Eradicating extreme poverty: what is the role of agriculture?
With this online discussion, we would like to invite you to reflect on the nexus between extreme poverty and food insecurity and to engage you in a conversation on the role that agriculture (including fisheries, forestry and livestock), agricultural development and natural resources can play in building sustainable livelihoods for the poorest of the poor.
People living in extreme poverty today are 767 million worldwide, which means that almost 11 in every 100 lives on less than US$1.90 a day (World Bank, 2016). Extreme Poverty can be defined as a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. The extreme poor are mostly those that have been left behind by economic growth and development efforts.
The huge challenge of eradicating extreme poverty worldwide has been captured by the SDG1 “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”.
A similar and somewhat overlapping dimension concerns hunger: people living in hunger are around 815 million according to the latest FAO estimates.
There is little doubt that hunger and poverty are closely linked and that these two conditions often perpetrate a vicious circle: hunger is an effect of poverty but also a cause of it. Hunger depletes the potential for human beings to develop capacities to lead healthy and economically useful lives. Low productivity in turn perpetuates underdevelopment and hunger.
The rural dimension adds another important dimension as the majority of the extreme poor and food insecure live in rural areas and depend at least partly on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihood.
Nevertheless, policies and interventions addressing hunger and extreme poverty are often sector-specific and look at either of the two problems. Agriculture interventions often aim at strengthening the food security and nutrition of rural communities and target food insecure smallholders that have a potential productive capacity; in other words, agriculture mostly looks at those who have some assets, leaving the extreme poor behind. On the other hand, the very poor are targeted by food distribution schemes that not necessarily contribute on their own to build sustainable path out of extreme poverty.
The poorest households also have productive potential when they are given the means to be so. There is a growing bulk of evidence that involving the poorest of the poor into economic responses such as cash transfers programmes contributes to increased asset base and agricultural production of the poorest households, in addition to contributing to their food security.
Given the importance of agriculture for the livelihood of the extreme poor, policies and activities aimed at improving the lives of these people, need to include agricultural development elements.
Along these lines, FAO is engaged in a broader reflection to refine and improve its approach towards the eradication of extreme poverty by using its experience in supporting the development of agriculture and the livelihoods of rural dwellers and contributing to the SDG agenda, leaving no one behind.
To stimulate the debate, we would be grateful if you could share your experience and views on the questions below:
- Under what conditions can agriculture succeed in lifting people out of extreme poverty? Particularly those households with limited access to productive resources.
- What is the role of ensuring more sustainable natural resource management in supporting the eradication of extreme poverty?
- Can those without the opportunities to pursue agricultural production and to access resources such as fish, forests and livestock find pathways out of extreme poverty through these sectors?
- What set of policies are necessary to address issues connecting food security and extreme poverty eradication in rural areas?
- Can you share any examples of experiences that succeeded in reducing (or eradicating) extreme poverty through an agricultural pathway?
Many thanks in advance for your interest in this topic. We look forward to receiving your valued inputs.
Ana Paula de la O Campos and Maya Takagi
This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.
Mr. Joel Karsten
We have found that eliminating food insecurity within the poorest population of urban dwellers is best accomplished by allowing them to take some control over growing a portion of their own food supply through gardening. Planting a traditional garden presents obvious challenges and difficulties for the poorest urban dwellers as considered below.
We have a solution to solve each of these major challenges, allowing even the poorest population to become gardeners, and to take charge of a major portion of their own food supply. The solution I offer to these poor urban populations is called the STRAW BALE GARDENS® method. The solution to hunger is rooted in this revolutionary new type of gardening, which has become extremely popular in the USA, Canada and over much of Western Europe and Australia. The method is now finding its way into many parts of Asia, Africa and South America as well. It has been adopted by more than 500,000 back-yard gardeners around the world, in just the last five years and expands by 5x each year, as can be verified in social media testimony with a few simple searches online.
The STRAW BALE GARDENS® method uses a compressed bale of organic material, such as the stalks remaining after the harvest of small grain crops like rice, oats, wheat, barley, rye. Any organic materials can be used effectively, including mixtures of grass, sugar cane stalks, fallen tree leaves, weeds or other discarded plant vegetation from virtually any source. These organic substrates must be tightly compressed into bales. Often bales are created mechanically in western societies with baling machinery, where baling is commonly done. In Asia participants have fashioned simply made baling mechanisms from wood. These hand balers make bales approximately 50 x 50 x 120cm and are mechanically compressed and bound tightly with string or wire.
