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The contribution of the private sector and civil society to improve nutrition

As part of the preparations leading up to the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), a Preparatory Technical Meeting is to be held at FAO Headquarters from 13 to 15 November 2013. More information is available at: http://www.fao.org/food/nutritional-policies-strategies/icn2/en.

To feed into and inform this meeting, a series of online discussions are being held on selected thematic areas. This online discussion “The contribution  of the private sector and civil society to improve nutrition” invites you to share evidence and exchange views on how the private sector and civil society can contribute to improving diets and raising levels of nutrition, particularly of the poorest and most nutritionally vulnerable, as well as ways to improve monitoring and evaluation.

For many of us, the ICN2 may be the only opportunity in our lifetime to focus world attention on nutrition and thereby reach agreement on what needs to be done to improve nutrition. If ‘better access to better food and nutrition for more people’ is an objective we can all agree upon, how can we achieve it and what is required individually and collectively from each sector?

It is clear the world must produce enough food in quantity and in quality in terms of variety, diversity, safety and nutrient content to feed a population of over 9 billion by 2050. How is this to be done sustainably and meet the zero hunger target? In the last FSN Forum discussions, it was agreed that to counter malnutrition we need nutrition-enhancing agriculture and food systems (http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/forum/discussions/nutrition-enhancing-agriculture) that provide diverse and healthy diets. The role of social safety nets (http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/forum/discussions/social-protection-and-nutrition) in protecting nutrition is also recognized as are direct measures targeted at reducing stunting and addressing acute malnutrition.

If we consider food and nutrition insecurity essentially as a problem of poverty, the strategy to counter this insecurity needs to be founded  on inclusive broad based development and sustainable economic growth. Indeed the World Bank reminds us that investing in nutrition makes sense from an economic point of view as every dollar invested generates a return of up to $US30 and FAO's report on The State of Food and Agriculture 2013 estimates an annual cost of malnutrition of $US500 per person! Thus it is clear that economic development is fundamentally important in the combat against hunger and poverty.

Farmers, farmers’ associations and farmers’ cooperatives are key to feeding the world. Smallholder farmers as entrepreneurs that invest and innovate, are the basis for agricultural development that can effectively tackle poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The private sector therefore has a key role to play in developing sustainable agriculture and delivering nutrition for all people. As governments cannot feed people on a sustainable basis, they need to deal with structural conditions which constrain development while at the same time promote policies which will enable the the private sector to continue to innovate and invest in the food and agriculture sector.  This includes supporting local business development.

Similarly, a thorough involvement of civil society organizations (including NGOs, social movements and community-based organizations), especially those representing the sectors of the population that are most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition (among others: small food producers and landless farmers, agricultural workers, fishers and fish workers, pastoralists and herders, forest dwellers, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, women and youth), is key to ensure coordination, ownership, effectiveness and accountability of initiatives aimed at improving nutrition. A proactive effort to stimulate the participation of civil society representatives so as to have a balanced representation in terms of constituencies, type of organization, geographic distribution, gender and age is of crucial importance.

All sectors must work together for this common goal. Private companies, civil society, knowledge institutions and government (the golden quadrant) need to agree upon finding effective and efficient policies, sustainable practices and food solutions to reach the underserved consumer. At the same time agro-food solutions are required that provide foods which are nutritious, healthy and respond to consumer demand.

Three key actions are needed to result in ‘better access of better food and nutrition for more people’: 1. connect agriculture, food and nutrition at all levels; 2. invest in new ideas and delivery models; and 3. align agendas (including a One UN agenda on nutrition) and work together on the Zero Hunger Challenge . Make zero hunger a cross-sector objective and ensure the post-2015 MDG agenda includes nutrition security as an explicit part of food security and vice versa.

We invite you to focus your comments on this note as well as on the core background and expert papers and materials for the ICN2 made available for this discussion and on the following four sets of questions:

  • Policy issues: What role can the private sector and civil society play in designing and implementing policies that make agriculture and food systems more nutrition-enhancing? What are the knowledge gaps?
  • Programme issues: What have been the success stories and lessons learned by the private sector and civil society in implementing nutrition-enhancing agriculture and food systems programmes at country level? How can the impact of such programmes on food consumption and nutrition be monitored?
  • Governance:What are the changes needed to make sure that the private sector and civil society are involved in building effective and sustainable governance mechanisms related to agriculture, food systems and nutrition?
  • Partnerships: What contribution can the private sector and civil society make for working across sectors and building strong linkages between food and agriculture, social protection, employment, health, education and other key sectors? How can the ‘golden quadrant’ be managed to create and scale up sustainable partnerships? What are examples of projects working jointly with the private sector, civil society, governments under a UN-wide initiative (like SUN, ZHC, etc…)?

The outcome of this online discussion will be used to enrich the discussions at the preparatory technical meeting on 13-15 November 2013 and thereby feed into and inform the main high level ICN2 event in 2014.

We thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.

We look forward to your contributions.

The facilitators:

Robynne Anderson

Etienne du Vachat

find out more about the facilitators here

This discussion is now closed. Please contact fsn-moderator@fao.org for any further information.

