Agricultural Extension, Rural Development and the Food by William McLeod Rivera

By William McLeod Rivera

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The programmes developed and promulgated 24 RURAL DEVELOPMENT by the different sectoral partners will also require new efforts at financing their programmes and eventually evaluating them for the purpose of upscaling. In the final analysis, differentiated strategies will need to be adopted to deal with the great diversity of people involved. Not all poor rural households will involve agriculturists, for example. Therefore agriculture is only one avenue for reducing income poverty. Even within the context of agriculture, no one strategy or programmatic approach will accomplish everything.

FAO has developed "vulnerable group profiling" as a method to help countries find the answers to some of these questions. The method, described in The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2000, is based on the assumption that food-insecure people are found within larger population groups that are exposed to vulnerability factors, such as low-income, insecure land tenure or a deteriorating natural resource base. Not only does identification and characterization of homogenous vulnerable groups make it possible to determine within each group who the food-insecure are, where they are located and why they are food-insecure, "it also helps to identify the options open to different groups for improving their incomes and other aspects of their circumstances that contribute to food insecurity" (FAO 2001).

Therefore agriculture is only one avenue for reducing income poverty. Even within the context of agriculture, no one strategy or programmatic approach will accomplish everything. As argued above, a differentiated strategy and multiple approaches will need to be devised on the basis of various elements, such as: the different types of poverty, the determinants of the poverty situation, the contexts in which poverty occurs, and the livelihood strategies that the poor in each particular situation have adopted.

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