The bales can be placed anywhere, even on concrete, asphalt, compacted gravel, clay or on a roof top. A vegetable garden needs sun, so finding a full sun exposure is the only requirement for location. Bales are easy to transport and are made for nearly zero cost. Most rice farmers do not currently value their remaining straw after harvest and simply burn it before the next planting season. Other grasses or waste vegetation can be gathered and made into compressed bales and used for this gardening process. Making a bale may take five minutes to accomplish by hand, but the input costs are nearly zero in most cases.
The bales must be prepared for two weeks prior to planting. In traditional western countries simple refined fertilizers are readily available and are applied to the bales over ten days to encourage rapid decomposition. The nitrogen in the fertilizer feeds the bacteria inside the bales, and this rapidly decomposes the organic material breaking it down into virgin “soil” or compost inside the bale. This newly formed compost or “soil” inside the bales provides nutrients to newly planted vegetable crops. Graywater from washing can be used to add moisture to the bales eliminating the need to acquire water especially for a garden. Straw has a great capacity to capture and store moisture inside the bale. A bale can hold from 6-8 liters of water in each bale, which serves as a reservoir for moisture to keep roots healthy.
In many poor communities, there is a lack of available refined fertilizers. Any fertilizers that are available can be cost prohibitive for the participants. A practical solution that is free is to use human urine to condition the bales. Approximately seven liters of urine applied over ten days will adequately feed the bacteria in the bale to begin decomposition. NO FECES should be used for this process, as the potential for disease is of great concern.
The bales are prepared and ready to plant after just 2-3 weeks, and within 30-45 days the bales are already producing harvestable crops. Planting from seed makes the cost low, and saving seed is a simple skill that can be taught easily to even those without much experience in gardening.
A major concern of many rice producing countries currently is the environmental contamination of rice straw burning. Many governments and non-governmental agencies are currently working on solutions to prevent farmers from burning their straw, however without any incentive, farmers are not often cooperative. Paying for the straw to be collected and made into bales is the easiest way to provide incentive to stop the burning. Collect the straw and make bales for delivery to urban populations at low cost would help solve this problem and provide inexpensive access to newly trained urban gardeners. The straw could be mixed with other green fresh organic material such as grasses to balance the carbon:nitrogen ratio and encourage better performance of the decomposing bales.
The bales, after use, will have become beautiful compost, which can be used again for another crop. Creating or building a container to hold this compost is often beneficial. This could be repurposed containers or using other “bagging” methods with holes cut into bags for planting.
Once completely decomposed the composted straw can be used to build up or improve the soils in any existing farm plot.
Any method introduced that requires a continuous input by outside parties to sustain it, even cash inputs, will result in the poor continuing to be under the thumb of those in power. Any agricultural method that damages the environment or doesn’t result in positive environmental consequences will eventually be stopped by those with environmental concerns. By devising a solution that improves the environment in conjunction with providing great results quickly and with substantial production of vegetable crops, it insures the future of the method is secure and sustainable indefinitely.
One concern for many of the poorest populations is food storage, especially with vegetables which often benefit from refrigeration after harvest. Having the garden close to the home, allowing the harvest and consumption of crops within just moments, thus eliminating concerns about storage and refrigeration, and providing the finest quality vegetables available. Better than the finest restaurants catering to the richest men in the world can provide. In addition, some of the scraps and by-products of the vegetable garden could be used for feeding poultry, which can generate eggs for protein as well as meat for consumption. The production of other livestock such as rabbits is also highly probably with excess production from gardens which eventually overflow with production. Learning to preserve vegetables through canning, freezing, and dehydrating crops can also become a part of a successful food gardening program over time for those who live in climate where production cannot be sustained throughout the year. An important consideration is the ability of the bales to easily and quickly drain moisture from heavy sustained rainfall, that even in climates with monsoon rains during certain times of year, the crops can still grow without the same issues that are impossible to deal with in traditional soil gardens. This exceptional drainage capacity allows production even during the rainy season in tropical climates, when normal gardens are flooded daily and must be covered by greenhouses and built in expensive raised beds. Production of fresh vegetables during this time of year can allow the producer a captive market for selling excess production to the marketplace and make profits that other growers find elusive during these difficult growing periods.