02.10.2013
University of Guyana

To Moderator and All Others:

We would have mentioned in an earlier post that the role of the private sector and civil society is not to be understated where the improvement of nutrition is concerned. It would have been mentioned in the description of atop this discussion that “if ‘better access to better food and nutrition for more people’ is an objective we can all agree upon, how can we achieve it and what is required individually and collectively from each sector?”
It is without a doubt that any business entity is established with the principal goal of making profit. In the country that we reside, Guyana, (and probably what we’re about to allure to occurs globally) most entrepreneurs and their top line managers give very little concern as to the nutritional intake of their workers and, given its seemingly weak correlation with improvements in profit, very little and probably none care.
In a country such as ours, given certain cultural impetus, we would firstly have to convey a convincing reason as to why the private sector should get on board with a programme of such nature as the benevolence of entrepreneurs in Lesser Developed Countries is limited to their own humanity (with the exception of a few socially conscious.) Guyana specifically, is a country where many of the major players in the private sector have little education and their achievements in the private sector have only occurred given the acquisition of capital or land by someone in their lineage. Given their lack of formal training, they may not be able to see the benefits of such an initiative. Therefore, it is important in the planning and other initial stages of implementing such a programme in these weaker economies, to give the private sector firstly a reason to get on board with the programme, as it would prove to be far too dangerous to work on the pre-emption that was made.
It is suggested that an education/information programme be conducted as an immediate precedent to the implementation of any programme that requires the private sector to come on board. In this case, it would be of immense assistance if the specific profit oriented benefits would be included in such a programme. The entrepreneurs could be educated on how improvements in nutrition can actually help not only to improve the workers’ productivity and their profit but how utilizing the ‘conscious capitalism’ model could result in them garnering greater social capital and how the perpetually important intangible asset of Goodwill can be exponentially improved.  The end game of such a precursor programme is to truly have the private sector on board throughout the project and even after, as they would have, in addition to initiating their philanthropic conscience, realized the improvements for them as businessmen.
We will be addressing the questions that would have been asked in succeeding posts i.e. ‘how we can achieve it’ & what is required as contribution from each sector.

UG2014 Group 8 University of Guyana, Guyana
02.10.2013
UG2014

‘’If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail’’. – Winston Churchill

As we have been stressing in our previous comments, working alone on any goal can be very exhausting especially when the focus is on large areas. For example, as we have be stressing in our previous comments, in order to achieve the MDG’s the private sector, civil society and governments all play a very important role by working together. Currently, Guyana’s private sector, civil society and Government are working together under various United Nation (UN) development projects. In this comment we intend to address the last question under partnerships.

·         What are examples of projects working jointly with the private sector, civil society, governments under an UN-wide initiative (like SUN, ZHC, etc…)?

Development is very important in any economy especially in Guyana since this is a developing country. The United Nation (UN) is an organization that is willing to work across countries to promote numerous projects and programmes that contribute to the development, social progress and human rights, etc. Some examples of projects that are UN initiatives, and which the private sector, civil society and governments have come together and have worked on them and are still working on are:

·         Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme – the objective of this programme is to allow the use of renewable energy in Guyana and all the other Caribbean countries. This programme will contribute to a decrease in gas emission thus creating for us an environment where the air is clean. Some of the renewable energy projects that are in process in Guyana are: a solar electricity project, the 100MW hydro-project (Amaila Falls) and an 11.4MW wind farm.

·         MDG Support Plansupporting and monitoring the projects and programmes that will enable Guyana to complete its MDG report within the given time frame. With the encouragement of growth and an increase in the amount of available jobs the level of poverty has already been reduced. Thus proving that Guyana is on track for the first MDG. They supported the programmes that targeted malaria and HIV infected and there has been a positive outcome since the level of malaria and HIV infected person have declined and also allot more treatments are available.  

·         Developing Capacities in Aid Effectiveness - this programme helps to properly manage, monitor and implement the aid received effectively. It was also a major actor in the achievement of the first MDG for Guyana. That is the reduction of poverty. Due to the fact of the proper management, the quality of work produced is excellent. 

·         Developing Institutional Capacity for Budget Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation –This project started on the 15th June, 2009 and ended on 31st December, 2010. The ministry of Finance of Guyana was the one that had full control over the project and the focus was to make sure monitoring was conducted on a regular base so as to ensure work was going as planned and that required results were obtain. This project was a follow up on the MDG’s support project so as to increase the effectiveness. Another project that is on-going under this programme is one that focuses on climate change, the reduction of gas emissions.

Working together with all sectors of society improves partnership on a local level.  Integration among local and global communities on projects strengthens relations that increases development; thus achieving Goal 8 of the MDGs.  With the correct guidance if the golden quadrant works together worldwide nutrition can be improved and global food shortage greatly reduced, ceteris paribus.

 

Sources:

CARICOM. Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme. January 2004. http://www.caricom.org/jsp/projects/CREDP_Project_Document.pdf (accessed September 29, 2013).

UN CC: Learn. One UN Training Service Platform on Climate Change. May 23, 2013. http://unfccc.int/files/cooperation_and_support/capacity_building/applic... (accessed September 29, 2013).

