9. Agriculture and Livestock

Over 80 percent of the total population was found to live in rural areas, of which almost 90 percent were considered poor. Due to the fragmented nature of agricultural land distribution, rural development is crucial for alleviating poverty of this demographic.

In order to reduce rural poverty, infrastructure development is essential. Provision of better roads and transport networks and long-term credit facilities to satisfy their capital needs to engage in modern farming techniques and start micro and small businesses will make their situation better.

It will be important to provide a reference to the parliamentary investigatory committee on agriculture. Possibilities of setting up Farmer Cooperatives or combinations of Farmer-Consumer-worker cooperatives along with credit unions will be explored. There could be possibilities of diversifying production lines and helping out setting up different types of cooperatives for the rural communities to involve. A suitable farm cooperative model as a basis for collective action of agricultural workers, particularly, in the estate sector could be developed. Facilitating such initiatives will be one of the many roles of the WSDE authority.
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