In this report FAO establishes, based on contemporary and historical precedents, the need for developing countries to adopt policies that ensure strong complimentarity between targeted public-sector interventions and private sector roles. The report provides a wide range of examples and highlights three important lessons. First, in all the now developed countries, governments, at the early stages of economic development, supported agriculture through, inter alia, price stabilization and provision of inputs such as seeds and fertilizer. Second, the wide array and mix of policy options adopted by countries clearly underlines the importance of taking a pragmatic and flexible approach rather than getting locked into pro-state or pro-private-sector ideological viewpoints. Finally, agriculture thrives best when there is continuity in policy and public-sector support. In food insecure countries, state subventions are often justifiable to ensure price stability, food availability and affordability and, ultimately, political stability which art required for long-term investment and development.