WFP-FAO co-led Post 2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition

19-11-2012 - 10-01-2013

The discussion is now closed.

See below the contributions received or download the proceedings.
Summary of key themes emerged from the discussion is available here

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to contribute to this global debate.

As the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, a number of processes have been put in place to seek inputs from country, regional and global levels, into the “Post-2015 Development Agenda and Framework”.  For more background information click here.

This is your opportunity to help identify the actions, goals, targets and indicators needed to achieve food and nutrition security, and the eradication of hunger, in a post-2015 world.  Many food security and nutrition policies, strategies and action plans have been written over the past number of  years.  Challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in a sustainable way have been identified, and many countries are making good progress.  Nevertheless, close to 870 million people around the world remain undernourished and do not have access to a healthy diet.  It is time for everyone to take urgent action – in a concerted manner – and to elaborate a new development agenda around lasting concerns of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

The outcome of this e-consultation, together with the proposed CFS consultation, will feed into the high level experts consultation to be hosted by the Government of Spain in March 2013.

Ultimately, your contributions will feed into the UN General Assembly discussions beginning September 2013 for the elaboration of an agreed post 2015 global development agenda.

E-Consultation: next four weeks

Over the next four weeks, FAO and WFP will facilitate this e-consultation in drawing on the widest possible group of stakeholders and interested parties on how best to address hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition at all levels, and to seek your inputs on the elaboration of a new agenda for action beyond the current MDG framework.

We also invite you to submit papers, findings, or on-going work on the topic of hunger, food and nutrition security.

We seek your inputs on the following three themes:

Theme 1

(i) What do you see as the key lessons learned during the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015), in particular in relation to the MDGs of relevance to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition? 

(ii) What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

Theme 2

What works best?  Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on.  Provide us with your own experiences and insights.  For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security? 

Furthermore, how could we best draw upon current initiatives, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (, and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

Theme 3

For the Post-2015 Global Development Framework to be complete, global (and regional or national) objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  A set of objectives has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):

  1. 100% access to adequate food all year round
  2. Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
  3. All food systems are sustainable
  4. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
  5. Zero loss or waste of food.

Please provide us with your feedback on the above list of objectives – or provide your own proposals.  Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?


Contribution received:

Haribondhu Sarma icddr,b, Bangladesh

During formulation of current MDG plan of action, the social cultural and political issues have been ignore, which was one of the main reasons not to achieve MDGs at the optimum level. The hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition should be considered in both away: from micro and macro perspective. Local issues should have scope to explain local perspective rather considering from global perspective. I think more investment should be considered for generating local knowledge, invention and innovation rather giving prescription from global perspective.


Social protection is a huge factor in food security.


Consider all the people who are displaced in camps that cannot be involved in agriculture. It should also be considered that the people who have access to land are worst affected by malnutrition and food insecurity. Because even though subsistence farming is the pillar to fighting hunger today many youth are shunning any form of farming as a job for the poor and selling off their land to buy cars and motorcycles and move to towns.


In Uganda most farming or rearing for family consumption is done by the females in the family while the males are more into cash crops but most women do not own land and mostly use a male relations land there is always the possibility of being thrown off the land especially with the death of a husband even in cases where women have as many as 10 children. With the displaced people due to rebel activities in the area and general political unrest.


There is never enough time to cultivate as the people fear for their lives ,the rebels steal their food or they have to move to another town where there land less and cannot produce any food for the family. The role the government can play to ensure food security would include ground work or a bottom up Approach where solutions and problems are sought from the stake holders. Research on seed varieties that are adaptable to the weather and more pest resistant so farmers do not lose money and morale with heavy looses Education in form of conferences on best farm practices at the village (muluka) level for maximum impact. Low interest loans. Good quality farm equipment by not allowing substandard quality into the county Politically enabling environment.


Gender biases need to be addressed Preservation at the village level also needs to be put in place because there times of plenty and waste since we rely on seasons so small scale manufacturers should be encouraged Small corporations of farmers producing the same products are the best means of intervention for study groups and loans It is an all round achievement to attain food security.


There is an opportunity of employment and earning an income from being involved in food

Ferdousi Begum FANTA, FHI360, Bangladesh

Dear All


Theme 1: Key lessons learned are -Malnutrition is not well visible phenomena, moreover in Bangladesh and in many other developing countries it doesn't link with GDP, again food security doesn't always mean all types of food security needed to prevent malnutrition by all which is vital to prevent malnutrition and finally like all others goals this goal didn't get equal attention by policy makers in the initial years while the goal was set like other goals. Challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years is the strong sustainable political commitment toward this goal.


Theme 2: Increase community ownership and awareness about the impact of malnutrition is the key. So develop long term sustainable TV commercials on IYCF and also addressing life cycle approach as malnutrition is inter generational problem which will help to increase demand and will ultimately guide improve governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and finally achieve political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security


Theme 3: Yes country specific regional objectives, target and indicators need to be set along with the UN Secretary-General objectives to tackle hunger, food security malnutrition. Again strong and sustainable political commitment, development of strategy to ensure visible involvement of multi-sectoral including private sector are the key here.


Best regards,


Colin Sage University College Cork, Ireland

Key lessons? That setting targets is a largely meaningless exercise if the process for achieving them is not sufficiently robust. There is now overwhelming evidence to demonstrate that the consequences of climate change is placing agriculture under significant pressure in different parts of the world, leaving tens of millions more vulnerable each year. Until governments begin to demonstrate some real leadership on climate change, setting targets to reduce hunger seems like arranging deck chairs...


While all of the objectives of Theme 3 seem laudable, a strong and unwavering commitment to building sustainable food systems seems to me the right place to begin and one that might subsequently deliver on the other objectives. This would require rolling out programmes in support of agro-ecological farming methods at one end, while working to refashion food consumption norms around the world at the other, and particularly those of the world's richest societies.

See the attachment: IJAS Commentary v10n3.pdf

Comentarios de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público de México a la consulta electrónica sobre "El hambre y la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional"

En lo que se refiere a la pregunta ¿Cuáles considera los principales retos y oportunidades para lograr la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional en los próximos años? contemplada en el primer tema de la presente consulta, en el marco del G20 México ha planteado que es necesario atacar los siguientes grandes campos para alcanzar la seguridad alimentaria:

  • - Incrementar la producción y productividad agrícola
  • - Asegurar la sostenibilidad de la producción agrícola
  • - Adaptación al cambio climático
  • - Atención a la Volatilidad de los Precios de Materias Primas

En segundo lugar, respecto al cuestionamiento contenido en el tema 2, acerca de qué funciona mejor y teniendo como base los conocimientos actuales, al responder cómo deberían abordarse los desafíos por venir del hambre, la inseguridad alimentaria y la malnutrición, así como hablando de la importancia que tienen las cuestiones de mejora de la gobernanza, los enfoques basados en los derechos, la responsabilidad y el compromiso político para lograr la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición, México está convencido de la importancia de la seguridad alimentaria para lograr un crecimiento sostenido e inclusivo.

Nuestro país destaca el incremento de la productividad y de la producción, así como el mejoramiento del funcionamiento y la transparencia de los mercados de materias primas, como las mejores políticas para fortalecer la seguridad alimentaria y para reducir tanto la volatilidad excesiva de los precios de materias primas, como los efectos negativos de dicha volatilidad sobre la economía y el bienestar de la población. Durante la Presidencia Mexicana del G20 en 2012 se estableció como prioridad en la agenda el tema “Fortalecimiento de la Seguridad Alimentaria y Atención a la Volatilidad de los Precios de Materias Primas”.

Algunas experiencias que vale la pena destacar en torno al tema, son los principales compromisos establecidos por los Líderes del G20 en la Cumbre de Los Cabos:

  • - Los líderes dieron la bienvenida al lanzamiento de la Iniciativa “AgResults”, encaminada a alentar la inversión en la innovación agrícola mediante el diseño de incentivos financieros para agentes de los sectores público y privado para investigar, desarrollar y proveer productos y servicios destinados a mejorar la agricultura de pequeños productores agrícolas. Además, se comprometieron a dar continuidad a distintas iniciativas del G20, incluyendo la Plataforma de Agricultura Tropical (cuyo objetivo es fortalecer la construcción de capacidades y el intercambio de conocimiento en material agrícola), iniciativas de investigación para cultivos de trigo, arroz y Unidad de Asuntos Internacionales de Hacienda maíz, y el Programa Global de Agricultura y Seguridad Alimentaria (que tiene como propósito atender la escasez de financiamiento para los planes estratégicos de inversión en agricultura y seguridad alimentaria de los países).
  • - Los Líderes apoyaron los Principios de Inversión Agrícola Responsable y alentaron la implementación de la Guía Voluntaria sobre Gobernanza Responsable de Tenencia Agrícola, Pesquera y Forestal en un Contexto de Seguridad Alimentaria Nacional. Asimismo, reconocieron la aportación del reporte “Crecimiento Sostenible de la Productividad Agrícola y Reducción de Brechas para Pequeños Agricultores”, elaborado por distintas agencias y el cual contiene recomendaciones en las cuales los países podrían enfocar sus esfuerzos de cooperación.
  • - Los líderes apoyaron el desarrollo y mayor uso de tecnologías, mejores prácticas y técnicas agroforestales, mejoramiento de la fertilidad de los suelos y labranza mínima, entre otras. Asimismo, hicieron un llamado a las Organizaciones Internacionales para elaborar un informe sobre opciones para mejorar la eficiencia en el uso de agua en la agricultura.
  • - Los Líderes acogieron el progreso hecho en la implementación del Sistema de Información del Mercado Agrícola (AMIS, por sus siglas en inglés). Este mecanismo ayudará a crear un sistema de intercambio de productos agrícolas más estable, predecible, libre de distorsiones, abierto y transparente, lo cual a su vez ayudará a fortalecer la seguridad alimentaria. Los Líderes además apoyaron las conclusiones del Reporte del G20 sobre Impactos Macroeconómicos de la Volatilidad Excesiva de los Precios de Materias Primas, el cual identifica distintos efectos de cambios bruscos en los precios de materias primas, así como opciones de política que los países podrían considerar para mitigar tanto la volatilidad en precios como sus consecuencias. Los Líderes del G20 solicitaron a los Ministros de Finanzas informar en 2013 sobre el progreso en la contribución del G20 para facilitar un mejor funcionamiento de los mercados físicos de materias primas, y reafirmaron su compromiso para incrementar la transparencia y evitar el abuso en los mercados financieros de dichos bienes. Finalmente, los Líderes también reafirmaron su compromiso con mercados de energía transparentes y efectivos.


I think that targets should be evaluated in a short term, not more than 10-12 years, and revised it frequently.

The challenge in the coming years is related with the growing number of population, the production methods to cover these needs, and the sustainability of growth. This 3 issues linked to each other will probably determine achieving food and nutrition security.



To address the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges, country level political awarness is needed. The question is, does politicians are interested in this challenges? are they fully aware?.

Global initiatives are interesting I hope they are really focus on country needs.



I think globally main objectives need to be address, however, specific indicators should be country-specific.

Kevin MORGAN Cardiff University, United Kingdom

Key lessons from MDG framework?


Lack of political commitment from governments and neglect of the gender dimension. Key challenge for the future of food and nutrition security? Sufficient political commitment from governments.


What works best? Social safety nets in the short term to ensure sufficient access to food and nutrition security. In the longer term there is no substitute to investment in smallholder agriculture, organisational learning through producer associations and better infrastructure for producing, storage and distribution'to boost output and reduce wastage.


Post 2015 targets? Who can have confidence in any target, promise or commitment from any government given the way the right to food has been consistently violated? Governments need to earn credibility on the food security front before they expect citizens to take their targets seriously.

Patrick Webb Tufts University, United States of America

Regarding theme 3 on targets and indicators, I wholeheartedly agree with a target such as 'b' framed around zero stunting under 2.  That is arguably, the highest priorty overall in nutrition going forward, viable, and if done correctly, sustainable.  It does, of course, require child stunting to be a primary indicator, which all the implications that carries in terms of cost, training, and reporting--but I sense that the global community is ready for that to happen.


That said, stunting of children older than 2 needs to be tracked (so the indicator should arguably call for height for age to be collected and reported for <5s, with <2s separated out, and by gender).  What is more, there needs to be a parallel focus on some additional, equally critical elements of the nutrition problem which can't be assumed away by a single-minded focus on the 1,000 days.  These would include: a) key micronutrient deficiencies, b) childhood obesity, c) maternal nutrition and IUGR, and d) wasting (treatment as well as prevention).  Yes, these overlap with stunting, but not fully and not consistently--and success in achieving zero stunting in children under 2 can be compromised where these other dimensions are not addressed simultaneously.


The approach taken should therefore be one focused on net gains across these key dimensions of nutrition, not gross gains in one area at the expense of, or without, gains in each of the others.

Mike Matsimbe Malawi

I know that alot of people have discussed food security so I just want to add something on dealing with Malnutrition especially in relation to the issue of stunting. I believe if we could concentrate on animal protein intake boosting in countries like malawi we could reduce stunting and other nutrient difiency related problems. There is quite high intake of Carbohydrates and vegitables but very minimal on the animal protein. If the food security intervention were around small animals which could be easily consumed at household level then children would also benefited. Let interventions in the next period incorporate this.

Mahadeva Shanmugaratnam UN/FAO Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka

Dear Friends,


It has been a quite interesting and a learning processing to read all the contributions, I as well posted my contribution on 11/12/2012 which  I feel needs further elaboration in order to emphasize the need of a grass-root level planning that addresses the issues from bottom to top rather than that goes from top to bottom. 


"Any country it may be country with high human fertility or low human fertility country, ensuring self-employment through agricultural & livestock productions at least to one member of a vulnerable family with mobile assistance in all aspects to attain our objective of ensuring food all void of malnutrition. Land availability of vulnerable group shall not be a constraint in ensuring the self- employment of agricultural nature in a selected smallest area representing a particular community with appropriate crop and livestock selected for that community"


Further elaborating on this, the major limitation in implementing of such a self-employment agricultural & livestock and project for a particular community is lack of self-owned land by the vulnerable families.  


If a vulnerable family is owning a land could not involve in self-reliance for food production for other reasons such as lack of irrigation and other inputs necessary for the farming, the mobile unit moves into address the needs of that particular family on short term basis as well as  on long term basis. The important part is that particular vulnerable family is inducted and induced into the project at the earliest possible disseminating the knowledge needed by them.  


When it comes landless vulnerable families, which is obviously the most vulnerable group for hunger and malnutrition community farming system is undertaken to address the 10 to 15 land less families selected to be assisted by an organization or by the government itself of an famine vulnerable country to lease a land on a long term basis and the self-employment agricultural project implemented as for the self-owned land families. One or two members of a vulnerable family will work in that particular community farm based on the size of the land that would support conspicuously more than the number of individual members of families the community farming system is intended for. The assistance providing mobile organization will bear in mind that this is a self-employment project apart from addressing food need and malnutrition will establish a cooperative system within the community farming system so that produces and output are evenly distributed amongst the member families.


Based on the success of a particular community farming system, the cooperation criteria will be extended to the other community farming systems as well with individual self-owned farming system


The objective of this elaboration is to stress the need of grass-root level planning towards the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition and Zero Hunger Challenge.


The need of a Vulnerable Family who is most likely to involve dedicatedly in such projects , a community of vulnerable families, a village of vulnerable communities and finally many villages of a country is addressed which ensures gradual control over what is done and what is not done towards the final objectives in a country through an organization.


Je salue cette initiative, qui occasionne le moment d'echanger sur comment nourrir les habitats de notre planète.


A l'état actuel du développement technologique et des avancés en matière des droits de l'homme. il est impensable et déplorable que de milliers de personnes particulièrement d'enfants meurent chaque jour par la faim ou de la malnutrition. je considère cela comme une honte pour l'humanité. j'ai été témoin dans ma vie de militant des droits de l'homme, de plus de trois hommes chefs de ménages qui sont donné la mort parce que qu'ils étaient incapables de trouver la nourriture pour ses enfants et leurs femmes. ça c'est passé au Burundi en 1999 dans une province du Nord dénommé Kirundo, il y avait la famine causée par la sécheresse. Nourrir le monde et lutter contre la faim est à la fois facile et complexe:

1. Gouvernance mondiale opérationnelle et exigeant à tout les etats et mettre en place un mécanisme de contrôle efficace

2. Reformer la FAO pour plus d'efficacité sur le terrain;

3. Faire la question de lutte contre la faim, un axe transversal dans les planifications UNDAF et DSRP dans tous le pays;

4. Adopter une stratégie internationale pour changer systématiquement les méthodes agricoles, l'actualisations régulières des intrants et la fertilisations des sols;

5. Adopter une stratégie d'échanges bilatérales et / ou multilatérales des cultures;

6. Créer des fonds, des lignes budgétaires etc. pour promouvoir l'agriculture, la transformation; bref promouvoir les industries alimentaires


Materne Maetz France


Dear all,


I have been following with great interest the discussion.


My feeling is that we tend to give too much emphasis to the technical aspects of food security and neglect the political side of the issue. We also tend to mix the two very different questions of i) reducing - now eradicating - hunger and ii) producing sufficiently for all.


On the first point, we have to realize that the conditions in countries have been

- in favor of agriculture in rich countries (e.g. farmers better represented politically and well organized to defend their interests; consumers are ready to pay relatively high food prices as food only represents a small share in their expenditure; subsidies for agriculture affordable because of reduced share of agriculture in the economy)

- unfavorable in poor countries (farmers have no political weight on political regimes that for long have been undemocratic, they are disorganized and cannot influence policies, agriculture is a big share of GDP and costly to subsidies; liberalized policies imposed through structural adjustment programmes have been prevented to change because of WTO membership; food is a big share in household expenditure in urban areas where they can put pressure on governments through demonstrations; the option of food aid has given a disincentives to governments to invest limited funds into agriculture).


This has resulted on the one hand in high subsidies and protection for agriculture in rich countries, and poor support in non industrial countries. The limited support and services available for farmers in poor countries are benefitting to few better off farmers, while the majority of farmers, those who are the most food insecure, have been excluded


So for me the main challenge, to reduce hunger, is to find a way to include these people so that they can improve their standard of living. 2012 is the international year of cooperatives, but while it is said that 1 billion out of the 1.4 billion farmers are part of cooperatives or groupings, we have to admit sadly that most of these groupings are either non-functional or dominated by the local rural elite and do not operate in favour of the smaller farmers. So this is an area where support is needed as, if better organized, farmers can be stronger on markets, get access to cheaper equipment/inputs, be influential on policies. There are of course good experiences to learn from, and we need to apply lessons from them. Authentic democracy can also help to change the political balance that is unfavorable to farmers by giving them opportunity to propel representative leaders to Parliament and/or Government.

We also need to do more for those rural dwellers (particularly the land less) to have more job opportunities or less trouble in migrating to urban areas, where towns can offer jobs.


Regarding the two questions (hunger, more production), there is clearly a need to continue increasing production. But not in any way:

First we need to use more environmental friendly technologies.

- Second they should be easily accessible to poor farmers.


That requires more funds for independent public research (private research seeks to produce goods that can be sold and that are given characteristics of private goods - exclusion in particular - such as fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid or GMO seeds/ public researchers financed by private firms tend to develop what these firms want). Research has proven to be the most profitable investment in agriculture. Independent public research should focus on crop/animal management that is labour-based (a key asset of poor farmers), knowledge intensive (a potentially public good) and requires limited purchased inputs (poor farmers do not have cash to buy them). In this way, improved technology kill two birds with one stone (although I don’t think we should kill birds...): be at the same time more friendly to poor farmers and to the environment.



Unfortunately, when people start thinking increased production, they tend to think that we should do more of what we are already doing (input intensive agriculture, work with larger commercial farms). That may help to reach the 70% target of increasing world production, but at a huge and intolerable environmental and social cost!


Furthermore, I am not sure that we really need to increase food production by 70% as we have now more food today than what we need of feed the world and that more than 1/4 of what is produced is wasted or lost. Part of the discussion is also the need to adopt food consumption patterns (less meat in particular, less waste) which will have less of an ecological foot print and be more healthy.


I stop here for now. For those who read French, I invite you to have a look at my website  for more information.


