FSN Forum

DISCUSSION No. 148   •   FSN Forum digest No. 1336

Eradicating extreme poverty: what is the role of agriculture?

until 24 April 2018

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Dear Members,

We would like to share with you the summaries of the first comments received for the new online discussion "Eradicating extreme poverty: what is the role of agriculture?" organized in collaboration with FAO's team working on the Strategic Programme 3 "Reduce Rural Poverty".

Participants provided insights on what is needed to harness the full potential of agriculture to reduce poverty and what are the main constrains to getting there. Issues identified included, among others, gender disparity, inequalities, climate change and lack of appeal of agriculture to the young.

Context sensibility of agricultural techniques, linking agriculture to the broader economic system and transmitting knowledge have all been mentioned as necessary steps in order to allow the poor to productively engage in agriculture.

In order to further develop on these excellent leads, we would like to encourage you to reflect specifically on the situation faced by those affected by extreme poverty and without access to productive assets. How can these poorest of the poor take advantage of the opportunities offered by agriculture to build sustainable livelihoods?

Your views will be part of a broader reflection to refine and improve FAO's approach towards the eradication of extreme poverty by using its experience in supporting agriculture and the livelihoods of rural dwellers towards the realization of SDG1.

Please read the summaries of the comments below. The full versions and the introduction are available on the discussion page.

To take part, send your contribution in English, French or Spanish to FSN-moderator@fao.org or post it online on the FSN Forum.

We look forward to an enriching exchange!

Your FSN Forum team


iconClaudio Schuftan, PHM, Viet Nam

Claudio invites FAO to improve its approach towards disparity reduction, this being the main issue. The focus on extreme poverty or on food insecurity will not help to achieve the SDG 1 “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”, as these are both sector specific approaches that do not address the main problem of equitable distribution of wealth.

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iconJoël Zongo Wendkouni, Côte d'Ivoire

According to Joel Zongo, the fight against poverty is mainly a question of improving the living conditions of rural populations, in particular by strengthening agriculture and by promoting alternative sources of income. Attracting youth to agriculture is also important to make this sector more sustainable.

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iconBulent Gulcubuk, Ankara University, Turkey

Bulent lists some conditions under which agriculture can succeed in lifting people out of extreme poverty.

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iconEmile Houngbo, National University of Agriculture, Porto-Novo (UNA), Benin

Emile stresses the role of agriculture in eradicating poverty, particularly in those countries where agriculture is predominant. A dynamic and sustainable agriculture sector can offer pro-poor growth opportunities.

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iconAklilu Nigussie, Ethiopian Institutes of Agricultural Research, Ethiopia

Aklilu highlights the need for efficient and context-sensible extension services. He also calls for integrating activities such as diary, poultry and beekeeping into afforestation and conservation efforts. He then stresses the necessity to involve policy making in creating a system in which agriculture has a fixed place so to encourage people to take up this activity.

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iconHalimatou Baldeh, Food Safety and Quality Authority, Gambia

Halimatou reflects on a series of elements that are needed in order to harness the potential of agriculture to lift people out of poverty: transmit a sense of value for agriculture, address gender disparity in land ownership, introduce new production techniques, take advantage of already existing production resources such as manure and reduce post-harvest losses.

Read the first contribution

In her second comment Halimatou stresses the importance of protecting the existing forest cover by encouraging foresting approaches in which communities are given the full responsibilities of planting and falling trees.

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iconDevinder Sadana, ICAR, India

Devinder tells us about the importance of integrating local livestock breed with local agriculture. He shares an example from the Indian state of Gujarat where the local Banni buffalo breed helped eradicate extreme poverty and from Telangana State where the draft power of Nallamalla cattle brought income to poor families.

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iconWajid Pirzada, Roots Pakistan, Pakistan

Wajid warns us that a complete eradication of poverty though agriculture alone might be difficult to achieve. He sees lack of distributive justice, inequalities, out-of-context farming techniques and climate change as important threats that need to be tackled by focusing jointly on production and consumption.

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iconDr. Amanullah, University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan

Amanullah reminds us of the benefits such as peace and reduced poverty that the successful application of agricultural best particles can yield.

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iconMd Zahangir Hossain, University of Newcastle, Australia

Md Zahangir focuses on the potential of climate-smart agriculture and year-round vegetables, approaches that aim at taking full advantage of the local agricultural resources and conditions.

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iconRabiu Auwalu Yakasai, Food and Nutrition Vocational Center, Nigeria

Rabiu suggests involving those without agricultural production assets into rural-urban farm produce marketing. In addition, he also stresses the need to strengthen the agriculture-nutrition linkage at household and community level. For both approaches he sees the provision of knowledge and vocational training as elements of crucial importance.

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iconMostafa Jafari, RIFR/ IPCC/ TPS for LFCCs, Iran

Mostafa points to climate change as one of the aspects that influence the role that agriculture can play in eradicating extreme poverty.

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iconLena Acolatse, Partnership for Child Development, Ghana

Lena draws on her experience working in different African countries and argues that while agriculture plays a huge role in the effort to eradicate extreme poverty, issues such as insufficient farming knowledge, lack of entrepreneurial skill and post-harvest losses prevent many from building secure livelihoods.

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