The world’s peace has experienced threats from civil unrest, and armed violence over the last couple of decades. Armed conflicts have occurred in places around the world in varying magnitudes with some destructive impacts on society. In recent years, conflicts in countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Ukraine, have resulted in the highest yearly death toll in the period after cold world war. In fact, the impacts of the ongoing conflicts have challenged the ability of the international community to ensure global peace. The peace efforts of various global developmental agenda seek to ensure that the world lives in peace in line with the fundamental rule of law and governance. Particularly, the Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.Gs)– Goal 16 – states that the world cannot attain sustainable development without peace. So, armed violence must be reduced to give room for social cohesion. Hence, all peacemaking agenda around the globe are geared toward achieving this feat. For instance, with the June 2015 report released by the United Nation’s Secretary-General’s Advisory Group of Experts, there was a renewed effort to change the global mindset and re-prioritize UN’s peace building architecture to emphasize and increase resources devoted for peace in some African countries[see].
The International Labour Organization’s job for peace effort is also commendable in this regards. The approach adopted by this initiative has the aims of contributing to more peaceful and resilient societies through employment, decent work and social dialogue [see]. In addition, one aspect of an economy that nations, especially the developing ones, can leverage upon is agriculture.
As an economic activity, agriculture plays important roles in development in that it serves to:
- Make food available in society.
- Create jobs.
- Generate income for farmers.
- Diversify the economy.
- Generate foreign exchange earnings for a nation.
- Support activities of agro-allied industries.
- Promote export of goods and international relations.
Food is critical to human existence. It supplies the body with nutrients and ensures proper growth and development. However, food shortage and conflicts are linked in two ways; food shortage breeds conflicts while conflicts can also breed food shortage. For instance, the 2008 hike in the world food prices stemmed from food scarcity with a resultant political crisis and social unrest in both poor and developed nations. Since food production can only thrive in a peaceful atmosphere, countries in protracted crisis suffer untold hardship and hunger [see]. The implication of this is that attaining food security should be factored in any efforts at achieving long-lasting peace [see]. Similarly, the rising unemployment rates – especially in most developing countries of the world- portends a great danger to societies. Over 60% of the youth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are unemployed. Although subject to debate, it could be intuitively assumed that people who do not have jobs are more likely to be recruited to cause violent conflicts. Thus, it makes sense to conclude that someone who is gainfully employed would find it more difficult to participate in violence and armed groups than an idle person [see]. From the foregoing, if agriculture can perform its roles efficiently, there will be sufficient supply of food to solve the challenge of food insecurity and malnutrition. Also, farming can provide both direct and indirect employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed, thereby reducing the unemployment rate in society. Through contributions to export trading, agriculture can foster peaceful international relation whilst generating foreign exchange earnings for a nation. However, only a well performing agricultural sector can contribute to a peaceful and secure society. Promoting productivity of farming activities, especially in developing countries where the majority of farmers are smallholders, can go a long way in reducing hunger, unemployment and poverty [see]. Furthermore, inclusive agricultural sector growth which harnesses the productive capabilities of youth and women can also go a long way, particularly in Africa. With more youths productively engaged in agriculture, social vices and conflicts may be drastically reduced in Africa and other regions around the world. Hence, the attainment of the S.D.Gs – goal 16 of realizing a peaceful world is achievable if agriculture is promoted to contribute its quota.