Part 29: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?

Each day we run three of your responses to the question: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?

Photo credit: Bernard Pollack

1. Eric Kisiangani, Practical Action, Kenya says:

“Many small-scale farmers feel that markets often reward them inadequately for their produce. Consequently, they become de-motivated from investing and making improvements in their production systems management of the natural resource. More donor investments should be redirected towards improving strategies that enable farmers to realize price rewards that they will be happy with for their produce. A range of interventions including strengthening producer groups into cooperatives, skill development in agro-processing and value addition, communal storage to absorb the glut during harvesting, cold storage facilities etc.”

2. Stephen Muchiri says:

“My response is that more funds should be directed towards supporting small holder farmers, especially functions that support them to develop pro-poor infrastructure, like storage, agroprocessing, pro-poor polices in agriculture and trade, pro-poor agriculture credit access, pro-poor communication and information systems and generally capacity to meet national and regional markets.”

3. Luis Gasser says:

“This is clearly a million dollar question. Not easy to answer. All of us who are in some way involved in rural development or agriculture know where we want to see more money being spent. But things are not that obvious. We have to ask ourselves what merit there can be in increasing the ecological footprint of communities by encouraging them to abandon subsistence farming methods and by introducing them to market-oriented agriculture, or even worse, commercial farming? It is a fallacy to believe that communities can actually improve their living standards by increasing agricultural output. Non-agricultural activities are most likely the only way towards a perceived higher living standard.  People can use their traditional or remarkable new skills to produce non-agricultural products for market or to provide services. They may need help but this path will give them a fair opportunity to do something about their own lives. It’s giving people a chance to make use of their unused skills and talents rather than forcing them to stay in farming. Nobody must think that all those people in developing countries involved in farming are actually farmers out of free choice. Most of them will be happy to abandon farming altogether or even to leave their land for other opportunities. It is a mistake to make people believe that increasing agricultural output could be a possible solution to the misery in countless rural communities in developing countries. Far too much effort has been put into promoting high input agricultural methods without noticeable improvement. Any aid program offered should always try to build upon proven survival strategies and the wisdom of local communities.

People know what they need the most. They surely need food security but they also need freedom of choice.  This is where more funding should be directed, namely into education, training, extension services for farmers, as well as all other aspects of food security that will allow local communities to improve and make best use of their natural resources and have alternatives to farming.  It may sound contradictory but a lot more agricultural funding must be diverted to opening the doors to those who want to leave agriculture altogether. But food security, a very complex issue, must not be compromised or neglected. More funds must be directed to local communities (e.g. mini loans) so that they may themselves deal with this issue, but not necessarily without outside supervision, guidance, and assistance. Why not allow a greater diversity in economic and social development, particularly when it comes to the issue of food security?”

Part 1Dave Andrews (USA), Dave Johnstone (Cameroon), & Pierre Castagnoli (Italy)
Part 2
Paul Sinandja (Togo), Dov Pasternak (Niger), & Pascal Pulvery (France)
Part 3
:  Christine McCulloch (UK), Hans R Herren (USA), & Amadou Niang
Part 4
Michel Koos (Netherlands), Don Seville (USA), & Ron Gretlarson
Part 5
:  Shahul SalimRoger Leakey (Kenya), & Monty P Jones (Ghana)
Part 6
Calestous Juma (USA), Ray Anderson (USA), & Rob Munro (Zambia)
Part 7
Tom Philpott (USA), Grace Mwaura, & Thangavelu Vasantha Kumaran
Part 8
Peter Mietzner (Namibia), Madyo Couto (Mozambique), & Norman Thomas Uphoff (USA)
Part 9
Tilahun Amede (Ethiopia), Shree kumar Maharjan (Nepal), & Ashwani Vasishth (USA)
Part 10:  Mary Shawa (Malawi), Wayne S. Teel (USA), & Bell Okello (Kenya)
Part 11
: Mark Wells (South Africa), Pashupati Chaudhary (USA), & Megan Putnam (Ghana)
Part 12
David Wallinga (USA), Ysabel Vicente, & Esperance Zossou (Benin)
Part 13Susi Basith (Indonesia), Diana Husic (USA), & Carolina Cardona (Togo)
Part 14
:  Rachel FriedmanJennifer Geist (USA), & Lowden Stoole
Part 15:
Antonio Requejo, Alexandra Spieldoch (USA), & Daniele Giovannucci (USA)
Part 16Mary Njenga (Kenya), Mabel Toribio,Makere Stewart-Harawira (Canada)
Part 17Dale Lewis (Zambia), Chris Ojiewo (Tanzania), & Molly Mattessich (USA)
Part 18
Gregory Bowman (USA), Lucila Nunes de Vargas, & Caroline Smith
Part 19
Tesfom Solomon (Sweden), Sahr Lebbie (USA), & Jenny Goldie (Australia)
Part 20
Steven SweetVicki Lipski, & Viola Ransel
Part 21: Puspa R. TiwariJohan Staal (Netherlands), & Kevin Kamp (USA)
Part 22Steve Osofsky (USA), John Vickrey (USA), & Michael Levenston (Canada)
Part 23: Vasan (India), Excellent Hachileka (Zambia), & Royce Gloria Androa (Uganda)
Part 24
: Pam Allee, Dennis Calvan, & Salibo (Burkina Faso)
Part 25
: Tony Gasbarro (USA), John Hassall,  & Kamal Khadka
Part 26: Farid Waliyar, Paul Barker (Tanzania), Grace Ndungu (Kenya)
Part 27: Tozie Zokufa (South Africa), Krystyna Swiderska (UK), & Al-Hassana Idriss Outman (Senegal)
Part 28: Jan Helsen (Kenya), Charlie Balanon, and Ronia Tanyongana (Tanzania)

What is your answer? Email me at Dnierenberg@Worldwatch.org or tweet your response to @WorldWatchAg

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