Trying to have a sustainable economy, ensuring the availability of food, and helping the local economy – all of these are overarching problems which every nation faces or is facing. The United Nations-led 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was launched in 2015, might make it seem we are a long way off, but that is not quite the case.
In the Andean country of Bolivia, the Government is investing $40 million for supporting small farmers and medium farmers. It intends to achieve 100% Food Sovereignty by 2020. Marisol Solano, the Dy. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has stated that there are twenty food security projects which are already in motion in the country. The Government is providing financial support to farmers for fish farming and breeding livestock. It is also looking to augment the production of food crops like cocoa, coffee, vegetables, wheat, tomatoes, and potatoes.
The Bolivian State is also looking to create more steadily state-owned corporations to engage in seed production. This move will enable the farmers to engage in crop farming which is indigenous to the country and respect the natural ecosystem too.
The Government is investing in its own country’s food production so that even the carbon emissions incurred in food-importing is reduced. The country has already seen a 25% increase in its food production in comparison to the food production recorded in 2014. The State looks to sustain the steady growth next year as well and the country is certainly not very far away from it.
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The reduction of imports is going to be useful for the country’s GDP. It will reduce transport emissions, and support the local businesses and farmers. In addition to that, agriculture is a vital industry. Prosperity in that area would trickle into other sectors as well.
It is still not certain if Bolivia will be able to attain 100% food sovereignty in the next 5 years. But the initiative Bolivia has taken certainly shows that other Governments can learn from this example. The precedent Bolivia has set by striving to build onto the existing localized capabilities is a remarkable one, to say the least.
If more Governments across the planet looked towards empowering their indigenous farmers, the world situation might have been very different. But at the end of the day, Bolivia stands as an example that every Government should take inspiration from.
IMAGE CREDIT: LAURA FACCHINI