Agriculture: Ultimate Way out of Poverty. Part 2
Poverty is no doubt one of those concepts for which a description is easier to give than a definition.This is because poverty mean a whole lot of things to people around the world;what is poverty to a European could be opulence in other parts of the world for instance.
It is a truism that a unique and universal definition of poverty will be very difficult to get.But that is not my concern in this article. I am more than convinced that if each and everyone of us makes it his/her point of duty to fight against what he/she perceives to be poverty, we will end up having a world with poverty at its barest minimum. In this article I present my perception of poverty and how I think this could be best tackled.
A world bank report of 2006 has noted that for any development to be sustainable, accent has to be placed primarily on ensuring that every mouth is sufficiently fed.This report advocates that nutrition has to be central to all development initiatives. The views in this report had earlier been expressed by Fawzi-Al Sultan, one time president of the International Fund for gricultural Development(IFAD) in the following words:
A proper attack on hunger requires a real partnership to deal with obstacles the hungry face, principally as producers, for the poor are rarely simply poor, they are poor farmers, poor fishermen, poor herders.
When I read the above words from the proceedings of the International Conference on overcoming Global Hunger. I jumped from the my chair and said to my self, “Atlast, I have found an approach to tackling poverty that is most suitable for my country Cameroon and all other developing countries”
In Cameroon, One is not said to be poor until when he/she cannot eat to their fill-the size a person’s dish is the main indicator of status in the rural part of Cameroon from which I hail. Hunger in my part of the world is highly viewed as the starting point of a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to death because a person who cannot eat to his/her fill will without any doubts not have the means to pay for health bills when they are sick, and will not even have the strength to think about how to send his/her children to school, talkless of having any financial means to sponsor their education.
A person struggling to survive a famine or whose sole concern is what he will feed himself and his family with will rarely have even a passing thought on the effects his actions could have on the environment for present and future generations as all that matters to him is to find a means to survive. Where I come from such persons are those considered to be poor and earmarked for death as it is not just hunger but also poverty that leads to the death of a person.This is because a person who has no contribution to make to society is considered dead. Concerning the right path to the eradication of poverty, Much has been said and so much more left unsaid; so many finger have been pointed, some in the right direction and others in the wrong direction.But this does not mean we should give up the search for a more inclusive, more sustainable, and more-people oriented approach to this fight. Going by my people’s perception of poverty, it is no doubt that the adoption of a more-agricultural and rural areas oriented approach to tackling poverty by governments and other stakeholders of developing countries like Cameroon whose rural areas plays host to more than half of its population and whose agricultural sector despite its abandonment and neglect still accounts for a very significant portion of its GDP and absorbs a great number of its working force.