Ophir farmers- organisations involved in oil-palm growing in Indonesia

Until the early seventies, it was felt that small farmers could not compete with the professional management of large plantations when growing plantation crops on a commercial scale. Following the initial experiences of a plantation company in New Guinea involving smallholder contract cropping, the plantation industry in Malaysia, together with the World Bank developed a system - named Felda - of contract growing of oil palms and rubber by small farmers. Unfortunately, for political reasons, the participatory elements of the original Felda concept were very soon abandoned in favour of a state intervention approach.

K. D. Peters
Project Nusa Tenggara
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
- German Technical Cooperation -
Mataram / NTB, Indonesia

Archive, Edition 2000/01

Disaster and conflict management

Development cooperation torn between disaster management, preventing crises and securing sustainable development

When assessing the past decade of development, the issue of development cooperation will undoubtedly take on major significance, especially in a context of disasters, crises and conflicts and in the wake of the conflicts in Somalia, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Afghanistan and Cambodia, the devastation caused by hurricane 'Mitch' in Latin America in Autumn 1998 and the events in the former Yugoslavia, all of which have profiled and changed development policy in the past decade to an extent hitherto unknown. As it is expected and feared that the potential for danger and crises in developing countries is threatening to become even greater, the tug-of-war between coping with disasters, preventing crises and securing sustainable development will probably continue to dominate the development policy agenda in future.

Bernd Hoffmann
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
- German Technical Cooperation -
Health, Education and Emergency Aid Division
Eschborn, Germany

Advocating development-oriented emergency aid

Because of military conflicts and natural disasters the population in affected regions are deprived of an opportunity to secure their food supply by their own efforts, even if it is only for a short time. Depending on the outset situation, specialised organisations implement emergency or refugee relief schemes or rehabilitation projects, which have at least one common feature, namely that the principles of help towards self-help, acting in partnership with the population and sustainability, which are customary in »normal« development cooperation programmes, are applied to only a limited degree (BMZ 1996, BMZ 1998). In recent years, the emergency aid organisations have increasingly been required to design their concepts on the basis of withdrawal once the immediate emergency situation has eased, leaving subsequent work to responsible local bodies. Experience to date shows that it is not always an easy matter to incorporate this demand into the practical situation of institutions on the spot and in Germany.

Dr. Hans-Joachim A. Preuss
Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.
German Agro Action
Bonn, Germany

A time for peace: the rebuilding of war-torn societies

Agneta M. Johannsen

The end of the Cold War did not bring the end of war, fear and destruction. The collapse of communism and the fall of the Iron Curtain were thought to usher in a new world order, based on peace, freedom and good relations. But instead, the relations between peoples, states and governments structured suddenly along unfamiliar patterns, and the fluidity of political processes full of possibilities, scared many of us stiff. We barricaded ourselves behind smaller iron curtains, hid behind new walls, and found refuge in ever narrower definitions of who we were and which group we belonged to. And we readied ourselves to go to war again if ever someone else questioned our desperate attempt to seek security in ethnic, religious or other group identities.

Agneta M. Johannsen
Deputy to the Director,
WSP-Transition Programme, UNDP/UN-DPA
United Nations office
Geneva, Switzerland

Creating partnerships for disaster mitigation - The Disaster Management Facility of the World Bank

Natural disasters have a devastating impact on development. In relative terms their negative impacts are significantly more severe in developing countries than in developed countries. Disasters destroy lives, and deplete social capital and physical investments. A recent initiative taken by the World Bank promotes the investment in prevention measures to mitigate the impacts of disasters. To invest in sustainable disaster mitigation a partnership between public policy and the private sector is essential.

Alcira Kreimer
Manager, Disaster Management Facility
Washington, USA

Refugee movements in rural areas: determining factors, impacts, problems, and potentials

The vast majority of refugees is of rural origin and usually find themselves hosted in rural areas of neighboring countries. A variety of factors determine the fate of refugees in the host country as well as the impacts which their presence will cause on the host environment and its people. The article describes such factors with special reference to rural areas in Uganda and presents numerous examples.

Gerald Duda

Technical Advisor to the Directorate for Refugees at the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
Kampala, Uganda

Geofrey Mugumya
Directorate for Refugees at the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda
Kampala, Uganda

Landmines a threat to the recovery of agricultural production

Thanks to the publicity generated by the International Campaign To Ban The Landmine, most people have some idea of the landmine problem. It is a problem which is global in nature and massive in scale. Nor are landmines themselves the only threat. As great a danger to human life and development is presented by unexploded ordnance (UXO). There may be several million mines in the world, each one laying in ambush for the unaware or unsuspecting victim, but there are also a similar number of UXO; as dangerous and as lethal as the so-aptly named »hidden killers«. The detritus of war which presents a very serious threat to the reconstruction of affected countries.

Christopher J Pearce
Harare, Zimbabwe
Organisations in rural areas

The role of rural organisations in empowerment of the rural poor - The experience of IFAD

Rural organisations and associations are essential mechanisms by which people can participate in planning the governments investments meant to be to their benefit. The International Fund for Agricultural Development - IFAD - provides funds and loans to developing countries governments to assist small farmers and landless people in rural areas. In designing and implementing activities, IFAD more and more cooperates with rural organisations. The experiences gained may be useful for the planning of new development projects.

Dr Klemens van de Sand
Assistant President
International Fund for Agricultural Development - IFAD
Rome, Italy

The essential role of farmers organizations in developing countries

Small-scale agricultural development is central to the elimination of poverty and hunger in developing countries. This is widely recognized, but a proper strategy to achieve it has been lacking. Most of the members of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) the world organization of farmers are small-scale farmers organizations from developing countries. At the World Farmers Congress, in June 1998 in Manila, IFAP adopted a policy statement and action plan to combat poverty and promote sustainable development. At the heart of this action plan is a key role for farmers organizations in mobilizing the self-help efforts of rural people.

