© 2017

Agricultural Development and Economic Transformation

Promoting Growth with Poverty Reduction


  • Provides comprehensive and original coverage of agriculture’s key role in economic development

  • Focuses on the economic transformation of low- and middle-income countries

  • Draws from Mellor’s several decades of experience in international agricultural development

  • Features major broadening and quantification to Mellor’s acclaimed 1966 text


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. John W. Mellor
    Pages 1-14
  3. Agriculture and the Economic Transformation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. John W. Mellor
      Pages 17-28
    3. John W. Mellor
      Pages 47-60
    4. John W. Mellor
      Pages 61-71
  4. Traditional Agriculture: The Base for Modernization

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. John W. Mellor
      Pages 75-86
    3. John W. Mellor
      Pages 87-99
  5. Modernization of the Small Commercial Farm

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 101-101
    2. John W. Mellor
      Pages 113-122
    3. John W. Mellor
      Pages 123-133
    4. John W. Mellor
      Pages 135-150
    5. John W. Mellor
      Pages 151-164
    6. John W. Mellor
      Pages 165-179
    7. John W. Mellor
      Pages 181-193
    8. John W. Mellor
      Pages 195-205
    9. John W. Mellor
      Pages 207-220

About this book


This book examines the role of agriculture in the economic transformation of developing low- and middle-income countries and explores means for accelerating agricultural growth and poverty reduction. In this volume, Mellor measures by household class the employment impact of alternative agricultural growth rates and land tenure systems, and impact on cereal consumption and food security. The book provides detailed analysis of each element of agricultural modernization, emphasizing the central role of government in accelerated growth in private sector dominated agriculture. The book differs from the bulk of current conventional wisdom in its placement of the non-poor small commercial farmer at the center of growth, and explains how growth translates into poverty reduction. This new book is a follow up to Mellor’s classic, prize-winning text, The Economics of Agricultural Development.


agricultural development commercial farming developing countries production modernization transformation crops public policy foreign aid Economic Transformation Poverty Reduction

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

About the authors

John W. Mellor is Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, USA, and President of John Mellor Associates, Inc., a policy consulting firm. He was previously Professor of Agricultural Economics, Economics and Asian Studies; Associate Director and Acting Director of the Center for International Studies, Cornell University; Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute; and Chief Economist of the United States Agency for International Development. He was the recipient of the Wihuri Prize (Finland) and the Presidential Award (The Reagan White House, USA) for efforts to alleviate hunger, and he is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Agricultural Economics Association. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Agricultural Development and Economic Transformation
  • Book Subtitle Promoting Growth with Poverty Reduction
  • Authors John W. Mellor
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Agricultural Economics and Food Policy
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Agricultural Economics and Food Policy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance Economics and Finance (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-65258-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-65259-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 259
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Agricultural Economics
    Development Economics
    Industrial Organization
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“The book offers a detailed roadmap for government-driven structural transformation via small-farm agriculture. The prose in the book is remarkably accessible to practitioners, students, and applied economists. … amount of detail Mellor offers from agricultural development in different developing countries is an achievement, and the book makes for an engaging read.” (Sumit Mishra, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 63 (2), 2019)