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Re: Making agriculture work for nutrition: Prioritizing country-level action, research and support

Mr. Subhash Mehta Devarao Shivaram Trust, India

Could correcting harms of current policies or approaches be just as important, if not more so, as capturing new opportunities to make agriculture work better for nutrition? 

Rural farm-based livelihood policies - key to achieving economic growth and FTF with nutritious food:

—Natural resources for  nutrition and health

—Access to resources through soil, water, and biodiversity conservation

—Produce/improve nutrition through low cost integrated agriculture

—Depended on locally adapted breeds, varieties and species

—Recycling  of agriculture waste for soil fertility (on farm inputs)

—Value addition (drying, processing to increase shelf life)

—Little or no post harvest losses

—Livestock & fisheries

—Bartering for access to healthy nutritious food

Quotes from numerous consultation processes I have participated to support:

Strategy on sustainable integrated agriculture was developed through a wide consultation process, involving all concerned stakeholders, is now mostly targeting poor smallholder producers, family farms and in particular womenPolicies to be ‘demand-driven’ and ‘participatory’ and in the short term, to take new technologies to poor smallholder producers, which they can use and help governments make better policy

(DFID & EIARD consultation process)     

‘sustainable integrated agriculture’, in ways that measurably and demonstrably improves the lives of the rural smallholder producers, world’s most vulnerable people.

The FTF program is working with this in mind to develop IAR4D to ‘reenergize and reorient’ and in positive ways, to grow safe and  nutritious food to FTF.

Success will require integration of programs on the ground, undertaking the complex challenges that lie ahead, taking bold and swift action, coupled with a willingness to pursue out of the box ideas of the type pursued by successful farmers and bearing fruit in the short term, season after season, from displays of  leadership, built on a willingness to listen, to learn, and to collaborate with all stakeholders and as equal partners.

(USAID FTF Consultation Process)

Public policy and funding is now mostly targeting meeting the nutritious food needs of poor smallholder producers, family farms and in particular women, with priority for IAR4D policies to follow sustainable  integrated agriculture, to be ‘ demand-driven’ , ‘participatory’ and in the ‘short term’.  


“One-and-a-half billion low income people live in countries  affected by fragility and conflict. None of them are on track to achieve even a single MDG,” “Growth and development have to be inclusive, ensuring that their benefits are broadly shared,” “These countries need a World Bank that is far more responsive than it is today, and capable of delivering the right financial and technical support at the right time”

World Bank President Kim 

“Government funding and programs demand they actually  benefit the marginal, resource poor and vulnerable populations, and thus require mechanisms of accountability”

(Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID).

“I take this message to the G20 ministers on behalf of the smallholder farmers around the world:  The development of rural areas is central to overcoming hunger and poverty, mitigating climate change, achieving energy security and protecting the environment, and it is the smallholder farmer that holds the key. But we must seriously start investing in their potential to support them to deliver,”

 Nwanze said (IFAD President)

“Rio+20 has delivered a pretty good text for farmers; now it’s up to governments and agencies to act on these words, and put into place the financial commitments and practical policies that can truly deliver”,  “Sustainable agriculture, food security and smallholder farmers are now formally part of that equation’ and the “Recognition of smallholders as key stakeholders”.

Vanessa Meadu, CG Climate Change Agriculture Food Security (CCAFS)