« This Week's Edition of the Global Food for Thought News Brief | Main | This Week's Edition of the Global Food for Thought News Brief »

Friday, July 27, 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The aid industry needs to get away from its obsession with keeping poor people on their tiny plots of farmland.

The problem I've seen with Feed the Future is that it ignores the basic problem of agricultural crowding, i.e. families trying to live on plots that have been subdivided down until they're far too small to support them in anything but grinding poverty, even with the adoption of improved seeds, fertilisers, etc. When you look at areas like Rwanda, southern Uganda, coastal West Africa, there are far more people on the land than it can support at a decent living standard. The small plot size prevents adoption of technologies like tractors, irrigation, and other things that boost yields elsewhere.

The South African Minister of Industry has made the point that large numbers of industrial jobs need to be created to get many of these crowded rural families off the land. This would serve three purposes: Provide a better living to the people concerned, facilitate more productive agriculture, and boost industrial self-sufficiency. Food production could then rise and much of the pressure could be taken off rapidly-degrading soil.

This is a well-worded non-partisan appeal as well as a good foundation from which to proceed in dialogue and creative considerations for action. The comparisons to the AIDS control campaign are effective because both mass-scale afflictions of disease and food insecurity are prone to spark donor fatigue. This is an energizing and optimistic appeal from a stance of logic.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

About the Blog

The Global Food for Thought blog, twitter feed, and facebook wall, provide updated information, commentary, and analysis on breaking developments on international agriculture, food, and related issues.

The Chicago Council and the Global Agricultural Development Initiative do not endorse the opinions expressed in this blog, twitter, and facebook but merely provide a forum for this information, commentary, and debate.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blogroll

1,000 Days Blog

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Notes, Bread for the World Institute

IGD Blog, Initiative for Global Development

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

FAO Washington Blog, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Field Focus Blog, Landesa

Food Tank Blog, Food Tank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

Nourishing the Planet Blog, Worldwatch Institute

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog

Oxfam America Blog

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

Trickle Up Blog, Trickle Up

We Have Decided

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA