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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

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

Jodean Remengesau

Traditionally the very poor are very reliant on the public sector for free handouts, whether its training, inputs or cash based. In turn governments prefer grant schemes and the cycle of dependency is continuous, leaving no attention span for incubation and development of the private sector. In raising families out of rural poverty like a child the marriage roles of the public and private sector in a public and private partnership (PPP) can bring about fruitful progress as the risks are divided equally and tradeoffs can turn into trade benefits. the private sector with the resources in land rights and machinery can provide employment opportunities in contract farming for the rural poor. the public sector can come in as the enforcer and regulator, with international organizations facilitating the engagement with knowledge sharing and technical expertise. as far as I understand developing countries are looking to international organizations to play as the matchmaker for such grant schemes, and although this is not our traditional way we do things, we can certainly work as the vantage point in building the bridges with key partners, the donors and food industry players, at least in dialogue to the same table and letting the group collectively agree on the path to move forward. I say food industry players because it is in this form where all people agree we can comply to fulfill our first right: the right to eat. In emerging markets where many ruralfolk are first entering an urban setting, the familiar forms of food consumption from home unites the masses and brings a spoonful of comfort. for example in Nairobi, the ethnic diversity in the city provides women homemakers income opportunities to in food catering services to office workers with particular ethnic dishes from home. Agri-food industries offer a holistic solution to eradicating poverty, increasing food and nutrition security, income generation and even to an extent, natural-resource management. Perhaps this extent can be maximized when the marriage of conservation agriculture and agriculture management also eventually becomes one.