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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 FAO staff these questions are very good.

I would like to know more about the potential impact of preventing food loss and waste in poverty reduction: do you have any examples?

The loss of food produced after many years of labor, inputs invested in production, money, time, capital (machines), is like building a house and after finishing it, you then collapse it down. It is pity many agriculture organizations do not pay attention on food loss. The unseriousness of food loss by many organisation is recognized when looking the following.

A. The time of harvesting; many farmers even research organisations harvest their crops when crops are over dried and have sheeled in the field grounds, this mostly happens on pulse crops,over grown fruit plants like bananas ripe in the field and eaten by the animals, pests, and weviels, overdried maize in the field and stem lodged to the field grownd and eated by termites,rats, birds, and other animals, all of these reduce crop yield, hence low overall yield,

leading to few package crop export, import, or intra-crop exchange also leading to few food crop reaching to the final consumer, this leads to high price, then poor people dont have access

to good food, this brings malnutrition,  resulting to diseases, you pay your salary for food and disease hospitality, this results to the final tragedy extreme poverty, but the real jouney starts

from the field. It is exactly like the journey of HIV virus. Examples are many it can take the wholeday is i post papers circulating on the media. Preventing food loss is like working for money and you dont wast your money, rather you keep some in the bank what results after saving??

B. Poor trasport facilities, no roads, no communication, poor package facilities all those results to loss of food, waste hence poverty.

C. Storage facilities is a problem because it causes not only food loss but also afects health, like there is a problem of aflatoxin contamination in grain crops, and oilcrops, this causes many liver hepatitis problems  and many death, stomach diseases in imfants and many others. The storage losses can cause 100% crop losses and it is obvious.

- 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?

This question has many questions, i would like therefore to answer in paragraphs, one paragraph represents one question.

The agriculture will obviously be intergrated in poverty eradication due to the fact that, without food without life, no food no life, the saving of currency ernings depend on the market price.

there should be alliance for crop or food productivity to make food available, the level of availability will triger the advancement of other sectoral areas like finance sectors, many countries give alot of money to import food, which money could otherwise be used in other discplines.

Yes, oftenly, stratages are not focusing rural areas, example the policies of many countries dont put good energy on agricultural in rural areas, the evidance is, how many rural areas have sound irrigation systems, 98% of farmers depend on natural rain, and they have little idea on meteological rain irregularities which always causes famine, and this is the main root causative agent of famine. If you want to erradicate poverty promote food production facilities in rural areas, like irrigation systems, nutritional crops which will boost immune systems, like fruits, vegetables etc

The projects that promotes farmers working in cooperatives, once in cooperatives it is easy to educate them and every plan will reach farmers easier. Land consolidation will help to grow planned crop according to crop region adaptability and input facilities availability.

- 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? 

The rural sector identification can be seen on how or the farmers preferance in that sector, it is mining, afforestation, crop growing, animal realing and which kind of animals that do better there. What type of crops grown there?, what is its productivity depending on standard productivity ranking?. which is the main cause of that yield reduction?, what kind of seeds prefered? how is research organization work with farmers? if no connection, then, there is no research? what kind of productivity in puts needed? are those inputs available? why not available? is it due to the poor goverment policy? Any remedy?