Understanding conflicts in agriculture

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ARTICLE : A steady and simple supply of food is crucial to the farmers during this day and time of stress caused by floods. The fact that they have been displaced by floods only exacerbates the situation that was already in the coming. That is why the food supply is becoming hazardous as gangs try and take the food for themselves and some of them have even hoarded the same and taken the stuff far in excess of their requirements.

Selfishness abounds when the food supply is disturbed as it was during the floods. The various TV channels also do not help, and the NGOs and public trying to be helpful are in fact doing the opposite and disturbing the work that is the ultimate responsibility of the regional government.

With cries of mismanagement and mismanaged efforts-one at the implementation level and the other at the conceptual level abounding by all those that have never been in public service on wonders as to where all this will end. The colonial legacy of cribbing all the time instead of becoming an independent nation has led to a collective personality that is all the time finger pointing.

Without realising the idiot box has a lot of messiahs and I think that a better course would be to give them limited responsibility and if what they utter, they can deliver why not give them the responsibility? The Russian revolution of 1917 is the best known case of food shortages and what it could lead to.

Bread riots can be serious business for any country, not the government for it means that the structural aspects have not been looked at. That ultimately the farmer s business has been disturbed and that the centralised governance has not been able to cope with the information that filtered from the area for a variety of reasons.

The divisive nature of political living and governance that has merged is furthered not by the logic of events but by the illogic of temperaments. The finger pointing by the losers is so serious that the public without any evidence to the contrary is willing to believe anyone and yet in calling for a change the ignorance of a political change is not understood and people sitting and residing in far off places play their own agenda. If these people are so red hot why do they not come here and work for the country. When collective wisdom gives them the authority then they can also lead the country.

What then is the food supply and how can it be augmented by policy matters? The food supply gap will keep on increasing in
Pakistan because of the population explosion that we are witnessing. The recent HH surveys done in the flood affected areas, although only indicative of the population explosion, are enough to make policy-makers worry as to the impact of this on the food supply.

We have been the victims of theories from the West adequately processed by the international agencies only further some opinion where the cultural context has not even been visited by these international agencies be it the WB, ADB, IMF and/or others like IFPRI.

The widely anticipated Rostow model of stages of development has been blown to pieces. For the society far from becoming progressively mature, democratic and more peaceful have been the reverse. More food security disruption by internal conflict is a way of making sure that vulnerability increases and those nations remain on the brink while the power base does what it wants to. How were the links between poverty, deprivation and rural vulnerability? High sounding names, but if we were to look at the rural vulnerability, then were the recent floods not adequate to provide massive evidence of what that deprivation and vulnerability is?

The conscience of the world has taken a break from sanity. The African continent is being decimated by killer disease and the options are not so easy to understand till one understands the doings of the developed countries. How
China is being disturbed and how the various matters are being tackled. The West gets into a tangle and wants to harness China s leadership. That is a different story altogether.

Following decolonization the free countries got in to another tangle and that was to do with the legacy that was left behind, a legacy that was to simmer and continue between
Pakistan and India on the one hand and between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the other. China was brought in but thanks to Shaheed ZAB s vision and friendship angle with the Chinese leadership that was thwarted. Some issues were allowed to be purposely created and the mess that was thus left behind still continues all this to the advantage of the developed nations.

The modernisation theory was a hocus pocus of many things-containing communism through nation-building. What was the nation building about? Give the throwaways of the Korean War to these countries whether they like it or not. Far from building nations, they disturbed the natural rhythm of the country by stating the most difficult, but catchy aspect of nation-building. The theory was that all good things such as development, democracy and social harmony would go together. The flow of prosperity did not take place.

What did take place was that the persistence of instability was due to the development process itself. Traditional values were uprooted and gaps enlarged. Pakistan faced this in the Fall of Dhaka or Dacca and the current development of Northern Areas is dependent on the ways that AKRSP has invested only on a particular section of society, living there thus changing permanently the traditional relationships. The transformation of traditional rural society created a massive unrest and the spoils went to the powerful or the connected.

The WB economists from their luxury apartments kept saying that there is nothing to worry about as the benefits would trickle down. Nothing trickled down then or now. They kept with their massive propaganda. Any amounts of cheap reasons were given for this to happen. Idiotic rationalisations came to the fore. The WB, ADB, IMF and any institution involved in development took the same cry. Revulsion developed and not a social revolution.

Big names were given Kuznets curve and the inverted U-curve and what have you. It was, in fact, the work of inverted and perverted minds that came to the fore. Kuznets and company like Victor Papanek from the
US before him gave sound reasons on arguments that were not on rock logic, but on shifting sands. They came up with the view that at higher stages, the state capacity increases, demands are met, inequality is lowered, democracy enhanced and social stability returns.

Again the weakness was not in the policy, but in the developing world where the elites thwarted this activity. Pray who dwelt with these elites? Who gave them all the encouragement? Then came the punch line that stated that there was a curvilinear relationship between development and internal strife. You tell me what is the meaning of these two or three buzzwords that were being thrown around to prove that these guys were clever ones? What, for instance, was meant by Kuznets curve and how many hungry people would understand the curvilinear relationship. As if every conflict round the world would follow automatically.

How in the case of
Pakistan do you explain the excluded despite nearly seventy years of development? The role of the international agencies and the role of the slaves of the WB/ADB that they keep on sending here need to be understood by the governments. Gloss on their lips and snakes up their sleeves. Then these wise cranks tell you the conflict and instability was part and parcel of mobility. More needs to be done to evaluate the remaining three theories and may be next time. Jokers.

Courtesy: Business Recorder


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