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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Eradicating extreme poverty: what is the role of agriculture?

Andrew Isingoma
Andrew Isingoma Agriculture consultant and FSN-FORUM-MEMBERRwanda

Dear Members, it is excellent to have this opportunity to share about my views on poverty eradication following question by question please see below. NB: THESE QUESTIONS ARE VERY GOOD. First of all, thanks to FAO Staff who have thought about these questions, and if the responses are put in action, i hope many people can come out of poverty globally:

1. Under what conditions can agriculture succeed in lifting people out of extreme poverty? Particularly wwwthose households with limited access to productive resources.

To hit the point on this question; extreme poverty can be defined as the situation where an individual or a group of individuals are lacking basic need to survive. The primary basic needs are; 1. food, 2. clothes, 2. shelter, and 4. medication facilities, 5, education facilities.  Agricultural productivity resources are; 1. good soils, 2. water (rainfall, lakes, rivers, seas, underground water), 3. forests (natural and artifical forests), 4. animals (mostly insects), 5, ultra-violate rays or sun penetration.

Extreme poverty can be solved once individuals or a group of people have access to the above mentioned basic needs. Once  the problem of lack of food is solved it means 98% of poverty is solved already. Developed countries first established good agricultural policies and solved the problem of food, then poverty were solved already. We give out alot of money to buy food, every body buys food.

We save money according to food pricing on the market. The government policies on agricultural research and extention have to be strong to meet the goals of food security and food production. Reserach in agriculture has to be regarded to meet the problems on natural resources like low rainfall and drought. Agricultural scientists (research and extentionist) have to work hard to come up with new cultivars according to climate changes. 

2. What is the role of ensuring more sustainable natural resource management in supporting the eradication of extreme poverty?

Natural resource are the major condition for agricultural production and productivity passways. Forests are necessary for rainfall cycles and synclonization. There should be good management of forests to avoid land desertification. Natural resources like soils should be well managed to avoid soil erosion and soil degradation this is basic need for agricultural production and other wealth creational facilities  and mining management. Lakes and rivers well maged for avoiding drainage and wastage of living creatures  etc.

3. Can those without the opportunities to pursue production and to access resources such as fish, forests and livestock find pathways out of extreme poverty through these sectors? 

Yes, it is possible; who are the target group of people mentioned in the second question? i can say, these are people especially living in desert areas, and urban condition; these people can come out of poverty only if they can get food at a very possible low price. How can crops & food be cheap and not expensive?  First,  this can only be meet once agricultutal production is facilitated very well and crop productivity is maximised. Secondly, facilitated agricultural comodities or food distribution is eased.

Thirdly, crops and food taxation should be reduced so that it reaches to the consumers when it is not expensive. Transportation and postharvest facilities made possible, easy distribution, food processing and storage facilities, good preservation (made possible).

4. What set of policies are necessary to address issues connecting food security and extreme poverty eradication in rural areas?

A. Agricultural policies: Redearch and extention policies (the policy of new cultivar development, the policy of cultivar extention), crop production, distribution, storage, postharvet and agricultural comodities handling policies.

B. Animal protection policies: conservation of wild and domestic animal policies, conservation of aquatic animals/inhabitats micro and macro animals policy systems. Insects or natural enermy policies

C. Conservation of (forests natural and artifical) policies, these are the major concerns of wealth creation.

D. Exploitation of natural resource policies; fishing policy, mining policy, afforastation policy, deforestation policy, rivers and lakes water usage policies.

E. International knowledge management policies on agriculture capacity projects/ capacity bulding of human resources management.

5. Can you share any examples of experiences that succeeded in reducing (or eradicating) extreme poverty through an agricultural pathway? 

 This is avery good question and am responding as a plant breeder/ crop production department: The production of new crop varieties in drought affected regions. In Uganda and Rwanda. In My MSc-research study, i had assignment of developing a maize variety in transitional agro-ecological zones of Uganda and succeded. We developed new varieties of maize which was doing better than local maize in those regions.

We look at interational crop production alliances, specifically for hunger eradication, through training agricultural scientists and crop production policy settings. Example alliance for green revolution in Africa (AGRA), succeded and still working well in hunger and poverty eradication, hope you know many others.

Rwandas economy is built on Agriculture about 98% and is currently rising simply because of strong policies in agriculture and agriculture production by the goverment now, not only Rwanda let me look on east africa at large the region to which i belong, her economy is built on agriculture, if you want to make her rich, please pay attention on her agricultural productivity.

let me stop here,

Thanks all members