1 – How do you analyze the problem of poverty and misery in the megalopolises ?
You are quite right to separate poverty from misery because poverty is economic whereas misery is cultural, social and societal.
One no doubt goes hand in hand with the other, but misery means underdevelopment, abandonment or solitude, and this is why we often use related terms such as precariousness to show the fragility of men, groups and societies.
Of course, if it is possible to solve economic problems, it is logical to believe that destitution and precariousness can be overcome.
The megalopolis is the end result of this state of affairs.
We can see that traditional agricultural societies can no longer feed or educate entire populations and we also notice that there is a rural exodus, which began twenty years ago. Some say that the numbers involved are 4 times bigger than they were during the Industrial Revolution in the West.
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the West, people could be sure of finding a job in the cities, even if conditions were very difficult, but unfortunately this solution does not apply to modern societies. This is why in towns we find whole populations without work, accommodation or resources, and what is even worse, without any links with society because they have no cultural reference.
We could say that this exile to megalopolises leaves people in a state of abandonment because the rites, rhythms and customs of traditional societies are no longer relevant to this way of life.
Ultimately 60% of humanity will live in cities. The phenomenon of the megalopolis seems to be irreversible and universal. At the beginning of the 20th century, only 2% of African populations lived in cities. Today, one African in two lives in an urban area..
2 – What appeals to you about the World Organization for Agriculture (WOAgri) ?
What appeals to me in the movement’s project is of course the fact that farmers could find outlets for their own products and live off the fruit of their work.
For several years, the present system of international aid has been based on assistance, and therefore considers, in a sense, that the dice are cast, which means that whole populations are incapable of living from working the land.
It seems that we have resigned ourselves to the fact that developing countries cannot be financially independent. It is a vicious circle: if cheap agricultural products are available, they compete with local produce which are naturally more expensive, and tomorrow these cheap exports will make the situation even worse!
The idea of a World Organization for Agriculture is a noble one in that it will try to reverse this trend: we are well aware of the difficulties it will encounter as it will go against the flow of a powerful existing system!
It will encourage autonomy and responsibility within these populations. It is a way of fighting the abandonment of whole groups of exiled people and saving them from a fatal outcome, by putting pressure on the towns and by assisting massive emigration to other regions.