Allowing for urban dwellers to have access to community spaces within close proximity to their dwellings to set up small gardens is key. The soil is not a concern, nor is the slope the surface or other conditions that would traditionally make gardening impossible. Concerns about the theft of crops produced are an issue, and thus keeping bales and gardens close to dwellings is key to preventing these concerns. Convincing local governmental officials to support these new urban gardening efforts is key to their success.
We have many examples of successful gardeners around the world, who have taken control of much of their own food supply by growing their own food in a Straw Bale Garden. Many of these people from the poorest population within the community. Several examples in public housing sectors in the USA, including Detroit and Minneapolis, where some of the toughest neighborhoods in the country exist. We have several other proof-of-concept success stories in Argentina, South Africa, Philippines, Cambodia, Korea, Nepal, Netherlands, and many other countries.
One great example is near Davao in the southern Philippines, where bales were delivered to an urban housing facility with many very poor people. The project was funded via a grant program, however the cost of the gardening project itself (less the administrative costs due to start-up costs) was under $50 for 50 participants, so the cost is very low at approximately $1USD per participant. Once the concept is expanded, the cost could be driven to virtually zero or become profitable, pending the sales of bales to participants at a very low cost with a small profit margin, and/or donations of produce back to the program for sale to local markets, restaurants or schools.
It is really important to understand that producing food is just a part of what is accomplished by these urban gardens. Providing food for the participants and their families, is fundamental to success, but an immeasurable part of the project is the self-esteem and personal development of the participants. When they learn these unique and new special methods for growing their own food and sustaining a supply of food for their families, it gives an amazing sense of pride and accomplishment to these individual participants. It is easy to see the spread of this enthusiasm as the participants are eager to share what they have learned with other neighbors and friends, as they teach what they have learned about how to grow food using the STRAW BALE GARDENS® method.
For more information about the STRAW BALE GARDENS® method, please visit our website StrawBaleGardens.com or Facebook.com/LearnToGrowAStrawBaleGarden or simply google “straw bale gardening” and begin researching there.
Ms. Ernestine Umuhoza
Agriculture can contribute to eradication of extreme poverty through application of best agricultural practices in rural areas, by creating agriculture cooperatives to find the way of ensuring subsidence, good handling of the produce and easy marketing of the produce, creating agricultural jobs for the farmers, application of land husbandry technologies to control soil erosion and avoid soil nutrients losses to boost national.
Mr. Costas Apostolides
The experience from Cyprus was gained over the period 1960 with independence to 1970, with various projects:
The experience leads to the conclusion that agriculture cannot achieve the development of rural areas alone, but needs to be integrates in regional projects which draw from the agricultural sector, and diversify employment and income.
In the EU LIFE project above a “General Model for Sustainable Development in Rural Areas” was developed but unfortunately not tested for lack of funding and state support. Its central feature is the “Reduced Government Dependence –Self Help Model”, which harnesses and coordinates the public sector role in development, and supplements by self help. Rural Communities, NGOs , cooperative credit institutions, city dwellers, overseas emigrants from the area, and trade unions all cooperative to create initiatives for the development of the region or community, in coordinated cooperation with the state but also separately from the state through local initiatives. For example:
Though the ideas were developed for the Mediterranean they are transferable and can be adapted to other regions, where there are strong communities and where education among the population has progressed, and communities are well organized. Furthermore exchange of knowledge on what works is important and should be a matter for research.
Mr. Olabisi Omodara
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.
Ms. Maya Takagi
Dear members of the Forum,
We would like to thank you all, on behalf of FAO’s Strategic Programme on Rural Poverty Reduction, for your valuable contributions for this on line discussion. It was really rich of different elements and contexts, encompassing all the regions in the world and ranging from broad conceptual contributions to specific concrete approaches and solutions on the ground, at country level. Summing all, we can surely have a better picture of what is needed to eradicate extreme poverty from the agriculture angle.
We would like also to thank the FSN Forum moderators for the valuable work in making the summary and the digest of each of the contributions. We will consider all comments received for the finalization of the FAO Extreme Poverty Framework and Strategy Plan, which we will disseminate to participants to the discussion and to interested Forum members.
Ana Paula and Maya
Mr. Agape Ishabakaki
This is a great discussion indeed. It shows how nations and their people want to end hunger before massive population explosion in years to come.
