1. there is no simple fit for all solutions/activities that can help use agriculture to bring families out of extreme poverty.
2. We have to follow two set of strategies to get families and communities out of extreme poverty. One, Farm level strategies for the families having access to land resources. Two, income and food security strategies for the rural communities including those who have no ownership or access to land resources.
3. Farm Strategies will include biodiversity based farming systems that can offer resilient to climate change and have the capcity to meet food and income needs of the family.
4. Community level strategies will focus on how to bring landless families in the food and income security loop. Livelihood of most of the landless families partially if not entirely depend on the growth of agriculture at community level. Development practitioners need to understand the linkages that local agricultural economy cultivates between smallholders and landless families.
5. Lok Sanjh Foundation, Pakistan has developed low cost climate resilient models of food production that can offer food security at household level. Model uses local biodiversity and resources to build a small but large enough food garden that can offer adequate food for the family in all seasons. School youth is involved in building and replicating the models in their villages.
6. For community based Food and Income Security Model, Lok Sanjh forms committees of village women representing both smallholders and landless families and engages these committees in building community based food and income security strategy. Once agreed, Village Women Committee (VMC) is responsible to implement the strategy. For instance, Village Grain Banks and Village Goat Banks work beautifully and offers both food and income seccurity. One participating woman said in one of the experience sharing meeting that her children got milk in their diets first time from the goat she got from the Village Goat Bank years after they got their mother's milk. She shared that income from the sale of some of the goats she produced from the goat she received helped her send her children to schools.
Dr. Shaid Zia
Lok Sanjh Foundation