Regards to all,



Maria Sfarra FAO - WFP Facilitation Team, Italy

Undernutrition entails huge economic costs in terms of forgone gross domestic product (GDP).  For example, a study titled “The Cost of Hunger” estimated that, in Central America and Dominican Republic, the costs stemming from child undernutrition were about US$ 6.7 billion, or more than 6 per cent of countries’ GDP. The study, jointly produced by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and WFP, is available at


While these statistics are grim news, they also show the strong connection between child under-nutrition and economic growth.  From this perspective, how can we ensure that these linkages are recognized and measured in the post-2015 agenda?


Maria Sfarra

FAO-WFP Facilitation Team

John Baaki Women Environmenal Programme, Nigeria

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF ACHIEVING FOOD SECURITY AFTER 2015 The Millenium Development Goals expire 2015 but national governments with their economies continue to exist beyond that. Whether the MDGs will be renewed or given another name entirely, the goal will still be similar to what we have at present. The very first goal of the MDGs which seeks to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty is a goal that will be pursued as long as people continue to dwell on the planet earth. Achieving food security is putting the right structures in place that will ensure the production, processing and distribution of the right type, quantity and quality of food. In as much as everyone eats food, the duty of ensuring food security is that of national governments. The major area I see as a great challenge and which will be a good opportunity for food security is the development of rural infrastructure. More than half of the food produced in any developing country is produced in the rural areas. The youths and women make up to 70% of the farming population in Nigeria for example. Unfortunatly recently, there is mass migration of the youths from the rural areas to urban areas to take up non agricultural profession leaving agriculture in the hands of the aged. This is evident in the fall in food production and exportation recently than compared to what was obtainable in the 1960s-1980s. Government programs on agriculture do not address the rural areas seriously, hence the sustained migration. My opinion as a development worker working with women and youths in the rural areas is that, food security programs should not dwell on provision of farm equipment and seeds or training and incentives alone. Any food security program or policy that does not target the development of critical rural infrastructure is bound to fail. In my opinion, if rural areas are opened up alone, every other aspect of food security will naturally take shape. In addition to that, agro-processing industries should be located in rural areas to give value to their produce. This is the only thing that will keep the farming population back in the rural areas. Develp rural infrastructure and every other thing will follow if food security must be achieved

Edwin Tamasese Soil Health Pacific Ltd, Samoa

Dear all,

It is heartening to see calls for decentralized approaches to addressing the war against malnutrition. From my perspective and the company that I work for, I feel that there is a serious need to put the needs of the  customer first and foremost who in this case is the small holder farmer.

Without assigning blame or pointing fingers, because for all intents and purposes activities are performed with the best of intentions, assistance to farmers in my region is piecemeal, incomplete and ineffective. In general programs look at working with volumes of farmers with numbers under 1000 generally not considered. There is no problem with this except when you take into consideration the funding levels that are assigned to assisting these numbers of farmers and the structure of the programs that ensue.

What I mean by this is that we will have a seed and basic equipment distribution to farmers to assist with increasing production. There is nothing wrong with this, but too many times they are supplied to farmers that do not have access to effective irrigation for example. The end result is crop failure. In other cases the need is not seeds or tools, but agronomy support and training. However under these large unwieldy programs because of the nature of the funding this is not supported effectively.

Rather then this mass one shoe fits all approach there needs to be a call out to the community to ask what each INDIVIDUAL farmer needs.

The model that I work with in the Pacific and in Samoa to be specific is to identify champions in each of the village communities. We do this by driving through communities and identifying those farmers who are actively participating in the sector. Our total company focus is making our farmers more successful. We then ask this farmer if he would like to work with us and if he/she agrees we discuss a farm plan. Our first question - What is holding you back? This gives us the base to work off. In most cases the initial issue is yields from his/her current crop. We then propose a program, present the farmer with forecasts and costings and on agreement we begin.

We work on the principal the success breeds success. We know how our communities work. When they see that something is working for a neighbour they will copy this. From a commercial perspective each of these farms is a marketing platform in each village. Within very short time frames other farmers from the area start calling and asking to be involved and we bring them into the program. In addition to this we are continually training our farmers (we are a biological organic company). We invest a lot of time and effort in up-skilling our champion in the village. They become an in-trenched field consultant to the other farmers and a knowledge sharing base in the community.

End of the day it is working. My take - smaller, properly funded programs according to the farmers needs. Stop trying to heal the world in a single program. We discard too many "small step" programs because we think that they take too long. However if we had been working that way from the beginning we wouldn't be having this discussion now.

best regards,

Edwin Tamasese
Managing Director
Soil Health Pacific Ltd

Kalekristos Yohannes Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research , Ethiopia


Theme 1 

The MDG brings a lot of bright in fighting of food insecurity. The key lessons of the MDG shows us that if one can make things to change for a better thing then the output is good. Ethiopia one of the country facing the food insecurity problem for a longer period and still facing the challenge of minimizing such conditions. Together with the MDG and the governmental plan the minimization of the poverty in the country shows a progress. The main causes of the poverty in the country are the insufficient education, agricultural production, road and transportation, health and water source. Fighting such root causes of the poverty minimize the food insecurity in the country. Now a day agricultural production is increasing even though still the agrarian production is leading, which is the still lead to food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition during the drought season. Even though there is a production sometimes people are still facing the challenge to purchase what they need due to the low money purchase power and lack of knowledge on the access of the food. The availability of the agricultural product does not mean that there is no food insecurity. For instance we can see in the rural areas there is production of agricultural products but due to lack of knowledge on nutrition they are facing the malnutrition problem. 

The challenge of the Ethiopia in the fighting of the poverty is that, Ethiopia is struggling to achieve different objectives at once for instance the road construction, fighting hanger, making available power source for the country, education, the challenge of fighting HIV/AIDS and other health problems and some other developmental activities. 

The other challenge of that Ethiopia in fighting of hunger is the loss of the agricultural production during harvest and post harvest. The loss of the post harvest of agricultural product reaches to more than 40% of the production especially on the perishable agricultural products. The lack of the skilled persons working on the post harvest and nutrition lead the country to even loss the production. 

There are different challenges beside the above like link between the NGOs and GOVs and the local producers or the farmers. Different findings aimed to help those in needs, but when we see through the fund for the farms is nothing when we consider the fund given for the organization and for fee of the NGOs and GOVs employee's. There for there need to be given a special re-assessment for such miss leading gap to achieve the goal of the MDGs.

Themes 2

To address the food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition problem in the coming future the link between the GOVs, NGOs and the local farmer need a strong linkage. This link will minimize the gap and minimize the knowledge gap. The main focuses that need to be seen to achieve food security are one to produce agricultural products sufficiently by use of the irrigation. The second thing is to process and use the agricultural product efficiently by minimizing the loss during harvest and post harvest. The third thing is to exchange knowledge on the nutrition, processing, value chained and food science role in the country. Finally reassessment of the information with the local farmers, in building smooth relation. 

The Zero Hanger Challenge is one that faces Ethiopia now a day. Hunger due to lack of food, Hanger due to lack balanced diet, hanger due to lack of knowledge and others have direct or indirect impact on the reduction or eradication of hanger.  As I have mentioned above to achieve this goal Zero hanger the Farmers, NGOs and GOVs should work together; to increase agricultural production; minimize loss of agricultural products; increasing a person income to attained purchase ability; give a good path in the value chain of agricultural products; building a market access for consumers; increasing once country knowledge on FOOD SCIENCE, NUTRITION, POST HARVEST, MARKETING AND OTHERS.

Theme 3

The objective put by the UN under the Zero Hanger Challenge outstanding. The problem is that most of the objectives are regional and country specific. For instance when we consider Africa to achieve such objectives first it need to fulfill other major objectives, even though some countries in Africa are well developed as compared to the least developed once. Putting the major objective as in the UN ZHC each region and country should develop their own sub objective to achieve the major objective.

Dennis Baker Canada

In my opinion


We need to replace the fossil fuel power plants, the primary source of GHG. Now!

At a scale required to accomplish this task :

Ethanol starves people : not a viable option.

Fracking releases methane : not a viable option.

Cellulose Bio Fuel Uses Food Land : not a viable option

Solar uses food land : Not a viable option

Wind is Intermittent : Not a viable option

All Human and Agricultural Organic Waste can be converted to hydrogen, through exposure intense radiation!

The Radioactive Materials exist now, and the Organic waste is renewable daily.

Ending the practice of dumping sewage into our water sources.

Air, Water, Food and Energy issues, receive significant positive impacts .

Reducing illness / health care costs as well !

Dennis Baker
106 - 998 Creston Avenue
Penticton BC V2A1P9

Peter Webster BSTA, Barbados

I strongly recommend that FAO and others involved follow a logical approach to planning for these topics.  Such an approach is step by step yet iterative and utilises planning tools like stakeholder and problem analyses that facilitate the accurate determination of the current (present) situation, the goals we need to achieve and the best activities to achieve these goals.  I fear that an unorganized think tank type, scatter shot approach will not instill any confidence in the results.

A preliminary review of the stakeholder and problem analyses for hunger and food security tells me that the two are separate and distinct topics with conflicting interests.  The root cause of hunger is poverty not availability of food.  Producing more, cheaper food does not solve the problem of poverty.  To achieve food security farmers and producers need to get better returns on their labour and investment which means higher prices.  FAO needs to determine which of these two subjects is part of its mandate.  Surely FAO’s mandate cannot cover both.

The following is an article that I wrote on World Food day in 2011 in response to the FAO’s Director General’s Statement. That I must regurgitate this suggests that I wasted my time.


October 16, 2011 designated as “World Food day” has come and gone – or has it? For too many of the billion hungry people the world over, most days are “no food day”.  The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) promoted the theme “Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability” to highlight a worldwide trend that is “hurting the poor consumer, the small producer and agriculture in general” because “food prices which were stable for decades have become increasingly volatile”.  They concluded that “controlling prices was key to the fight against hunger”.

FAO further lamented that “Agriculture cannot respond fast enough with increased food production because of long-term under-investment in research, technology, equipment and infrastructure”.

The statement by the FAO Director General, Dr. Jacques Diouf, leaves several unanswered questions: Why did FAO emphasise the volatility or fluctuation of food prices and not the fact that the prices were higher although fluctuating? How do higher prices hurt producers and agriculture in general?  Why does FAO concern itself with the hungry?  Since when are the interests of food producers the same as those of consumers?  Could the high price of energy be a contributing factor to high food prices? and Why is there under-investment in agriculture?

