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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Farmers

Statement by Farmers? Major Group by Sarala Gopalan
On Transport (Undelivered)
CSD-IPM March 1, 2011
Mister Chairman,
In many developing countries, sustainable practices are difficult to
implement due to the lack of financial resources, infrastructure and
services. This represents a major constraint on the competitiveness and
viability of the agricultural sector.
If handled correctly, transportation offers a number of win-win opportunities
for employment, poverty reduction, and reduced environmental impact.
Infrastructure investment is needed ? particularly in rural roads ? to make
supplies available to farmers, workers and industry and then to provide
access to markets. A corridors approach, such as the efforts in Africa to
build from ports inward to the countryside should be a priority.
A priority for development expenditure must also be focused on on-farm
storage and processing facilities that reduce post-harvest losses.
Reducing production losses and food wastage are key elements for
sustainable development. Some estimates of post harvest losses are as
high as 40%.
Farmers need to have adequate and appropriate transportation
infrastructure, local storage facilities including cold chain storage for food
preservation to reduce losses.
Finally, the issue of biofuels has been raised several times today. Farmers
need assistance with the right technology for the production of biofuels on
their farms. That can include alternate crops and use of biomass which is
currently a waste product. We want to contribute to cleaner fuels without
damaging national and global food security.