United Nations Development Programme. Developing Institutional Capacity for Budget planning, monitoring and evaluation. 2012. http://www.undp.org.gy/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=... (accessed September 29, 2013).

—. Poverty Reduction. 2012. http://www.undp.org.gy/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=... (accessed September 29, 2013).

 

Robynne Anderson facilitator of the discussion, Canada
01.10.2013
FSN Forum

Dear FSN participants,

It is great to see such a range of organisations participating in our online discussion. From reading the contributions over the past few days, we can see that that there is a huge diversity of actors engaged in this important topic and ICN is going to be important in defining our roles in providing nutrition.

I was particularly excited to read about the specific projects that are happening on the ground. Not least, we heard from Guyana, where those in the agro-processing and aqua-farming sectors are pooling resources and working with international organisations to look at solutions such as modernizing harvesting and processing equipment in order to improve food production.

Many pointed to the ‘multi-sectoral nature’ of promoting nutrition security. ECDPM in the Netherlands noted market-based initiatives in the food, health and agricultural sectors are increasing nutrition­related research, investments, and production.

I thought it was interesting that the forum asked us to reflect upon ‘sustainable partnerships’ and how to create linkages across sectors. It is true that working together will be absolutely key here. In the electronic world of the FSN online forum, the question set out a ‘private-sector’ – ‘civil-society’ dichotomy, but we all know that real life doesn’t work like that. Just look at the wide range of academics, farm organisations, private companies and others involved since the discussion began on-line and it’s easy to see that this division seems somewhat artificial and not necessarily helpful. What we really want is real solutions that will make a difference on the ground.

As the forum wraps up, it would be great to hear about specific projects and partnerships that are driving outcomes on nutrition.  It has been a pleasure to hear from you all and it will a pleasure to work with you on food security and nutrition in future.

Ms. Simona Seravesi ECDPM, Netherlands
01.10.2013
Simona

Dear all,

This  is  a  contribution  from  the  ECDPM  on  the  following  set  of  questions:  “Partnerships: How can we work across sectors and build strong linkages between food and agriculture, social protection, employment, health, education and other key sectors? How can we create sustainable partnerships? how can we build effective governance for nutrition?”

The    multi-­    sectoral    nature    of    promoting    nutrition    security    requires    different interventions that address under-­nutrition directly, through measures to improve and increase access and availability of a nutritious food supply; indirectly, through production and education measures to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition; and through an enabling  environment  that  brings  institutional  support  as  well  as  better  rural infrastructures, property rights to ensure land tenure; equal land distribution access to education; and gender balance in participation in markets. Neither public nor private actors can address these single-­‐handedly. 

As a consequence, a key aspect is the recognition of the need for multi-­stakeholder partnerships. Despite the growing interest in multi-­‐stakeholder partnerships, there are still many questions to be addressed such as what are the main characteristics, drivers and constraints   of   these   partnerships   including   governments,   business   and   Civil   Society Organizations (CSOs).  

To explore these issues, the ECDPM has recently published a paper “The enriching business of nutrition. Market-­based partnerships and regional approaches to nutrition: what role for  CAADP?” which  examines  the  challenges posed by market-­‐based partnerships model in promoting nutrition and the potential benefits of a regional approach to nutrition and implications for policy-­‐makers and donors. 

The  private  sector  plays  an  important  role  in  scaling  up  nutrition  and  many  large multinationals from the food, health and agricultural sectors (e.g. DSM, BASF, UNILEVER, GSK, Cargill, etc.) are increasingly engaging in nutrition-­related  research, investments, and production, through a range of different types of partnerships and business. There is also an increasing awareness of the commercial interest of operating at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP)1 as it can offer opportunities to link private sector interests with development objectives, including around nutrition.  

The  ECDPM  paper  highlights  that  implications  and  scalability  of  business  models  are still being discovered, with questions emerging already about the ideal form of partnership, roles of partners and the impact of the broader enabling environment.  Given the various risks involved in market-­‐based approaches, it may be difficult to draw concrete lessons from pilot projects, where lack of commercial sustainability may be due to the business environment, the business model or the specifics of working with nutritional foods.                                                      

Private sector partners must therefore work with the public sector and Civil Society Organizations to try and draw out relevant lessons for policy.  But, the role of the private sector implies discussions about the degree to which market-­‐driven  models can be used to meet goals for reducing under-­‐nutrition in developing countries.

Even with the growing recognition of the potential role of the private sector, partnerships and lessons from these for donors remain in their infancy. The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and AIM appear to offer a good platform for taking the agenda forward. As the GAIN and AIM models are also seen by the private sector as a way to enter into new markets and experiment, these may offer the best focal points for lessons that can be learnt from existing partnerships.

A  useful  dialogue  within  the  donor  community  is  needed  on  the  nature  of  public-­ private partnerships. In addition if donors are to engage more with the private sector on nutrition, an important role might be in building trust and credibility around multi-­‐ stakeholder partnerships by supporting research and baseline studies to assess the impact of the engagement of the private sector.

Donor support might also help in linking different market-­based approaches to nutrition. Multi-­‐ stakeholder partnerships are generally targeted at a particular niche or market opportunity, while the discussion above highlights the need for broad, multi-­‐sectoral approaches. There may therefore be a role for coordinating and ensuring not only that the broad supporting environment is in place, but also coordinating different multi-­‐stakeholder projects to mutually support one-­‐another.

From a government perspective, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, CAADP and its prominent role in guiding policy on food security and nutrition in Africa, can offer a framework to maximise the development benefits from these multi-­stakeholders partnership models.

Even regional approaches are widely recognised as being beneficial in principle, but have yet to be translated into concrete actions. Addressed in the context of CAADP and with nutrition as a focus, this may again be a way to promote multiple objectives around the goal of improving nutrition. This might include analysis and case studies on the impacts of cross-­‐border trade and their impacts on the nutritional status of populations around development corridors, for example.

A better understanding of the lessons from existing projects addressing nutrition and dialogue among stakeholders on how partnerships can be more effective may help to bring further clarity and to better focus on what works and what does not.   Regular multi-­‐stakeholder dialogues to share lessons among the full range of partners will be important to build trust, and understand how best to support such partnerships. These need to take place at the national, regional and international level, something that ECDPM is willing to support.

Thank you! Kind regards, Simona Seravesi

1 The BoP approach is about how international companies can adapt or introduce new business models that combine small margins with large markets of low-income consumers.

Dr. Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
01.10.2013
Claudio

Dear Moderator,

 You through to us a challenge to comment on the prices of food, i.e., their volatility and how diets are becoming more expensive for poor people with higher %s of income being spent on food. You hinted that the link: food prices to undernutrition is yet to be established. I beg to disagree and here is why. I apologize, because the evidence cannot be presented in just 2-3 paragraphs.

As our contributors know, current conventional economic theory says that there is an ‘invisible hand’ of self-correcting cycles of supply and demand. This notion may have had some utility when it was invented by Adam Smith over 200 years ago. Now it is more like believing in Father Christmas. All indicators point to the fact that food prices are unlikely to fall any time soon and may indeed rise much higher.

Rising food prices are inconvenient and even troublesome for people with plenty of disposable income. They are often a disaster for impoverished populations and communities.

The impact of ‘free market ideology’ is great on food production and distribution, and thus on the cost of food, as well as on food insecurity, on equity and on nutrition. The impact of the latter on poverty and on the misery of children is undeniable.

Public health nutrition professionals can effectively do their jobs only when they understand and act at upon the underlying and basic social, economic and political determinants of nutrition at population and community levels. Otherwise they cannot do much more than apply band-aids to deep wounds.

The crisis we face is not only of rising prices, it is also of fluctuating prices. Price instability, whether of money itself or of food, in itself destabilises societies. This, especially for city dwellers with little disposable income who do not produce food, but buy it, and have been hard hit. Often, they now literally do not have the money for basic foods.

Food prices are rising and fluctuating wildly for a number of reasons. Supply and demand issues cannot explain the speed and severity of the phenomenon observed. Neither current prices nor the commodities futures markets (designed to bet on what food may be worth not now but later) reflect or relate to real supply and demand.

Protectionism: robbing the poor to pay the rich: We are supposed to be living in a world of free trade. The reality is different though. One of the causes of rising food prices is protectionism. Governments remain stubbornly committed to subsidise agribusiness in Europe and the US so they can and do export food at prices that have been ‘cheapened’ --and this distorts markets. National food production in the South cannot compete, and the livelihoods of small and family farmers  are undermined or even destroyed.

Speculation: manipulating the markets:  Food is treated as just another commodity so that its value is manipulated by speculators, including futures traders. Many investors continue to believe that commodity markets are in the midst of a super-cycle --a long-term trend that will continue to drive prices higher for years to come. In theory, this should be a good thing --not for consumers, but for big producers and speculators who sell before bull markets become bear markets and prices drop. But high levels of speculative investment are always problematic. There is no guarantee that small farmers will benefit from productivity increases and high prices.

High levels of speculation in food are creating price volatility that is driving hundreds of millions of people into poverty and the threat of starvation. What is needed here, is limits on speculation, and stricter regulation of market manipulation.

Taken all together, the current food prices crisis has highlighted the fragility of the world’s food system, and its vulnerability to shock. Consumers are now spending a larger share of their income on food. In some countries a large proportion of the more impoverished population groups simply do not have the necessary additional money. Within countries, impoverished urban communities are the most affected by high food prices, because they rely on food purchases for their food supplies.

There are specific nutritional consequences of the food price crisis; they are:

  • Reduced food energy intake. This results in low birth weight and the risk of serious wasting, which has long-term health, child development and welfare consequences.
  • Reduced intake of micronutrients. This increases risk of micronutrient deficiency diseases such as xerophthalmia and iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Reduction in breastfeeding. This is a consequence of mothers needing to work, and also of inadequate nutrition of the mother during pregnancy and after the birth of her children.

The cost of doing nothing to alleviate the impact of food price rises, and of working towards new systems of governance that will equitably stabilise food prices, would be very heavy indeed. To summarise, it will include increased low birth weight rates, decreased breastfeeding rates, increased malnutrition rates, increased under 5 mortality, and a heavy toll on child development. Populations on the margins of poverty will suffer more, and those already in poverty will be pushed towards destitution. What remains unknowable is just how great the damage will be. Children wl suffer the most.

