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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

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

Olabisi Omodara
Olabisi OmodaraObafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, NigeriaNigeria

I will like to comment on the tagged question "Under what conditions can agriculture succeed in lifting people out of extreme poverty? Particularly those households with limited access to productive resources."

One impressive thing about Agriculture is its capacity to provide the basic needs of man- food, shelter, income and other productive resources, as it supports national and international trades. It is worthy of note that the extremely poor category are deprived of the benefits whereas, this same agriculture has the capacity to proper sustainable solution to the vice of extreme poverty.

Availability of agricultural land for the extreme poor is a great constraint to poverty eradication.  The land tenure systems under which many of the third world, underdeveloped and developing countries operate needs a review. In fact, land unavailability, inaccessibility, insecurity, and as well fragmentation stand mainly as causative agent of extreme poverty.  Therefore, deprivations facing the extremely poor in form of social, cultural, economic are pivoted on poor land tenure systems.

Globally, the extremely poor receive and depend solely on aids and non-sustainable forms of supports from foreign nations and international organization for survival. Meanwhile these people are found majorly in the third world countries where agriculture provides occupation for more than half of the population and sustains not less than 70 percent of the citizens. it is therefore imperative that global aids and supports for the extreme poor should target not only the provision of immediate needs for survival but also commits a fair portion of the supports to empowerment of the extreme poor with collaboration of the ruling governments in the benefiting countries.

Moreover, backyard farming will play a vital role in dietary improvement and income enhancement among the extreme poor if necessary efforts are put in place to encourage this practice, and policies that can make land available to the extreme poor are implemented to that effect. Therefore, the governing authorities in the concerned countries should also take serious look at means by which the extreme poor can benefit from backyard farming.

Finding from a Study I conducted in peri-urban area of Osun State, Nigeria reveals that households that cultivated maize, plantain, spices, vegetables and root and tubers behind their houses during the rain and dry seasons improved their chances of being food secure but this practice is common mainly among the house-owners. This tells the extents to which access to land and complimentary resources can play in the lives of the have not (the extremely poor) if favorable policies are made to support them.