Box 4. Ways of combining production and social protection objectives (focusing principally on agriculture/NR sector) i. Reducing risk and uncertainty both by increasing the benefits of growth over time, and reducing their variability: such benefits may be defined in terms of income or consumption, including qualitative (e.g. nutritional) dimensions. Efforts to reduce inter - and intra- year variations include: the promotion of new, multi-enterprise farming systems (across crops, livestock, trees) and development of on- or off-farm activities for “slack” seasons; the development of drought tolerant, and pest and disease resistant, crop varieties; improved access to irrigation water; and improved A P P E N D I X 4
122 soil qualities. Seasonal credit needs to be arranged so that repayment is not immediately post-harvest (i.e. when agricultural prices are lowest). Where standards of public administration are good, and seasonal swings in agricultural prices particularly severe, new, streamlined ways of intervening in grain markets can be attempted (in selective and closely monitored ways). In areas of pronounced seasonality of food supply, a particularly important task for the public sector research and extension system would be to develop and popularise early-maturing varieties that can supply food in the hungry season. ii. Reducing risk and uncertainty by supporting the pro-poor resolution of conflict over common resources (e.g. water, forest, grazing land): such conflict may be among different categories of producer, but also between producers and consumers, as in the case of water – poverty effects are likely to be much stronger if domestic water supplies are prioritised over agricultural uses during drought. This may require restriction on the installation and/or use of certain technologies by farmers (such as deep tubewells) which reach deeper into the aquifer than domestic handpumps generally can. More secure rights to land and/or long-term investments such as trees allow these to be harvested to meet household crises. Microwatershed development, where it is handled sensitively, provides a context in which agreement on joint action over the rehabilitation of local resources has positive effects on production and the environment, in addition to reducing seasonality and enhancing people’s capacity for local level planning. This is one of the few arenas prioritising societal over individual protection. iii. Reducing the vulnerability of poor households to idiosyncratic and covariate shocks : insurance schemes may help in the latter case, but new models are needed to overcome the cumbersome nature of existing schemes; microfinance (not tied to particular purposes) can help to provide the financial flexibility needed by the poor to meet crises; wider access to telephones can help them to arrange emergency transfers as well as obtain information on productive activities; land reform can enhance their asset-base, and encourage the creation of a long-term asset base such
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