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Starvation: The Role of Agri-business
For the civilized world as well as those of us who might have global view of things in terms of our progressive agenda, we should all be PISSED off and try to do something that people die of starvation why other people live like kings!! I just do not think that it is rrite; I’m not a believer of the eradication of poverty as a practical reality but I’m strong believer in humanity and the dignity of the human individual. There is a certain way to live and there is a certain way not to live; it is a shame when people die because there is no food, it is a shame on all of us as human beings.
As usual, my interest is how to channel business ideas to help people. I like business because of the do or die mentality, and the fact that I need results. In some parts of Africa, such as Zambia and Angola, the land is not used to its fullest capacity, and yet people often can’t afford a meal. The land needs to be exploited for the benefit of the people. Why should we be hearing things like “shortage of food?” I will never advocate for socialism because I want people to work and accordingly be rewarded as such; but it is a crime when people want to work and yet they can’t be allowed and as a consequence end loosing out on a meal; I think that is just total injustice!!
How can business play a role? Well, there is what we call “Agribusiness” which is pretty much business in agriculture. Setting up a business, knowing fully well the costs associated with the venture is certainly something that we should all be aware, and when hiring workers we should all hire them with the knowledge that they are employees. However, the way the factory can be run is pretty much with a sense of social purpose; which is grassroots economic independence! Providing employment is one way of seeing poverty fade away structurally. What we need is not ideas out of the blues but ideas that force development by making it a structural reality!! When you finance the operations of a company in Africa with capital flows from the outside world, you basically allow yourself to offset certain business costs without destroying the lives of the people who work for you. That allows them to understand the value the company holds where some actually make it their responsibility to see the company do well.
In business, there is always a need to feel that you are contributing! When a company has a culture where people inherently feel their worth with the company then you have a company that will last. Companies engage in the production of food should understand that not only are they “in-it” to make money but they also provide a service to their consumers; this allows great innovation and respect for the product.
As a result, business can play a role in mitigating the effects of starvation. Commercial farms, that produce great amounts of food every year should hire people, understand their balance sheet, make profit, but also understand the nature of their consumers! In most developing countries, there is hardly any diversification of food because the "staple" is the central meal---rice, corn etc!!! As a consequence, when a company knows that it controls a large market share of business in the production of that food it is imperative that it is socially conscious that the unimaginable profit pursuits as well as inefficient production of food leads to the starvation of many aspects of the population.
In a world, where we have the technology to maintain the integrity of food as well as exponential, efficient production of food I don’t think starvation should be a way people die! We really need to create opportunities for people to help themselves. What we don’t want are hand-outs: but creating structural environments where we can see people do something good for themselves is something that we want and we can start by making businesses part of our progressive agenda. We need not have a division when it comes to understanding that making profits is not at the peril of social responsibility; especially for companies dealing with products that are consumed.
Agribusiness has a role to play in making sure that there is enough food supply, with a market determined price, and that there is no over-production!!