It is unfortunate that the FAO statement does not distinguish between the food producers and distributors. Promoting more investment in agriculture is like “pushing rope” since it deals with an effect and not the cause! Food producers around the world have repeatedly increased their production when they are adequately rewarded for their investment.  Our experience in Barbados supports this.  When our government in 1971 taxed all of the nasty profits out of our highly efficient sugar industry (over $50 million between 1974 and 1981) the result was dwindling capital investment in the industry with productivity falling by 50% from a high of over ten tonnes of sugar per hectare to the five tonnes per hectare currently being achieved.

Our people supposedly abhor agriculture but several are reputed to be cultivating marijuana in discreet nooks and crannies around the island despite the risk of imprisonment.  Why are they not growing sweet potatoes and yams?  Could it be that cultivation of the latter is not lucrative enough?

We need to stop expecting the food producers to feed the poor and hungry - this is society’s responsibility not the food producers who are trying to earn a living!

I strongly recommend that FAO focus on its mandate to promote food production and leave the job of feeding the hungry to those with that conflicting mandate.  In the process FAO should ensure that OXFAM and other food-aiders feed the hungry with fresh, healthy food from their poor countries like rice, yams, sweet potatoes, vegetables and coconut water instead of over-processed and unhealthy wheat flour and powdered milk.  This would promote food production in the very countries where most of the hungry are located. Unfortunately, such action would put the food-aiders out of work and we cannot have that, can we?

I recall hearing President Bush (the son) admit in the dying days of his Presidency (October, 2008) that the USA had made a mistake in providing food-aid to poor countries.  He concluded that the USA should have helped the countries to produce their own food instead.  At the time I thought “Wow! I wonder how many people have heard and will remember this”.  Obviously not many!

FAO also supports the “elimination of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies in rich countries”.  Rubbish!  Agricultural subsidies have been practiced by the rich countries for centuries. It is one of the reasons why they are rich!  Their economies are not bled by having to import billions of $ in foreign food.  Subsidies promote their agricultural industries, maintain their producers’ standard of living and contribute significantly to their economies by providing value added opportunities which amount to more than the value of their agriculture.  They also promote their countries’ food security.  Such subsidies only distort trade in agricultural commodities when the surpluses they tend to produce are dumped on the world market at less than their real cost of production.  It is the act of dumping that distorts the trade not the subsidies!

Governments the world over subsidise housing, health, education, transport, and utilities for the poor but are not supposed to subsidise the most basic and important item needed by the poor – food !  Logic seems to be lacking.  Furthermore, if the subsidies are eliminated where would the food-aiders get their cheap food to feed the hungry?  Round and round we go….!

Peter Webster

NB: Peter Webster is a retired Portfolio Manager of the Caribbean Development Bank and a former Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Jose Swala MOLD, Kenya

Theme 1

Key challenges seen around especially in combating food insecurities as be as result of poor policies and laxity in implementation of result oriented policies. Year in year out most governments have dependent on rain fed agriculture, owing the importance of irrigation. Insecurity has been seen as major hinderance in ASAL areas where resources such as livestock may be of greater importance. Most analysist have considered crops as a case for food security thereby forgeting the contribution of other importance sectors in food provision such as livestock, water and even the co-operatives.

And a more pronounced challenge is the changes in climate where most arable lands are rendered dried day by day. I may also consider the rising of conversion of arable land into structures such as skycrappers, buildings e.t.c. You will realize most of these building have been constructed in fertile lands better for agriculture. This will require better policies on construction. Poor leadership especially in most developing nations has been influencing food insecurity with frequent tribal wars and displacements of persons.

John Stollmeyer Caribbean Permaculture Consultants Ltd., Trinidad and Tobago

Theme I

Key lessons learned: 

- that small - medium sized mixed farms that encourage high biodiversity are the most productive when it comes to broad nutritional value.

- that villages and neighbourhoods represent the appropriate scale for effective human relations.


- the level of urbanization resulting from failure of the so called "green" revolution.

- the dis-inclination for governments, no matter how much they pay lip service to the goal of de-centralization, to implement autonomy for bioregions.


- urban and suburban organic gardens

Theme II

What works best:

- mainstream permaculture principles, re-create productive ecosystems 

- get children reconnected to wilderness,

Thene III

we will never address the predicament of hunger and malnutrition as long as we stay on the treadmill of "feeding" the growing population. 

The 1st Law of Ecology: All life on earth is food.

The 2nd Law of Ecology: Population size is proportional to food availability.

Every year for the past 6,000 years aggreculture (sic) [waging war on biodiversity to grow humans' favourite foods] has produced a food surplus which has fueled the explosion of the human biome at the expense of other species and ecosystems services.

Let the UN and the WTO put a cap on food production and make sure every human gets an equal share. The population will stabalize in a decade. Then start to bring down production to reduce the population to the carrying capacity of the planet.


See the attachment: cbc_resolutions-i-vi.pdf
Maria Sfarra FAO - WFP Facilitation Team, Italy

Dear Participants,


Thank you so much for your contributions to-date.


With specific reference to Theme 3, I wanted to draw your attention to The Lancet medical journal’s 2008 series on maternal and child under nutrition which describes the scale and consequences of under nutrition and identifies proven interventions and strategies for reducing this burden. The Lancet has indicated that if under nutrition can be overcome, especially during the first 1,000 days from the start of pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, not only can lives be saved, but children can also grow to realize their full potential. How can UN agencies, governments, civil society, the private sector and individuals best join forces to overcome the many challenges posed by under nutrition ?


How can we collectively move closer to a future where all human beings have access to adequate nutrition, enabling them to develop to their full potential and live healthy lives ?


Maria Sfarra FAO-WFP Facilitation Team

Diane Mulligan CBM, United Kingdom

Disability, hunger, food and nutrition security – a contribution by CBM


There are an estimated one billion persons with disabilities worldwide[1].  Persons with disabilities are particularly at risk to the effects of climate change, such as food security.  In order to be effective, any framework or action plan in relation to the post-2015 MDGs must incorporate disability-inclusive development principles. 


Disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty.   The impacts of climate change (extreme weather, sea level changes and agriculture productivity changes, leading to food insecurity) will affect the world’s poorest people[2]. They are some of the most vulnerable to environmental degradation and changes. It is estimated there will be at least 200 million people displaced by climatic events by 2050, of whom at least 30 million are likely to be persons with disabilities (15% of population). There are many others who are left behind to struggle for a livelihood in degraded environments[3].


The health status of millions of people, including persons with disabilities and the prevalence of disability are projected to be affected by climate change through increases in malnutrition[4].   Persons with disabilities and their families living in poverty are facing reduced access to: clean water; fertile soils and suitable growing conditions for cropping and livestock; to fuel-wood and other energy sources; to wild foods, medicinal plants and other natural products related to their livelihoods[5]. Persons with disabilities and their families face real barriers in accessing food[6]. The gender dimension is being addressed by programmes increasingly working with women in:   improving food security; social protection through livelihood activities; sustainable, small scale, climate-smart food production; and improved access to markets[7]. These programmes also need to address disability exclusion by ensuring active participation of persons with disabilities and their families.  Food insecurity and malnutrition can lead to long term and/or permanent impairments.  There are strong links between childhood malnutrition and acquiring impairments. Malnutrition is estimated to cause about 20 per cent of impairments[8].


Conflict is a leading cause of physical and psychological disability. Conflict attributable to climate change will increase[9] , because food and water resources will become increasingly scarce or hard to access.  The “responsibilities of States to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedom for all” is now formally recognized in final outcome document of Rio 2012[10].  This can be achieved by including people with disabilities and adopting a rights-based approach.  The right to food security, water rights and sustainable agriculture would assist in improving food quality; ensuring appropriate utilization of food; and involving crisis prevention, preparedness and management.  Mechanisms for the assessment and monitoring of malnutrition and food crisis need to be established as a minimum requirement in food security and humanitarian programmes.


In addition, indicators related to the capacities of the affected population to participate in food chains, processing and production need to include groups particularly at risk, such as persons with disabilities.


In poor regions of the world population growth rates continue to place pressures on the poorest people for food and other resources. In sub-Saharan Africa population growth rate was 2.54% in 2010, (global rate 1.16%).


Higher food prices due to climate change combined with urbanisation trends will lead to more households being net food consumers; this too will affect (urban) poor people more[11].   CBM works in partnership to ensure persons with disabilities are included in food security emergency response programmes in the ‘Horn of Africa’ and Sahel Region of West Africa,  where over 20 million people have been in need of assistance from the worst droughts experienced over the last 60+ years.


For more information contact: Diane Mulligan




[1] World Health Organization and World Bank (2011) World Report on Disability.  Geneva: WHO Press.


[2] Eighty per cent of the 300 million people who live within 5 meters of sea level are in developing countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Debate on Sea-Level Rise: Critical Stakes for Poor Countries: February 2, 2007. (accessed 13 February 2012).


[3]  International Organisation for Migration. Migration, climate change and environmental degradation: a complex nexus.


[4] IPPC (2007).


[5] European Commission (2007) Environmental Integration Handbook for EC Development Cooperation.


[6]  World Health Organization and World Bank (2011) World Report on Disability.  Geneva: WHO Press, page 10. ‘Households with a disabled member are more likely to experience material hardship – including food insecurity, poor housing, lack of access to safe water and sanitation, and inadequate access to health care’.


[7] Food and Nutrition – ‘Security for All through Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems’; Note from the United Nations System High Level Task Force on Global Food Security, March 2012,


[8] Department for International Development (DFID) (2000) Disability, Poverty and Development, DFID, UK.


[9] IPCC (2007) Fourth Assessment Report.  Working Group II. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.


[11] Skoufias, E., Rabassa, M. & Olivieri, O. (2011) The Poverty Impacts of Climate Change: A Review of the Evidence, Policy Research Working Paper 5622, The World Bank.


Mahesh Moodley Independent, South Africa

When we think of hunger one thinks of the bodies mechanism to instruct ourselves to seek for nutrients that will sustain and grow us as a species .However this endeavor has been complicated in this day in age. We come to an understanding that money is required to obtain resources so that we can create a life for ourselves and our families.


And this "money" we speak of is created by selling resources to each another. But we then question how much money is enough to create a life we want ?We  must realise  we live in a physically finite planet.


So do we walk a path were more is more which will lead us to ruin by placing profits before sustainability or do we adhere to a framework of enhancing our sustainability as a species  by identifying a carrying capacity so we all can live a life of equality based on communication across boudries, borders and states so that resources can be managed collectively for the betterment of everyone.


