Ce membre a participé aux discussions suivantes
In a news release by FAO on Tuesday the significance of agroforestry to escape poverty, hunger and environmental degradation has been highlighted. It laments the lack of adequate policy measures and efforts by Governments to promote agroforesty that incorporates an integrated approach combining trees with crop or livestock production contributing towards food and nutrition security.
"Despite the numerous benefits of agroforestry, the sector is largely hampered by adverse policies, legal constraints and lack of coordination between sectors to which it contributes, such as agriculture, forestry, rural development, enviroment and trade." said Mr. Eduardo Mansur, Director of FAO's Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division.
Even though millions of rural poor depend on forests and agroforestry practices to grow food grain, fruits and other produce, there is a lack of policy and programmes that promote such practicies. In India there is a National Horticulture Mission that promotes orchards and vegetable production. The Agriculture department also promotes different cereals, pulses and oilseeds through field demonstrations, subsidised seeds and fertiliser. But I am yet to come across a national programme on promoting agroforestry in a large scale. As far as my knowledge goes, the role of the Forest Department is restricted to the managment of the forest resources (timber, other forest produce, wildlife) and generation of revenue for the Government.
Through the Forest Rights Act, 2006 the claims of (primarily) tribal communities over forest land is being recognised in the country. However there have been issues related to tardy implementation and huge backlogs. Moreover wherever communities have received thier claims efforts to integrate with other programmes have been far between and without direction. I presume it becomes easier to implement single-track programmes as against programmes that require co-ordination and convergence between different stakeholders.
Hello Eva and Fred and dear forum members,
Thanks for bringing in a very pertinent topic and perspective on food and nutrition security in highlighting the importance of forests and forest trees. I am saying so since most of the discussion on food and nutrition security are either centred on (a) farm food production (also linked global food availability and food prices) or (b) external supplementation of food grain, vitamins and micronutrients in order to address various facets of food security. Needless to mention here is the fact that we as global members have failed miserably in tackling the problem of food security in spite of increased levels of production of food grain.
Having worked closely in promoting rural livelihoods and land rights issues for the past several years I can have the liberty to presume that food and nutrition security at the household level is to a great level related to secure and safe access to land and other natural resource such as forest. In the state of Odisha, in India levels of landlessness are still high in many villages, which is especially more in case of indigenous communities (Scheduled Tribes). The case becomes more pertinent since the promulgation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (known as the Forest Rights Act) in India. This legislation is considered to be landmark legislation for recognising the tribals and other forest dwellers’ distinct residential and cultivation rights over forestlands. Government while admitting that ‘historical injustice’ was done to the tribals by not recognizing their traditional rights over forestland, brought about this effective forest rights framework that recognized, vested and settled forestland under occupation for self-cultivation for livelihood up to four hectares. In this four hectares or less, a non-forest land use in the form of a homestead and agricultural land use was recognized both to an individual or community without attracting the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act as it would have normally done.
As per latest reports available over 300000 tribals have their rights over forestland recognised. However as usual there have been issues related to incomplete coverage and reduced quantum of land being recognised. Estimates and interaction with the claimants reveal that a majority of claimants have received entitlement to only about 0.01 to 0.8 hectares. Though there have been some efforts towards integrating other development schemes such as the national wage employment scheme, orchard development under the National Horticulture Mission, results have been few and far between. It all boils down to effective implementation and focus on the programme.
Forest dependent communities often collect a variety of seasonal fruits, tubers and medicinal herbs to supplement their nutrition requirements. There is often a gap in systematic research or directed approach toward augmenting this effort. I can’t come across any policy or programme that is directed towards this. Most of the forest development programmes deal with plantation and promoting livelihoods practices that would help the forest dependent communities “reduce” their dependency on forests.
I would suggest that there ought to be Nutrition Action Plans for each communities at each levels - community, regional, state and national levels to address food and nutrition security that would capture the nutrition gaps and provide an approach to address the gap that includes provisions from Government distribution programme and community initiatives to meet food requirements from forests and other natural habitats.
I look forward to participate in the discussion and learn from country experiences in addressing policy gaps and improving implementation of food security policy.
Thanks and best regards,
On the important subject of food security and nutrition I have to say that we as development professionals, funders, governments, etc. have miserably failed jointly in providing adequate quantities of food to the poorest sections. While there are huge disparities with regard to food production and availability of food, there remain grave concerns on the point of ensuring nutrition security among communities. Childhood malnutrition and food defficiency among the poorest (often land insecure) communities remain major problems even as we approach the MDG target of 2015.
On the issue of food security and better nutrition I have two points to make...
i) Governments worldwide, including in India have not really done enough on these points and many a times they have left the job half done. Though numerous agriculture development measures and public distribution system and other food distribution programmes are operational in India they have suffered from huge leakages and programme innovation, thus failing in meeting the desired objectives. For the past couple of years there has been discussion regarding the promulgation of a Food Security Bill which promises a lot but falls short of explaining how it will achive the stated objectives in the current scenario.
ii) While most of the programme interventions have pointed towards addressing malnutrition and nutrition security through "external supplementation" there has been little effort for promotion of home based food production through kitchen garden or nutrition garden. I strongly believe that large scale and long term nutrition garden programmes designed for the poorest could be beneficial in achieving better household nutrition security. I have seen with minimal monetary inputs but with close facilitation poor families having even small plots of land have been able to grow a variety of vegetables, greens, tubers and fruit trees to feed to the family food basket. There is a need of proper packaging of the existent government programmes such as the seed mini kit, backyard plantation programmes and such an intervention can be implemented in a wide scale.
Neverthless it still intruiges me why Governments fail to take up programmes that would directly benefit the poorest in the most simple and easy manner...