Monday, December 14, 2009
The new Agriculture Minister, Hussein Hajj Hassan, (from Hizbullah) presented his agricultural strategy. It has all the right vocabulary and concepts, starting with grassroots and community participation and ending with curtailing the role of international development aid. This is a positive departure from "the usual", except that the strategy comes without a vision: where do we want to go? What kind of agriculture do we want? It appears that the minister and his team are still stuck with the conventional definition of development as "the economic growth of the sector". Important questions remain, such as: will the farm sector continue to focus on export as is the wish of the brainiacs who make the financial policy?