This paper studies the impact of the largest conservation set-aside program in the developing world, China’s Grain for Green program, on poverty alleviation in rural areas. Based on a large-scale survey, we find that although poor households in rural China were not disproportionately targeted, they have benefited.
The study found that the program has increased the asset holdings of all participating households, including the poor, but only weak evidence that participating households have begun to shift their labor into the off-farm sectors. Overall, the results suggest that the program has been moderately successful in achieving its poverty alleviation objectives.
Emi Uchida, Zhigang Xu and Scott Rozelle
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