Five countries known as BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — have become shining examples of successful poverty reduction with strong agricultural research systems and technologies. With major agricultural economies, the BRICS countries are leaders in the movement to eradicate global hunger and poverty in developing countries.
Agriculture is a major contributor to economic growth and poverty reduction, and BRICS play an important role in helping developing countries meet the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. As contributors of more than 40 percent of the world’s population and more than 20 percent of the world’s GDP, the five countries account for more than one-third of global cereal production.
“In low-income countries, growth originating from agriculture is twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth originating from other sectors of the economy,” Kundhavi Kadiresan, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional representative for Asia and the Pacific, said at the seventh meeting of the BRICS ministers of agriculture.
BRICS countries lead the fight against global hunger and poverty with essential knowledge and technologies for sustainable development and rural growth through agriculture. FAO collaborates with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute to confirm that the technologies benefit smallholders. With BRICS agricultural research systems, developing countries will assess their challenges and find sustainable solutions.
According to FAO, biotechnology and agro-ecological approaches would also, “play a key role in these advances. Climate-smart agriculture will be essential to adapt to the uncertain changes facing our farmers, and it will rely heavily on cutting-edge research.”
Information and communication technologies address many of the challenges smallholders face, including prices, weather forecasts, vaccines and financial services. For example, South Africa’s Festa Tlala is a government-led initiative to support cultivated land expansion and food production for smallholder farmers. As BRICS find working solutions to global hunger and poverty, developing countries will increase their production and productivity with similar tools and approaches.
In addition, social protection programs help rural development and poverty reduction by strengthening family farmers and their entrepreneurship. Enriching health, education and other services outside of farming plays a significant role in developing a country, as do international trade, promoting food security and balancing the domestic food economy.
As leaders in poverty reduction and achieving Sustainable Development Goals, BRICS technologies and approaches for agricultural growth assist in strengthening developing countries by 2030. Their role could shape the economies of countries all around the globe.
– Sarah Dunlap