Paul Lachine

小农迎来大机遇

纽约——八国集团不久前在意大利拉奎拉峰会上启动的200亿美元小农援助计划或许是战胜饥饿和极端贫困的一次历史性的突破。如果这笔新资金能得到认真的管理,非洲的粮食生产将会大幅度增加。实际上,这项新计划和其他医疗、教育、基础设施计划一起,有可能成为迄今为止实现千年发展目标的最有效举措,千年发展目标国际协议规定到2015年将极端贫困、疾病和饥饿人口减少到原来的半数。

2002至2006年,我为实现千年发展目标,在时任联合国秘书长科菲·安南管理下领导联合国千年发展项目。“小农”是这个项目的基础,“小农”一词是非洲、拉美和亚洲耕种土地不超过1公顷(合2.5英亩)的农民家庭的代名词。颇具讽刺意味的是,尽管自身也生产粮食,但他们却隶属于世界最贫困、最饥饿家庭的行列。

他们饥饿,是因为无力购买提高产量所需的高产种子、化肥、灌溉设备和其他工具。这导致农作物产量匮乏,根本不够维持生计。他们的贫困造成农业生产率低下,而农业生产率低下又反过来加剧了贫困。这形成了恶性循环,技术上被称为贫困陷阱。

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