To truly eradicate  hunger ,conflict ,apathy, famine, disease, crime and inequality we need to achieve a post scarcity society. A society  were economic models are superfluous. I have uploaded a document called "The Way Upward".


In this document I go into detail on how to achieve such a world. It is thus in the best interest of the United Nations to review the recommendations in the named document


I thank you for your time


Regards Mahesh Moodley

See the attachment: The Way Upward.pdf
Mohan Munasinghe MIND, Sri Lanka

See attached article: “MILLENNIUM CONSUMPTION GOALS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY: Applying the Sustainomics Framework”

Codrin Paveliuc Olariu Young Professionals in Local Development, Romania

For Emily Levitt Ruppert


Although a descentralization approach has been pushed on countries and local communities in the past several years and globalization has forced us to think this way, we forgot to focused specifically on the needs and development of the local community. This can be done either through centralized policies adapted to local specificities or the local development strategies that ensure a perfect grasp of the environment. In both cases, we must assess the need and develop detailed strategies.

See attached a framework for a possible needs and development analysis applicable to local communities.




Codrin Paveliuc Olariu

See the attachment: Conceptual_model.pdf
Codrin Paveliuc Olariu Young Professionals in Local Development, Romania

For Ugo Gentilini,


To answer your question: The social protection system can be used in principle to ensure access to food, but it is not recommended. As the food aid and food stamps (just to name a few) systems showed us so far, giving food is just a start and a way to alleviate immediate danger to human health, but not a solution to solve M1 and to get to "Zero Hunger". 


If we want to prevent future food crisis, we must ensure sustainability of the access to food (increase competitiveness of smallholder farming, access to markets, decreased unemployment in rural areas, better water management etc.). To start with, access to information and innovation would be good.


After that we should exploit what we have.


See the attached article on how we should plan better.

See the attachment: Rural_Urban_interactions.pdf
Ugo Gentilini WFP, Italy

Dear Participants,

What a great debate and contributions! My name is Ugo Gentilini and I’m social protection specialist at WFP. As a member of the FAO-WFP facilitation team, let me propose a question under theme 3, particularly around the “objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.” In this regard, one of the objectives put forward by the UN Secretary-General under the Zero Hunger Challenge is to ensure “100% access to adequate food all year round”.

But how to achieve such a key objective? One way could be to strengthen national social protection systems, as advocated by some of you. For example, Todd Post and Scott Bleggi from Bread for the World Institute argued that “the keys to achieving the 2015 targets depend on investments in smallholder agriculture and social protection”.

So let me ask you, what do you think would be the role of social protection to ensure that all people have always access to adequate food? What are some key constraints that governments and their partners may face in providing social protection? And what might be the opportunities?

Looking forward to your views!

Ugo Gentilini,
FAO-WFP facilitation team

Hélène Delisle WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition changes and Development, Canada

Comments on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security Post 2015 Development Agenda Framework

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to express our views on these topics. However, we cannot organize our comments around the three themes on which inputs were sought.
1.    Global challenges call for global approaches. There is a need for merging or at least converging or consolidating initiatives for post-2015 plan of action. At the present moment, we observe an inflationary trend. Only for insiders is the complexity of plans and consultations understandable. Several consultation processes are going on in a somewhat parallel fashion, on health, on food, on sustainable development. Responding to these separate consultations is not highly productive, and it is not known how the comments are processed. Avoiding the ‘silo’ consultations would be imperative.
The Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN), led by FAO, launched this e-consultation led by FAO, WFP and ‘The World We Want’, on a development agenda framework. Recently, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) launched another e-consultation on CFS Global Strategic Framework (until October 2012) also through the Global Forum on FSN. Now what is the difference between the ‘Development Agenda Framework’ and the ‘Global Strategic Framework’, if any? The report on comments on the Global Strategic Framework is 98 page-long. How is this consultation to impinge on the present consultation on Hunger, food and nutrition security in the next development agenda framework? The following are just a few more documents that would need to be taken into account if we are to integrate food systems, food (and nutrition) security, and nutrition through the lifecycle, sustainable development, and health in plans, frameworks, objectives, indicators, and targets.
•    On food security and nutrition:
-    The Zero Hunger Challenge – Comprehensive framework for action, by the High Level Task Force on Global Food Security, 2011 (as alluded to in the invited comments);
-    UNSCN Statement on Nutrition Security of Urban Populations (2012);
-    WHO, Draft Comprehensive Implementation Plan, Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (2012);
•    On sustainable development:
-    The Future we Want (2012)
-    Climate change – Food and Nutrition Security Implications (SCN News 2010)  
•    On non-communicable diseases:
-    Global Action Plan for NCDs Zero Draft (2012)
-    Draft Comprehensive Global Monitoring Framework Including Indicators and a set of Voluntary Global Targets (2012)
•    On health and social determinants of health:
-    Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Consultations 2012-3)
-    UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda – Health (UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, 2012)
-    Outcome of the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, Rio 2011
There has to be some way of integrating these, and nutrition may be a key, as it provides a link between food systems and health. All segments of food systems would have to be considered, as well as the interesting notion of ‘nutrition value chains’ for food systems. Regarding nutrition and health, the lifecycle approach should be revitalized, in order to avoid the current tendency to link undernutrition with maternal and child health, and nutrition-related chronic diseases with ‘adult’ health.

2.    Concepts have to be clear and a shared vision is needed. Food security and nutrition (security) are still not clearly defined and one wonders if consensus is achieved, in spite of a recent report on the terminology, advocating ‘food and nutrition security’. ‘Food security and nutrition’ (not nutrition security) was used in the consultation on CFS Global Strategic Framework. This makes a difference. Nutrition security implies adequate access to health services and a healthy environment. The underlying issue is the negative impact of infection on nutritional status, particularly of children. It is not so relevant for adult nutritional problems, including nutrition-related chronic diseases. ‘Food and nutrition insecurity’ still refers primarily if not exclusively to undernutrition, undernourishment, hunger. The term ‘malnutrition’ continues to mean undernutrition (and specific nutrient deficiencies, ‘hidden hunger’) and not to ‘overnutrition’ (a misnomer), at least for the general public. Furthermore, the concept of food security would have to be broadened to integrate environmental sustainability and social equity, like in the WHO-Europe’s criteria of food security. It is now established that food and nutrition insecurity are also linked with non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Undernutrition and micronutrient malnutrition in mothers and in infants, in particular, are a risk factor for these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in adult life. NCDs are no longer associated with affluence, even in low-income countries, and NCDs themselves contribute to poverty. Why not consider the term ‘dysnutrition’ to encompass global undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overnutrition, and dietary imbalance?
3.    A great deal is being said and written about action frameworks, but to our knowledge, no conceptual framework has been proposed to integrate food systems, nutrition and health since the UNICEF produced its causal model of 1990. Can’t this conceptual model be broadened and updated to take into account the new challenges and emerging forms of ‘malnutrition’ (nutrition-related chronic diseases), as well as the environmental issues?

4.    As we already brought up on several occasions, the key importance of high quality professional training of the workforce in nutrition, right in low and middle-income countries has to be more emphasized. If international organizations, NGOs and NGIs are not satisfied with existing university programs, they should strengthen these programs in a coordinated way, instead of having their own informal training activities, which may not be sustainable in the long run. Initial training, continuous education and international accreditation structures (to establish norms and standards) for nutrition training programs would be required. It would be difficult, for instance, to strengthen national nutrition policies and action plans and implement the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health unless more human resources are well trained in nutrition at all levels. Advocacy for health and nutrition promotion also calls for high-level human resources.

5.    The MDGs galvanized the efforts and helped mobilize resources. A new set of development goals is needed for post-2015. The goals that were not achieved should remain. Some others would need to be more explicit, for instance: food and nutrition security; NCDs; education and professional training. Women should continue to be the focus of at least one goal, to improve not only their health and their equality, but also their resources, their well-being and their participation in public life as citizens. We would see the relevance of goals focusing on the following:

-    Agriculture for health, equity and environmental sustainability
-    Governance
-    Protracted crises.

Hélène Delisle, Ph.D., Professor
Head of TRANSNUT, WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition changes and Development
Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal


Any country it may be country with high human fertility or low human fertility country, ensuring self employment through agriculural & livestock productions  at least  to  one member of a vulnerable family with mobile assistance in all aspects to attain our objective of ensuring food all void of malnutrtion. Land availability of vulnerable group shall not be a constrain in ensuring the self employment of agriculural nature in a selected smallest area representing a particular community with appropriate crop and livestock selected for that community.

John Moor Population matters, United Kingdom

The amount of food required for a country depends on the population of that country. For example in Niger, currently suffering hunger, the population is growing very rapidly with a fertility rate ( average number of babies a woman bears) of 7.


The UN should give help in family planning in all countries  which have a high fertility rate. 

Joyce Wendam Department of Agriculture, Philippines

Addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on:

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Philippines under the competent leadership of its Secretary,  Hon. Proceso Alcala, has formulated a framework known as the "Agri-Pinoy" Framework.   This framework is the over-all strategic framework in pursuit of its mandate to promote sustainable agricultural growth and development. It is aimed at incresing the productivity and incomes of farmers and fisherfolk, and providing consumers wsith adequate, affordable, and nutritious basic food commodities. 

It serves as a guide of the personnel of the DA in carrying out their duties and responsibilities in order to meet the Philippine need.  With this framework, programs, projects and activities are focused, concentrated and directed towards the attainment of the DA's goal of achieving 100 per cent food security and self-sufficiency by the year 2013.

Guiding Principles  

The guiding principles of Agri-Pinoy are centered on:  food security and self-sufficiency;  sustainable agriculture and fishery; natural resource management; and, local development. 

The first principle - food security and self-sufficiency - underscores our objective to minimize depence on imports to meet national food requirements.  Hence, we have to vigorously develop our capability to produce all staples, particularly rice and corn and other basic food commodities. 

To achieve, the DA's goal of 100 per cent self-sufficiency by 2013,  two major strategies were developed:  increase rice production; and, decrease rice consumption through the promotion of alternative staple food such as rootcrops like sweet potato, cassava;  banana; white and yellow corn; vegetables, and others.

