Friday, 2 May 2008

SALZBURG DAY 2: REACHING THE HARD TO REACH

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member

Talking about a Green Revolution on a global level is the easy part, but how will the Green Revolution reach out to those that are hardest to reach? A platform for dialogue in African countries – to talk at a regional and local level – was a recurring theme. The role of the citizen in creating the Green Revolution was not to be underestimated, delegates said. Photo: Gem Ardwings-Kodhek debates with colleagues in Salzburg / Julia Day

Initiatives to build citizen action, accountability and representation are needed, the conference heard. Helping to bring excluded people into the debate and build the capacity of farmer organisations to be effective is key to this process. Representation and accountability need to be built up, using local, national and global networks to demand more effective government and donor responses.

But who will miss out? One key question is how to engage with those whose views do not usually form part of the policy process? What happens to those living in areas far from townswhere road connections are poor and where government and private sector presence is limited, such as the dryland pastoral areas of Africa?
Efforts must be put into including those who are hard to reach and those stuck in the ‘poverty trap’ where the benefits of a Green Revolution will be missed.

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