Transgenic grain in food aid

Zambia says «No» to GM grain from the USA
Zambia was the first country in history to refuse food aid on the grounds that it included some genetically modified (GM) seed. In doing so it provoked a heated dispute with the USA, which had sent the GM maize. Now Zambia is investing in self-sufficiency based on traditional crops, and is defining its future policy for the management of genetic engineering.
Tamás Nagy
European Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences
(Europäisches Institut für Lebensmittel-
und Ernährungswissenschaften)
Munich, Germany

Archive, Edition 2004/02

Rural Economic Development, Volume 11 No 2/2004

Towards a renewed focus on rural development

A renewed focus on rural development is called for, in support of growth promotion and for poverty reduction. This should entail accelerated rural investment for public goods, and innovation in rural institutions. Both of these general prescriptions require regional and country specific adaptation, and it needs to be kept in mind that rural economies cannot be effectively put on a growth track without due consideration of rural-urban linkages.
Professor Dr. Joachim von Braun
Director General
International Food Policy
Research Institute
Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Good governance, private investment, reducing subsidies in the north: Key factors in stimulating rural development

In its recent analyses the World Bank observes the often unsatisfactory results of rural development. The cornerstone of the World Bank proposal to reverse this situation is to capture the positive experiences of the few developing countries that are succeeding in rural development, such as China, Chile, Thailand, and Uganda. Further important issues facing rural development, such as the impact of industrial country subsidies, environmental concerns, the role for the private sector, and integration of nonagricultural concerns should be given more attention.
Kevin Cleaver
Director of Agriculture and Rural Development
The World Bank
Washington, DC, U.S.A.

New focus on public-private cooperation for pro-poor growth Private investments in rural areas - Reality or vision?

In most developing countries, economic growth has been higher in urban than in rural areas. The concept of Shared Responsibility for public-private cooperation might provide an approach to promote private investment and foster economic growth in rural areas. In
establishing public investment funds local governments play a critical role. Also development banks and donors need to harmonize and target their efforts from the very beginning.
Christian Henckes
Eija Pehu
The World Bank
Washington, DC, U.S.A
Michael Krake
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany

Decentralization: Opening the door to economic development

Decentralization processes under way in many developing countries provide new opportunities for sustainable economic development at local level and in rural areas. Shortages of financial and human capacity, however, mean that few communities are in a position to take advantage of these opportunities. Within the framework of financial cooperation undertaken by the KfW development bank, municipal investment funds are used to support administrative, political and financial decentralization.
Susanne Hesselbarth
SHDC Development Consulting
Neuheim, Switzerland

How to mobilize the rural poor for a better economic development

The concept of social mobilization plays a key role in poverty reduction strategies. Experiences from the field indicate that once the rural poor are mobilized and working together in self-controlled community-based organizations, they can better harness local resources for income generating activities and form coalitions with other social forces to make their voices heard in regional and national policy-making.
Lüder Cammann
InWEnt - Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH
Feldafing, Germany
David H. Mueller
Albert Weinmann
LWF - Lutheran World Federation
Cambodia Program
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The US Farm Bill and cotton cultivation: Is the WTO undermining rural development?

The latest Ministerial Conference staged by the World Trade Organization in Cancún collapsed - not least because the major industrialized countries continue to protect their markets and subsidize their farm sectors. A typical example of these protectionist policies is the US Farm Bill, whose impacts on several major crops produced by developing countries are outlined below.
Dr Helmut Albert
Eberhard Hauser
Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ - German Technical Cooperation)
Eschborn, Germany

Food Aid

Food aid in poverty reduction - a new legitimation?
The fight against hunger is also a fight against poverty, making it one of the great policy challenges for the North and South alike. The differing causes of hunger and poverty - acute crisis situations, on the one hand, and entrenched, structural food insecurity, on the other - need to be addressed with different kinds of measures. Food security must be made an element of all national poverty strategies. It also calls for a global structural policy.
Dr Michael J. Hofmann,
German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany

The Food Aid Convention - an instrument for enhancing

To answer whether the Food Aid Convention serves to enhance food security, we need to explain how the European Commission understands the concept of food security and the use of food aid; the way these two concepts relate to each other and our assessment on the Food Aid Convention as an instrument for development cooperation.
Amalia García-Tharn
Directorate General for Development
Brussels, Belgium

The World Food Programme. Reaching the hungry with food aid.

