Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

Anna Herforth Independent Consultant, United States of America
14-01-2013

For this response I am drawing on the FSN Forum Discussion #83, which I co-led with Cristina Lopriore: http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/forum/discussions/agriculture-for-nutrition

 

Three key messages came out of Discussion #83, relevant to the topic of hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition.

 

One: We need to be thinking more about food/diet quality in addition to food quantity. Diversification of food production was strongly supported.  There were also calls for increased use of underutilized foods, biofortification, and better processing.  Many comments strongly supported reducing food waste – several people noted a research need for how to curb food waste and preserve perishable fresh foods, a difficulty for making nutritious diets more accessible.

 

Two: Food production is tied to environmental resources and production must be sustainable.  There were comments about incorporating climate change considerations into all decisions/investments in food production.  There were other comments about supporting soil and biodiversity to produce more, more diverse, and more nutritious foods.

 

Three: The biological reduction of hunger/malnutrition is not a sufficient goal; we need to support people’s dignity, culture and rights in the process.  This has to do with supporting traditional diets (related to the first point on underutilized foods) and biodiversity (related to the second point on natural resources), and also with how “development” projects are done.  We need to increase participation and the ability for people to determine the solutions that would best fit their own needs, and also get better at disseminating existing knowledge, technologies and research results wherever they are applicable and appropriate.

 

For further elaboration of these messages in the contributions, see the Discussion #83 website, listed above.