POVERTY ERADICATION AND DEMOCRACY
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Guests, Members of the SSUP. Good Morning! It is a great privilege and honor for me to address the 2nd Conference of the SSUP, which I regard it as a historical event. I would like to thank all participants, Members of the SSUP and in particular the Chairman of the SSUP Mr. Yasiin Mahi, for giving me this historical opportunity.
POVERTY ERADICATION AND DEMOCRACY
Poverty is proven to be a fuel for terror, a threat to human rights, democracy, peace and stability. Like wise, Poverty alleviation Programs can be achieved only when there is an understanding of the Nature and causes of poverty. It is absolutely imperative to highlight that all dimension of poverty are considered in the assessment, such as: poor income, lacking of basic education, absence of health programs and demean of full exercise for democratic principles and human rights. All as a pragmatically point of view are combined in so-called Human development. As a matter of fact, out of the six billion’s of today’s World population, an estimation of 1.3 billions is living in poverty on a less than one dollar income per individual. Worldwide every day, about 24,000 people die from hunger, starvation and related disease. According to the most recent World census, there are approximately one billion people whom are living in the rural areas and they are engaged in crop and livestock production. We mostly attempt to fight against hunger with the intention to eradicate poverty, and if succeeded it will certainly lead to create peace, democracy and good will among all people and nations. Thus, in order to measure domestic poverty limit we must consider – household income, education, health, market, infrastructure, technologies and development.
The overall concept for World poverty is the number of people who live in households whose daily consumption per head is less than US dollar one, and continuous declining per capita food production. Therefore, it has been suggested that there should be at least 2% grow per year in the agricultural sector, and that growth will be obtained in focusing investment in research and extension, which will lead to the way to how best to ensure food security and alleviate poverty. It is therefore, necessary to emphasize the need for policies that promote development and agricultural productivity and sustain-ability through public and private investment in education, health, road, market and research / extension, and encouraging intensification of inputs; which is considered a key to food security and poverty alleviation. The cause of slow growth in food production include political instability and civil wars, low priority to food production, low status of women who produce most food, droughts and desertification; and the capacity to import the required food which has been constrained by the limited purchasing power. Realistically, developing countries needs development plans that prioritize agriculture to be the center of the economic growth, and encourage investment in the rural areas. There is a need for coherence and clarity within the agricultural sector, establishing cooperation and linkages with other sector, improving governance, so that farmers will not live a life of economic uncertainty. To develop the technology to make rural women more productive, research system must focus more effectively on the needs of female farmers. Even where women have equal legal status of social equity, rural women may be shy and reluctant to speak up in meetings in the presence of men from the same village. Women lack of confidence because of lower educational levels and less contact with the outside world. Men are seen as authority figures whose decisions are to be followed.
Small scale farmers which produce most food in developing countries need reform policies, and they can be a real asset when supported by appropriate policies on infrastructure, marketing information, credit, research, extension and access to inputs. We must dedicate sustainable development in focusing the promotion of small-scale farms, community capacity building, innovative agricultural practices, institutional building, and efficient technology development and transfer institutions; and the promotion of the local industrializations. They should also have to be structured and managed in ways that allow them to make efficient use of the external and internal funds, knowledge and technologies. Honestly, improving linkages mechanism and reorganizing research and Extension institutions will certainly create condition to overcome constraint and improve effectiveness in focusing a shared goal, accountability and partnership with beneficiaries. The poverty level is growing and the people are fleeing the rural areas and heading toward the big cities where they hope to get there a better life. The only way to keep people in the rural area is to make life better for them, and help them grow more food. Helping them become informed and develop their skills and knowledge; and educate them to build basic thinking abilities and increasing their understanding, in order to strive for better quality of life. To eliminate rural poverty, it is necessary to build upon and connect several principles, such as: Rural growth, participatory decision-making, decentralization, market function, sustainable resources management, rural education, rural health, safe water, and family’s income and employment opportunities. Apparently, the war against poverty around the World may never end, but at least some battles should be won to assure path that leads to prosperity and sustainable development. The role in alleviating poverty needs a better understanding of the rural development, knowing that most of the poor people live in rural area. The challenge of reducing the people living below poverty will remain the principle task facing developing countries in the coming years; and they should support an international competitive private sector, and improve their public administration systems. Good governance is essential for sound economic management and long-term growth. Thus, to ensure a sustained rural development we will need to focus in the foundation for long-term development which should be systemically addressed. Innovative policies have to be devised to ensure that adequate educational and health facilities become a reality for the vast segment of the population that has yet to enjoy such benefits. Social and legal structures that prevent the full and equitable participation of women in all development activities should be removed. However, there