The second guiding principle is that our commitment to food security and self-sufficiency should be anchored on sustainability.   The true test of this is the capability to withstand two major challenges:  climate change; and, global market.  The principle of sustainability also applies to the required number and quality of our farmers and fishers.  We have an aging farming population, thus we are promoting appreciation of agriculture among schoolchildren through the "Gulayan sa Paaralan."  For young people to be attracted to agriculture and fisheries, there is a need for them to  see and interact with productive and prosperous farmers who may serve as role models. 

"Gulayan sa Paaralan" also complements the feeding program for the schoolchildren   wherein safe and nutritious foods are being produced by the schoolchildren themselves.   This may also serve as source of income of the school by selling the excess production and utilize the proceeds for the improvement of the facilities.  This "Gulayan sa Paaralan" should involve not only the teachers and students but also the parents and the community for project sustainability.

Also, we are helping small farmers and producers to become farmer-technicians and farmer-scientists, helping them to acquire business skills and facilitate their linkages to markets.

To address climate change concerns, organic agriculture is also being promoted.  To increase the resilience of agricultural communities, development of climate change sensitive technologies is a necessity.  Likewise, support services shoudl be provided to the most vulnerable communities. 

Da assistance programs cover the "from seeds to markets" spectrum.  Food self-sufficiency and sustainability are not only about ensuring supply.  It also includes demand-side management, especially in highly urbanized areas.  Consumer education is imperative to promote a better appreciation of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, and for the promotion of responsible consumption.

The principle of  sustainability is closely linked to the third and fourth guiding principles:  natural resource management; and, local development.

Bridging the gap, touching the heart

Due to devolution, as a result of the implementation of the Local Government Code of 1991, the DA has field personnel up to the regional level only.  This has resulted to a gap which must be appropriately addressed.  We need to bridge the gap between the DA and the local communities through forging of partnerships with the Local Governement Units (LGUs) and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).  The Agri-Pinoy has a theme "Bridging the gap, touching the heart."  Meaning, the personnel of DA and also the stakeholders should show sincerity and commitment to deliver efficient and effective basic services to the farmers and fisherfolks for the improvement of the their productivity and profitability.   

As DA's over-all strategic framework, Agri-Pinoy exemplifies both continuity and change. 


Department of Agriculture "Agri-Pinoy"   Framework

Bhavani R Vaidyanathan M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, India

In addition to what I have already sent in (see here), additional points that need attention are:

  • Control of food price inflation and effective social protecton measures to shield the poor and vulnerable from it.
  • Investment in agriculture and agricultural infrastructure like irrigation
  • Giving a pro-nutrition focus to agriculture through an integrated crop-livestock farming system that is tailored to address the nutrition situation of the community on the ground
  • Regional initiatives like the proposed SAARC food bank in South Asia need to be operationalised.    
  • Attention to water conservation and recharge
  • Special focus on women and children



Ravinder Naik Vankudothu Agriculture University, India

the commitment to achieve MDG s is encouraging but unless the issue of food security is solved one cannot find the other way out 

the possible ways could be 

1 to encourage the nutritional/kitchen garden in rural areas where they have low purchasing power and sizable area would be vacant.

2. to invest more in agriculture R&D so that research could be intensified in the  areas where it needs focus

3. to utilise the ICTs for reaching the rural areas where the need is more

4. crop specific need based management of the crops with the existing technology

4.beyond all these things the  scientific / agriculture research society should recongnise knowledge as additional fifth factor of production in addition to the existing factors of production 




See the attachment: MDGs.docx
Barack Ondanya Miriu Integrated Project, Kenya

Dear Fellows,


Let me take it with great honour to thank you very much on the efforts you are laying to ensure that we live in A World We Want. Each and every time ,we have a dream to be in A World free from hunger and   diseases.


During the current MDGS' as in Theme 1, there are some lessons that I came to learn as I observe from within my country the situations pertaining hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition:


Most communities still go without food. For example, there is a lot of hunger in most regions of North Eastern Province, an area which is seriously affected by drought. Most families can’t afford even a meal a day as they survive majorly on donations and support from well wishers. Kenya is a country with varied climatic conditions hence can produce  food in some areas as some go without. Generally, hunger as  a disaster is still common among the communities in the world.


Food security  has also not been achieved in Kenya. In case of severe famine, Kenyans do face severe hunger as we still have poor systems of food conservation. There are common disasters, which tend to affect the famers hence destroy the productivity of the country. Floods and drought will always destroy crops within the fields hence lowering the harvests leading to severe hunger.


Due to high level of poverty within the country, most children die due to malnutrition. For example, in Turkana where in the recent past, some families were recorded as they feed on bitter fruits of which some were poisonous. Other communities were also feeding on cats after a long severe drought. These children die due to marasmus.


In general, food security and hunger have not been dealt with in the recent past according to the current MDG 1.

Econonist views on the go University of Guyana, Guyana

Dear Moderator,


With regards to Theme 1:  Key to the success of any initiative is an integrated approach by all stakeholders.


 In Guyana - South America, while we have had some amount of success with the “Grow More Food Campaign”, we have learnt that if we are to contribute significantly to reducing hunger, and attaining food security, we must collaborate with other nations who are in pursuit of same. With that being said, I was pleased to learn that official from Trinidad and Tobago visited Guyana in November to discuss plan to establish a “food security facility” in Guyana. It is widely known that Guyana has the potential to produce food to supply the entire Caribbean; however, over the year we have been faced with some challenges. Just to highlight a few:


  • - low levels of technical personnel/skills necessary to develop the agricultural sector
  • - provide nutritious foods as affordable prices
  • - inability to cope effectively with climate change
  • - low levels of mechanisation in the agricultural sector

I would like to think that many developing countries are in a similar position, and thus, by joining forces with other nation, the MDGs can be achieved.


Thank you and best regards

Ajay Kumar VB RIGHTS, India

It is important to evaluate MDG on the basis of government performances/  actual execution of the commitments they made . How far or in what extent the states are able to convert MDG to their own respective national policies, budgetary provisions and institutions.  Take examples of India the number of poor remain same (people living less than 2 dollar per days) for last decade and 50% India’s children’s are malnourished.  Is it possible prepare an international Index based on  3-4 parameters of MDG?      

Bhavani R Vaidyanathan M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, India

Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

Theme 1:
What do you see as the key lessons learned during the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015), in particular in relation to the MDGs of relevance to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition?
What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

•    The gap between intent and policy and practice is a major challenge to achieving the goals we set ourselves. In India for instance, a major challenge has been ensuring implementation and delivery of the food and nutrition security safety nets that are in place like the public distribution system, midday meal scheme and integrated child development services.
•    The policies of globalisation and opening up of markets from the last decade of the 20th century has impacted negatively on local level food security with commerce taking precedence over consumption!   
•    Shrinking of investment in agriculture has impacted on production and productivity and affected food availability. In India, the rate of growth of food grain production in the decade of the 1990s fell below the rate of growth of population and per capita availability of foodgrains has come down over the years!   
•    Access to safe drinking water, sanitation and affordable healthcare facilities for all is still not a reality in many developing countries and negatively impact on nutrition status. Investment by the state in these areas is again the main issue.   
•    Unless nutrition security is prioritised and made a national agenda and pursued seriously with commitment, the goal of food and nutrition security will remain a dream.   

Theme 2:
What works best? Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on.
Provide us with your own experiences and insights.  For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security?
Furthermore, how could we best draw upon current initiatives, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (, and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

•    Generating awareness on entitlements among the community at large can be a major step forward. In India for instance, effective use of the Right to Information Act by people on utilisation of funds allocated for specific programmes has in many cases made a malfunctioning system work.
•    Media and ICT tools should be effectively used for generating awareness, so that more people start demanding their rights and entitlements and thereby contribute to effective delivery.
•    In India again, the public interest litigations on the right to food has led to a series of orders by the Supreme Court of India to make the public food delivery systems spruce up and deliver.
•    Improved governance is at the heart of effective implementation of state schemes for food and nutrition security. It can come only with political commitment to ending hunger (like the zero hunger programme of Brazil) and not just lip service.
•    Local level food security systems should be encouraged like for instance community foodgrain banks in tribal areas of India that provide support during periods of seasonal or transient hunger. Consumption of tubers and wild foods by indigenous communities is another practice of fostering local food security.     
•    Nutrition literacy drives in schools and at community forums addressing both men and women and training champions from the community to take the messages forward have an important role.  

For the Post-2015 Global Development Framework to be complete, global (and regional or national) objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  A set of objectives has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):
a.    100% access to adequate food all year round
b.    Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
c.    All food systems are sustainable
d.    100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
e.    Zero loss or waste of food.
Please provide us with your feedback on the above list of objectives – or provide your own proposals.  Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?

a.    Has to be availability of adequate and safe food for a balanced diet
b.    100% access to safe drinking water, sanitation and healthcare facilities are crucial for addressing malnutrition.
c.    The majority of landholders in developing countries being small and marginal farmers, increasing their production and productivity definitely have to be the focus.    
d.    Zero loss or waste of food should encompass the entire gamut from the farmers’ field to post-harvest processing to consumption on the table.
e.    Effective postharvest technologies and infrastructure to ensure effective processing of surplus produce is very crucial both for improving farmers’ incomes and addressing loss due to spoilage.     
f.    Adaptation to climate change is important in the post 2015 global development framework.
g.    While the overall objectives can be generic, some objectives will of course have to be country-specific to address immediate priorities.

M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Abubacker Siddick Syed Mohammed M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, India

Thematic Area 3:


Following Interventions focusing rural women with the objective of improving Household nutrition will help achieving ZHC


1. Establishing Home gardens in every home with a plan for nutritious veg/ greens


2. Creating awareness on Nutritious food and improved cooking methods using  available resources retaining nutritional values


3. Preparation and issuance of Food and Nutrition Entitlement Cards to each family and its follow up work.


Fred Ojok Grassroots Reconciliation Group, Uganda

The MDG of reduction and eradication of hunger and through improvin household food security had been done well in some countires but some other countries almost failed because bad governace and acountability for some of the projects meant to improve agriculture infrastructural development

Sahib Haq WFP, Pakistan

The respective governments have no commitment to meet the MDG targets. This led to the current situation instead of improvment, going to more worst condition in terms of poverty, hunger, food insecurity and over all vulnerability to shocks. 

Nothing went well in the past decade because of low  priority, despite struggle and support by donors and UN agencies. The low level of commitment spoiled the initiatives. In many countries including Pakistan, there is no policy to take care of the population but even did not try to balance the terms of trade between various livelihoods, geo-locations and types of population groups. 

