Role of NGOs in Agriculture Development
Nongovernmental Organizations, commonly known as NGOs play an important role in lives of people and in supporting economic development in different ways. One of the areas that receive support from NGOs is the agricultural sector. Through this, people get employment, earn a living, lives improve and the economies grow.
In understanding the role of NGOs in agricultural development, it is important to note that violent conflicts, including civil and military have negatively affected agriculture in most parts of the Africa and other areas in the world. There is poor agricultural research capacity resulting from market inefficiencies and the collapse of extension services to the public, largely affect access and use of farm inputs, thus reducing agricultural production.
Life has to go on in the aftermath of any conflict because people recollect their broken pieces of life and begin a new journey. Without such reestablishment, people rely on aid, making the population food insecure and highly exposed to high food prices. Most donors consider NGOs since they establish themselves with a short time, are flexible, accountable and objective in handling their mandate.
Even though NGOs may consider working closely with the government of the day, their agricultural relief and recovery efforts are essential in revamping the public extension system. In essence, this stage of transition is usually the first one towards the root of recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction after a devastating experience. Due to the absence a strategy for the transition, there is always friction between NGOs and the public recovery extension service. In some cases, the state might have different priorities in achieving its reconstruction agenda in the post conflict environment. In these scenarios, the government is always concerned with self-preservation and a stable political and administrative stability. As a result, we may witness clientelism, a mutually beneficial system that does not embrace pluralism, where those in powers offer selective opportunities.
Since NGOs run on their own, such groups could include a church group, village organizations, and community-based unions. It may also be a large national non-profit making organization or a combination of several options. As much as NGOs may have vital impact on agricultural development, their mandate is sometimes limited by the host country. Depending on the laws of a state, NGOs may be restricted to certain areas or have limited influence in an authoritative state. Besides a specific mandate of say, empowering the agricultural sector, some NGOs end up restoring democracy and advocating for the rights of the minority. It is a common phenomenon where the NGOs has a significant impact and touches the lives of resident in an array of ways as compare to others.
It is therefore necessary for NGOs to clarify the kind of “spillover effects” in a post conflict environment. Of need is to have a comparison between the extension system and the environment. This approach is good because NGOs have the potential of transforming the lives of people through agricultural extension services. These groups may help to rural dwellers to participate in resource mobilization to improve living standards.
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