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Agricultural Development, Nutrition, and the Policies Behind China's Success

The emergence of China as an economic power is one of the miracle growth stories of the last part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century. Its economy has been the fastest growing compared with the economies of the world since 1980 (World Bank 2002). Growth has occurred in all sectors, including agriculture. Poverty has fallen. In the past 30 years, based on China's official poverty line, the absolute level of poverty fell from 260 million in 1978 to 14.8 million in 2007 (NSBC 2008). Moreover, the general welfare of most of the population has increased markedly. Many indicators of nutritional status have improved. For example, the number of children with low body weight fell by more than half (Turgis 2008). In fact, by the end of 2007 China had achieved many of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Vol. 7 No. 1, June 2010

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