United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Farmers

Thank you Chairman for the opportunity to put forward the views of Farmers.
Absence of effective transportation is the bane of many developing countries which has impacted
agricultural and rural development and kept significant proportion of the population in poverty. We
still have situations in our part of the world where farmers are reluctant to grow vegetables in their
fields as the products cannot reach consumption centres without perishing. Post harvest losses are
estimated at 40% of production. Farmers would request Governments to increase and prioritise
investments in building strong market links through roads and cold chains and communication
means to reach markets in quick time and preserve quality of products. Hence the urgency of
attention for this.
In this context I appreciate the passionate presentation made by the panellist on gender and
transport constraints. I would like to add one successful effort in Kerala, a coastal State in India, on
providing special buses for fisher-women who walked 8-10 kms with 25 kgs loads on their heads to
sell fish. The buses improved their carrying capacity, reducing strain, and also improved the volumes
they could take to the market for trade. Their financial conditions have improved.
Having emphasized the need for transportation to reach agricultural products to markets, I would
like to remind this august body, the need to produce food as far as possible near home, if not at
home, to reduce the food-miles every grain has to travel from the farm to the table ? to reduce
costs, energy and green house gases.
Transport planning in Major urban centres for wholesale markets needs to be done very
intelligently, as Markets located in the centre of cities hold up trucks at the periphery which effect
perishables, and alternately trucks in the cities hold up other traffic and cause congestion.
Developing countries with their markets developing only now should be given the experiences and
solutions of the developed world so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
On the point of bio-fuels, the need to diversify land for bio-f.el production should not impact food
production. This point needs a cautious approach, as manyl countries with small land mass and high
density of population do not have the luxury that Brazil has with its abundant land supply.
I wanted to stress on this lest in our enthusiasm for bio-fuels, we do not lose land meant for food
Thank you.