Rashid Pertev
Assistant Secretary General for Developing Countries
David King
Secretary General
International Federation of Agricultural Producers -IFAP
Paris, France

Women's organisations and selfhelp groups: a step towards independence?

Women in rural regions of Africa are the mainstay of agricultural production. They produce up to 80 percent of staple foods. Yet they are one of the poor groups of the population, without access to land ownership, credit or education. The growing number of selfhelp groups and women's organisations over the past 25 years is a sign that women want to improve their social and economic status. Experience of working with women's groups in Cameroon is a central feature of this article.

Elisabeth Hartwig
Kleve, Germany

A farmers - organisation in the cross-fire between private commercial dairy companies and the State development authority

The potential for milk production as a source of income for a rural population poor in resources has long been recognised. Nevertheless there are but few examples of this concept being successfully implemented by means of setting up flanking marketing and advisory organisations. Idara-e-Kissan, a milk marketing association in Pakistan, is one successful example.

Ernst Grosse Herrenthey
Nils Teufel
Gulberg, Lahore, Pakistan

Farmers user groups in irrigated farming - the Betsiboka Project in Madagascar

Governmental and parastatal organisational structures have failed pitifully in irrigated farming in most African countries. It became clear in the economic crisis of the 1980's and 1990's at the latest that bureaucratic organisations fail even in terms of the regular maintenance of irrigation perimeters. Specialists have long agreed that irrigated farming will only have a future if the farmers take on responsibility in all matters of planning, implementation, maintenance and operation.

Dr Einhard Schmidt-Kallert
AHT International GmbH
Essen, Germany

Arne Musch
University of Twente
Technology and Development Group
Enschede, The Netherlands

Women's groups in Kenyan agriculture

Women in Kenya produce around 70 percent of staple foodstuffs and often bear more than half of the workload in animal production and in the growing of typical cash crops. This pivotal role of women is often insufficiently recognised by agricultural development projects. The following brief survey of the Kenyan women's group movement argues for the greater involvement of women's groups in the planning and implementation of technology transfer programmes.

Matin Qaim
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Bonn University
Bonn, Germany


The Uruguay Round and WTO 2 - a resumé and outlook for the developing countries in agriculture

Article 20 of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture - the "Continuation of the Reform Process" - provides a framework for "WTO 2" negotiations. In a way, the genuine success of the WTO 2 negotiations very much depends on the extent to which these considerations mentioned in this article, especially the experience with the Uruguay Round to date, are taken into account. For many developing countries, the »WTO 2« may perhaps be the first occasion when they will participate in the negotiations effectively, in the real sense of the term.

Ramesh Sharma
Commodities and Trade Division
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
Rome, Italy

Development and agricultural policies of the European Union - more coherence is needed

EU agricultural policy is reproached for making trade in agricultural products with developing countries more difficult or for upsetting it with export subsidies. This accusation is countered by the claim that developing countries are not capable of supplying many market regulation products and are themselves reliant on imports. Justifiable export interests are acknowledged by special concessions under the terms of the General System of Preferences (GSP), the Lomé Convention and association agreements. On closer examination, however, their importance in general proves to be minor. The changes introduced by Agenda 2000 without regard to the interests of the developing countries could have a positive effect on them overall. For the future development of the Common Agricultural Policy and Development Policy, more coherence is needed between these two areas of policy.

Professor Dr. Winfried von Urff
Munich University of Technology
Institute of Economics and Social Sciences
Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany

What can a developing country expect from WTO 2 - from a food exporting country's perspective?

Trade liberalisation in agriculture can bring benefits not only to net agricultural exporters like South Africa, but also to all developing countries. In many developing countries, support and protection of agriculture has led to negative effects on wider economy. Studies by both the World Bank and FAO have stressed the correlation between growth and openness of an economy whether it is a net exporter or not. However the fact remains that trade is a means to an end. The expectations of developing countries in the WTO 2 negotiations, and indeed the sustainability of further liberalisation efforts, will be shaped by countries' experience in implementing the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), in particular by the impact on domestic policy objectives.

Tracey Simbi
Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs
Pretoria, South Africa

What can a developing country expect from WTO 2 - from a food importing country's perspective?

The Net Food-Importing Developing Countries (NFIDCs), along with the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), have been recognized as a special group among developing countries that may be adversely affected by the process of liberalisation of trade in agriculture under the WTO. The NFIDCs, in particular, have certain features that distinguish them from other developing countries in terms of their dependence on food imports, insufficient domestic food production, level of malnutrition and balance of payments difficulties.

Rashid S. Kaukab
Senior consultant
South Centre Pilot Project on the WTO
Geneva, Switzerland

Environmental and social standards in the WTO

The call for global minimum standards for environmental protection, industrial safety and social security seems to be a logical demand in view of increasing economic globalisation. However, there is a fundamental difference between imposing these minimum conditions by trade sanctions and motivating developing countries to raise their environmental and social standards, by means of positive incentives and offers of co-operation, so that there are no trade conflicts and their economic development is placed on more solid foundations (sustainable development). As the World Trade Organisation (WTO), for good reasons, erects major obstacles to trade measures that promote the extraterritorial spread of environmental and social standards, development co-operation must play a greater role in improving environmental protection in developing countries and supporting the social rights of the working population.

Dr Jürgen Wiemann
German Development Institute (DIE)
Berlin, Germany