The goal of food aid should be to reduce hunger among the poorest and most vulnerable of the world?s population, particularly women and children. The World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest global organization dedicated to this purpose. WFP believes that any international agreements on food aid, including the Food Aid Convention, should be designed to promote the most effective use of food for direct assistance to the hungry poor.
Allan Jury
Food Security, Safety Nets, and Relief Service
World Food Programme (WFP)
Rome, Italy

A donor's view of international food aid

The United States Government views its international food aid programs as one tool to achieve food security for poor people living in developing countries. But it is only one tool among the many that the United States provides to developing countries to support this goal.
Mary Chambliss
US-Department of Agriculture
Washington, DC, U.S.A

Can food aid contribute to food security in AIDS-affected regions?

«Since HIV/AIDS, nothing is the same as before in Africa.» This raises the question: What role can food aid play? In which situations might food aid be a suitable instrument to prevent HIV infection or improve the health of persons with HIV/AIDS? And can it safeguard the survival of households whose breadwinners have died of AIDS?
Dr Bernd Schubert
Berlin, Germany

New approaches to food security. The «Fome Zero» Programme in Brazil.

Rarely has a political change raised so many expectations as when the new President Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva took over the reins of government in Brazil. And rarely has a change of government been so closely linked with one specific programme - the «Fome Zero» (Zero Hunger) Programme - which was not only promoted during the election campaign but, unlike most election promises, became the cornerstone of the new government's policy agenda. One year on, have these high expectations been fulfilled?
Reiner Kraetsch
German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany

Education in Rural Areast

Education for rural people at the front line to achieve the Millennium development goals
Worldwide 130 million school-aged children do not go to school and nearly a billion people are reckoned to be illiterate; most of them live in rural areas. This is why FAO and UNESCO launched a new global initiative: the «Education for Rural People Initiative - ERP». This initiative focuses on the expansion of access and provision of basic quality education for children, youth, and adults with priority on gender imbalances.
Lavinia Gasperini
Ester Zulberti
Extension, Education and Communication Service
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN - FAO -
Rome, Italy

Education lays the foundation for poverty reduction

The right to education is an internationally accepted human right. Yet millions of people, especially in rural areas and especially women and girls, have no access to educational facilities. In discussing the role of education, it is often forgotten that education is not just the mere transmission of knowledge. Education also makes a substantial contribution to developing a person's self-confidence, making it the cornerstone of social and economic development.
Anja Mertineit
Programme officer for rural development
Asia Desk

Digital villages - a dream revisited

Modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) are widely seen as instruments of change and as the driving force behind the information revolution which has transformed institutions, businesses and the lives of people the world over, from large cities to the remotest of villages. In fact, such is the faith in ICTs that many regard access to them as the sine qua non of sustainable development. But the majority of the world's population has yet to benefit from the new technology.
Kevin Painting
Gesa Wesseler
CTA - Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (ACP-EC)
Wageningen, The Netherlands

Investment in rural areas has continued to fall.

Rural and agricultural education policy in particular are most severely hit. Without specialist agricultural training, it will be almost impossible for agricultural producers to withstand the fierce competition that prevails in global markets; poverty will keep rising. To come even close to the Millennium Goals, considerable investments in education will be necessary. Financing instruments such as PRSP and CDD for rural regions could stimulate improvements in these areas.
Christian Fauliau
Senior Economist - Agricultural and Rural Capacity Building Specialist
The World Bank
Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Linked Local Learning. The emergence of demand driven development.

This article shares experiences of the International Support Group with facilitating the invention of an operational process for the emergence of «demand-driven» development that came to be called Linked Local Learning. A name derived from the importance of local learning driving development and linking that learning with development services and policy forums outside the village. While we share some successes here we recognize that there is still much work to be done.
Clive Lightfoot
Ricardo Ramirez
Annemarie Groot
Reg Noble
Maria Fernandez
The International Support Group (ISG)
Montpellier, France

Rural training networks (RTN) in Côte d'Ivoire

«Vocational training for all» in its conventional form would be practically impossible to finance in developing countries. Nevertheless, such demand is not only meaningful, but also a vital element of any poverty reduction strategy. It locks into current international efforts to provide all boys and girls with a primary school education (Millennium Goals), and gives basic education a more profound significance.
Professor Dr. Irmfried Neumann
Wiesbaden University of Applied Sciences
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture (FB 04)
Geisenheim, Germany

Improving the nutrient availability in rice-biotechnology or biodiversity?

Improving nutritional quality of rice has been identified as one possible food-based approach to remedy nutritional deficiencies prevailing in large parts of the developing world. In this context, the genetically modified Golden Rice, engineered to contain the vitamin A precursor ß-carotene in the endosperm, was celebrated as a great biotechnological breakthrough. Alternatively, exploiting the genetic diversity and the associated nutritional properties of autochthonous landraces provides an option for addressing nutrition-related health hazards.
Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker
Michael Frei
Institute for Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics
University of Hohenheim
Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany