Existe en la actualidad un interés considerable entre las organizaciones internacionales de desarrollo y los profesionales en la programación y las políticas agrícolas para mejorar la nutrición.
El objetivo de este debate es extraer y priorizar acciones necesarias a nivel de los países, lagunas de investigación, y el apoyo necesario a partir del cuantioso diálogo internacional sobre la mejora de la nutrición a través de la alimentación y la agricultura.
Las respuestas a la inseguridad alimentaria y la desnutrición en emergencias han aumentado de forma notable en los últimos 5-10 años. El proceso de evaluación de necesidades ha mejorado las pruebas objetivas para las intervenciones y los donantes han mostrado voluntad de financiar nuevas alternativas para el reparto general de alimentos y los programas de alimentación selectivos. Sin embargo, no siempre se ha seguido el proceso analítico necesario para elegir con inteligencia entre las nuevas opciones disponibles.
Uganda has only 1600 extension workers mandated to serve 4,000, 000 million farmer households in Uganda giving a ratio of 1: 2500 farmer households.
The rural nature of most farms remains a challenge to graduate and fresh extension workers from college as these fresh professionals often prefer enjoying the trappings of peri-urban life.
How do we crack this state of affairs? Do we leave solutions to policy makers and technocrats? Do we call for reinstatement and restoration of regional district farm demonstrations and stock farms?
A solution may perhaps lie in a stronger role of the private sector such as engaging in public –private partnerships and embracing technology. There is a pool of Extension Link farmers that were in late 1990’s trained by Uganda National Farmers Federation all over Uganda. Mobile phones technology can be used to complement extension efforts. Could such a model bring down the current expansive farmer-extension worker ratio and abridge the current information gap at the farm level?
The paper discusses the issues and policy options for reduction of food losses and waste in Europe and Central Asia, focusing primarily on middle and low income countries of the region.
Food losses and waste (FLW) depend on specific conditions and the local situation in a given country. In broad terms, food losses and waste are influenced by production and processing choices, patterns and technologies, internal infrastructure and capacity, marketing chains and channels for distribution, consumer purchasing and food use practices. To a large extent, FLW are rational from a private perspective as they are the result of the optimizing behaviour of agents. However, in certain countries there are serious limitations due to ineffective food chains, and a lack of capacity to preserve or process foods, or limited markets. From a societal perspective, FLW are claimed to generate socioeconomic and environmental problems.
Development context has high importance on the level, structure and causes of FLW. In developed countries of the region consumer preferences and practices are the main reason for FLW. As a consequence, all steps of the supply chain have to adjust their production, processing, or distribution to these preferences. In middle and low income countries the most frequently mentioned causes of food losses are inadequate infrastructure and technology, inefficient market and demand for supply as well as the lack of education and skills, in particular at the farm level.
Targeted investments to reduce FLW at any significant scale could be primarily done by the private sector. Equally importantly, by promoting effective policy and enabling environment in support of sustainable agricultural production, and value chain approaches the public sector can contribute to a minimisation of FLW. The scope of the public policies should be to create an enabling environment for private sector to introduce practices having potential to reduce FLW whereby contributing to increase the overall efficiency of food supply chains.