Rural areas have undergone major changes in recent decades, such as the declining share of agricultural jobs and added value in total economic activity, the greater interdependency between the agricultural sector and other sectors (manufacturing and services), and the increasing importance of learning and innovation processes. Notwithstanding these changes, rural areas are still heavily represented in the economic structure of Latin America and the Caribbean.
This book underscores the need for a rural industrial policy that promotes a structural change based on innovation, greater value added and better employment and living conditions, all in harmony with the environment. The proposal builds on the experience of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in strengthening rural value chains and offers a novel approach to industrial policy and rural development, issues that have traditionally been addressed separately. The book also sets out the value chain methodology developed by ECLAC and presents a comparative analysis of processes to strengthen rural value chains around commodities, agribusiness products and rural tourism.