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Dear Members of the forum,
Thank you once again for your contributions. You continue to raise very important points in relation to making agricultural interventions reach the poorest of the poor, which is challenging. Also, thank you for pointing to specific case studies from Kenya, Pakistan, Cameroon, Belgium, and others.
Some of you have pointed to the fact that the poorest have very little land and few or no inputs, and therefore, dedicated programmes are needed to reach them, using a multidimensional approach: cash transfers, asset transfers, credit, skills development, continuous support, and empowering structures such as self-help groups and farmer organizations. The land access question is also fundamental and it is also very difficult to address from a policy level.
Thank you also for pointing out the need to understand poverty from a multidimensional perspective. Income measures of poverty are less useful when trying to address the drivers of poverty, particularly when looking at agricultural interventions for the poorest. I think that a better understanding of how poverty manifests itself in rural areas is still much needed, and these diagnostics need to be participatory, but also the process needs to be empowering.
The role of nutrition in the eradication of extreme poverty is fundamental. Several studies point to the fact that despite progress in poverty reduction, nutrition is not a given. It is the “hidden poverty” as some of you have mentioned. This is an invitation to reflect on the state of our food systems and how we could make them more beneficial from the nutritional point of view, but also from the employment generation and suitability of resources. There will be trade-offs for sure, but giving more value to the “basics” of a sustainable healthy life should be at the basis of policy making, which is reflected in our Agenda 2030.
Also, thank you for pointing the role that FAO has in advocating for sustainable peace. Conflict affects food production through the loss of land, infrastructure, and the displacement of farming communities. In conflict situations, poverty reduction efforts become more challenging, including the strengthening of local institutions who are the ones making development sustainable in the long run.
I look forward to reading more of your contributions during the last days of this discussion.
Dear members of the forum,
Thank you very much for so many contributions! They will be very helpful as we continue to develop the framework for our work on extreme poverty.
You have highlighted a number of important aspects that we will need to take into account for FAO's work to also reach the poorest of the poor and prevent that more rural people fall deeper in poverty:
- The need to develop more effective strategies and programmes on mitigation and adaptation that are sensitive to the roles of small scale producers and their needs. "Think global but act local", maximizing local resources, knowledge. As a follow up, I would like to ask the members of the forum to discuss on how we could move this forwards more effectively, in ways that are scalable and sustainable, particularly, on how to bring the environmental and social sectors together.
- Strengthening the agriculture and nutrition linkage. Good nutrition is fundamental for productivity, in any sector, but it also fosters better education and higher incomes for younger generations. It is important to look at the effectiveness of our current food systems to foster good nutrition, particularly that of the poor and the poorest. Where agroclimatic conditions allow, year-round vegetable production is a good option for bringing more micronutrients to the table.
- We are not fostering the agriculture sector for poverty reduction enough. Investments in agriculture continue to be below what is needed in order to tap on opportunities that exist in the sector, including organic agriculture (as demand for healthier foods from cities arise) as well as for sustainable production to foster climate change mitigation (CSA, agroecology). Resources are needed to foster and disseminate local technologies, including farmer to farmer exchanges.
- The importance of revitalizing rural areas and making the agricultural sector more attractive to the youth. Using technologies to disseminate information and knowledge (example of youtube videos) that are more specific to local needs. Creating market linkages while also helping develop territorial markets for more high quality food availability at territorial level.
As a follow up to the discussion, I would like to invite the members to further discuss and express their opinions on the following points:
- I would like to know more about the potential impact of preventing food loss and waste in poverty reduction: do you have any examples?
- Overall, while eradicating extreme poverty will require multisectoral approaches, how could agriculture be better integrated in poverty reduction strategies? Often these strategies have a weak rural focus, while most of the poor live in rural areas. How can the role of agriculture be more focused on poverty reduction and reach the poorest? Any suggestions?
- And the other way around, how can agricultural strategies be more inclusive of the poorest? What mechanisms do we have in the sector to better identify and understand the needs of this population and increase their lack of productive assets?