The best strategy could be to put more pressure on the government and even make a condition for donation/aid/loan to adop/implement certain  measures leading to improve food security.

The goals for 2015 are very optimistic and they don't seem to be met in many developing countries.

We should go step wise, otherwise, the whole concept of MDG, especially of food security will lose its importance.

Johanne Lewis Bexbase Media Technology, United Kingdom

Research shows there exists rural communities with a surplus of agricultural produce which goes to waste.  It would be great if some of these agricultural produce could be relocated to areas where there is less food. 

The Agricultural Network Project ( is a working prototype of how this could be achieved technologically.


Emily Levitt Ruppert FAO/WFP Facilitation Team, United States of America

Dear all,

My name is Emily Levitt Ruppert and I am contributing to the discussion as a member of the FAO/WFP Facilitation Team with a specific interest in nutrition. In reviewing the submissions so far, and with specific reference to Theme 1 (Opportunities and Challenges) and Theme 2 (“How” should malnutrition challenges be addressed?), I've picked out a few lines I think deserve further discussion.  One quote I find particularly thought provoking is:

"...there has been knowledge that the war against malnutrition can only be fought at the community level, but the community-based and decentralization approaches are  seriously missing in all actions."

How might we as a development community with 'high level' goals such as the MDGs/SPGs address this global call for greater local-level planning (e.g. decentralized approach) to improve hunger, food and nutrition security? 
Are there country models that any one of you could highlight as good practice?

Looking forward to your feedback on the above.

Emily Levitt Ruppert, M.S., Ph.D.

Coordinator, Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice

FAO/WFP Facilitation Team

Post 2015 FSN Forum discussion


Greetings from Guyana!


On Theme 3


Most countries have varying economic, social and political climate which pose severe challenges towards achieving  the MDG’s within the bounded time frame.In addition, one of the main problems with the initiative was that it failed to address the unique individuality of each country as such, while some countries were on the fast track of achieving the goals, others were stagnated.


Given this problem, it would be essential that policies be designed in a specific framework taking into account each country’s economic, social and political climate. In addition, time-bounds should be greater for developing countries who lack sufficient capital needed to undertake investment in the necessary areas so as to achieve the goals.

Simon Ross Population Matters, United Kingdom

Please find attached to the three themes, which is also set out below.

Food and Nutrition Security in the Post-2015 Development Agenda - Submission by Population Matters

This submission is in response to the call for papers


Theme 1:

What do you see as the key lessons learned during the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Framework (1990-2015), in particular in relation to the MDGs of relevance to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition?

The world population increased during that period by over one third i.e. two billion people.  Until we stabilize population numbers, we are always trying to hit a moving target which is moving away from us.  We are also putting ever more pressure on limited resources, particularly land, water, energy and fisheries.  The key lesson is that we should seek to limit demand for food as well as increase supply of it.


What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

One of the main demand side challenges continues to be population growth. During the period 2015-2030, the UNDESA Population Division medium projection is that the population will grow by 14% or over one billion people.  This assumes a continued reduction in the global birth rate; the actual growth in population could well be more than that. 

Another demand side challenge is dietary change with a move in some strata of developing countries to a more meat based, input intensive diet.

On the supply side, one of the principal groups of challenges is to key agricultural inputs.  These include:

  • Loss of productive land through urban development, desertification and overuse.
  • Loss of productive land to biomass production
  • Loss of aquifers and river water through overuse due to increased demand, pollution and saltwater infiltration
  • Increased energy costs, particularly of fuel oil, whose portable nature makes it particularly suitable for agricultural machinery and distribution, due to increased demand and limited supply
  • Increased fertilizer costs due to higher energy and mineral costs.

Depletion of marine and freshwater fish stocks by pollution and modern fishing methods is a challenge which should be considered and addressed.

Increased impact of plant pests and disease due to monocultural farming practices and growing resistance to pesticides.

Climate change has the potential to affect food productivity in major, though uncertain, ways:

  • Sea warming, leading to reduction or migration of edible species
  • Increased scale and quantity of natural disasters
  • Increased severity and quantity of extreme weather events
  • Greater uncertainty of rainfall and other weather patterns
  • Reduction in glacial supplies of water for irrigation.


These are opportunities in the greater use of appropriate technologies.  Another opportunity is to accelerate the declining birth rate by promoting rights based family planning, women’s empowerment and the benefits of smaller families.


Theme 2: 

What works best? Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we should go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on. 
Provide us with your own experiences and insights.  For example, how important are questions of improved governance, rights-based approaches, accountability and political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security? 

Furthermore, how could we best draw upon current initiatives, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (, and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

One important strategy to addressing these challenges should be to reduce and ultimately halt the growth in demand for food.

This should be done in two ways:

  • Encourage the adoption of healthy diets which have limited calorie intake and are balanced between different food groups
  • Seek to limit and then stabilize human population growth.

The latter can be achieved through rights based family planning, women’s empowerment and through promoting the personal and social benefits of smaller families.


Theme 3:

For the Post-2015 Global Development Framework to be complete, global (and regional or national) objectives, targets and indicators will be identified towards tackling hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.  A set of objectives has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC):

a.    100% access to adequate food all year round
b.    Zero stunted children less than 2 years old
c.    All food systems are sustainable
d.    100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
e.    Zero loss or waste of food.

Please provide us with your feedback on the above list of objectives – or provide your own proposals.  Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?

These seem to be valid objectives and all of them would be easier to achieve with slower or no population growth.  The following additional objectives address this point:

  1. It seems important to have maximum population size as a goal.

The UN DESA Population Division medium (most likely variant) projection for 2030 is 8.3 billion.  Limiting numbers to 8 billion is a modest difference, but would establish the principle of the world population limitation goal.  Moreover, it will still require a marked fall in the birth rate (see below).

SDG: Limit the world population to 8 billion by 2030.

  1. The birth rate.  The UN DESA Population Division projects (medium projection) the Net Reproduction Rate (daughters per women) to fall from 1.08 in 2005-10 to 1.02 in 2025-30. 

SDG: Limit average total fertility rate to 2 children per woman.

  1. Access to family planning is critical in empowering people to manage their fertility.

SDG: Universal access to a full range of affordable family planning commodities and services.

  1. Employment of women motivates couples to limit their family size.

SDG: Ensure gender parity in employment rates.

  1. We support contraction and convergence between the rich and poor, as this would tend to reduce the birth rate.  Under the MDGs, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty i.e. under $1.25 per day fell by half from 1990 to 2010.  However, a smaller proportion of a larger number can still be a larger number, as has happened in Africa; and it is numbers of people, not rates or proportions, that need ever-increasing food, water, soil, energy etc.

SDG: Reduce the number of people in extreme poverty by half.

  1. Increasing workforce participation would serve to reduce the demand for additional births and is inherently more sustainable.  Currently, 200 million people are unemployed (ITUC). 

SDG: Reduce the number of unemployed and under-employed by half.

  1. Secondary education for women increases female workforce participation.  Gender parity of participation in primary education was achieved by the MDGs. 

SDG: Achieve gender parity in secondary education.

  1. Child marriage undermines women’s employment options, and increases birth rates.

SDG: End marriage under the age of eighteen.

  1. We should not subsidize larger families in general in order to lower the birth rate.

SDG: End payments or other benefits related to the number of children except for reasons of health, education and targeted poverty alleviation.

  1. A reduction in the desired family size is essential to reduce the birth rate.  Social marketing should be used to encourage smaller families.

SDG: Achieve a majority preference for a family size of two or fewer.

  1. Sex education is important in birth rate reduction, though hard to measure.

SDG: Provide universal sex and relationships education, including family planning.

  1. Safe abortion is an essential contingency preventing unwanted pregnancy where contraception fails. With good family planning services and education, abortion should be legal, safe, and increasingly rare.

SDG: Provide access to legal and safe abortion on demand.




Simon Ross

Population Matters

135-137 Station Road

London E4 6AG

United Kingdom

Scott Bleggi Bread for the World, United States of America

The Lancet series on Maternal and Child Nutrition laid out and defined "nutrition-specific" interventions, and got the whole world to start thinking about nutrition.  You could say that everything else in development assistance that affects nutrition is "nutrition-sensitive".


But there is no general agreement on how to define nutrition-sensitive actions.  What are they in agriculture?  What are they in food security? 


Clearly defined nutrition-sensitive programs are critical to aligning and coordinating efforts to scale up nutrition, building the evidence base, and maintaining momentum that has been reached. Especially in the context of the development of the post2015 agenda on hunger food security and nutrition it is vital that we keep pushing for the inclusion of this aspect.


Key policy decisions on how much, when, where, and how to invest in nutrition-sensitive development will be facilitated by reaching a consensus on definitions.


As food for thought I would like to share with you Bread for the World Institute's effort to build some consensus and get policy makers and program implementers "on the same page", Implementing Nutrition-Sensitive Development: Reaching Consensus

Summary of the second week


Key lessons learned during the current MDGs


Participants shared several lessons on the current MDG agenda, which both enrich and also echo those already included in the Report to the Secretary General entitled: Realizing the Future We Want for All. These include:

  • MDGs are flawed by their top-down nature; there is need for a much more participatory approach for targets to be successful – and this is precisely what this e-consultation is for;
  • The “one size fits all” approach that, while good for advocacy, does not consider the diversity of countries and regions;
  • Focus of the MDGs is limited to the ends with no mention of the means;
  • Over-reliance on objectives that require extensive quantitative information has proven to be very difficult, with data lacking altogether in some countries;
  • The segmented nature of the MDGs risks perpetuating the tendency of ministries and development organizations to handle some underlying issues separately from others, while in practice, there are strong linkages (such as between, food security, health and nutrition).
  • Complexity of the fight against hunger requires a concerted effort by all actors and stakeholders.

Challenges and opportunities for achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years


Participants shared a wide array of challenges that future development objectives need to take into consideration in order to be successful.

The demographics of the world population are a big challenge, as a growing (and less poor) global population will increasingly put stress on the current food systems.

Furthermore, changes in demand and in food consumption habits, often in already food secure populations, overconsumption might lead to a double burden of both over- and under-nutrition.

Food losses put further strain on food availability. To counter this trend, safe storage and further study of the impact of micro-organisms on the food chain need to be part of future development agendas.

