"A growing number of World Bank economists are now convinced most poor nations need a healthy farm sector as the basis of a robust economy. The manufacturing booms that swept Asia only happened after the region's farm sectors developed. And new research shows that investing in agriculture lifts more people out of poverty much faster than long thought. The 2007 study "Down to Earth" by World Bank economists Luc Christiaensen and Lionel Demery found economic growth of the agriculture sector is at least twice as effective at reducing poverty as any other sector."
Later in the same article
""Countries should, in general, rely on trade for food security," said Arvind Subramanian, of the Peterson Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that focuses on international economic policy. "The problem is when there are conditions like today. Things get bad, countries impose export restrictions and comparative advantage is not allowed to work. So, the effect of food shocks is amplified.""
Read the full article, replete with paradoxes.