Poverty alleviation is a major objective of development. More than a fifth of the world's population lives in absolute poverty, and the majority of the poor live in rural areas. This volume studies what can be done for alleviating rural poverty. Four chapters address the measurement of poverty and inequality, including the use of household expenditure surveys and intra-household income distribution. Evidence is presented for India, Mauritania, Cte d'Ivoire and China. Other chapters present case studies on strategies for rural development: provision of rural credit in Bangladesh and India; technical change in Philippine agriculture; contract farming in Thailand; and banana growers in the Windwards. The contributions introduce the problems of rural development and show that effective rural development is assisted by investment in education and secure access to credit; that equity is important for incentives but not directly related to poverty; and that technical and institutional reform are essential, but require careful design and implementation.