ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Evading Political Causes of Poverty-Preview of an FAO World Conference

Evading Political Causes of Poverty Preview of an FAO 'World Conference' (By a Special Correspondent) THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations is now in the process of organising what it believes to be a World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, or WCARRD in short. The conference scheduled to be held in Rome during July 12-22, 1979 has been called "to accelerate the economic, social, technological and cultural development of the neglected rural areas of the developing world, and to is end to effect the transformation or forms that may be necessary... "It aims at promoting reforms which imply transforming the rural environment, modernising it through a wide range of social, economic, ecological and technological measures, including rural industrialisation, and the carrying out of infrastructural work...' So says Hernan Santa Cruz of Chile who heads the Conference Secretariat. Rut the Conference can hardly be considered to be a World Conference. By limiting the .scope of the conference to the Third World, the need to emphasise that reforms and structural changes are also required in the developed COUA- tric.s is conveniently glossed over. Judging from the documentation that has been prepared for the conference and the draft agenda, it becomes quite obvious that what the FAO is organ- sing is a conference of its member governments to discuss and suggest policy measures for the agrarian systems and agricultures of only Third World countries. This glaring anomaly in the very title, of the conference reflects the FAO's prejudiced understanding of the causes and remedies of world poverty and clearly betrays on its part a paternalistic attitude towards the Third World.

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