Tags

, ,

Agriculture continues to be the engine of economic growth in most developing countries.

In the mid 1960s onwards because of the Green Revolution[1] the rapid adoption of modern agricultural technology resulted in dramatic gains in productivity.

However, agricultural growth which accrued because of the Green Revolution was restricted largely to the irrigated, well-endowed regions. A major portion of cropland continues to be dependent on rains.

In many countries, governments have been playing a critical role in influencing both the production process by providing subsidized inputs, and marketing through procurement at minimum support prices.

While the major shift from production-driven agriculture to a market-driven one taking shape, there are some difficulty still need to be subdue.

There are still marginal farmers, who are not yet organized enough to take advantage of the current markets.

Lack of resources, inadequate market access, poor knowledge of postharvest processing and value addition and weak infrastructure tend to put small farmers at a disadvantage in a competitive global market.

This is further compounded by low levels of education and lack of group organization which weakens their bargaining capacity.

Government-provided agricultural support services need to be reform to enable small farmers to take up commercial farming through sustainable practices.

Extension services need radical restructure to make technology dissemination responsive to small farmers.

Modernizing the agriculture sector programmes and to maximize the farmers’ income through promotion of group farming activities as well as through the provision of infrastructural support services such as In situ development, through rehabilitation and consolidation of existing agricultural landholdings should be the main strategy for agricultural development.

At the same time, agricultural marketing must become the foremost challenge in the new distribution.

More linkages between farmer-producers and corporate/cooperative processors in contract farming arrangements promoted.

This close working relationship and good cooperation is vital in line to revitalize and support the future direction of the agriculture sector.

This kind of collaborative mechanisms can facilitate a speedier process of communication, which will encourage greater collaborative participation in activities such as R&D, market intelligence gathering and promotion, HRD and other related activities.

The responsibility of the government for re-engineer and restructure the management aspects of the sector, effective enforcement of legislation which ensures quality control of inputs such as seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. is needed too.

In the meantime, the restructuring of agricultural agencies will continue to improve productivity and efficiency of the sector.

References

Nakhumwa, Teddie and  Peiris, Heshan, (2009) Empowering Of Smallholder Farmers In Markets.

Ministry of Agriculture. Third National Agriculture Policy (1998-2010), Kuala Lumpur.

Pinto, Armando Costa, (2009) Agricultural Cooperatives and Farmers Organizations – role in rural development and poverty reduction.

Report of the APO Seminar on Strengthening Agricultural Support Services for Small Farmers held in Japan, 4-11 July 2001


[1] The term Green Revolution refers to the renovation of agricultural practices beginning in Mexico in the 1940s. Because of its success in producing more agricultural products there, Green Revolution technologies spread worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s, significantly increasing the amount of calories produced per acre of agriculture. Due to the success of the Green Revolution in Mexico, its technologies spread worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s. The United States for instance, imported about half of its wheat in the 1940s but after using Green Revolution technologies, it became self-sufficient in the 1950s and became an exporter by the 1960s.