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联合国粮农组织:投资农业 减贫的关键




Investment in Agriculture:  The Key to Poverty Reduction


——Interview With FAO Deputy Director-General Daniel J. Gustafson


Chang Hao, China Investment


China Investment : Poverty
reduction is a global issue and varies among different regions. As an
international organization, based on FAO’s poverty reduction practices
in rural areas across the world, what do you think is the key to success
of poverty reduction?


Daniel J. Gustafson:
As the question states, poverty reduction varies among regions, thus
poverty reduction strategies must adapt to those various contexts,
meaning that a universal strategy towards success does not exist.


The
international community has pledged to halve poverty and hunger by
2015. Extreme poverty remains in fact an alarming problem in the world’s
developing regions, despite the advances made in the 1990s. Progress in
poverty reduction has concentrated in Asia and especially in East Asia.
In all other regions, the number of people in extreme poverty has
increased. 


Reducing poverty and hunger are at the
heart of FAO’s work and they are central goals of countries worldwide.
By 2030, Member States have committed to eradicating extreme poverty for
people everywhere. FAO is helping countries develop and implement
evidence-based pro-poor policies, strategies and programmes that promote
inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods.


The
key to poverty reduction is broad-based economic growth, especially in
agriculture and the rural economy. A focus on the agricultural sector is
a necessary condition for sustainable poverty and hunger reduction.
Most extreme poverty is concentrated in rural areas (75%) . Moreover,
priority action needs to be taken to reduce hunger directly. In order to
achieve poverty reduction, and tackle rural poverty, strong leadership
is required, at all levels of government, accompanied by strong and
transparent institutions. Moreover, a multi-sectoral approach is
necessary in order to bring together agro-industry development, food
security, social protection, health, education and ecological
restoration. It is very important to advocate specific targeting and
identification of poverty, in order to provide better and precise
support to pressing challenges. Finally, innovation has played a major
role in poverty reduction, especially in the agricultural sector.
Introducing ICTs in remote areas not only allows for better productivity
and connectivity with markets, but also knowledge and information
sharing.


Although each country, region, town or
village need their unique approaches for poverty alleviation, I would
say that the key to success are those components: focus on agricultural
development, strong leadership and institutions, a multi-sectoral
approach, targeting and innovation. This is also what FAO does, actually
by using this approach. FAO, through its reform conducted during the
last years, has put poverty reduction at the heart of its mandate
through a much more focused, and targeted strategy, linking what we do
in the agricultural sector with what is being done in the social
protection sector. Countries need to establish a national vision of how
agriculture and social protection can work together to move people out
of poverty and hunger.

China Investment: Reducing
poverty is no easy job and involves complicated factors. What do you
think are the challenges for poverty reduction?

Daniel J. Gustafson:
While
considerable progress has been made in fighting global hunger and
poverty, reducing poverty is no easy job, and there remain pressing
challenges. Poverty remains deeply entrenched in the rural areas of many
low-income countries.


Currently, deteriorating
ecosystems, unsustainable natural resource management and climate change
are disproportionally affecting the poor. Climate change has made
poverty eradication even more of a challenge. The goal of eradicating
poverty will remain elusive if these trends are not reversed.
Eradicating poverty continues to be a major challenge, especially in
sub-Saharan Africa where the absolute number of poor has continued to
increase.


Moreover, after such accomplishments, the
last phase of poverty reduction is the most challenging and identifying
the most vulnerable populations in order to implement targeted
strategies becomes increasingly complex. The main challenge currently
faced is thus the targeting of poverty, and the most vulnerable
population. In fact, addressing all aspects of the remaining poverty is
very demanding, as particular characteristics vary and the targeting
system needs to be very strong.


Rural poverty
reduction has been achieved in contexts of rapid economic growth.
However, economic growth is not a panacea for inclusive development.
Rural poverty has persisted where policies failed to provide access to
social services, social protection. Poverty largely concerns smallholder
farmers, women left behind in remote rural areas, and children. Without
efficient targeted policies on social services and provision, it will
be difficult to break the vicious circle of poverty.

China Investment: What is the role of the SSC in achieving the SDGs, such as eradicating hunger and poverty?

Daniel J. Gustafson:
South-South
Cooperation has been a very successful programme that has brought
together China and other developing countries with the aim to share
experiences, technology and knowledge concerning specifically
agricultural development. Under the SSC, FAO commits to facilitating
dialogues, networking and mutual exchange of poverty reduction and food
and nutrition security solutions between China and other developing
countries in the world.  Information gives people options and
alternatives, and the sharing of experiences can have optimal benefits
for developing countries with similar challenges. The exchange of
information through the SSC platform is key for policy-makers to gain
inspiration and thus adapt successful strategies to a different context.


