3 Reasons, Why we can win the fight against Poverty

Andrew Youn

Mr. Youn is an anti-hunger activist. He, after his MBA spent a decade in sub Saharan Africa. There her founded One Acre Fund. This is where Andrew transforms lives of Africa farmers, about 400, 000 farm families.

The reasons I chose this talk to write the blog upon were simple: Fight against probably the biggest problem of humanity, agriculture and application in our dear Pakistan and the talked is comprehensive- emotional but solution oriented.I m from Mithi, Sindh and my family has intense exposure of chilli crops. So I feel connected to one Acre Fund in some way.

Mr. Youn describes his experience in an African family and explains extreme poverty being the cause to other major problems being born. The starvation, malnutrition, poor health care, weakening economy, infant mortality, illiteracy and more.

Next, he clearly focuses upon farmers as primary producers of the food chain and the biological plus economical systems. He stressed his ideas and work all upon small farmers and agriculture. Agriculture efficient means better farmers with all adequate basic necessities of life, health, nutrition and farming, leading to more productive farming, producing more crops and food, ultimately better for economy and humanity.

Moreover, Mr. Youn applied Archimedes three right levers strategy, to help farmer for better lifestyle and agricultural productivity. I firmly believe, since our beloved Pakistan and especially the largest province Punjab is based on agriculture, we have indeed a beautiful ideal setup to look up to. We can help our own agricultural growth and our brethren farmers too. Together, this is possible and with these three steps, atleast we can try and make an effort.

Lever1: Farmers are pivotal leverage point. They are the centre of the word. When farmers are more productive, the generate more food and income, step off poverty, help community and environmental pressure.

Lever2: Humanity using science and technology has solved all farming needs a century ago. Be it the hybrid seeds, the yielding non pollutant fertilizers. These solution oriented farm inputs, well developed tools and modern up to date farming practices

Lever 3: Delivery or shall I say, Supply Chain and Logistics. Since farmlands are remote and farmers are also remote from the market/cities. They definitely need the delivery for productive and timely harvesting. When in today`s world, Maersk, Food Panda, Eat Oye, TCS, FEDEX, DHL exists, why cannot we practically try help farmers with the delivery process. After all, it will help, nobody else but our own people, our own Pakistan and above all humanity.

So, One Acre Fund, has prioritized farming and delivery and transformed lives of about 400,000 farm families. This model is already a real example and hence applicable. Why not learn from it and formulate our own? About 25% of Pakistan’s agriculture accounts for about 21% of GDP and employs about 43% of the labour force.

Pakistan is one of the world’s largest producers and suppliers of the following according to the different sources i.e. Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations and FAOSTAT given here with ranking:

Chickpea (3rd)

Apricotkhobani (6th)

Cotton (4th)

Milk (5th)

Date Palm (5th)

Sugarcane (5th)

Onion (7th)

Kinnow, mandarin oranges, clementine (6th)

Mango (4th)

Wheat (7th)

Rice (4th)

Pakistan ranks eighth worldwide in farm output, according to the List of countries by GDP sector composition.

Some reformers have blamed imbalance in land ownership in Pakistan for playing a part in “maintaining poverty and food insecurity”. According to the Pakistan-based NGO, Society For Conservation and Protection of The Environment (SCOPE), about one-half (50.8%) of rural households in Pakistan are landless, while 5% of the country’s population owns almost two-thirds (64 percent) of its farmland. (The World Bank found that according to 2000 agricultural census 63.3% of rural households were landless. Of the remaining 37% of rural households, 61% of these owned fewer than 5 acres, totaling 15% of total land. Two percent of households owned 50 acres or more, accounting for 30 percent of total land area.) Concentration of ownership is also thought to be less productive than owner farmed land. According to the World Bank, “most empirical evidence indicates that land productivity on large farms in Pakistan is lower than that of small farms, holding other factors constant.” Small farmers have “higher net returns per hectare” than large farms, according to farm household income data. Sharecropper productivity is also lower (about 20%) than landowner productivity, holding other factors constant, because there is less incentive for sharecroppers’ own-labour input