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Topic: Poverty

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How Rainfall Variability, Food Security and Migration Interact

The world faces a serious water crisis, warned former heads of government and experts recently in a book that identifies a multitude of associated security, development and social risks, including food, health, energy and equity issues.

“Water security requires long-term political ownership and commitment, recognition of water’s key role in development and human security, and budget allocations appropriate to the fundamental importance of water to every living thing,” asserted Zafar Adeel, Director of the United Nations University (UNU) Institute for Water, Environment and Health, which published that book last September.

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The Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) Program: The Brazilian experience

By: José Graziano da Silva; Mauro Eduardo Del Grossi; Caio Galvão de França.

The launching of the “Zero Hunger Project – a proposal for a food security policy for Brazil” in October 2001 by the then candidate for the presidency Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reflected the maturing of discussions and proposals on food security and fighting hunger, which became national priorities to be addressed through planned and decisive actions of the State with social participation. With the electoral victory of President Lula in 2003, the Zero Hunger project became the main governmental strategy guiding economic and social policies in Brazil and marked the beginning of an inflection that left behind an old dichotomy between them. Actions began to be taken to integrate structural policies into emergency policies to fight hunger and poverty. New, differentiated policies for family farming were implemented and basic legislation was built for the national food and nutrition security policy. This book is part of the NEAD Debate Series (Série NEAD Debate) and it presents some fundamental texts for one to understand the Brazilian experience with the Zero Hunger Program at different moments of its implementation over an eight-year period as a Government Program, bringing together reflections on different aspects of the process, such as the mobilization of different segments of society around it, the role of family farming, advances and challenges, among others.

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Rural Development and Poverty Reduction: Is Agriculture Still the Key?

This paper examines the relationship between rurality and poverty, and the role the agricultural sector can play in rural development, poverty reduction, and overall development. The historical views regarding the role of the primary sector in development are presented, and then using original data, the paper argues that there was an historical misjudgment against the primary sector that served as a foundation for anti-agricultural bias in public policy until the late 80’s. Finally, this paper explains how under certain conditions territorial/regional development strategies may prosper, but in other conditions, particularly in the least-developed countries rural space, agriculture is still necessarily the starting point for rural development.

By: Gustavo Anríquez and Kostas Stamoulis

27.08.2012