To the question raised by Dr. Justin Chisenga
Do you have youth role models in agriculture in your countries?
Yes there are but very few in number and their success of degree constrained for different homogeneous and heterogeneous factors that determine the accelerative of achievement to optimum level.
Who are they?
They are public extension or scaling out of technology users [like crop varieties-food crop and cash crop (vegetables and fruit), poultry technologies user-(layer, broilers and dual purpose birds)] in the agro-pastoral communities and mid and highland agro-ecological zones of the country.
What have they done to serve as role models to other youths who want to engage in agriculture?
There is an experience sharing type of technological scaling out system that are implemented as a model system in Ethiopian Institutes of Agricultural Research which is known as organizing farm level field day with different stakeholders participation; with this day they will share all the SWOT of technologies implemented with for food security, income generation, and livelihood. Yet; the system needs other triangulated innovative modalities to encompass many different youth.
If yes, would you say they are doing well in their work?
I could say that with few degree of reservation as there are best ways of making them so productive and efficient with different innovative modalities of agricultural technologies use.
I am engaged in research and development yet I was grown in cultivating my families land in rural side of the country in Ethiopia. I was always in search of technologies that can enhance the productivity of my families land as we were depend our livelihood on it; from food to income generation for sustainability.
Yet; the access of technological packages the fit to our existence of agro-ecological zone was almost negligent (closer to zero) because of different factors like distance to the main rural towns and others.
What motivated me to engage on agriculture was; because of the reason that I encountered while I was a farmer in my family’s plot of land.
My achievement engaging in the research and development me and colleagues has tried our bests to involve in the scaling up of different technologies to the pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Afar and Oromia (Metehara district) like chicken birds and bread wheat in small scale irrigated areas. We were successful as it was a new intervention to the area few years ago.
1) Biodiversity is an important contributor to food security and improved nutrition. Could you share examples?
I am going to state my sweet nation of Ethiopia with its smallholder farmer production system. Ethiopian farmers use diversified production system with application of biodiversity with in the subsector of crop production itself with rotation production system to maintain fertility, nutritional contribution to the household consumption and food security; furthermore they diversify with horizontal integration with livestock system especially cattle and small ruminants (sheep, goat, poultry, bee); yet with an increasing of chemical application and range land declines especially on the highlands of Ethiopia because of diversified reasons like population pressure; the so called industries are conquering the fertile land than marginal land; housing of urbanization use the fertile land than marginal land; and other factors pressurized the range or grazing land for highlanders to increase production system of livestock. These hamper the production system. But still the smallholder tries to diversify at homestead production.
For the second question:-
2. If sustainable natural resource management is; bringing together the system of the universe directly or indirectly to contribute for productivity and moderating of, land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation, and innovating the sustainability of industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries and forestry…for eco-system friendly use; then this can create directly an incremental productivity with healthy food system and without environmental calamities. So; this can have an opportunity to diversified engagement of participation and access to resources that can generate income. Not only income but also nutritive contribution to households and livelihood diversification can possibly applied at small scale level since the logical behind natural resource management can have a positive effect on rain fed agriculture, irrigation agriculture and supplemental agriculture. Even it makes ease things to construct hillside agricultural production (with fruit tree) with methodological application forest fruit agricultural system with dual benefits.
For today let me only focus on the first question "under what condition can agriculture contribute in poverty alleviation of the extreme poor”.
For this let’s view the technology in research and development:
1. For those households who have limited access to productive resource; access to agricultural technologies via public extension or non-public system is vital. In this case capacity development and technologies package system can accelerate the lift-up from poverty.
2. On the other direction the technologies should be targeted to the available resource that can be may be used diary, poultry, beekeeping-like using hill side development integrated with afforestation and conservation development or river bank application system.
3. On the crop production side horticultural crop at homestead level and early maturing type of production of high value crops can have a returns yet the food crop production has to be sustainable (engage them marketing system like creating a small scale cooperative development).
4. Here the big solution should come from the research and development with triangulated solution involving policy makers, and other stakeholders. There is a thought that agriculture contribution to poverty alleviation is minimal when compare to non-agricultural sector; which I disagree because agriculture has a versatile effect from food security, nutrition, market stability, employment, environmental stabilization, etc but it needs smart policy makers with different stakeholder to the issue of poverty if the optimal policy is implemented then it’s effect will accelerate trigonometrically with diversified effect and will apply diffusion its impact to raw materials and others. But it has to have a curiosity as it will affect also human health directly.