They are great questions raised but would like to tackle on the first one;
qn1. Under what conditions can agriculture succeed in lifting people out of extreme poverty? Particularly those households with limited access to productive resources.
To my views is that since most of the citizens are involved in Agriculture mostly in parts of Africa forexample in Tanzania where i live, statistics shows that, 68% of the Tanzania depend on agriculture as the source of income, then followed by Uganda with 65% and Kenya with 41%. Through this quick statistics it implies that if there is huge investment in agriculture in african countries it will lead to zero hunger in the world since most of the citizens are involved in Agriculture and reduce poverty at high rate.
So through my research i found out that many don't succeed in Agriculture due to Poverty which is caused by other factors like Natural calamities/ Climate change because when these calamities strikes they remain poor. According to some findings from FAO is that, betwee 2003 to 2013 there have been 78 disasters of which affected 1.9 billion people in LDCs and caused more than $ 494 billions in damage. They further analysed 78 post-disaster needs assement in 48 LDCs and found out that 22% of the damages were absorbed by agriculture sector including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries.
Therefore the best solution to fight this tragedy is through "Introduction of Effective Crop Insurance to farmers" because when introduced it will lead to many benefits like;
1. Stability in income,
2. Awareness of the disasters and agricultural expertism from agriculturalist,
3. Minimal debts
4. Technology advancement due to colaboration with insurers who will be of great help to bring them good technology
5. High quality yield production
6. Peace of mind even when disasters strikes.
Those are my few contributions so far.
Thanks and have a great amazing Discussion for success.
Agape Ishabakaki| Intern
Sauti za Wananchi
Twaweza East Africa
Prof. Lily Dora Núñez de la Torre Caller
AGRICULTURA Y POBREZA EXTREMA EN PERÚ
Perú es un país con tradición agrícola ancestral exitosa, tanto por el uso de los suelos, el aprovechamiento de las tierras mediante la construcción de andenes y camellones, la rotación de cultivos, los sistemas de riego, la conservación de los productos utilizando técnicas como: el salado, ahumado, deshidratado; han permitido que las poblaciones rurales aún subsistan aplicando éstos saberes en medio de un crecimiento demográfico que exige mayor producción para el consumo.
Adicionalmente, con el crecimiento de la agroexportación de vegetales, frutas y granos, se ha impulsado la tecnificación de la actividad, especialmente en la zona de la costa.
Sin embargo existen graves problemas en relación a la “ ganancia” puesto que en general quien recibe el mayor beneficio no es el mismo productor, sino el intermediario que adquiere la producción en parcela y la población rural se mantiene en pobreza extrema. La agroexportación también es un grave problema para el consumidor interno que debe pagar elevados costos y conformarse con productos de baja calidad.
Un ejemplo reciente del manejo inadecuado de políticas de comercialización de productos se dio en el mes de enero de 2018, debido a la superproducción de papa blanca, variedad que es altamente utilizada en restaurantes especialmente como papas fritas, porque el gobierno permitió la IMPORTACIÓN de papas precocidas de uso inmediato procedentes de Holanda y otros países, con lo que se perjudicó a los productores que tuvieron que llegar a una huelga, bloqueando carreteras hasta que sus demandas fueran atendidas y se les comprara el producto a un precio justo.
En Perú no existe una planta de procesamiento, siendo la papa un producto originario, lo cual ha demostrado que las políticas que se aplican entre producción y comercialización no estaban articuladas ni existió planificación que beneficiara al productor campesino.
Un caso similar se da con la producción de banano en la zona amazónica, precios ínfimos en chacra y elevadas ganancias en la cadena productiva para los comerciantes.
Éstos casos demuestran que las políticas deben ser realistas y estar debidamente articuladas para favorecer al productor, organizar a las cooperativas productoras, dar el valor agregado en la misma zona, cubrir el mercado interno, lograr la inserción en el mercado exportador y paralelamente tecnificar la producción, capacitando a los campesinos para asumir responsabilidad de gestión.
Mg. LILY D. NÚÑEZ DE LA TORRE CALLER
LIMA - PERÚ
Mr. Rejaul Karim
Sorry for being late to see the post, particularly when the deadline is already over!
Just quick and small submission.
