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Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition • Forum FSN

Re: Policy outreach and communications - what works for improving food security and nutrition at the country level?

Subhash Mehta
Subhash MehtaDevarao Shivaram TrustIndia

 Success Story Template on shifting organic for all not just the haves with the PC intervention assisted by successful farmers in the area to minimise cost increase production, taking over risks and responsibilities for the 'cash to cash cycle', group PGS - no packaging costs, access at little or no cost to members, ensurring long term sustainability

Name of your organization, country


Devarao Shivaram Trust, India

Your role


Who are your target users?

Governments, NARES, Multilateral Orgs, National and Global Research Institutions

How do your target users use the information you provide and how do they give you feedback on their emerging  needs?

Most cases we will rewrite draft in track, keeping in mind the needs of the rural poor smallholder producer communities, submit it back to the author for finalization as a Government  document.

What role do intermediaries* (‘champions’ in government, media, etc) play ?

Provides the required inputs during meetings, discussions, public hearings, etc., ensure meeting needs of the smallholder focus is not lost

What is the main communications or policy outreach challenge you face?

Addressing the causes, effects of errors made, making investments for essential corrections to be made, involving all the concerned stakeholders as equal partners and following a bottom up aproach

What recommendations would you give to someone, in a similar organization, wishing to improve the uptake and relevance of the information  they produce?

Follow a bottom up approach, involve all concerned stakeholders as equal partners, not loosing focus of the end objective, ‘Meeting the needs of the rural poor smallholder producer communities in an effort to ensure they set up producer company (PC) managed by professionals to take over all risks and responsibilities for their ‘cash to cash cycle’ access to own requirements of nutritious food and thus improving their livelihood and long term sustainability

In your own words , tell your success story !

I did a course in organic farming at IAMB (CHIEM), Bari, Italy, after my retirement in 1999, to be able to get to the bottom and understanding the standards, agro ecology, certification – holistic approach.

Following Qs stood out as I was doing the course and since I have raised my voice on these issues:

·         Rigidity of the standards when agriculture is dependent on soil and agro climatic conditions

·         Justification of organic premium as production is higher and cost is lower  than conventional

·         Organic follows GAP, is safe and still is required to invest in the high cost packaging & certification

·         Conventional has very high pesticide residues, unsafe and thus certification should be mandatory

·         AR4D in organic is done by only a few orgs Globally – FiBL, Soil Assn, etc. The successful farmers do this season after season for adapting to climate change, if they are to remain prosperous

·         Post harvest losses of perishables (40%)


Focus has been shifted to following organic principles as applicable to each area (successful models in each area), PGS replaces certification as a policy, producers no longer look for premium, access to own requirements of safe nutritious food produced by the community, at little or no cost, having access to models of  successful farmers in the vicinity to follow for their long term sustainability  

PC intervention ensures creating human and institutional capacity, value addition to increase shelf life of produce, minimizing post harvest losses

Attached is curriculum - manual based on a success