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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Sustainable Development Goals - your story of creating a food secure world

Dick Tinsley
Dick TinsleyColorado State UniversityUnited States of America

My second comments is really an outgrowth of my first concern. It is the dietary energy balance of smallholder farmers. This gets to the major emphasis on nutrition. However, as I have reviewed the nutritional projects, the emphasis mostly academic with primary interest in providing quality nutrition particularly for pregnant and nursing women. What it does not address is the nutritional need to optimize economic opportunity. Since most of the intended beneficiaries are smallholder farmers or other manual labourers, the need is for sufficient calories to put in a full day of work. This is rarely mentioned in the project, and when it is the reference is for active people with a calorie exertion of 2800 kcal/day. I would contend that this represents an office worker with a healthy exercise program of 2 hr/day. That is far from the 8+ hrs a day a smallholder farmer is expected to work which has a calorie estimate I place at 4000+ kcal/day. Unfortunately the data on caloric consumption by smallholder is very limited often in the range of 2000 to 2500 kcal/day. That barely meets basic metabolism requirements with limited work energy. I think this does wonders to explain why farmers are taking 8 weeks for basic crop establishment, how often are our innovations for improving smallholder production expecting them to work harder? Where will that energy come from? As you address the issue of improved nutrition you might take a look as some of the tough choice they have to make in balancing nutrition with their income. Please review the following webpages: