RE: Enhancing funding and service delivery in agriculture: any ideas? | Eval Forward


I've read the discussion so far with great interest. It would be fair to say that the question boils down to two aspects of the matter, viz.,

   I. Total amount of funds actually at the disposal of the government (or for that matter any organisation).

   II. Willingness and the ability of the 'fund allocators' to do their job honestly and skillfully.

This condition, 'honestly' is not very easy to achieve even in the so-called 'mature democracies'. I will not try to address the issue of how to obtain funds in the first place even though it is very important as Prof. Tinsley has noted in his contribution.

Assuming that the funds are available, we now face the question of 'willingness' of the allocators to provide support in a justifiable way. The ability involved here is an allocators capacity to assign funds in a justifiable way. However, the willingness to do so may not obtain for several reasons, viz.:

   1. Corruption in its many forms.

   2. Incompetence and indifference.

   3. Near fanatical belief in 'development theories'.

This list may not be exhaustive, but we would be naive to ignore its awful effect on our way forward.

Finally, the question of justifiability; a justifiable allocation of public funds (aid or tax income) represents provision of funds to various efforts in proportion to their significance towards enabling people to meet their fundamental needs, which I have fully described elsewhere. These are nutrition, health, education, security,procreation and what I have called our non-material needs. The last is so called because their satisfaction does not involve any material gain, eg. aesthetic enjoyment, playing games, etc. As agriculture is the principal means of meeting our nutritional needs, it should receive due priority. After all, after air and water, food is the most important thing for us. Without it, political or religious creeds, rights, etc., are only of an academic interest.

Best wishes!