Agriculture is Prioritised by UN General Assembly on the MDGs
A growing consensus on the importance of agriculture in achieving the Millennium Development Goals has culminated with the announcement that the World Bank will increase its funding to agriculture to between $6 and $8 billion a year over the next three years. This is a big increase from the $4.1 billion pledged annually before 2008 and shows a transition from prioritizing food aid as a means to dealing with food insecurity issues, to addressing the longer-term solution of refueling agricultural development programmes.
The UN General Assembly agreed to a series of policies and actions that put much emphasis on boosting agricultural development in order to meet the 2015 target. The commitments include:
- Increasing the growth rate of agricultural productivity in developing countries through promoting the development and dissemination of appropriate, affordable and sustainable agricultural technology, as well as the transfer of such technologies on mutually agreed terms, and supporting agricultural research and innovation, extension services and agricultural education in developing countries.
- Increasing the sustainable production and augmenting the availability and quality of food including through long-term investment, access of smallholder farmers to markets, credit and inputs, improved land-use planning, crop diversification, commercialization and development of an adequate rural infrastructure and enhanced market access for developing countries.
- Addressing environmental challenges to sustainable agriculture development such as water quality and availability, deforestation and desertification, land and soil degradation, dust, floods, drought and unpredictable weather patterns and loss of biodiversity, and promoting the development and dissemination of appropriate, affordable and sustainable agricultural technologies and the transfer of such technologies on mutually agreed terms.
The UN General Assembly full statement can be downloaded here.
Source of article : Farming first.