The Bank’s Rural Development Policy

  • Robert Wihtol
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


The ADB’s development policy for the rural sector can be divided into two periods, each of which was guided by a major survey of the rural sector undertaken by the Bank. From the Bank’s establishment until the early 1970s, its development strategy was one of economic growth, which in agriculture entailed increasing output by modernising production methods. In the mid-1970s the Bank gradually moved to a strategy of rural development with simultaneous emphasis on increasing production, creating employment and raising rural incomes, which has with slight modification remained valid in the 1980s. This policy change should be seen within the context of the broader shift in the donor community from aid policies based on growth towards poverty-oriented rural development policies, which took place in the mid-1970s largely following the initiative of the World Bank. Two features, however, set the ADB’s policy apart from that of the World Bank and other aid agencies. First, the ADB’s initial policy was strongly influenced by an irrigation-based model derived from the precedent of agricultural development in Japan. This model, and its strong focus on foodgrain production, was also shaped by Japan’s concern with its own foodgrain security, and has continued to influence Bank policy into the 1980s. Second, in the ADB the shift to a policy of rural development was gradual and cautious, particularly compared with the strong emphasis placed on rural development by McNamara in the World Bank.


Rural Development Land Reform Rural Sector Increase Food Production Rural Employment 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Robert Wihtol 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Wihtol

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