On the objectives:-
- As there is always heterogeneous factors that can affect production and productivity it will be advisable to target:-
- Increasing food production and productivity than maintaining
2. For the second objective only maximizing or efficient use of external plant nutrients cannot sustain agricultural production and productivity so:-
- It will be rational to increase fertility of the soils or the farm or alarming increase of soil health with organic composition of nutrients can sustain agriculture visa vis other things are constant (climate variability, pest or insect or virus infestation and others)
3. Objective of minimizing environmental and human health impact can be merged as one objective yet:-
- The objectives can encompass animal health and eradicating toxicities of food plants from inorganic fertilizer application
4. Food safety could be from the post-harvest handling, application of toxic fertilizer, pesticides, fungicides or any environmental and human wastes; so that:-
- Food safety type to address should be indicative like increasing food safety from application of inorganic fertilizer or any.
Here as dynamism is always expected positively or negatively it is good to set objective not with maintaining rather increasing.
1. Do you think the provisions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) provide sufficient policy space for domestic support for countries in Africa? Why or why not?
I don't think so because the African agricultural market is dominated with small scale and it is yet to be mechanised in use of different infrastructure and innovation. Here the basic thing to be considered is the land holding of households in Sub Saharan Africa. So the WTO organization advocates policies of free trade; though it gives special safeguard provision, domestic support commitments and market access yet this can't be sufficient policy space because it needs change in the farming community with parameters that can pull the out from their vicious circle of poverty and feron/firon /pheroahnians farming sytem plowing with animal. Even though the WTO tries its best to create a good environment in the world market, the policy makers in Africa are tied only on their dynastical policy than the innovative system to create productivity for the small scale producers.
2. In your opinion, do export restrictions enhance or undermine food security in African countries? Should the WTO disciplines on export restrictions be stricter or allow greater flexibility?
The two ways could be balanced. In case of export restriction the domestic market can boom out because supplies are avail with good price for consumers at the domestic market but this can also affect the price of the supplier and the gain of foreign exchange to the national economy. Yet; food security can be attained in the short run but it will have its residual effect on the long run.
On the other hand export restriction can affect the market price for competitive gain for the suppliers. So the supplier might not gain the cost from the revenue for profitability and promotion to increase productivity in the long run.
For the WTO should have a flexible export policy but this doesn't have to compromise quality and arbitrage.
3. What efforts can be made at the multilateral level, to complement regional integration efforts? In your opinion, are there some policy areas that are better addressed at the multilateral level, and others at the regional level?
Integration should be comparative and absolute advantage of regions with infrastructural effectiveness to ease access to market. Integration should not be always having an equilibrium advantage but the balanced one is good and it can smooth the integration system at alarming forward. Here there are integration factors so try to solve those factors at micro and macro level can enhance the development.
For me there is always a positive and negative implication to any technologies in science; thought the degree of negativity always go for minimum. So that the positive impact of technologies creates improvement in development initiatives like:
1. Encouraging innovative and creativity for the youth at individual household level or as farmers research group (FRG).
2. Improves communications skill and knowledge with practical applications and theoretical creativity according to the existing conditions of the farming system and beyond.
3. Improve the life style of the youth in different direction for instance wealth creation;
4. Improve Efficiency and productivity- this can also be related to invention and innovation; or doing things differently with different spectrum in the agricultural sector.
5. Improve convenience of time
6. Improve social network for innovation, development, research, invention and exchange of technologies
7. Improve methodological implementation or testing accuracy for different environmental phenomenals
It's an interesting policy issue that you brought on board; which a vicious circle effect.
1. In Ethiopia though policies are in most cases driven by the interests of politicians yet youths partcipate in the agricultural production by their own notice to create capital especially on the irrigated farmining system. Most of the commercial agricultural system is monopolized with invisible inteference of politicians for instance the poultry sector in country. If the government create an enabling environment it will craft not only production increament on a competative base it also have the ability to absorb unemployment and other circular effects in the economy system at macro level.
2. There is no any plat form that I know of especially for agriculture youth but there are political issue plat form for youth. This is more African type of problem to be solved that needs an attention at a policy level.
3. On some condition rewards can have negative impacts unless caution is under taken for many reasonal level of objectives. Rewards and incentive are given in most cases to high level investors I don't know why?
1. Yes; we are working on farming system in Ethiopia with sub dividing it with different crop and livestock farming system. For instance at present we are analyzing some part of the data like Teff and wheat farming system with thousands of sample households. This data set has environmental histories and climate variability impact on the household. Furthermore; new varieties compatibility and changes within the last 25 years in the farming system.
4. Here the intervention may vary according to the degree of impact and other variables. Yet; this could help generalizing the concept;-
- Develop a planning tools on forecasting the variability trend
- Integrate climatic information to the farming community level or village hubs
- Develop agricultural modules or technics of manuals for climate adaptation with indigenous knowledge and scientific means
- Integrated research and community based knowledge for low moisture technologies in variety and breed
- integrating crop and livestock diversification; and so many other techniques