German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Division, Germany
<#101#> The challenges of combatting rural poverty in developing countries are well-known. In the last few years, the international discussion focused on the lack of attention among donors and national decision makers to address rural poverty in an appropriate way. Two recent studies commissioned by GTZ have revealed that agriculture still plays the most important role for increasing rural incomes and livelihoods. However, support should focus more on value-added activities and the institutional dimension instead of increasing production of bulk commodities alone.
GTZ advocates approaches that address the major technological, institutional and policy constraints for rural poverty reduction. Frequently, these have to tackle simultaneously, especially in the least developed countries. Therefore, GTZ, on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), embarked on programme-based approaches that combine interventions at different levels, often in cooperation with KfW, DED and international donors. Support to the agricultural sector forms part of these programmes although they may have a different focus, e.g. rural development, natural resource management or general economic development.
At the policy level, support for trade policy development figures prominently among the priorities of our partner countries. Similarly, policy advice is needed to integrate support to agriculture and non-farm rural economic activities into national poverty reduction strategies that carry often an urban bias. In terms of the institutional factors, current priority areas are land reform, improving farmer's access to markets and services, and integration of small-scale producers into value chains. We use public-private partnerships as a new mechanism to ensure a demand-led focus and to improve prospects of upscaling best practices.
Support to technology development plays a less prominent role than several decades ago. However, new challenges have emerged that need to be addressed, e.g. food safety standards and renewable resources. Also, we are constantly striving to target the support to international and national agricultural research systems toward achieving higher development impact, especially with regard to rural poverty, gender equality and environmental sustainability.<#101#>
Keywords: Institutional factors, policy, programme;SPMquot;=based approaches, value;SPMquot;=added activities