FSN Forum
FSN Forum

ACTIVITY No. 143   •   FSN Forum digest No. 1318

Rural migration, agriculture and rural development

until 16 October 2017

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Dear Members,

The online consultation Rural migration, agriculture and rural development has attracted new comments. You will find them below together with feedback by Andrea Cattaneo, the facilitator of the consultation.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have received very valuable input to be considered during the drafting process of the 2018 edition of The State of Food and Agriculture: ideas on the focus of the draft outline of the report, individual experiences and case studies, and other sources of information.

Please note that we accept contributions until Monday 16 October. We hope you will take advantage of these additional days to share your input on this important report!

On the webpage, which is available in in English, French or Spanish, you can find further information on the consultation and download the report's outline.

Please post your contributions directly online upon registration, or send them to FSN-moderator@fao.org.

Your FSN Forum team

Andrea Cattaneo, facilitator of the consultation

Dear all,

I want to thank again the contributors who have continued to ensure a lively and interesting discussion as well as really useful and important comments and suggestions. A special thank you to those of you who have suggested specific cases and sources of information. Please keep it up.

I would also like to recognize the many suggestions for improvements to the contents that have continued to arrive. Let me just mention suggestions to look at conditions of migrants in locations of both origin and destination and to consider both the positive dimensions of migration and the risks involved. The suggestion to look more carefully at innovation and migration, especially in relation to youth, is also an interesting one. I have also taken note of the call to go beyond the push-pull framework and bring in additional elements from the demographic literature as well as de-emphasizing the rural-urban dichotomy and rather considering the rural-urban continuum.

I look forward to a continued interesting discussion during the last days of this online consultation.



iconValentine Gandhi, The Development CAFÉ, Indonesia

Valentine proposes to add a section on health issues of migrants, and posts resources related to this topic. He also suggests to not only discuss the conditions of migrants in their home environment but also those in their places of destination. Furthermore, he shares findings from research he undertook in Andhra Pradesh, India, where migrants obtained significant economic and social freedom in their host cities. However, the authorities often perceive migration as a negative phenomenon and deal with it in a fragmented way.  

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iconBinod ChapAgain, The Center for People and Forests, Thailand

Binod believes that the topic “migration and innovation” could be included in the report. In illustrating his point, he discusses the results of a study he conducted in two villages in Thailand, which are facing significant flows of youth out-migration. Through social media, these migrants have been sharing information with their local government authorities and those left behind about the advantages and challenges of large scale projects to be carried out in their home towns. This information sharing has had positive impacts with regard to, for instance, ensuring that biodiversity will be maintained.

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iconCatherine Marquette, IFAD, Italy

Catherine suggests to better integrate the different existing theoretical approaches for looking at migration into the report. She thinks there is a need to go beyond the push/pull framework, and to include, for instance, network approaches, the perspective of remittance dynamics as financial capital for migration and a driver of continuing migration networks, and the question of how remittances affect social fabric. Rather than emphasizing rural-urban dichotomies, the dynamic connections between rural and urban migration flows and spaces, the creation of periurban areas and the rural-urban continuum seem key in relation to looking at the impacts of migration dynamics on agricultural and rural development. 

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iconBhubaneswor Dhakal, Nepal

Bhubaneswor points to two issues: he argues that the report should better account for the pull factors of rural immigration, and that there should be more attention for the impact rural out-migration has on agrobiodiversity.

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iconAdebayo Depo, IADR, Togo

According to Adebayo, migration between rural areas should be perceived positively as well as negatively. He argues that it can also be seen as a “means of exchange”: skills learned in the place of destination may later be applied in the migrant’s place of origin. In addition, Adebayo mentions a number of factors that should be taken into account in understanding migration, such as a country’s environmental characteristics, natural resources, and productivity. 

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iconMuraleedhar Prasad, Farm Care Foundation, India

Muraleedhar discusses the situation in India, where migration is mainly a consequence of the adverse effects of climate change and land grabbing. In the state of Kerala, seasonal and chain migration are particularly prevalent; the state receives many migrants from the north and north east of the country, but at the same time, experiences significant out-migration of youth to the Gulf States.

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iconGerhard Flachowsky, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Germany

Gerhard stresses that the sustainability of food production is a major challenge for those involved in agriculture, and wonders whether the current social-economic system will be able to address the issues related to migration.

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iconJean Marius D'Alexandris, Lyseconcept, France

Jean Marius thinks that the focus should be on transforming the current economic system, which, he believes, is not conducive to agriculture and development.

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