Rises and fluctuations in the price of food are here to stay. This is a corollary of an ideology that treats food as a commodity whose value is determined by money markets that continue to drive the world’s economy with minimal regulation. The negative impact of the unpredictable high prices of food on society, most of all in the South, are now quite evident. The most vulnerable populations and communities are, as usual, the most affected. These are mothers and their children who live in impoverished regions and countries.

Long-term the answers must be structural. The prevailing systems of political and economic governance that determine, among many other things, the price of food, are not working in the public interest.  Will ICN2 deal with these issues?

Claudio Schuftan, Ho Chi Minh City

30.09.2013
C.Palanivelayutham

Now a days the availability of nutritional food is scanty and not easily available at the doorsteps of domestic consumers. In order to bridge the gap between production and availability of food the private sector participation is unavoidable one.

 many products are there for eg. Mushroom consumption is now a days increasing day by day. The private sector participation in production and marketing is to be engouraged. Mushroom cultivation and processing has been carriedout by many small industries and corporate companies. The technology adopted to value add this product well known by private companies. Economic development of one nation is not restricted with food production itself but making  available nutitious food to all people without any loss in quantity and quality. For this Public and private partnership mode is essential.

 

UG2014 Group 8 University of Guyana, Guyana
30.09.2013
UG2014

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” —Henry Ford

As we have stressed in earlier comments, each sector of society has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each sector is unique in its skills and communication tactics. Each sector is important and has a part to play in ending hunger and improving nutrition. Once these sectors work together with this common goal in mind success will follow, ceteris paribus. In this comment we will further discuss this by answering the second question under partnerships.

* How can the ‘golden quadrant’ be managed to create and scale up sustainable partnerships?

When the "golden quadrant" is in scope of achievement, the private companies, civil society, knowledge groups and government tend to pool their resources to develop and work towards a common goal for society. Their motive is to work as a body to develop efficient and effective strategies and policies to serve the needs of the parts of society that is under met with basic needs of food and security. In Guyana, with the golden quadrant active the advancing and expanding the scale of programs will enable the quadrant body to target sectors of the production and manufacturing sectors of the economy such as agro-processing and new aqua-farming companies which plays a major part in food production and security. With the pooling of resources and up-to-date cooperation with international institutions and bodies the Guyanese food production economy will adhere to international standards and policies of food production and security requirements. These measures will work to ensure the amounts of food reserve within the economy are also met. The injection of grants and unilateral transfers from international organizations and membership countries along with local funding agencies such as the Institute for Private development (IPED), GO- Invest etc. contributes to the expansion in scale of production allowing the sectors to become modernized with technologically advanced harvesting and processing equipment. The health of society also plays an important role therefore the food produced and distributed must be nutritious and satisfies the needs of the consumers from all walks of life but especially the ones in need. The country is already the state and scope of achieving all its progressive goals and will continue to work and cooperate furiously in achieving and maintaining its current and future goals.

Sources:

GOinvest. Guyana Office for Invetsment. 2012. http://www.goinvest.gov.gy/ (accessed September 29, 2013).

IPED. Institute of Private Enterprise Development. May 5, 2013. http://www.ipedgy.com/ (accessed September 29, 2013).

30.09.2013
Future of Agricultural Economics

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” 
― Phil Jackson

Developing counties are usually richly endowed with natural resources such as; arable land and favorable environment for agriculture - even though they are mostly populated by malnourished persons. Although Guyana’s labour force is heavily concentrated in the agricultural sector; the struggle to attain food security (as highlighted in our previous post) is due to the gap between the technological capabilities within agricultural sectors in developing and industrialized nations. The Private Sector and Civil Society are major stakeholders in the quest to improve nutrition; especially when both entities collaborate with the government.

 It is therefore our intention to highlight three major strategic frameworks that were implemented in Guyana collectively by the Private Sector, Civil Society and the Government.

Firstly, the “Grow More Food Campaign” was launched in 2009 in response to rising fuel prices which resulted in global increases in prevailing food prices. This approach consisted of five plans which were necessary in order to maintain Guyana’s presence in the international market, while improving status and competence of local farmers:

  • -Implementation of US$21.9M Agricultural Export Diversification Project (ADP).
  • -Implementation of US$6M Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Development Project. (READ).
  • -Increased investment in Drainage and Irrigation.
  • -Enhanced extension service (Agricultural Training Institutes)
  • -Increased Availability of seeds and planting materials.

            The second framework; “Food and Nutrition Security in Guyana (2010-2020)” which was linked to the first, was concocted to address four key dimensions of food security: availability, stability, access, and utilization. This collaboration is considered to be a commendable one among the Government, Private Sector and Civil Society. The main objectives are:

  • -Help ensure immediate access to food in emergency context
  • -Rebuild and enhance resilience to withstand shocks
  • -Support longer term development initiatives for hunger and poverty reduction
  • -Take stock of national, regional and global initiatives directed at improving food security coordination, with a view to encourage convergence and avoid duplication among such initiatives
  • -Improving sharing of information on food security and nutrition policies-Inform the National Assembly about the success and challenges to reduce hunger and malnutrition in Guyana
  • -Ensure that agricultural trade fosters food security
  • -Promote rural development
  • -Enhance women’s access to resources
  • -Ensure children and other vulnerable groups have access to food
  • -Ensure sustainable income of small producers

The third framework; “Jagdeo Initiative” is more extensive than those previously mentioned, since the policies are on a regional rather than local level. This model is a fast track attempt to address pressing issues such as; the volatility of price levels and food production due to climate change, poverty, nutrition issues (Disaster Risk Management) and even marketing of the agricultural sector (Agribusiness) in the entire Caribbean region.

The goals of the Jagdeo Initiative include: increased private and public investment in Agriculture, increased Agriculture production and hence, employment in the sector, increased intra and extra regional agricultural trade, improved food security and nutrition. However, constraints include occurrences of praedial larceny, inefficient land and water systems, lack of technology and skills in agriculture and lack of investment, among others.

In conclusion, these three frameworks have been successful in Guyana by establishing significant coordination and partnerships among the Government, Private Sector and Civil Society, by enhancing the importance of the agricultural Sector. Production levels and employment have increased, in addition to improved technology and food accessibility.

As a result, Guyana has slashed the proportion of its population suffering from hunger; in accordance with the first MDG to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Nutrition levels have also improved; malnutrition among children in 1997 was 11.8%, while in 2008 data showed that 6% of children under 5 experienced mild to moderate malnutrition and less than 1% suffered from severe malnutrition.

In addition, Guyana is proceeding to accomplish the second MDG (as a matter of fact, all), which is to achieve universal primary education. Enrollment in primary schools in 2000 was above 95% and the survival rate of children entering grade 1 and reaching grade 6 from 2006-2009 has consistently been 90%.  

Sources:

Food and Nutrition Strategy (2010-2020) (Working Draft). (2009). Government of Guyana (Ministry of Agriculture) .

Food and Nutrition Strategy for Guyana. (April 2011). Government of Guyana (Ministry of Agriculture) .

Food Security in Caricom. (July 2011). Caricom View .

(2011). Millennium Development Goals- Guyana Progress Report. UNDP.

27.09.2013
Future of Agricultural Economics

This post strives to highlight the policy issue aspect of the Private Sector and Civil Society’s contribution and ability to improve nutrition. 

“The quest for food security can be the common thread that links the different challenges we face and helps build a sustainable future.”

 – José Graziano da Silva, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General

Uncertainty in food security and the quality of nutrition dilemma are nationwide concerns that affect everyone. For example, developing countries are forced to deal with issues such as malnutrition and starvation, while industrialized countries attempt to curb obesity and elevating cholesterol levels. Thus, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the nutritional concerns in both nations; which is probably as a result of the gap between their respective agricultural sectors.

Therefore, the Private Sector and Civil Society should strive to establish measures and strategies which may narrow this gap, improve nutrition and guarantee food security on an international level; by sharing ideas, technology and available resources.

Such beneficial policies would require developing nations to acquire improved technology and skills from the industrialized agricultural sector.           

Lo Scalzo Vincenzo AgoràAmbrosiana, Italy
27.09.2013
Lo Scalzo Vincenzo

Dear Etienne du Vachat, facilitator of the discussion - FSN Moderator

I am happy for the participation of Barilla's Forum as evidence of the successful series of publications and scientific Forums on specific themes of the wide area of people nutrition issues that are target for improvement by scientific progress and through diffusion of open debates with stakeholders and key rulers of healthy policies of behaviour.

In this respect, I like to mention another example of smart plan of information covered by another private corporation, i.e. Bayer CropScience, Italy, that financed the edition of a series of treaties on the most common crops (Collana Coltura & cultura), invited work with farmers "to help them meet the good agricultural practices set out by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)", "To support the fight against malnutrition and improve food quality" and "joined the HarvestPlus program which is supported by the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others".

I invite the management of Bayer in Milano to continue the action on the field to share and lead "the FAO calls on farmers and food processors to use all available knowledge to produce food sustainably ­ both economically, environmentally and socially."

A relevant rural company (Racemes) has commented on its' web-site-page the mission of Bayer CS with the following text:

QUOTE (in Italian):

Bayer CropScience ha reso possibile la realizzazione della collana "Coltura & Cultura" per far conoscere i valori della produzione agroalimentare italiana, della sua storia e degli stretti legami con il territorio e per contribuire a colmare la faglia che esiste tra il mondo dei consumatori che non conoscono quello che mangiano e la necessità dei produttori di far conoscere quello che producono.Per la prima volta sono riunite tutte le conoscenze sulle colture italiane: dalla botanica al paesaggio, dalle varie forme di utilizzazione artigianale e industriale fino al mercato nazionale e mondiale. E ancora la storia e le forme di espressione artistica e culturale, senza dimenticare l'alimentazione, con valori nutrizionali e ricette della migliore tradizione italiana Racemus condivide questa ammirevole scelta aziendale e promuove, unitamente alle altre aziende del territorio, tutte le iniziative volte alla formazione del consumatore.