China has offered great support in the context of
the SSC. Having sent over 1000 experts and technicians for nearly two
decades to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, China has been a major
contributor to poverty reduction and nutrition security. Countries that
are seeking to apply innovative development solutions have sought
advice from countries that have implemented such successful approaches.
Through knowledge sharing, technical support and expertise, growth and
development can reach the poorest and introduce sustainable, long-term
solutions.


The SSC has been an important
contributor to the MDGs in terms of eradicating hunger and poverty, and
ensuring food and nutrition security and should play a key and
increasing role in the framework of the SDGs.


For
instance, in rice production, overuse of pesticides and chemical
fertilizers decreases terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity while
negatively impacting human health. In the long term, it contributes to a
loss of aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity. Resources need to be used
more efficiently in order to increase production in a socially,
environmentally and economically sustainable manner. Through the SSC,
Rice-Fish farming techniques were promoted to other developing
countries. Farmers using the Rice-Fish systems benefit from diversified
revenue streams from the same plot of land, thereby increasing marketing
opportunities, diversifying products and achieving higher incomes. 

China
Investment : What is GIAHS’ significance and its potential for global
poverty reduction, as well as its contribution to China’s rural
revitalization strategy?

Daniel J. Gustafson:
The GIAHS Program fosters in fact an integrated approach that combines sustainable agriculture and rural development.


China’s
poverty eradication strategies are largely based on creative and
innovative solutions to agricultural challenges. Combining traditional
food systems with innovation has proven to be highly successful. China
is now considered a leader – or a champion – in GIAHS designations.
Thanks to continuous innovation and conservation strategies, China has
managed to maintain biodiversity and essential ecosystem services.


The
resilience of many GIAHS sites has been developed and adapted to cope
with climatic variability and change, new technologies and changing
social and political situations or natural hazards to ensure food and
livelihood security and alleviate risk.


For
instance, Qingtian County was the first area to receive the GIAHS
designation, and is now home to research on agricultural techniques. The
farmers combined rice farming with aquaculture, growing fish in their
flooded paddy fields. The rice paddies offered protection and organic
food for the fish, and the fish softens the soil and provides nutrients
and oxygen for the rice crop.  The traditional wisdom of Chinese
ancestors has been preserved, and complemented by an ecological and
organic agriculture system. Villages such as the one in Qingtian have
not only improved productivity, ensured sustainable and ecological
systems, but have also become famous, therein promoting agro-tourism as
well. Villages like that one that were suffering from out-migration and
poverty have now turned into traditional, self-sufficient Agricultural
Heritage systems, encouraging in-migration, tourism and thus
contributing to China’s rural vitalization.


Poor and small farmers have found food and livelihood security through the GIAHS Programme in a sustainable manner.


In
fact, China has 13 GIAHS sites, 8 of which are located in
poverty-stricken counties involving a total number of 9 million farmers.
Promoting the products, such as through e-commerce platforms, from
these sites would also be important for poverty alleviation and rural
revitalization. We are now in discussion with various partners for this
objective.


Meanwhile, agribusiness development has
been identified as a key poverty reduction strategy of China, and the
government has put a lot of efforts in that regard, such as sending
technical experts to help identify the crops to grow, as well as
establishing and enhancing cooperatives. This combination of traditional
food systems with new systems will certainly help reduce poverty.

China Investment: How do you see the role of agriculture cooperation under the BRI initiative?

Daniel J. Gustafson:
The
Belt and Road Initiative aims to help promote policy coordination,
infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and
mutual understanding among the people of the participating countries.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in the concerned economies. It accounts
for more than 25 percent of GDP, as well as for over 40 percent of
employment in many countries involved in this initiative.  Investments
in infrastructure will facilitate connectivity and access to markets,
resources, information and services.


Connectivity
with the rest of the world is crucial, especially considering that
regions along the Belt and Road are often highly dependent on the
agricultural sector, are under-developed and do not have the necessary
infrastructure to prosper and grow. However, infrastructure is not a
panacea for growth and development. Policies and reforms will need to be
implemented in order for those investments to promote inclusive growth
and reach the poorest.


Specifically, a focus on
agro-business development will be necessary. Most countries along the
BRI are characterized by labor-intensive, agricultural economies, and
rural poverty remains a common and major challenge. Through better
infrastructure, innovation could reach those areas and they could
benefit considerably from the BRI and the knowledge exchange that it has
facilitated.


Agricultural cooperation is a main
pillar for inclusive growth. FAO has found that investing in agriculture
is approximately four times more effective at improving the poorest
peoples’ lives than investing in any other sector. 




