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‘Adopt shared national agro-vision’

THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has observed that developing countries like Zambia should adopt a shared national vision of how agriculture and social protection can function together to improve productivity and economic growth.
However, many developing countries are adopting a successful new strategy for breaking the cycle of rural poverty, by combining social protection and agriculture development, according to the latest FAO magazine on the State of Food and Agriculture.
The organisation said there is need to set clear broader interventions in policy and planning frameworks for rural development to achieve poverty reduction, food security and nutrition.
FAO suggests interventions that should be designed to address the major challenges being faced by small-scale farmers and producers to transform their livelihoods.
“A national vision is needed of how agriculture and social protection can work together to gradually move people out of poverty and hunger if they are to adopt the necessary institutional and operational measures.
“Social protection and agricultural development working together can break the cycle of rural poverty. Agriculture development programmes that support small-scale farmers in accessing markets and increasing productivity should engage relevant players if they to work effectively,” FAO says.
The organisation notes that consistency between agricultural and social interventions can assist in protecting the welfare of poor small-scale farmers by helping them manage risks more effectively and improve agricultural productivity, leading to poverty reduction.
It, however, indicates that social protection alone cannot reduce poverty and transform economies, hence the need to link it to agriculture.