Academics challenged to help fight rural poverty

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Researchers have much to contribute towards fighting rural poverty.

Academics around the world have been challenged to get involved in efforts to fight poverty in rural areas.

The call has come from the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, in a speech to the World Congress of Rural Sociology in Lisbon, Portugal, on Monday.

Derrick Mbatha reports.

José Graziano da Silva urged academics to conduct research into rural poverty and the food and agriculture business for small-scale producers.

Mr. Graziano da Silva identified large-scale investments in agriculture or “land-grabbing” as a politically important area where universities could conduct research into principles for responsible agricultural investments.

He also stressed the need for looking into issues of extremely poor rural labour markets and working conditions, poorly enforced labour laws, and limited access to social protection.

The head of FAO said these issues need better conceptual clarification and practical proposals from academics and policy makers.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

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