Dec 4, 2011

Jeffrey Sachs responds to "incorrect" and "outlandish" criticism

In a recent article in the Economist, several wrong claims were made about the project based on an unpublished paper. One claim is that the project is not working since the progress in the Millennium Villages is also occurring in the neighboring villages, albeit at a slower rate. This is a mistaken criticism. The project itself has been encouraging the take-up of a range of interventions (bed nets, fertilizer, high-yield seeds, new diagnostic methods, and so forth) in neighboring villages and at the national scale. In fact, the Millennium Village Project in Kenya directly supported the procurement and distribution of 160 tons of fertilizer and 22 tons of seeds to two of the neighboring "comparison" villages included in this paper. Rather than undercutting the point of the project, progress nearby the Millennium Village sites often helps to prove the point.
Another claim, even more outlandish, is that agriculture production is going up sharply but poverty is remaining entrenched. That is not our finding. We are finding that poverty is coming down, albeit less rapidly than grain production has risen. It is taking time for farm households to diversify their incomes, achieve creditworthiness, and establish cooperatives that can help to finance, produce, and market a wider range of high-value products.
Source. And he recommends: "Please stay tuned."

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