Integrated Planning and Management of Land ResourcesFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002

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Message 47

Subject: Message 47 - Intervention by Mahesh D. Upadhya, with comments on previous messages (39, 40 and 44) Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 18:23:12 +0100 From: RIO10-Moderator To: "'RIO10-L@mailserv.fao.org'" > Dear Colleagues, > Messages 39 and 40 by Miguel and Brian have touched points that are in > discussion in most of the developing countries. What has been indicated in > the above two messages are true and must be attended to if the aims are to > be achieved. BUT who will bell the cat who will make the governments do > what Brian rightly says. Corruption has penetrated to the core of > existence in all the countries and to get the four afflictions uprooted > from these societies will be a hard if not impossible task. > As for the increase in productivity based on environmentally friendly > technologies, it is a good dream but the fruits of labor do not go to the > resource poor farmer. Middleman reaps the maximum benefit. How can > poverty be eliminated when society is a parasite > on the poor? What the resource poor farmer produces, even marginally, either > gets sucked up by the middleman by paying as little as he can manage since > the producer does not have any access to the market or has put his produce up > as a collateral for the inputs he buys from the middleman (2/3rd or 3/4th > share). Secondly the post harvest management is so poorly developed that > substantial portion of the produce is lost. Thirdly at the site of > production there are no avenues for the producers to add value to his > produce. Let the planners have a hard look at the problems for this > resource poor producer if he has to be lifted from his miserable economic > status leading to his economic well being. > As Brian rightly points out, in those days the producer had the wisdom to > care for the sustainability of his resources because the governments of > that time helped him (even at the village level) and the society looked at > the resources as the gift of nature to be maintained for posterity. Societies > of those days infused this feeling in their next generation. This feeling > is missing from the large section of present day societies. "Me before > others" has become the slogan of the day. > Furthermore, the resource poor farmer can not depend on the > governments to look after his interests. The resource poor farmer is not treated as the foundation stone of the society who toils > to feed and cloth all and needs support for him to care for posterity. > Lastly, as Hari points out in Message 44, the developing countries do > not have the factual data on what they have and the present state of their > resources - including land - for appropriate measures to be suggested for > implementation. > In the discussions therefore, let us have a hard look at the post-harvest > issues, appropriate shares to the producer (for the resource poor farmer, the Grameen > movement in Bangladesh is one step in that direction) and the stock of > resources. > > Mahesh D. Upadhya, Ph.D., FNAAS (India) > Visiting Principal Scientist, > International Potato Center - CIP - Centro Internacional de la Papa>

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