Å lete etter løsninger

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The Hindu:

«the Doha Development Agenda stalled because of Northern obduracy on its agricultural subsidy regime and Southern reticence to adopt the strict intellectual property framework favoured by the North.»



UNDP: Trekk fattige med i næringslivet

Afrikas optimistiske vekst de seneste årene har ikke kommet det fattige flertallet til gode. For å klare dette må næringslivet trekke folk med lave inntekter inn som leverandører, ansatte, produsenter og kunder, viser ny UNDP-rapport om det som kalles «inkluderende næringsliv».  «Realizing Africa’s Wealth» ble lansert i Cape Town i dag.

SABMiller – bryggeriselskapet med hovedbase i Sør-Afrika –  kjøper råvarer fra rundt 50000 småbønder i Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sør-Sudan, Uganda, Mosambik og Tanzania.


Det er ofte enkelt å peke på problemene, men vanskeligere å komme opp med mulige løsninger. Derfor vil jeg rose Duncan Green som blogger på vegne av den britiske utviklingsorganisasjonen Oxfam, som forsøker å være konstruktiv:

«Engaging with the market is always messy and difficult (so much easier to be a purist and just criticise them, unless you happen to be a farmer desperate to sell your crop at a decent price), but get it right, and an awful lot of people benefit» skriver han i sin siste post.

Tema er contract farming, der en annen fornuftig fyr, Olivier De Schutter, sier følgende om hva som må til:

«According to De Schutter, a fair contract should include minimum price guarantees, visual demonstration of quality standards (presumably to avoid the possibility of confusion or deception of illiterate farmers), the provision of inputs at or below commercial rates, tailored dispute settlement mechanisms, and the possibility to set aside a portion of land for food crops to meet the needs of the family and the community. Since decision-making is also proven to shift to men where cash crops are produced instead of food crops, De Schutter emphasizes the need to pay greater attention to the gender impacts of contract farming.


I would add a couple of things – what responsibility do contracting companies have for the wages and conditions of labourers on the contract farms (e.g. the Lao chili story)? And companies should also share risks with the farmers, eg by helping to pay insurance premia against crop failure», skriver Green.

Les mer her: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=7298

og her: http://www.srfood.org/

Cornell’s Per Pinstrup-Andersen: Don’t Believe the Hype (and Data) Surrounding Food Price Crises

Cites Food Price Volatility as Greater Danger than High Food Prices

So what lessons should global institutions take from these findings?

First, when working with governments to suggest policies, global institutions should not assume unitary government decisionmaking. Even in the United States, Pinstrup-Andersen pointed out, the government doesn’t always speak with one voice. Secondly, he said, they should not be “fooled by rhetoric” about helping smallholders, and should encourage governments to implement policies that really support them. One such example included policies designed to help keep food prices artificially low, which helped the urban poor, who are net-buyers of food, while keeping incomes low for the rural poor, who are net-sellers of food.

Most importantly, policymakers need reliable and up-to-date data and information to help guide their decisionmaking. Here Pinstrup-Andersen sees plenty of room for improvement. “We need a data monitoring system from organizations whose funding does not depend on the results,” he said. Otherwise, agencies will “paint the worst picture they can” in an effort to secure more funding, and end up contributing to the vicious cycle of high food price volatility.