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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: The future of food security and climate change in Zambia

Santosh Kumar Mishra
Santosh Kumar MishraPopulation Education Resource Centre (PERC), Department of Continuing and Adult Education and Extension Work, S. N. D. T. Women's University, Mumbai, IndiaIndia

 

What do you think are the main drivers of and obstacles to development for Zambia in the next 30 years?

  • Drivers of development: The quality of institutions, and of their governance, is a key influenceable factor affecting the achievement of poverty goals. These institutions may be public or private, formal or informal, rural or urban. From a poverty-reduction perspective, the extent to which they meet the priorities of poor people, women and other marginalized groups, will often be important. The role of these institutions, and the impact of any shortcomings, in poverty reduction, may be understood through the effects they have on development strategies. There are different ways in which these strategies may be formulated, but one means of doing so that is applicable in many countries is to categorize them as involving some combination of: (a) sustainable economic growth; (b) empowerment; (c) access to markets, services and assets; and (d) security.
  1. Obstacles to development: A combination of policy distortions and structural characteristics, such as Zambia’s land-locked situation and vulnerability to droughts and flooding, has hindered the further development and diversification of the sector. The sector is characterized by a dual structure, where a small number of large commercial farms, concentrated along the railway line, co-exist with scattered subsistence smallholders and few small commercial farmers who face severe difficulties accessing input and output markets.

Keeping in mind that each scenario represents an extreme future, how plausible do you think the scenarios for Zambia are? What would you like to add/change in each scenario to make it more plausible from your perspective?

Zambia: High food prices and high unemployment rates combine to place considerable stresses on the most vulnerable sectors of the population.

What solutions would support the drivers of the best scenario and help overcome obstacles encountered on the way? How about overcoming the challenges of the worst scenarios? (common to all 3 countries)

Feeding the world in an equitable and sustainable manner must involve food production and the food system assuming a much higher priority in political agendas across the world. Shaping the debate around issues like jobs, economic development and public health rather than about “joint sacrifice” would be most effective. Government departments around the world should consider moving responsibility for water, food and energy into one department to improve effectiveness.

What are the key first steps needed to get a change process in motion, and who needs to be involved? (common to all 3 countries)

There is a growing sense of urgency in establishing an effective and democratic agricultural system, which has in turn slowly given way to the emergence of various social movements and initiatives (such as the IPC) that highlight the importance of creating self-reliant local food systems. Food sovereignty is widely recognized as the right of all individuals to define their own agricultural policies, policies that are socially and economically appropriate in ensuring people’s physical and emotional well-being. This includes the right to food and the right to produce the food that’s necessary to sustain a society. For food security to be existent, it is paramount to ensure physical and economic access to a variety of food products that meet the dietary needs for a healthy living. There is need:

  1. to ensure adequate food supplies both at the national and local level,
  2. to create a reasonable degree of stability in the supply food network, and
  3. to ensure the ability of households to physically and economically access the food that is required.