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. Betty Maeda says:
“I would like to see more agriculture funding directed towards educating and empowering small scale farmers.”
2. Mary Mavanza, Jane Goodall Institute, Tanzania says:
“I would like to see more funding directed to improve quality of agricultural products and link local producer associations with international markets.”
3. Naude Malan, University of Johannesburg, South Africa:
“The world food system reflects how our society is constructed and these imply problems that concern the sustainability of development, the loss of biodiversity, and the inequitable redistribution of the benefits of development. Agricultural funding should be directed to address these problems, but this is a complex solution. We need to investigate how agriculture could become a means to transform our society to one where biodiversity is treasured; we need to direct funding to the preservation of wild genetic resources and the use, domestication and improvement of new crops in our food systems. I know of many ‘wild’ crops that are used in traditional cuisine in my country and we should be cultivating and eating these.
The next issue would be to supplement the biological effort of utilising new crops with social scientific strategies and social policies that would do the following: distribute land and competence to farm the land equitably. The equitable ownership of land and cultivating the ability of those disenfranchised from land to farm the land could be more important in the long run than merely securing biodiversity, as it is our use of land and crops that is key to their survival outside protected areas. Agriculture represents a huge opportunity to equitably integrate the poor into the market and in this way create opportunities for them to improve their lives.”