Part 50: 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?

At the World Vegetable Center in Arusha, Tanzania (photo credit: Bernard Pollack

1. Njoh Wanduku, World Vegetable Center, Cameroon says:

“Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my feelings. I will prefer the funding support to be directed to agricultural initiatives that are sustainable and aim to reduce poverty and malnutrition with preference to small and medium size initiatives in the rural areas.”

2. Brian Cady says:

“In a meta-analysis, economists and Professors Wallace Huffman (Iowa State University) and Robert Evenson (Yale University) have found that Ag. R&D returns, on average, more than ten times its cost to society, and that rates of return on research average 53% per year, with a median of 45% per year, summing up 35 studies. (Fuglie K O; Heisey P W Sept 2007)

Perhaps foreign investors, if aware of the opportunities here, could stimulate investment, via local government bonds, in Ag R&D, serving the poor while pulling their own chestnuts from the fire.

Furthermore, in assisting the poor, who are 70% rural worldwide, Kevin Cleaver finds Ag. R & D 2.5 to 3 times more effective in increasing income than other R & D. Dr. Cleaver also sanely uses more than economic measures of investment impact, taking into account that our lives are affected by non-economically-measured factors, as known to those of us who breath air that is still not metered and marketed.

Perhaps those best equipped to guide funding of Ag R & D are the rural poor themselves. Though they may lack knowledge of specific techniques and materials, they have judgement about the situation impacted, and perhaps they could be approached by those who do know these techniques and materials, and, as a democratic group, decide funding priorities, as has worked so well in the Grameen Bank.”

3. Brian Nugent, VSF, Kenya says:

“Funding for the food sector needs to go to the farmers and pastoralists who produce it, through moving away from a needs based deficiency perspective to an assets based strengths perspective. Work with what people have (skills; knowledge) and build on that, this presents people with a greater and more responsible role for their own futures.”

To read more responses see:

Part 45: Dyno Keatinge (Taiwan), Gizachew Sisay (Ethiopia), and Anne Woodfine (UK)
Part 46: Faruq Banna, Arnold Kauk (Australia), and Shahul Salim (India)
Part 47: Reed Sims (USA), Karen Soeters (Netherlands), and Kebebe Ergano
Part 48: @FoodSecurityNet, Howarth Bouis, and Roger (Uganda)
Part 49: Quintino Cabral Quade (São Tomé and Príncipe), Jill M. Smith Warning (USA), and Kathleen Guillozet (Ethiopia)

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

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