Social Protection and Agricultural Development: Synergies and Conflicts

Earlier this year there were riots in Raya-Kobo – the scene of the horrific 1984 drought in Ethiopia (see also the video “Famine, a personal history“). The demand was remarkable: Stop Food Aid but make sure the wells that were drilled in this area are made operational and handed over to local land users. There was a factor of high concern that the many as yet not operational wells in this groundwater rich area would one day be given over to private investors and that with it people would not only lack the chance to irrigate but even their hold on the land and would remain dependent on food aid in perpetuity.

Across the developing world, social protection programs have emerged and evolved in response to the poverty that has grown as fast as national economies. Effects of the recent global food and economic crises on the poor have forced governments to renew their emphases on them.

Mexico, Ethiopia and India are three among a large number of countries with large rural populations and high levels of rural poverty. All three also have social protection programs with wide coverage. However, differences in design, targets and implementation reflect the differences in the conception of (and concerns around) social protection in the three countries.

This video briefly examines the pathways the three countries have taken towards achieving social protection. The discussion that emerges suggests that rural poverty and food security are linked inextricably to agricultural development. India and Ethiopia have tried to link it to social protection through food/cash for work programs. However, implementation challenges are manifold. Many believe that if not executed well, such programs could hamper rather than help agricultural productivity.

More info:
Produced by: TheWaterChannel
Year: 2012
Language: English

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May 15, 2020  
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