THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says governments should find mechanisms to ensure majority poor farmers are not left out on benefits from the agriculture sector that is currently driving economic growth rates across global economies.
In a message to mark the World Food Day that falls today, under the theme ‘Social Protection: Breaking the cycle of Rural Poverty’, FAO says almost 80 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas and mainly rely on agriculture for their incomes and food security.
“Economic growth, especially in agriculture, has been essential to driving down rates of hunger and poverty. However, economic growth does not benefit everyone, especially the majority smallholder farmers who are key factors in ensuring that agriculture is driving economic growth rates so governments should ways to benefit these people,” it stated.
The statement, however, notes that many countries in the developing world are realising that social protection measures are needed to urgently address hunger and poverty.
Studies show that in 2013, social protection measures brought about 150 million people out of extreme poverty.
In 2016, the Zambian government intends to spend K1.3 billion on social protection related expenditures. Of this amount, K805 million is allocated to the Public Service Pension Fund while the allocation to social cash transfer is K302 million.