中文版:



减贫成功的关键在于以下因素:关注农业发展、强有力的领导和机制、多部门方针、目标定位和创新

文|本刊记者 常浩   翻译|曾一巳

——专访联合国粮食及农业组织(FAO)副总干事丹尼尔J.古斯塔夫森(Daniel J. Gustafson)


《中国投资》:减贫是一个全球性问题,且因地区而异。作为一个国际组织,基于联合国粮农组织(FAO)在全球农村地区的减贫实践,您认为减贫成功的关键是什么?

 

丹尼尔 J. 古斯塔夫森:正如问题所述,各地区之间的贫困状况各不相同,因此减贫策略必须适应各种不同情况,也就意味着不存在一个通用的成功策略。

 

尽管我们取得了进展,但极端贫困仍然是发展中国家面对的令人担忧的问题。减贫工作的进展主要集中体现在亚洲,特别是东亚地区。而其他一些地区,极端贫困人口的数量却是有所增加。

 

减少贫困和饥饿现象是联合国粮农组织工作的核心,也是全球各国的核心目标。世界各国领导人承诺在2030年之前消灭极端贫困。联合国粮农组织正在帮助各国制定和实施扶贫政策、战略和计划,以促进包容性增长和可持续生计。

 

减贫的关键在于包容的经济增长,尤其是农业和农村经济。关注农业部门是持续减少贫困和饥饿的必要条件。大多数极端贫困人口生活在农村地区(75%),需要采取优先行动直接减少饥饿。为了实现减贫和解决农村贫困问题,各级政府都需要强有力的领导力,并配以健全和透明的机制。此外,为了统筹应对农用工业发展、粮食安全、社会保障、卫生、教育和生态恢复等问题,采取多部门方针很必要。而为紧迫挑战提供更好更精确的支持,给出具体的扶贫目标和贫困识别非常重要。最后,创新在减贫方面也发挥了重要作用,尤其是在农业部门。在偏远地区引入信息通信技术,不仅可以提高生产率、对接小农户和市场,还可以实现知识和信息共享。

 

虽然每个国家、地区、城镇或村庄都需要其特有的减贫方法,但我认为成功的关键在于以下因素:关注农业发展、强有力的领导和机制、多部门方针、目标定位和创新。这也是联合国粮农组织所实践的。通过过去几年的改革,联合国粮农组织以一种更集中、更针对的战略,将减贫作为其任务核心,将我们在农业领域的工作与社会保障部门的工作联系起来。各国政府需要就农业和社会保障如何共同发展以使人们摆脱贫困和饥饿设定相应的国家愿景。

 

《中国投资》:减贫不容易,涉及多种复杂因素。您认为减贫的挑战是哪些?

 

丹尼尔 J. 古斯塔夫森:虽然目前在应对全球饥饿和贫穷问题方面已取得了相当大的进展,但减贫并非易事,仍然面临着棘手挑战。贫困在许多低收入国家的农村地区依然根深蒂固。

 

目前,不断恶化的生态系统、不可持续的自然资源管理和气候变化正对穷人造成不均衡的影响。气候变化使消除贫困变得更困难。如果没有扭转以上这些趋势,消除贫困的目标将难以实现。消除贫穷仍然是一项重大挑战,尤其是在撒哈拉以南非洲地区,那里,穷人的绝对数量还在继续增加。

 

此外,在取得一定成绩之后,减贫的最后阶段才是最具挑战性的,为实施针对性战略去识别最脆弱人群变得越来越复杂。因此,目前面临的主要挑战是定位贫困人口和最脆弱人群。确定目标人群需求非常重要。

 

在经济快速增长的背景下,我们实现了农村减贫。但是,经济增长并不是包容性发展的灵丹妙药。在政策无法提供社会服务和社会保障的情况下,农村贫困依然存在。贫困主要与小农、女性(偏远农村地区)和儿童有关。如果在社会服务和保障上没有有效的、针对性的政策,很难打破贫穷的恶性循环。

 

《中国投资》:南南合作在实现可持续发展目标方面(如消除饥饿和贫困)扮演着什么角色?