The subject matter is precisely over interrelation of extreme poverty and the possibility of playing a role by agriculture, however, as Ms Egal placed the question, the term 'agriculture' needs to be clarified mainly because crop-based agriculture is directly linked with land whereas. land fragmentation and landlessness are increasing at an alarming rate, particularly in South Asia.
As Colin Clerk estimated of 300 work days or I. Singh estimated about 3 hectares of land required to absorb labour of an average family, rarely or minimum they exist in South Asian agriculture. I suppose that poses the difficult question whether agriculture has any role to play for eradicating (extreme) poverty of this majority population.
And the second submission is related to the first. As both the estimation linked to necessarily the adequate job opportunity in agriculture. Except little in fisheries and livestock, crop agriculture cannot ensure 300 working days for a labour if not we are talking about value chain development in agriculture for the sluggish season with PPP model.
In terms of extreme poverty, I sense that it not only depends on the availability of jobs but also the rate of the average payment an agricultural labour gets and that as well depend on the supply of labour. Whatever the case is, labour has to be provided with multiple option and capacity to choose for the better to earn more which would lead naturally alleviation of the poverty caused by lesser or no-income
Last but not least, talking about agriculture, historically big farmers avail better options and opportunity having least risk. However, smallholders are at risk always and they are the most vulnerable group. Appropriate mechanisation for the fragmented landholdings and market linkage with adequate input with logical price may help enhancing the gap between input and output in agriculture that again may help making the agriculture profitable for the smallholders, without which only subsistence agriculture cannot free them from poverty.
By the way, contract farming or industrial farming may transform the smallholders into virtual landless who require an employment elsewhere and nobody knows that leasing the small piece of land would create enough income for the family of the smallholder! And that invites another submission that agriculture alone is not sufficient to eradicate the rural poverty!
Thank you all for the valuable discussion. Enjoyed a lot!
Dr. Gisèle Yasmeen
Greetings from beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Apologies for jumping in late.
In the interest of brevity, I would like to point out that some of the questions being posed are discussed in our recent report on micro, small and medium enterprises with respect to agri-food in the Philippines, Vietnam and Peru commissioned by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada on behalf of the Global Affairs Canada funded APEC-Growing Business Partnership. While extreme poverty is not the exact focus, strengthening sustainable agri-food systems can and does play an important role in lifting the poorest of poor out of poverty, particularly in rural areas. However, this should be supplemented by redistribution of resources - through various programs including but not limited to cash-transfers - and investments in female literacy and nutrition.
The study was published on March 23rd, 2018 and can be freely downloaded at:
Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or comments.
Gisèle Yasmeen, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia
Adjunct Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability
Royal Roads University
Prof. Mylene Rodríguez Leyton
I send greetings to the organizers and participants in this forum; I would like to share some thoughts from the academy, particularly from the area of public nutrition of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program and the Food and Human Behavior Group, at the Metropolitan University of Barranquilla, Colombia.
1. Under what conditions can agriculture succeed in lifting people out of extreme poverty? Particularly those households with limited access to productive resources.
The obligatory conditions for agriculture to succeed in the eradication of extreme poverty and the availability of land as the main asset for agricultural production, which have the necessary resources, access to credit, technical assistance that enables them to produce quality sustainable volume to meet the demands of the markets, that there is a marketing system that guarantees the fair conditions of commercialization to ensure income.
A significant proportion of the population of many countries of the world lives in rural areas, so it is necessary that rural workers have opportunities for education, health services, housing, living conditions and security that motivate the inhabitants of the country. rural sector to remain in their places of origin cultivating food for self-consumption and to market, which is free of all forms of violence or situation that leads to displacement to urban areas, which worsens poverty by increasing or generating Misery belts.
It must have capacity for food, mainly the young population, to produce a planned way, which transcends the activity of producing food, must be articulated in a sustainable food system and oriented to food and nutritional security contributing to the results in food of the population, in this way, the flow of food through productive chains that allow the flow of products, boosting not only markets and industry but also the nutrition of people not only through self-consumption of products for consumption food.
The strengthening of people in extreme poverty for agricultural activity is strengthened in a source of employment, the promotion of entrepreneurship projects that help generate income and in this way contribute to mobilize human, social and economic development.
2.What is the role of ensuring more sustainable natural resource management in supporting the eradication of extreme poverty?
The sustainable management of natural resources contributes to the eradication of extreme poverty since it guarantees the permanence of the necessary resources for production and marketing and for self-consumption.
