The Role of Government in Bottom of the Pyramid Thinking

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Bottom of the Pyramid > Best Practices > The Role of Government in Bottom of the Pyramid Thinking

The Role of Government in Bottom of the Pyramid Thinking
Ochora Onek, Student (MBA), Uganda, Member
Africa is a place with extremities. There is abundance of arable land and sufficient amount of water sources for agriculture. On the other hand, the bulk of the population live in abject poverty hence hunger is a permanent resident in their household. All the grants and loans availed to the continents governments have not made any significant impact on the hunger situation. The banks on the continent require security for their loans, yet the rural people have no property other than their land which is communally owned.
I have the opinion that the continents governments can help solve this dilemma in the following way.
Governments in Africa have the agricultural extension staff charged with providing technical guidance to farmers. Given the size of land holding by a farmer, the type of agricultural activity that can be carried out on this holding and profitably so, can be determined. The farmers knowledge of the agricultural practices that can be economically carried out on the holding is then assessed and the extension officers provide back-up technical knowledge to help the farmer succeed.
The next issue is for the government to provide security to commercial banks for loans to be given to farmers for the undertaking. As for marketing the farm produce, government should set up marketing boards, and also government can help farmers to form cooperative entities to improve their bargaining power.
It is only then that this lovely continent will get rid of hunger and poverty which have become synonymous with the continent.

Problems in African Agriculture not only Caused by Government
Belay Gezahegn, Director, Ethiopia, Member
Africa has been suffering from an unimaginable poverty because of a lack of efficient management of resources.
Increasing the productivity of agricultural sector with government help will help to ensure food security and export earnings.
But the recently developed attitude of citizens to seek easy money, instead of focusing on activities important for growth must also be considered to improve the agricultural sector.
For instance, farmers tend to allocate their land to growing coffee, khat, and other 'cash crops', which bring them quick money. As a result cereal production has been reduced alarmingly.
The amazing thing is that cash crop producing farmers buy cereals from the market for consumption escalating the demand for cereal products which further pushes the price of cereals upwards.
Since the cash crop producing farmers are financially better off, other farmers will be tempted to join them and allocate their land to cash crop production too.
This situation worsenes and creates food shortage. It is thus commendable that government should also intervene in this attitude to choose for cash crops.

The Role of Government in Bottom of the Pyramid
Elias Nyanda, Project Manager, Tanzania, Member
The problem behind this problem is lack of political will to revolutionize agriculture. Government policies tend to cheat people that agriculture is first priority to achieve sustainable development while in the real sense politics is number one to most governments.

The Role of Government in Bottom of the Pyramid Thinking and Agricultural Reform
Bob Sutton, Guatemala, Member
I agree. In Africa and elsewhere, financial and technical assistance often is ineffective at best and counterproductive too often.
The scale and ideas are tied to large market stimulus which does little when you are in poverty and hungry. A total reform is needed, but outside agencies and donors often can not see the forest for the trees.

Can Education Start the Process
Mark Flores
The change starts with education... Easier said than done, however tribal entities should start looking at the long term. Leaders need to engage and find a simple common ground that benefits all nations. Africa has many columns, but needs to start building horizontally across the continent.

The Role of Land Management Agricultural Productivity
Belay Gezahegn, Director, Ethiopia, Member
Unless land management is efficiently applied the problem lingers on. In other words, the technical assistance ought to focus on identifying lands and the type of produce they are fit for. It is important that input and cost efficiency is accounted for in land management. The traditional way of tilling land should be replaced by innovative way of land management.

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