Sushil Pandey, senior economist at IRRI, explained that though the country is the second largest exporter of rice in the world, many poor upland farmers are not able to produce enough to feed themselves and their families.
They cannot buy rice in the market because they do not have enough money or the rice brought in from these surplus deltas becomes quite expensive due to high cost of transportation to these remote uplands
Simply put, marginal uplands are trapped in a vicious cycle of low food produc!vity, poverty, and environmental degradation.
So, the nagging issue is, "How could one break the shackle of hunger brought by poverty in marginal uplands?"
The project Managing Landscapes in the Marginal Uplands for Household Food Security and Environmental Sustainability (IFAD TAG706) was conceived by the team, led by Dr. Pandey
, for finding solutions to the dire conditions in the uplands.
Its goal was crystal clear: to improve household food security of poor farmers in the marginal uplands of South and Southeast Asia through more productive technologies, thereby contribu!ng to poverty alleviation while protecting these fragile environments.
"When farmers' household food security is achieved, then they can start to consider options that will increase and diversify their income such as growing cash crops and raising livestock," said Dr. Pandey
"Essentially, the project was designed to work with the farmers to develop op!ons suited to their specific situation," said Dr. Pandey
Dr. Sushil Pandey, IRRI senior economist, talks about the project Landscapes in the Marginal Uplands for Household Food and Environmental Sustainability.