The care of natural resources allows to develop productive processes of clean agriculture and agroecological systems.
3. Can those without the opportunities to pursue agricultural production and to access resources such as fish, forests and livestock find pathways out of extreme poverty through these sectors?
If the different types of activities different from the cultivation of the land but that have to do with the obtaining of products for human consumption and that are viable to form productive chains that generate increase of the income, decrease of the prices of the foods and the activity becomes a source of employment.
4. What set of policies are necessary to address issues connecting food security and extreme poverty eradication in rural areas?
The policies necessary to address food security and eradicate poverty must be multisectoral policies related to the development of peasant capacities, social welfare policies that guarantee their living conditions and promote social development and commercialization.
This includes the promotion of the permanence of the rural population in their areas of development; likewise, promotion of family agriculture linked to local development contributing to food sovereignty.
5. Can you share any examples of experiences that succeeded in reducing (or eradicating) extreme poverty through an agricultural pathway?
Below I will illustrate this topic with some experiences that show how agricultural production has great potential for improving the quality of life of the rural population; however, paradoxically it is not always a reality, it is the rural population that presents the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, the living conditions are precarious and where there are higher rates of malnutrition.
The Colombian agricultural sector presents a series of situations and experiences that become lessons learned for the definition of policies oriented to the poorest population.
Colombia is a country with favorable factors for agricultural production such as the climatic variety due to the geographical location in the tropical zone, the productive potential of the soils; as an example we can mention the cultivation and commercialization of some products such as coffee have been the engines of the economy for many years and Colombia has been a leader in the world market generating significant income in the gross domestic product.
The reactivation of the agricultural sector with the peace process consolidated in the present government, the agricultural sector has once again become stronger and this is how the Colombian government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has promoted the agricultural policy Colombia Siembra, it represents a commitment to a new rebirth of the Colombian countryside, aimed at strengthening the development of the agricultural sector for the validity of this government. It is proposed to increase the supply of agricultural products for the country and will promote agricultural exports with added value, through the increase of the sown area and productivity.
This initiative will benefit all agricultural stakeholders (Family Farming, Farmers and Agribusinesses), providing them with adequate financial instruments to meet the needs of their productive activities. Colombia Siembra will create a favorable environment to boost the investments required in the new areas, technological packages, water solutions, infrastructure, machinery, research and technology transfer.
The Colombia Program sows that has the following objectives:
• Increase the agricultural supply to guarantee food security in the country.
• Increase the area and yields destined to the production and promotion of agricultural and agroindustrial exports.
• Promote the development of agricultural businesses to improve the income of producers.
• Strengthen technological development and services in the agricultural sector.
Coffee Production in Colombia, this is another case that leaves lessons learned regarding the eradication of poverty. Coffee producers have formed associations and have established policies to develop the sector and establish measures when the world price of grain decreases generating economic crisis. In 1927 the Colombian coffee growers united in order to create an organization that would represent them nationally and internationally, and that would watch over their welfare and the improvement of their quality of life. Thus was born the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC), considered one of the largest rural NGOs in the world, becoming the main guild of Colombia, with presence in all rural areas where coffee is produced in the country. Its central axis is the coffee producer and his family, so that his business is sustainable, that the coffee communities strengthen their social fabric and that Colombian coffee continues to be considered the best in the world.
The objective of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is to increase the quality of life of Colombian coffee producers by contributing to the reduction of poverty; however there are other actors in this productive process that are the grain collectors and the scope the Federation is limited for this population; given that coffee cultivation takes place in some seasons of the year, harvesting is a manual process, occupies a high number of workers, but the employment generated is seasonal, who perform this work are rural inhabitants of low educational level, that do not have direct employment contracts by the owners of the crops, therefore they are not always fairly remunerated; it is the owner of the crop who decides the payment for each kilo of coffee collected; their lifestyle is nomadic, since when the coffee harvest is over, they migrate in search of other income opportunities; These conditions are what perpetuate the cycle of poverty in this population.
Below I share some links with publications of interest on the role of agriculture in the fight against poverty and attached a research article that illustrates the case of coffee pickers in Colombia
Four ways to fight poverty with agriculture, experience in southern Brazil.
Renew agriculture to fight poverty.
This is the key to eradicating hunger in Latin America http://www.portafolio.co/internacional/clave-erradicar-hambre-america-l…