is a need to provide more focused support to upgrade the knowledge and skills of those public and private sector officials who are entrusted with the management of Key development functions. I am confident that this type of ongoing Cooperation is an essential example for generating and delivering Messages for developing philosophy which is based for proper Education and cooperation that leads to great opportunities toward Sustainable agriculture and rural development. Global research institutions has proving that the Decision-making power to the community and involve the participation Of all concerned in the plan of action seem to be more successful and Successful strategies may include improved access to information, Monitoring and evaluation, and for democratic decentralized Sustain-ability. Most rural programs in developing countries have been identified, formulated and appraised by outside experts; and the local Community has only been involved in a limited way during the Implementation process. Therefore, lack of involvement or insufficient Community participation results in many cases in the failure of the Program in many cases. In order to succeed beneficiaries and all involved institutions must participate at every stage of the program Planning, implementation and management. The use of technology to eradicate poverty and redress economic inequity should be considered a Management issues. This strategy will contribute to the development of new options for the beneficiaries; and should be seen from the Prospective of enhancing beneficiaries’ capabilities. Illiteracy should be reduced to the lowest level, and literacy of Women should reach the highest level. Improving the education system will certainly increase the basic conditions for sustainable Development and democratic system. In the participatory approach we will shift the focus from top-down to participatory bottom-up Approaches and from centralized to decentralized decision-making, and that will put the institutions under pressure for appropriate change; and understanding that lack of knowledge is disease.
PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT GUIDELINE:
A GOOD MODEL IS TO SHOW AND TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO
FISH RATHER THAN JUST GIVING THEM A FISH
It is necessary also to focus on rural development’s effectiveness, efficiency and accountability, which are related to each other. As it was highlighted earlier: a method of non-formal education is the participatory system, which can educate people in improving their knowledge, skills, attitudes that will enhance their ability to deal with their problems and meet new opportunities to achieve a better quality of life. The experience Teaches that a well organized and dynamic community characterized by Freedom and democracy will certainly give a top priority to Sustainable development, which will increase the quality, quantity and availability of technologies and advice for efficiency and Profitability, while improving food security and equity. Many programs aim to improve institutional sustainability by strengthening existing organizational infrastructures and developing a self-reliant, which will improve sustainability with the objectives to increase food Production in a sustainable way and enhance food security. United States leads the World in agricultural productivity, and this success depends in part with the American infrastructure for generating and disseminating appropriate and useful technologies. Many People are getting involved in social development and much International development Aid and agencies have set up their base in some countries to help in reducing and eradicating poverty. This Process is certainly going to help in reducing hunger, accelerating Development, assuring welfare, which will create constructive and enduring contribution toward peace, democracy and prosperity. It is waise to say that issues like improved self-governance and improved decentralization efforts through better representation and accountability indicate that Participatory approaches have more to offer. The participatory Approach is social mobilization, which includes local organizational Development action planning, learning through trying out new ideas and options and evaluation of the action by the people involved in the Process. Participatory approach, means strengthening mechanism for Joint learning and sharing of experiences, and communication among beneficiaries and between beneficiaries and outsiders; and the immediate impact is a more efficient development and spreading of Technologies and improving the self-governance of the community. Therefore, it is necessary to address the issues in using appropriate techniques and keeping in mind those good science/technologies would lead to significant improvement in social welfare. Here we are encouraging community to become the only people who can make effective Decisions about how to manage their interests within the many environmental and social constraints they face. Keeping in mind that there is a multitude of social and cultural factors affecting how a farmer will choose the suitable and appropriate farming system. Moreover, the role of the extension service is to help farmers form sound Ideas and to make good decision by communicating with them and providing them with the information they need. This gives farmers more control over their own lives. Learning new ways of solving problems has to start with beneficiaries’ needs and priorities. To alleviate Poverty and hunger it is necessary to increase the agricultural Production; and it is necessary to remember that the adoption of the recommended technologies and practices will lead to increase domestic/national production, economical development and will improve the beneficiary’s economical growth and their living conditions. Capacity building and institutionalizing must be closely linked and should be considered to be a priority. The educational Institutions should take a lead role in developing appropriate Strategies and activities to build capacity. In many countries lack of access to rural credit facilities, lack of capital, poor physical and Market infrastructures as well as lack of health care, proper Education and scarcity of improved planting material and livestock breeds, were identified as major impediment for achieving Self-sufficiency on food. Democracy and hunger cannot go together. Therefore, can be no place for hunger and poverty in a modern World in which science and technology have created conditions for abundance and equitable Development.
MOHAMED ALI ABUKAR, PhD