensured. All of the above supported and guided by the promotion of institutional innovation, which allows the development of a variety of organizational arrangements for better mechanisms of public private cooperation, which facilitates agricultural production and growth.

Moreover, present circumstances and future expectations about the course of agricultural production have generated the revaluation of natural resources with agricultural potential which has a positive impact and a special significance for a country like Colombia, which has, along with a small number of nations, abundance in endowment of agricultural resources, not yet fully exploited. This is why, considering the growth prospects of the global food demand by 2050 (FAO, 2012) and the role of agriculture today and for the future, it is estimated that in the exporting countries of agricultural goods, agriculture could become a central pillar of economic growth and development (Fedesarrollo, 2013)


FAO. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (Junio de 2012). World agriculture towards 2030/2050: the 2012 revision. Recuperado el 07 de 02 de 2014, de

Fedesarrollo. Fundación para la Educación Superior y el Desarrollo (Fedesarrollo). (2013). Políticas para el desarrollo de la agricultura en Colombia. Recuperado el 7 de 02 de 2014, de

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