Capacity Development Portal
Good Practices

Food and agriculture policy

  1. Twin track approach to food security in protracted crises
  2. Food insecurity and vulnerability
  3. Pesticide Policy Reform to Reduce Overuse of Insecticides

Addressing immediate and longer term issues of food security

What problem did it address, where?

FAO advocates adoption of a Twin Track Approach to enhance food security resilience during protracted crises with specific policies that link immediate hunger relief interventions with a long-term strategy for sustainable growth. While food aid is essential for availability (when production and import capacity is insufficient) and access (with respect to those with non-existent or diminished entitlements to food), timing of distribution and proper targeting is essential. Cash distribution as opposed to food aid has tended to be undervalued, but there are reports of successful schemes in Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Overall the Twin Track Approach has been used in recent years in Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea and Ethiopia as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.


There are policy options for the three dimensions of food security: availability; access; and stability in both the short and long term.

Short term options on availability include food aid, seed/input relief, restocking livestock capital, whereas longer term approaches might include enhancing food supply to the most vulnerable, improving rural food production especially by small scale farmers or investing in rural infrastructure

For access in the short term social relief/rehabilitation programmes or nutrition intervention programmes can play a part, while in the longer term options include re-establishing rural institutions, including rural financial systems, ensuring access to land and strengthening the labour market.

Regarding stability, the short term needs centre around peace building and the re-establishment of social safety nets; in the longer term, issues cover diversification of agriculture and rural employment, monitoring food security and vulnerability, dealing with structural causes of food insecurity.

Where next?

Work is ongoing in a number of East African and Central Asian countries addressing policy issues associated with long term agricultural development in the context of this Twin Track Approach.

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