- Published on Saturday, 30 June 2007 03:58
I.The rediscovery of rural development – is it an opportunity or a cause for alarm?
1.Civil society groups have been demanding for decades that rural development receives new emphasis in national and international development policies. More than 75 percent of the hungry and malnourished live in rural areas. Half of them are marginalized smallholder farmers and more than two thirds are women. They are hardly able to survive under the present circumstances. National agricultural policies both in the North and in the South are marginalising them without directing any meaningful support to their needs. They have been forgotten in international agricultural policies – not only have their local markets been traded away, but corporately controlled input and output groups are now dominating and controlling their markets. These policies force food producers either to be competitive in the face of subsidised imports or quit. How can rural development policy be called “pro-poor”, if the poor are glossed over and policies that are biased against their own development are put in place? They are confronted with an international development agenda that is strongly biased toward the privatisation of natural resources and basic services as a guarantee for the so-called efficient use of such resources. These national and international trends are threatening the economic and cultural survival of many rural producers.
- Published on Thursday, 28 June 2007 00:04
My country – Mozambique – is one of those African countries in which the consequences of colonization, neo- or re-colonization, and structural adjustment programs are visible. There is a growing number of poor people living in rural areas without basic public services like water, health services and education, while our main urban centres are showing a concentration of wealth in the hands a small group of people. The suburbs are becoming more crowded than ever, and everyday life is a big challenge.
- Published on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 00:49
Rural development Conference in Berlin
Rural communities are facing a dramatic crisis. All over the world, in poor countries as well as in so-called developped countries, small-scale family farmers are forced to leave the countryside because they can’t access land, seeds, water or credit and because they can’t sell their products on the local markets at fair prices. As a result, out of the 854 millions hungry people in the world, the two third are rural workers, small-scale family farmers and indigenous people.
- Published on Friday, 12 January 2007 23:37