UNQUOTE

At http://www.colturaecultura.it/partner.asp the scope of Coltura & cultura is edited in Italian in similar words, signed by the present General Manager of the Italian company, Mrs Karina Von Detten - Bayer CropScience <http://www.bayercropscience.it/>. She states:

"³Coltura & Cultura² vanta ad oggi la collaborazione di oltre 600 autori, grandi nomi della ricerca, della comunicazione, della filiera, con l¹obiettivo comune di fornire gli strumenti necessari per apprezzare l¹agricoltura vera e sostenibile e di contribuire a far conoscere i valori di qualità e sicurezza quali elementi distintivi e caratterizzanti la produzione agroalimentare italiana.

From direct press conference and confirmed in http://bayerus.online-pressroom.com/index.cfm/events/150-years-of-bayer/

among the most recent initiative in this area of rural and social knowledge progress, the hit is an internationally planned 150° Anniversary Tour, around the planet.

QUOTE

"" To mark the 150th anniversary of Bayer, an interactive exhibition showing how the company has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world will appear at 30 locations in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia. The exhibition will focus on the topics of health care, agriculture and high-performance materials.  Click here to learn more about the Anniversary Tour.

<http://www.news.bayer.de/baynews/baynews.nsf/id/World-tour-to-mark-150-Years-of-Bayer?Open&amp;parent=Press-Releases-150-Years&amp;ccm=005010>

The Anniversary Tour will appear in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, from June 11 - 13. ""

A gallery provides images anbd scope for each stop and exhibition of the issues with a smart stimulus to a personal interactive Q&A personal dialogue visitor-spot exhibited. " Families discover the varied interactive exhibits of the Anniversary Tour in Lyon, France."

" The younger generation has fun with the interactive exhibition."

" Students tour the Science For A Better Life exhibition in Toronto, Canada, and take part in a quiz."

At that occasion, special awards were granted to Italian students to compete in the spread cultural and formation culture on food.

QUOTE

   I giovani di tutto il mondo invitati in Canada per aiutare a risolvere il problema di come nutrire un pianeta affamato

E¹ possibile presentare la propria candidatura fino al 15 febbraio 2013

4-H Canada invita i giovani di tutto il mondo a "sedersi al tavolo delle discussioni" dal 19 al 25 agosto 2013 per il ³Youth Ag-Summit² che si svolgerà a Calgary, Alberta, Canada, per condividere idee e sviluppare un piano d'azione per risolvere il problema di come nutrire un pianeta sempre più affamato.

Da oggi fino al 15 febbraio, giovani di età compresa tra i 18 e i 25 anni, provenienti da oltre 20 paesi hanno la possibilità di presentare uno scritto di massimo 2.000 parole o un video di massimo 7 minuti con a tema le sfide per nutrire un pianeta affamato. 120 sarà il numero dei candidati selezionati. Questi avranno la possibilità di partecipare, interamente spesati (volo e soggiorno) al summit ­ un evento della durata di una settimana dove verranno condivise idee ed esplorate opportunità insieme ad altri giovani, business leader e scienziati relativamente a questa sfida globale legata all¹ agricoltura. Un¹idea rivoluzionaria potrebbe fare la storia.

Bayer CropScience è lo sponsor del Youth Ag-Summit ed è impegnata ad ispirare i giovani di tutto il mondo affinchè possano, con il loro contributo, fare la differenza aiutando a portare l'agricoltura in primo piano. I Paesi attualmente coinvolti sono Australia, Canada, Cile, Cina, Costa Rica, Finlandia, Francia, Germania, India, Indonesia, Italia, Giappone, Messico, Sud Africa, Spagna, Taiwan, Regno Unito e Stati Uniti.

Nel novembre 2011 le Nazioni Unite hanno dichiarato che la popolazione mondiale ha superato 7 miliardi di persone. Ciò significa che in meno di 40 anni ci saranno 2 miliardi di bocche in più che necessiteranno cibo salutare e nutriente. Per trovare una soluzione al problema è importante capire quali sono le sfide da affrontare e le opportunità da cogliere. E¹ chiaro che nessuna persona, società o nazione detiene le risposte ma attraverso la discussione e le varie opportunità di collaborazione, come il ³Youth Ag-Summit², vi è la possibilità di trovare concrete soluzioni in agricoltura.

Per maggiori dettagli in merito alla modalità di partecipazione è possibile visitare il sito www.youthagsummit <http://www.youthagsummit> .com

QUOTE From www.youthagsummit

WHEN

4-H Canada and Bayer CropScience are partnering to hold the global 4-H Youth Ag-Summit in Calgary, Alberta on August 19-25, 2013. The Summit will assemble young adults (ages 18-25) from 24 countries worldwide to ³come to the table,² share their ideas and develop a plan of action on how to feed a hungry planet.

WHO

Throughout the week-long event, 120 young agricultural delegates, 25 global mentors, and numerous volunteers will share ideas and explore opportunities with global peers, business leaders, elected officials, and scientists about this global agricultural challenge. One revolutionary idea could make history. As representatives of the next global generation to finding a solution, delegates must understand the challenges and opportunities facing their communities.

