Poverty has been and is a major concern of many governments and societies in the initial stages of this new century. The contributions of this book provide an insight into the various attempts and concepts of poverty alleviation. This book is divided into two parts. The first part of this book contains some papers discussing the concepts and the evaluation of some poverty alleviation policies, while the second part shares some experiences about the strategies to alleviate poverty. Most of the contributors to this book understand the concept of poverty as deficient income among farm households, however, some authors use a broader concept of poverty. Explicitly or implicitly, various aspects of a better livelihood are included, and poverty is considered to be a multidimensional phenomenon. The broader view is in line with the more theoretical debate on poverty and the concept of international organizations such as the World Bank.
A comprehensive concept of poverty alleviation is still not in sight. Poverty exists in rural and urban areas, among agricultural smallholders and livestock-rearing households and amongst herders and pastoralists. The reasons for poverty are manifold and, accordingly, the attempts to overcome vulnerability and poverty have to be diverse as well. But as demonstrated in the papers on various projects, there is a common understanding that the poor are self-determined individuals striving with all of their means to achieve a better livelihood and cope with risks and shocks. This view includes an understanding of the dynamics of poverty and takes into account not only the entries into, but also the exists from poverty. The empowerment of poor people is on the agenda. This non-deterministic perspective is a basis for the prospects of future poverty alleviation.
The different papers address numerous ways of how to tackle the problem of poverty. The strategies of poverty alleviation are diverse. We can no longer expect that enhancing economic growth will solve the problem by way of a simple trickle down effect. It is the merit of this book that it informs the reader on a wide range of positive projects helping farmers to be lifted out of poverty by strengthening their own efforts and resources.
Jutta Hebel is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Rural Development, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany.
Samadi is lecturer at the Department of Animal Husbandry, University of Syiah Kuala Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Ph.D candidate at the Institute of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany.
Dodik R. Nurrochmat is lecturer at the Institute of Forest Policy, Economics and Social, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia and Ph.D candidate at the Institute of Forest Policy and Nature Conservation, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany.