This member participated in the following discussions
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In response to the questions raised:
1. Food security and agricultural development. At first glance, food security may be enhanced through access to a wider supply of higher quality and low cost food products. Nevertheless, legitimate concerns may exist about security of supply during periods of drought and famine and other external events (including for example the current COVID-19) interrupting supply. AfCFTA may have to provide some assurance of supply for all countries.
2. Informal cross-border trade. Informal trade reflects to a large extent the relatively high cost of doing business through formal and official channels. I suggest having a target to reduce the cost of doing business in all AfCFTA member countries.
3. Micro-small-medium businesses. The main challenge facing these businesses is access to developed and globally competitive food supply chains which require stringent quality controls and often scale beyond the typical MSME. I suggest creation of a MSME partnership program to help build capacity of MSME and partnership with large players. This should include a program to accelerate growth in productivity including improved technical efficiency; structural adjustment; and adoption of new technology across digital devices and systems, along with access to the best communication systems and improved plant genetic resources
4. SPS/TBT. These are important measures for food safety and security. A technical program to improve SPS capacity and skills through training could be created.
5. Sensitive and excluded products. Ideally this list should be limited to a very small number of staple food products. At the same time technical barriers should also be limited.
6. Dependence on food imports. To enhance African country's capacity to produce a greater share of local demand I suggest a program for acceleration of productivity improvement; expanded share of irrigated crops in total production (meaning more water dams of sustainable size); more partnerships with reliable food supplying countries; and skill improvements to achieve the above.
Réponses aux questions soulevées:
1. La sécurité alimentaire et le développement agricole. À première vue, il est possible d'améliorer la sécurité alimentaire moyennant l'accès à une offre plus large de produits alimentaires de meilleure qualité et à faible coût. Il est toutefois légitime de s'inquiéter de la sécurité de l'approvisionnement pendant les périodes de sécheresse et de famine et d'autres événements extérieurs (y compris, par exemple, la crise actuelle COVID-19) qui peuvent interrompre l'approvisionnement. La ZLECAf devrait pouvoir garantir un approvisionnement relativement sûr dans tous les pays.
2. Le commerce transfrontalier informel. Le commerce formel est, dans une large mesure, le reflet du coût relativement élevé de l'exercice des activités commerciales par les canaux formels et officiels. Je suggère de fixer un objectif pour réduire le coût des opérations commerciales dans tous les pays membres de la ZLECAf.
3. Micro, petites et moyennes entreprises. Le principal défi pour ces entreprises est de pouvoir accéder à des chaînes d'approvisionnement alimentaire développées et compétitives à l'échelle mondiale, lesquelles exigent de rigoureux contrôles de qualité et dépassent souvent l'échelle typique des MPME. Je suggère de mettre en place un programme de partenariat entre les MSME pour aider à renforcer les capacités des MSME et le partenariat avec les principaux acteurs. Il conviendrait notamment de lancer un programme visant à accélérer les gains de productivité, y compris une meilleure efficacité technique, un ajustement structurel et l'adoption de nouvelles technologies pour les dispositifs et systèmes numériques, ainsi que l'accès à de meilleurs systèmes de communication et à des ressources phytogénétiques améliorées.
4. Les SPS/OTC. Ces mesures sont importantes pour la sécurité et la sûreté alimentaires. Un programme technique de formation pourrait être mis en place pour améliorer les capacités et les compétences dans le domaine des mesures SPS.
5. Les produits sensibles et exclus. Cette liste devrait idéalement être limitée à un très petit nombre de produits alimentaires de base. Dans le même temps, il conviendrait également de limiter les obstacles techniques.
6. Dépendance vis-à-vis des importations de denrées alimentaires. Pour renforcer la capacité des pays africains à produire une part plus large de la demande locale, je suggère de mettre sur pied un programme visant à accélérer les gains de productivité, à accroître la part des cultures irriguées dans la production totale (c'est-à-dire à construire davantage de barrages de taille durable), à multiplier les partenariats avec des pays fournisseurs fiables de denrées alimentaires et à améliorer les compétences pour atteindre tous ces objectifs.
A key issue to be examined here should be that of productivity and growth in productivity and the impact on migration, agriculture and rural development. We would expect low productivity in agriculture to accelerate migration away from agriculture, assuming higher income are possible in other sectors.
The research would also benefit from an examination of urbanization and the impact on migration, agriculture and rural development.
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FSNP seems to have a major gap, no mention of adaptation. At least I could find no mention of it. It's of critical importance. Refer to my paper on food security and risk management produced for the Australian based National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility:
Кажется, в Программе ПБП есть большой пробел в отношении отсутствия упоминания об адаптации. По крайней мере, я не мог найти никакого упоминания о этом. Это крайне важно. Обратитесь к моей работе по вопросам продовольственной безопасности и управления рисками, разработанной для австралийского научно-исследовательского фода для национальная адаптация к изменению климата:
1. Information technology can contribute significantly to improvement in agricultural and non-agricultural productivity and applications are common across livestock, agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, forestry and all the service providers to agriculture.
2. The bottlenecks to exploiting IT are widespread access to reliable electricity and communication system support. With the shift to mobile technology access to reliable and reasonable speed Internet is a crucial requirement fore effective use of IT in agriculture and especially for smallholders, medium-sized holders and large operations.
3. Precision agriculture is growing quite rapidly, enabled by GPS receivers for mapping soils, weeds, diseases, yields and landform. Barriers to adoption of technology in contemporary agriculure include celular connectivity, Internet speed and others.
4. Traceability systems have been applied in a mandatory way in Australia now for several years using RFID technology.
Smallholders can achieve many of the benefits of traceability systems that larger producers achieve: improved disease control and improved quality assurance for users. In addition, RFID tags offer the potential for improved animal tracking and management of genetic improvement. In many respects its becoming the cost of not having a traceability system because competitors do have it. That means market access can be denied without adoption of effective traceability systems.
Good report and relevant to point out that "..FAO´s projection of the need for a 60% increase in food crops and a 70% increase in livestock production by 2050 imply a need for additional cropland and pastureland, even if crop yields continue to grow at high rates and even accounting for a massive increase in the productivity of pasture...".
The report refers to interactions between food security, land ownership, social factors etc. and use of land and water for biofuels and energy markets. These interactions could be developed further in the next Report and clarified to add impact to what they mean. For one thing the interactions can compound the impact of extreme events including those emerging from climate change and extreme climatic events. The next Report would benefit from a separate section on Risk and Risk Management of Food Security and Biofuels.This would ideally examine the risks from a global and country level and describe a framework and principles for improved management of the risks including regulatory risk.
The next Report would also benefit from a separate section on Price Efficiency in the Food, Energy, Biofuels, Water and Farmland Markets. Babcock points to some of the price efficiency issues with US and EU biofuels interventions but more is needed. Can improved price efficiency be achieved in these markets? Just because price efficiency is difficult in these markets does that mean nothing can be done? What are the priorities for making these markets more efficient? What are the risks of letting price efficiency/inefficiency drift?
Well done. It's a useful report. In terms of constraints to smallholder investment, however, I sugegst the report would benefit from more recognition of and examination of economies of scale in agricultural production. There are significant economies of scale in almost all agricultural production enterprises across grains, horticulture and livestock, not just industrial crops. Economies of scale enable lower production costs and facilitate quality control, market access, financial access, skills access, risk management expertise, access to contracts and access to new technology. The reports cites examples of higher yields in smallholder farms compared to large farms but productivity and growth in productivity is not just about yields. While yields is important total productivity is the main game and comes from superior capital and labour performance. That's why economise of scale are important.
Another area that could be examined in more detal is the retail and wholesale market. We can expect these markets to develop and grow in just about all countries especially those in developing and LDCs. They will be private sector owned and driven. The investment climate will play an important role in their incentive to invest. In the circumstances contestable markets take on added importance. Once again, economies of scale will play an important role. As these retail markets grow they will play an ever increasing role in food security.
The report states: "To reduce poverty and hunger, growth needs to reach the poor and the increased income needs to generate demand for the assets controlled by them. Poor households need to be able to use the additional economic assets to improve their diets both in quantity and quality". Not clear what this means and what assets are we talking about?
The quality of food and diet has been underestimated as a basic requirement for food security. Education is an important part of the solution to solving this problem. In regard to "policies that led to better nutritional status as a result of investment into agriculture" a key issue here is that attention has to be given to the whole food supply chain, not just the production end. Production is important but it's just part of the food supply chain, not the whole food chain.
In our study of food security and risk management we found very little investigation of the food supply chain beyond the farm gate. Sure, there are all sorts of value chain examinations etc. but not much into the food security aspects of the value chain. More about this at www.food-security.com.au and at LinkedIn group food security 2050.
But food security, being about access, has to deal better and more thoroughly with the whole food supply chain. The private sector dominates food supply chain activity in every country, irrespective of their development status and inclination towards command styled economies. So the real question is how to improve private sector performance in food supply chains that deliver food security. Investment and capital accummulation drive private sector capacity to deliver best practices along the whole supply chain. From my examination of the FAO database there is a very close correlation between capital investment in agriculture and the agricultural output index of production. It's a great pity investment and capital accummulation data is not available beyond the farm gate. Policy settings, including social protection, have to work closely with the privately driven food supply chains if they are to have any lasting impact.