This issue brief sets out an inclusive growth strategy that involves the creation and densification of agro-economic ecosystems to create a fully diversified rural economy. Upscaling successful and ambitious national initiatives, it recommends Sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asian countries set up greater regional coordination of initiatives that have already been adopted by agro-economic actors at the local scale.


  • The common thread running between the two debates around inclusive growth and rural development suggest that building a full-fledged rural economy is key to sustainability. Just as the idea of growth which includes the poorest is gaining traction in the international sphere, initial outcomes of initiatives undertaken in Asia (Thailand), Africa (Ethiopia) and South America (Brazil) are already showing signs of the way forward. There is an emerging consensus regarding the concept of diversification of rural economy, which was popularized by a World Bank report on agriculture and employment. According to us, it remains one of the most effective drivers of inclusive growth.
  • This diversification should rely on two possible dimensions of this revolution. Firstly, there is potential for systemic development and financing of rural areas. Pioneering initiatives of different scopes in Western Africa and India, based on Thailand and Ethiopia’s successful models, already show the way forward.
  • Secondly, this systemic regional approach can be built around models of agricultural diversification, including mixed crop-livestock farming methods and better integration of food and non-food crop systems.
Download the publication

PDF - 766.26 KB

4 pages