WHY

In November 2011, the United Nations declared that the planet¹s population surpassed 7 billion people. By 2050, experts predict an additional 2 billion people will need healthy food and nutrition. No one person, company or nation holds the answer but, through discussion and collaboration, and innovation, these young adults know ground-breaking agricultural solutions can be found, acted upon and achieved.

Hosting the inaugural global 4-H Youth Ag-Summit is a real honour for Canada. We look forward to hosting these young leaders from around the world in Calgary ­ and enabling a meaningful dialogue aimed at addressing issues, opportunities and tangible next steps. We also look forward to the engagement and involvement of Canadian federal and provincial government officials and businesspeople in welcoming this dynamic group of future leaders to Canada.

AGENDA

Youth participating in the Youth Ag-Summit will participate in a full schedule of presentations, debates, discussions, group work, tours and networking, and social opportunities. Starting with a Calgary Stampede Breakfast, Day 1 is for Goal-setting and Orientation capped by a VIP reception. The Day 2 (Wednesday) theme is Innovation, followed by Sustainability on Thursday and Leadership on Friday, as well as Action Planning, final reporting and feedback sessions. Saturday is set aside for a day trip and Celebration. Delegates leave on Sunday.

UNQUOTE

Another major contribution to the diffusion of knowledge on Food and security issues is provided since may years by NESTLE, on the home page with the motto "Good Food, Good Life".

QUOTE

The Nestlé Supplier Code is an integral part of all purchase orders, supply contracts and is being integrated into all other commercial agreements.

The Nestlé Supplier Code is implemented in each market and business and is applicable to all suppliers.

Read more about how we implement the code worldwide through our Traceability and Responsible Sourcing Audit Programme.

<http://www.nestle.com/csv/responsible-sourcing>

...our supplier base, that includes approximately 165 000 direct suppliers and 680 000 individual farmers, who deliver materials to Nestlé¹s buying stations, in our sourcing overview <http://www.nestle.com/csv/responsible-sourcing> .

Nestlé Supplier Code available in 22 languages

... Quality assurance and product safety is one of Nestlé¹s 10 Corporate Business Principles (pdf, 1 Mb) <http://www.nestle.com/asset-library/documents/library/documents/corporate_g

overnance/corporate-business-principles-en.pdf> , which form the foundation of all we do.

... Nestlé Quality Policy - Our actions to ensure quality and food safety are guided by the company¹s Quality Policy (pdf, 85 Kb) <http://www.nestle.com/asset-library/documents/library/documents/suppliers/q

uality_policy_nestle.pdf>  which describes our commitment to:

  • Build trust by offering products and services that match consumer expectation and preference
  • Comply with all internal and external food safety, regulatory and quality requirements
  • Gain a zero-defect, no-waste attitude by everyone in our company
  • Make quality a group-wide objective

UNQUOTE

The commitmenmt is kept under severe compliance with quality standards to create value for consumers. "Our internal Quality Management System is audited and verified by independent certification bodies to prove conformity to internal standards, ISO norms, laws and regulatory requirements."

A significative attention is paid to the essential role of WATER.

Part of the solution as support of knowledge to all stakeholders is provided with unloadable reports and statements, trough

Selected topics are:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Innovation and science
  • Nutrition, health and wellness
  • Insight blog

Among them "Nutrition basics" is a good example of scientific divulgation:

Healthy eating is all about balance ­ eating the right amount to match how active you are, and enjoying a variety of foods, so you get all the nutrients you need.

To function properly, the human body requires over 50 nutrients. No one single food or drink can provide us with all these nutrients at once, which is why eating a variety of foods in the right amounts each day is important to good health.

Use the portion plate to help you choose the right foods While our critics complain that the food industry is responsible for rising levels of non-communicable disease related to obesity in both developed and emerging markets, I firmly believe we can be part of the solution.

It¹s true that our portfolio includes foods such as ice cream and chocolate, but whether Nestlé is in business or not, people will continue to eat these products.

Our responsibility is to provide consumers with the best products we can in these areas; to use our scientific expertise to offer the healthiest choices possible.

In Latin America, as in many other regions of the world where we operate, we can play a valuable leadership role in support of concerted action; from studying how food can help keep people healthy, to finding solutions to managing diet-related diseases.

We have the capacity, and more importantly, the determination to do so.

****

I feel sincerely convinced of the value of contribution that also the international corporation, wile being well lured by a social as well a profit target, are able to provide a significative contribution to the plan endorsed by ONU/FAO to nutrition of the entire planet.

It would take towards a final success of implementation country by country, spot by spot, a popular determination to spread  the culture, practice and pleasure to enjoy good food, health and pleasure, the understanding of personal nutrition value and access " with a variety of foods in the right amounts each day" as an important achievement to good health.

****

Agora Ambrosiana AA Draft - English edition - is a plan for the promotion of themes of debate relevant to the wide issue "FOOD an SECURITY" shared in all territories. The contribution of 2012 to FSN is now edited to the attention of Eurasian/FAO inline consultation whose conclusion are on preparation by FAO/Eurasian

Dr Vincenzo Lo Scalzo, AgoraAmbrosiana - Milano Italy

See the attachment:6_4-H Canada.pdf