Each day we are posting three of your responses to the question: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?
Photo credit: Bernard Pollack
1. Peter Mietzner, Namibia
“Most definitely at the small-farming sector …. that is the key to more economic success!”
2. Madyo Couto, TFCA , Mozambique
“I would see it in two levels: 1 – Investment to promote more efficient and more nutritious subsistence farming; 2 – Investment to promote commercial farming, creating linkages between farmers and markets (private sector).
3. Norman Thomas Uphoff, Cornell University, USA
“On the need for more funding support that connects small-scale farmers to the private sector, I would want to know how this gets done, whether the smallholders are organized and in some position to bargain with private traders, merchants, exporters, etc. so that there is a fair distribution of the value-added creation.
Also, if farmers are growing non-consumable items (like flowers, or oils), they can suffer if market prices fall or traders shift to some other cheaper market. (They can play off groups of growers against each other, so simply having farmers in producer or marketing co-ops is not always a hedge against exploitation.) If they are growing food crops, esp. non-perishable ones, households can at least subsist on their produce if market forces leave them in limbo.
On the need for funding to move from food aid to investment in development for food security assistance, the question is how to do this. The U.S. Embassy in Lusaka in 2006 gave support to a really promising local initiative from Solwezi in Northwest Province, to disseminate knowledge about the System of Rice Intensification to Zambian farmers. The World Conservation Society, through its COMACO program, is taking up this opportunity for farmers in the northeast. A farmers’ cooperative in Solwezi showed that rice yield over 6 t/ha was possible without relying on chemical fertilizer, just by modifying their practices. This could do a lot for food security in Zambia.”
See Part I to hear from Dave Andrews (USA), Dave Johnstone (Cameroon), and Pierre Castagnoli (Italy).
See Part II to hear from Paul Sinandja (Togo), Dov Pasternak (Niger), and Pascal Pulvery (France).
See Part III to hear from Christine McCulloch (UK), Hans R Herren (VA), and Amadou Niang (Mali).
See Part IV to hear from Michel Koos (Netherlands), Don Seville (USA), and Ron Gretlarson.
See Part V to hear from Shahul Salim, Roger Leakey (Kenya), and Monty P Jones (Ghana).
See Part VI to hear from Calestous Juma (USA), Ray Anderson (USA), and Rob Munro (Zambia).
See Part VII to hear from Tom Philpott (USA), Grace Mwaura, and Thangavelu Vasantha Kumaran.