Investing financial resources in rural development
In food production there was also an emphasis on greater self-dependence. For some, natural farming was simply more practical. It cost less, and gave the farmer greater autonomy; by relying on natural fertilisers and pesticides and crop rotation, he controlled more of the inputs. Similarly, with animals or crops grown for income, the emphasis was on small scale activities where the producer could control more of the factors. Development, focused in this direction, produces people who need to rely less upon external financing.
Some policies have a negative impact on labour demand and income distribution. Of particular concern is the common provision of subsidized credit to large farmers and the exclusion of small farmers from the formal credit market. Institutional credit in developing countries rarely reaches more than a quarter of the farm population; most of it is usually secured by large farmers, often at very low or negative or even negative real rates of interest. Subsidized credit programmes have often had the unintended effect of encouraging questionable mechanization with major labour-displacing consequences. Selective mechanization may be appropriate where output is limited by seasonal shortages of labour, but its general encouragement through subsidized credit is unwarranted, especially in poor countries.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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