3.1.3 Pillar 3: “Creation of opportunities to increase and diversify the incomes of the poor”
This pillar aims to reduce the monetary poverty of the most vulnerable and eradicate hunger. To that end, action is to be taken in the different sectors, namely agriculture, fisheries, livestock, employment, creation of income generating activities, youth, women, and training for self-employment and first-time employment.
It has been projected hat in the next 15-20 years, the primary and fundamental objective of all government action will be to establish a stable economic and institutional environment by defining policies which, in the proper framework, would establish the structure and foster the development of rural and urban areas, revolving around: Production growth and diversification; Assurance of food security; Improved socio-economic conditions for the population in rural, urban and peri-urban (Luchans and environs) areas; Conservation of natural heritage; Advancement of women and youth; Development of export capacity.
Within that framework, the Priority Action Program, 2006 (PAP) under the NPRS plans to spend US$13,120,000 on Pillar III. It is estimated that financial execution of the 2006 PIP during the period amounted to approximately US$1,805,000 or 14 percent of the estimate. It should be noted that all the efforts undertaken focused on the following sectors:
a) Agriculture and Rural Development
With a view to improving the socioeconomic conditions of the people and revitalizing the economy, a number of actions were taken in the productive sectors to reduce poverty.
It should be noted that one of the factors that has limited agricultural production in São Tomé and Príncipe is the deterioration of the infrastructure of the irrigation system, its efficiency and usefulness for farmers, particularly in the dry season and in areas where water resources are scarce. In response to this problem, and with financial support from Taiwan, the irrigation system rehabilitation project was executed with a view to guaranteeing irrigation for a total of approximately 550 food growers and horticulture farmers.
On this basis, the farming communities of Bom Sucesso, Uba Cabra and Mesquita received the benefit of projects to build water reservoirs for the irrigation system, aimed at improving agricultural output and thereby ensuring that fresh produce is available to supply the domestic market. This will in turn improve the diet of Sãotomeans, the returns to farmers and hence reduce poverty.