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PublicationEmpowerment and Poverty Reduction through Infrastructure and Service Provision in Rural Pakistan(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2010-01) Isa, Qazi Asmat; Ahmed, Naila; Larson, GunnarPoverty in Pakistan is overwhelmingly rural. Some two-thirds of Pakistan's population, and over 60 percent of the country's poor, live in rural areas. In 2005, average per capita expenditures in rural areas were 31 percent lower than in urban areas. This inequality between urban and rural areas is re-enforced by inequality within and between rural areas. Owing to uneven access to land and useable water, most of the increased income that results from agricultural production accrues to higher income farmers-who typically spend a disproportionate amount of their income on urban goods and services. This inequality seriously limits the impacts of agricultural growth on rural poverty, and is a major cause of sustained poverty and low productivity among small farmers and rural nonfarm households. It also points to the importance of effectively targeting the poor in contexts in which resources intended for them are likely to be captured by more privileged groups. PublicationAssessing the Investment Climate for Rural Enterprises(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-05) Larson, Gunnar; Lamb, John; VanDer Meer, CornelisThe 2008 World Development Report identifies competition as an important variable of the rural investment climate. Competition triggers innovation and the productivity gains that drive economic growth, and with it the creation of jobs. Employment is generally the principal pathway that people have out of poverty. Fostering such competitive environments entails inducing the entry of local, mainly small-and-medium enterprises as well as the development of agribusinesses that enable small farmers, entrepreneurs, and investors to participate in expanding markets. The barriers to entry confronting prospective small rural enterprises include all the risks and costs and market failures characteristic of many rural economies, in addition to poor access to financial and public services, weak business skills, and extremely limited or non-existent information about what demand consists of in the non-local markets they hope to sell to. Improving the opportunities and incentives for rural firms to invest productively, expand, and bring on new workers should be a policy priority for governments, particularly given the prominence of policy, regulations, and enforcement in rural investors' perception of risk. Providing a sound, enabling policy environment is a vital role of the government and public sector and includes setting food quality and safety grades and standards and reliable contract enforcement. Such stable policy environments go very far in relieving investors' uncertainty over what governments will do next, what policies will be formulated, and how policies and regulations will be interpreted and enforced. This is a pressing concern among investors. Making policy formulation and enforcement more predictable can dramatically encourage investment (World Bank 2005). PublicationExpanding Post-Harvest Finance Through Warehouse Receipts and Related Instruments(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-03) Baldwin, Marisa; Bryla, Erin; Langenbucher, AnjaWarehouse receipt financing and similar types of collateralized lending provide an alternative to traditional lending requirements of banks and other financiers and could provide opportunities to expand this lending in emerging economies for agricultural trade. The main contents include: what is warehouse receipt financing; what is the value of warehouse receipt financing; other collateral lending mechanisms; tradable receipt financing -- the example of cedula de produto rural in Brazil; and the use of reverse factoring -- the example of nafin in Mexico. The paper concludes that through innovative approaches in different emerging markets both warehouse receipts and innovative collateralized lending mechanisms could provide opportunities to expand the levels of post-harvest financing being provided to producers, traders, processors, and other agribusinesses.