I recently found the 2008-2009 UN report on the trends on sustainable development (http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/resources/res_publtrends_2009.shtml). This reports talks about agriculture, rural development, land, desertification and drought as major trends in this field.
The report states as agriculture is key to poverty reduction. It states: “GDP growth generated in agriculture is, on average, four times more effective in benefiting the poorest half of the population than growth generated outside agriculture, although this effect declines as countries get richer.” In many impoverish societies, agriculture is the sole provider of income for families. With the ever growing impacts caused by great powers (industrialized countries) on the environment, we always seem to forget that the greatly affected are the small and poor countries that rely on the environment for sole income survival. Furthermore, research as shown that external assistance to agriculture as decreased with time (agriculture accounted for just 4% of bilateral assistance in 2003, down from 16% in 1980)(there is a great graph about that in the report which I cannot import) This is the ever continuing debate about how western civilization and great powers influences the poor inadvertently and then reduce the help they provide.
As I mentioned in one of my previous blog about developing countries, can developing countries understand the realm of the sustainable development problem when all their tools to survive are taken from them. It should be an important element in their overall survival as we are all part of this one planet, but westerners do not understand the economics of being poor. I do not want to blame the western world for all the faults of the world, but just to state that they are a big part in the effect on the planet and others, so they should also own their responsibility and act appropriately. To finish, I really like this quote I found in this UN report: “Feeding the majority of the poor and vulnerable populations in Africa, while preserving the natural resource base and the environment, is one of the most pressing development challenges of the twenty-first century.” —Akin Adesina, AGRA
It is for us the new generation to act!!!