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close this bookTowards Creating a Poverty-Free World (UNESCO, 1995, 12 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentHunger is not Caused by Shortage of Food
View the documentResearch Agenda Narrowly Defined
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View the documentScientists Prefer to Speak in their Own Language
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View the documentRaising Basic Questions with FAO
View the documentTwo Areas where FAO Has Failed
View the documentCredit As a Human Right
View the documentAgricultural Credit system Just About Collapsed
View the documentState-Owned Agencies Hardly serve the Farmer
View the documentAn Alternative Vision of the World
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State-Owned Agencies Hardly serve the Farmer

Agriculture is one sector which remained under private ownership even under strict communist rules. More often examples of a market economy are chosen from agriculture than from other sectors. But unfortunately all the national agencies and institutions which have been created with the financial and technical support of the promoters of free enterprise belong to the state-management system. Parastatal institutions proliferate in the agricultural sector. You look at any aspect of agriculture there is at least one government agency taking care of it. Almost each major crop has a development agency, a marketing agency, a research institution. Then there are agencies for seed production, marketing, agencies for development of irrigation, operating irrigation equipment, an agency for import of inputs, equipment, supplies, an agency for extension, promotion, communication, etc.; and of course, a whole string of powerful research institutions, training Institutions, etc.

Most often these government-run institutions are major stumbling blocks creating barriers for people. In the name of farmers, they promote their own professional and personal interests.

Each one of these agencies can be converted into profitmaking commercial enterprises while serving the cause of agriculture much better. If we convert them into commercial enterprises they will be dynamic, pro-people organizations, changing from the present bureaucratic, anti-people organizations.

If it is politically difficult to transform them into commercial enterprises, the other option is to create or encourage creation of a new set of organizations on a commercial basis so that competition can push the existing state-run agencies in the right direction.