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A critical look at DFID's agriculture policy

Concern Worldwide has today released a short report critiquing the Department for International Development's (DFID) current policy for prioritising economic growth over tackling hunger. This report coincides with DFID's internal review of its 2005 agriculture policy.

The report argues that DFID's current agriculture policy sidelines marginal farmers, despite the fact that they make up the majority of the world’s poor and hungry. It highlights the importance for DFID of prioritising the needs of marginal farmers, rather than viewing agriculture simply as an engine for economic growth.

DFID has acknowledged the critical role that agriculture plays in contributing towards the Millenium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. However, its current agricultural policy does not have poverty reduction as its core.

The best option

Crucially, the report challenges the Department for International Development’s assumption that marginal farmers make little contribution to stimulating growth in agriculture. Drawing on extensive research and Concern’s own experience, the report makes a convincing case for supporting poor farmers by showing that farming is often the best option for them. Concern believes that with the right kind of assistance, marginal farmers can become significantly more productive and contribute in the long term to growth in agriculture.

Unheard Voices

The report forms part of Concern’s Unheard Voices campaign.

  • Read a summary of the report here
  • Click here to read the full report
  • Read Concern’s letter to Douglas Alexander MP here