Thinking Aloud: Volume III, Issue 6: November 1, 2016
The November, 2016 issue of Thinking Aloud emphasizes on ‘Agricultural Productivity’. The first article “Augmenting agricultural productivity can be instrumental in reducing poverty in developing countries” argues that instead of treating agriculture as a ‘residual’ sector, active policy support to improve the productivity in agriculture can help reduce poverty in the developing countries. The analysis of this article shows that, though in 1980 and 2015 India was in much better position than Bangladesh in terms of agricultural productivity, during 1980 and 2015, over a period of 36 years, the rate of progress in agricultural productivity of Bangladesh was better than that of India. The fixed effect regression result, in a cross-country panel framework, also suggests that 1% rise in the agricultural productivity (agricultural value added per worker) is associated with a decline in the head count poverty rate by 0.6%. The second article “Does agricultural credit help in raising agricultural production? Empirical evidences from Bangladesh” highlights the significant positive association between access to credit of rural households and agricultural production after controlling for household size, household head’s literacy, gender and other variables. The findings emphasize on the need for appropriate policies to ensure credit to farmers. This issue interviews Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Executive Director, Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM), on the prospects and challenges in the agricultural sector in Bangladesh. Dr. Mujeri focuses on the need and constraints of small farmers that need to be addressed in order to raise agricultural productivity and boost growth in agriculture sector. The final page gives a brief overview of the important events that took place in the month of October.