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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics

Harry Donkers
Harry DonkersInnonetNetherlands

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find below my Submission for the Call for experiences and effective policy approaches addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics.

The text is largely taken from my book on Local Food for Global Future. I think the findings fit well in the purpose of the Call as I indicated in the Submission.

The book is available on Research Gate as I mentioned in the Submission:  

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305990538_Local_Food_for_Global_Future

I hope this information is useful for you.

Sincerely yours,

Harry Donkers

 

Proponent
Harry Donkers
The Netherlands

Main responsible entity
Harry Donkers

Date/Timeframe
17-2-2017

Funding source
Own

Location
Waalwijk, The Netherlands

Background/Context
Addressing sustainable food security in rural, urban and regional dynamics by developing a a clear classification, stressing the need to adapt, develop and strengthen government policies and governance structures and presenting urgency for the development of specific knowledge and innovation is the subject of my book published in 2015: ‘Local Food for Global Future’.

The book contains years of experience in sustainable food security. Various kinds of local and regional food systems are distinguished and associated with adequate (multi-level) governance structures. Policy approaches relate to developing and implementing knowledge and innovation tailored to these food systems.

The complete text of the book is available at:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305990538_Local_Food_for_Global_Future

Focus/Objectives
The explicitly defined paradigm of sustainable food security (based on Brundtland’s sustainability and Shiva’s food security) requires a focus on local and regional resources. Based on a classification of local and regional food systems, including a further classification of city regions, on practical experiences (in The Netherlands and in Russia) and on examples from throughout the world, specific governance approaches were developed at all levels. To be successful in realizing these local and regional food systems specific knowledge development and innovations are needed. The focus is on scientific developments (basic and aspect disciplines), appropriate technologies and organizations, policy and aid, and implementation.

Key characteristics of the experience/process
Cities and rural areas should not be viewed as separate entities but as one broad local system of producers and consumers interactions.

City regions are so different, because of differences in population density and geographic aspects that it is necessary to distinguish between metropolitan and cityside regions, corridor and connected cities regions and conurbations and countryside regions. Apart from producers and consumers, governments should play an active and responsible role.

Most important recommendation in short chains is cooperation. Recommendations in local (rural and urban) food systems relate to supporting and facilitating rural and urban cooperation. In city regions integral regional planning, regional cooperation, transparency and certification are of utmost importance. Interregional food systems will benefit from creating logistics hubs, regulations, interregional cooperation and responsibility. Transregional food systems can be established by building international connections, agreements, cross-regional cooperation and trust.

Key actors involved and their role
The role of practical farmers/producers and consumers is to increase direct markets between producers and consumers.

In combination with local governments and area parties producers and consumers have the role to create employment opportunities and make the rural area attractive. Together with citizens these parties should exploit urban challenges and opportunities for sustainable food production and biodiversity in urban and peri-urban areas. Organizations of producers and consumers, already operating local and regional food systems, regional governments and area parties have the task to develop self-sufficiency and sustainable food security in the variety of metropolitan and cityside regions, corridor and connected cities regions and conurbation and countryside regions. Note that rural and urban areas are to be seen as conjunctive wholes.

Together with these regional organizations the role of the national governments is to increase efficiency and exchange information, products and services between interregional food systems.

The role of national governments, international governance bodies, interregional food systems and representatives of international movements is to attain conditions favourable for national, regional and local interests in the development of transregional food systems.

Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
There are a number of arrears in the knowledge system to accommodate the sustainable food security paradigm in local and regional food systems. More knowledge is needed in fields like ecology, environmental sciences (soil, landscape and nature, climate), local production and processing (on-farm-impact, local and regional impact), food science (health and nutrition, safety, gastronomy), social sciences (social nearness, trust, food sovereignty), economics (micro, meso and macro). Technology development should be better balanced between industrial local and regional food systems. What we need is a  brake on the explosively growing nano- and biotechnology and incentives for technologies, like equipment, precision technology, drones, energy sources, alternative farming systems and on-farm value added. Organizational issues should better deal with short chains, local network and community cooperation, increasing regional capacities.

Challenges faced
Policy objectives should relate to building regional food strategies with all relevant stakeholders, providing awareness, achieving food sovereignty and creating conditions for free competition and avoiding oligopolistic competition. Aid issues deal with building a more equitable world. Applying knowledge management, innovation methods, ICT, financial and logistics elements could improve the implementation of local and regional food systems.

Lessons/Key messages
The explicitly defined paradigm of sustainable food security requires a focus on local and regional resources.

The development of local and regional food systems is best served by a structured approach, based on a clear classification, the need to adapt, develop and strengthen government policies and governance structures and the development of specific knowledge and innovation.

Worldwide small farms produce a large part of our food. These farms are extremely suited for realizing the sustainable food security paradigm, but these farms encounter worldwide difficulties in the oligopolistic global markets of today. These farms and their local partners need support to continue and improve in their natural way of production, without input of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, mixed farming and short cycles of production.

Further information is to be found in the abovementioned book: ‘Local Food for Global Future’.