THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
The Role of Agricultural Growth in South Asian Countries and the Affordability of Food: An Inter-country Analysis
Agriculture is the mainstay of the most developing countries, which supplies food and employment to the majority of the population. Because of the dominance of the agricultural sector, a sufficient supply of domestic food is indispensable to support stable socio-economic and political systems in these countries. To attain a sustained growth of agricultural productivity, sufficient investment in the agricultural sector is crucial, particularly in the initial stages of economic development. This increases agricultural production and as a result, there is a shift in (human) resources from the agricultural sector to the industrial and services sectors. According to Duranton (1998), in order to transform from agricultural sector to industrial sector a significant increase in the agricultural sector productivity is necessary. On the demand-side, the growth in agricultural production increases agricultural income which leads to increase in the demand for industrial products; whereas on the supplyside, the increase in the agricultural productivity shifts human resources from the agricultural to the industrial sector [Jorgenson (1967)].