Friday, June 10, 2011

Stop the politickin'!!

This is roughly the translation of a quite good article byf Arturo Alvarado of today in El Heraldo (press here to read the article in!Basta-de-politiqueria. We do not want to continue hearing the cheap and misleading political maneuvering and talks about a "Constituyente" UNLESS we hear detailed and specific proposals on how and why they want to change the constitution and under what conditions and safeguards for implementation. I still do not think it is necessary, as the Constitution can be changed through existing procedures, and now more than ever do not think we are ready to allow presidential reelections. But, if anybody can prove to me that there is a direct link between how the Constitution as a whole is drafted and the economic development or the dramatic poverty situation in Honduras, well then, I change my opinion.

The promises of a land full of "milk and honey" are not enough anymore. We want to hear sensible, pragmatical and long term plans, but even more, we want to see that implementation has already started, so that we definitively see the changes in the way things are done in my country. The buffoonery, improvisation, false smiles and measure rammed down the throats of everybody without a careful analysis of their impact, will not and should not be tolerated.

Chinese developed genetically modified cotton (c) J. Falck-Zepeda 2011
We need to prepare now for the next 25 years and beyond, in world with a 9 billion people living in earth, with the rise of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China and similar countries) with an increased income and acquisition patterns. This is expected to lead to an agricultural and food production system with long-term increases in real prices, increased price volatility and increases in production and financial risk. I'll write in more detail about some of the quite somber projections that IFPRI -where I work- has done with regard to food production and agriculture. This has quite profound implications especially for those countries who have become or will become net importers of food for consumption.

At the same time, we have to prepare ourselves to potential increases in climate variability, increased shortages of water and land for cultivation, increased pest and disease pressures, and sadly, the impacts of long term neglect of agricultural and technological research and development investments in our country and in the rest of the world.

Singapore (C) J. Falck-Zepeda, 2010
Has this government, or any government for that matter, addressed these issues in a comprehensive and strategic manner? Unfortunately, no. We are so far behind even by the standards of countries in the region such as Costa Rica or Uruguay, and we still have to address the issues of health, education and housing, which are clearly priorities too for the development of any country. It can be done, as I have written before about how countries like Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan, have literally lifted themselves within one or perhaps two generations from the depth of despair and poverty in which our politicians and other leaders want to keep us in forever.

Heck, in the end, its not them, but the rest of the population -also known as...Us- who allow these politicians to continue with the politckin'...until we convey the message that "business as usual" will not be tolerated any more...and I mean not tolerated no more- is when we will start hearing that things are starting to change....

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