 

丹尼尔 J. 古斯塔夫森:南南合作(SSC)是一个非常成功的计划,它将中国和其他发展中国家汇聚一堂,旨在分享经验、技术和知识(特别是农业发展方面)。南南合作下,联合国粮农组织致力于促进中国与其他发展中国家之间就减贫、粮食和食品营养安全解决方案的对话、联络和交流。信息为人们提供了选择和替代方案,分享经验则可以为面临类似挑战的发展中国家带来利益最大化。通过南南合作平台交流信息是政策制定者汲取灵感的关键,从而使成功战略适应不同环境。

 

在南南合作的背景下,中国提供了大力支持。近二十年来,中国向非洲、加勒比和太平洋地区派出了1000多名专家和技术人员,为减贫和营养安全做出重要贡献。正在寻求应用创新性发展方案的国家已经从实施了这种成功方案的国家那里获取建议。通过知识共享、技术支持和专家意见,增长和发展可以惠及最贫困者,并引入可持续的长期解决方案。

 

在消除饥饿和贫困、确保粮食和营养安全方面,南南合作一直以来对千年发展目标做出了重要贡献,而且应在可持续发展目标框架中继续发挥关键和日益重要的作用。

 

例如,在大米生产中,滥用农药和化肥会降低陆地和水生生物多样性,同时对人体健康产生负面影响。从长远来看,它会造成水生和陆地生物多样性的丧失。因此,需要更有效地利用资源,从而以社会、环境和经济可持续的方式增加产量。通过南南合作,将稻田养鱼技术推广到其他发展中国家。运用稻鱼共生系统的农民可从同一块土地获得多样化的收入来源,从而增加营销机会、实现产品多样化和更高收入。

 

《中国投资》:全球重要农业文化遗产(GIAHS)的重要性、及其对中国农村振兴战略的贡献是什么?

 

丹尼尔 J. 古斯塔夫森:全球重要农业文化遗产计划实际上是一种结合可持续农业和农村发展的综合方法。

 

中国消除贫困的战略主要基于创造性和创新性的解决方案应对农业挑战,将传统食物系统与创新相结合已被证明是非常成功的。中国现在被认为是农业文化遗产认定的领导者。得益于不断的创新和保护策略,中国已经设法维护生物多样性和基本生态系统服务。

 

许多农业文化遗产地址的适应能力已经得到进一步发展,能够更好地应对气候变化和变率、新技术、不断变化的社会政治情况或自然灾害,以确保粮食和生计安全并降低风险。

 

例如,青田县是中国第一个、世界第一批被列为全球重要农业文化遗产保护试点的地区,如今更成为了农业技术研究的大本营。农民将水稻种植与水产养殖结合起来,在灌水稻田中养殖鱼类。稻田为鱼类提供了保护和有机食物,鱼类软化土壤且为水稻作物提供了营养和氧气。中国祖先的传统智慧得到了保存,并辅之以生态、有机的农业系统。青田这样的乡村不仅提高了生产力,保证了可持续的生态系统,而且还推广了农业旅游。那些曾遭受人口外流和贫困困扰的村庄现在已经变成了传统的、自给自足的农业遗产地址,鼓励人口流入、旅游,促进了中国农村振兴。

 

穷人和小农通过全球重要农业文化遗产计划以可持续的方式实现了粮食和生计安全。

 

事实上,中国有13个农业文化遗产地址,其中8个位于贫困县,覆盖共900万农民。通过诸如电子商务平台等方式推广这些地区的产品,对于减少贫困和乡村振兴也很重要。

 

同时,发展农业产业化经营也被确定为中国重点减贫战略,政府在这方面投入了大量精力,如派出技术专家帮助确定作物增长,以及建立和加强合作社。毫无疑问,传统食物系统与新系统的结合将有助于减少贫困。

 

《中国投资》:您如何看待“一带一路”倡议下农业合作扮演的角色?

 

丹尼尔 J. 古斯塔夫森:“一带一路”倡议旨在促进沿线各国之间的政策沟通、设施联通、贸易畅通、资金融通和民心相通。农业在相关经济体中发挥着至关重要的作用,占许多沿线国家国内生产总值的25%以上。基础设施投资将加强联通度,便利市场进入,以及资源、信息和服务的获取。

 

联通世界其他地区至关重要,特别是考虑到“一带一路”沿线地区往往高度依赖农业、经济欠发达且缺少必要基础设施来实现繁荣和发展。但是,基础设施并不是增长和发展的灵丹妙药。需要实施政策和改革以便这些投资能够促进包容性增长并惠及最贫困人群。

 

具体而言,将重点放在发展农业综合经营上。“一带一路”大多数国家都以劳动密集型、农业经济为特征,而农村贫困仍然是一个普遍而重大的挑战。通过更好的基础设施,创新可以进入这些地区,使其从“一带一路”及所促进的知识交流中大大受益。

 

农业合作是包容性增长的主要支柱。联合国粮农组织发现,投资农业对于改善最贫穷人群生活的效率是投资其他部门的四倍。(编辑:杨海霞)