The programme belongs to, and is the
responsibility of, the participating countries. Its
success depends on the willingness of governments
to establish a political, social and economic
climate conducive to agricultural growth. This
means adopting appropriate policies and
regulations, providing training, extension and
information services, and investing in research,
roads and irrigation.
Focus on areas and foods with high
Areas known to have good possibilities for
increased productivity will be targeted in order to
realize yield potential effectively with little
risk. Priority will be given to increasing the
production of staple food crops - mainly cereals,
roots and tubers - but other foods suited to local
conditions and markets will also be included as
part of an integrated farming systems approach.
These could include pulses, fruit, vegetables,
poultry, livestock and fish.
The profitability of an investment in food
production is an important criterion for selecting
areas and foods for Special Programme attention.
Essentially, this means that prices received by
farmers for the commodities they produce must more
than cover their costs.
All those who have a role to play, whether at the
local, national, regional or international level,
will be involved in the Special Programme in order
to ensure success. Typical participants will be:
government officials of both recipient and donor
countries; scientists; extension workers; private
traders and entrepreneurs; experts from
intergovernmental agencies and NGOs; and, perhaps
most important of all, the farmers themselves. Care
will be taken to avoid the exclusion of any social
group or the creation of inequalities.
Biological diversity, natural resources and the
existing ecosystem will be protected by promoting
production techniques that do not harm the
environment and by reducing pressure on marginal
areas with low potential which are often
Regard for the role of women
Particular attention will be paid to involve
women, whose important role in food crop production
in the LIFDCs as farmers and agricultural workers
has often been overlooked in the past.