Participants also mentioned that the pressure on resources such as water and land will be increasing, and their protection and availability needs to feature prominently and across sectors in a future development agenda. Building on outcomes of the RIO+20 conference, the statement: "We recognize the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality and support actions within the respective national boundaries to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems." (UNCSD Rio+20 2012 ‘The Future We Want’ Paragraph 122) was mentioned as a way forward.

Degradation of land, due to soil erosion, the growing of inappropriate crops and climate change was also identified as a major challenge that needs to be faced head-on.

Rights-based aspects such as landlessness, gender inequality and unequal access to education were also identified as future challenges; participants argued that is not possible to tackle food and nutrition insecurity without also tackling poverty. Policies and good governance are key for making progress in these fields and this aspect needs to be explicitly included in the development agenda.

Participants also argued that the integrated and global nature of the food systems means that food security in both developed and developing countries is interdependent. Risk management mechanisms are needed everywhere as some important challenges, such as climate change, are not yet fully understood.

What works best and how to go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on?


For the post-2015 Development agenda, to make progress, participants suggested that eliminating hunger involves investments in agriculture, rural development, decent work, social protection and equality of opportunities. Current public expenditure should be revised and governments should increase the portion of their budgets devoted to agriculture to over 10%, as agreed upon in the Maputo Declaration of 2003. In particular, it was suggested to increase support for small-scale farmers through education and extension programmes.

Emphasis on people

Local culture, customs, production techniques and eating habits need to be considered in future development activities. Awareness raising should take place at all levels but well-functioning local systems should be maintained and strengthened, as they are mostly highly specialized and widely accepted by the population.

Realizing gender equality and protecting the farmers through granting land rights is also felt as being of paramount importance.

The Post 2015 Development agenda should support participatory and planning-by-people processes to ensure participation of those living in poverty in decisions that affect their lives.

Livestock and fisheries sectors need to be better recognized in achieving food and nutrition security

Livestock needs to be protected as the livelihoods of many poor people depend on them. Intervention to secure “fodder security” of the animals might in some cases be more sensible and less disruptive then focussing only on the food security of their owners.

Fisheries. The pivotal role which fish can play in direct and indirect food security is not adequately recognised. Little is said about fish, even in countries where fish is central to people’s diets, irrespective of their income levels and social status and where the potential for increasing fishery related activities is still high.

Jan Willem Eggink Agri-ProFocus, Netherlands

Our network organisation focuses on promoting farmer entrepreneurship in developing countries, but the point I want to make here is that for a worldwide sustainable food system and to prevent food prices to skyrocket in the coming decades, a massive longlasting campaign to change feeding habits in the richer parts of the world towards less meat and more vegetables is vital. Make it sexy to eat (almost as a) vegetarian.  Create a global coalition of chefs for a sustainable food system, invest in a global campaign with all kind of national/regional sub-campaigns and events adapted to the situation and food-culture.  Low costs, high impact if taken as a well directed campaign on a global scale.

John Teton Int'l Food Security Treaty Association, United States of America

International Food Security Treaty Gaining Traction

The International Food Security Treaty (IFST) initative continues to gain traction in the global communities of experts in international law, human rights, the United Nations, and religious and political leaders. The IFST aims to place the human right of freedom from hunger under the protection of enforceable international law.

The draft treaty and endorsements of the IFST from Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, former UN Under-Secretary General Maurice Strong, former US Asst. Secretary of State for Human Rights John Shattuck, Physicians for Human Rights Executive Director Leonard Rubenstein, US Senator Dianne Feinstein, and many others may be found at

The capacity of a fully adopted and implmented IFST to aid the work of existing anti-hunger organizations has been sharply underappreciated, in part because too few of those active in the food security arena are aware of the proposal. The case for the IFST is spelled out in the current edition of the Yale Journal of International Affairs, which has published such experts as Tony Blair, Joseph Stiglitz, Samantha Power, David Brooks, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and two US Secretaries of Homeland Security. All those interested in food security and hunger eradication in particular would be well advised to read the article titled The Armless Hand: The Call for Anti-Hunger Law and the International Food Security Treaty at


Parvez Babul Bangladesh

Poverty, hunger and malnutrition of women and children

Experts have recognized that most of the poor of this world are women. We know that healthy and happy women make their families happy. But if women suffer from poverty, hunger and malnutrition — how will they make their families happy? Rather those women are treated as the burden of families. Those malnourished women give birth of low-weight children who also suffer from malnutrition. As a result, both the mothers and children have to fight for living.

Those malnourished, sick women are unable to perform all the household jobs; and cannot do extra jobs outside of their households. As they are poor, so they cannot arrange nutritious food, and do not get necessary treatment. As a result, want of food is the companion of daily lives of those women. It causes family feud as a regular basis. They cannot take care of their beloved children properly. Day by day the bad luck of those women and children turns into worst. The husbands are reluctant to keep their wives, some divorce, and some demand extra money as dowry. Those women cannot provide dowry their families break up. Even they cannot take legal action against their husbands, because the poverty makes them helpless to do so! Then the abandoned women and children take shelter in the streets.

These are the bitter reality of the poor, hungry, malnourished women and children of Bangladesh as well as the poor countries in South Asia. In fact, poverty, hunger, food insecurity, illiteracy, disempowerment, lack of health and nutrition education, less participation in decision- making, negative impact of climate change, early marriage, gender inequality and inequity, familial and social taboos attack those women so greatly like octopus that they cannot exit from these common vicious cycle.

To prevent these problems and to solve the existing unacceptable but preventable situation, the governments, donors, NGOs, civil society organisations, women and children rights activists, development partners, development workers, international and national forums need to take holistic approaches. Long term plan of activities is a must. Certainly more research on these issues is the need and demand of the time. The findings of research/ studies should be directed to promote capacity-building and technology transfer to the public and private sectors.

IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) pointed out in its Global Hunger Index 2012, “Women’s low status in South Asia contributes to children’s poor nutritional outcomes in the region because children’s development and mothers’ well-being are closely linked. Women’s poor nutritional status, low education, and low social status undermine their ability to give birth to well-nourished babies and to adequately feed and care for their children.”

Good nutrition is the key to sustainable economic growth. And social protection is crucial for accelerating hunger reduction. To accelerate hunger reduction, economic growth needs to be accompanied by purposeful and decisive public policies. An improved governance system, based on transparency, participation, accountability, rule of law and human rights, is essential for the effectiveness of such policies.

World Development Report 2013 of the World Bank mentioned, “Many millions more, most of them women, find themselves shut out of the labour force altogether. Looking forward, over the next 15 years an additional 600 million new jobs will be needed to absorb burgeoning working-age populations, mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Too often, they are not earning enough to secure a better future for themselves and their children, and at times they are working in unsafe conditions and without the protection of their basic rights. Together, nutrition, health, and education form human skills and abilities that have been powerfully linked to productivity growth and poverty reduction in the medium to longer run. Also, better health brings, directly, higher labour productivity.

Considering the problems — poverty, hunger and malnutrition of the poor women, and children and the poor people as well, I found that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 01: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 03: Promote gender equality and empower women; 04: reducing child mortality; and 05: improve maternal health — are interlinked. According to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report of 2012, “The goal of gender equality remains unfulfilled, with broad negative consequences, given that achieving the MDGs depends so much on women’s empowerment and equal access by women to education, work, health care and decision-making.” So, let us come forward to turn these challenges ahead into opportunities. We believe that together we can make a change. Therefore, feed the hunger to reduce their anger and to prevent unrest. Because hungry people are angry people.

Parvez Babul
Journalist, columnist and author


Fatima Rodrigo International Presentation Association , United States of America

Good practice on Participatory approach to Food security and Nutrition and alleviating hunger
The article, From Food Security to Food Justice by Ananya Mukherjee, Professor and Chair of Political Science at York University, Toronto,  illustrates a good practice  on food and nutrition security, in the State of Kerala, India, that enables people-living-in-poverty to exercise their rights and responsibilities in improving the quality of life for women and their families
In this article, Ananya tells the story of the research on an experiment, SanghaKrishi (group-farming), a part of Kerala State Government’s anti-poverty programme, Kudumbashree (prosperity of the family) initiated in experiment was seen as a means to enhance local food production. As many as 44,225 collectives of women farmers lease fallow land, rejuvenate it, farm it and then sell the produce or use it for consumption.
Kudumbashree is a network of 4 million women mostly below poverty line. Kudumbashree is not merely a ‘project’ or a ‘programme’ but a social space where marginalized women can collectively pursue their needs and aspirations. The primary unit of Kudumbashree is the Neighbourhood Group (NHG). NHGs, consisting of not more than 20 women, are for an overwhelming majority their first ever space outside home. NHGs are federated into Area Development Societies (ADSs), and these are in turn federated into Community Development Societies (CDSs) at the panchayat (local governance) level. Today, there are 213,000 NHGs in Kerala. Kudumbashree office-bearers are elected.  A crucial process for its members, these elections help to bring women into politics. And they bring with them a different set of values that can change the face of politics.
The NHG is very different from a self-help group (SHG) in that it is structurally linked to the State (through the institution of local self-government). This ensures that local development reflects the needs and aspirations of communities who are not reduced to be mere “executors” of government programs. What is sought is synergy between democratization and poverty reduction, and this occurs here through the mobilization of poor women’s leadership and solidarity.
This experiment is transforming the socio-political space that women inhabit, and results in three major consequences: First, there is a palpable shift in the role of women in Kerala’s agriculture. Thousands of Kudumbashree women - hitherto underpaid agricultural laborers - have abandoned wage work to become independent producers. Many others combine wage works with farming. Second, it has enabled women, in particular women from the marginalized communities, to salvage their dignity and livelihoods amidst immense adversity. The survey of 100 collectives across 14 districts found that 15 per cent of the farmers were Dalits and Adivasis and 32 per cent came from the minority communities. Third, it is producing important consequences for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Kerala. Given Kerala’s high wages for men, MGNREGS in Kerala has become predominantly a space for women (93 percent of the employment generated has gone to women whereas the national average is 50). One of them said, “We have created life… and food, which gives life, not just 100 days of manual labour.”
The above excerpt from the article, From Food Security to Food Justice, underscores the following:

  • •    Participatory forums at the neighbourhood level, small enough for people living in poverty to come together to have an ongoing say in decisions that affect their lives, ensure inclusion and are productive
  • •    Neighbourhood level participatory forums, when federated at various levels, result in collective participation at wider levels resulting in good governance
  • •    Government programmes, when implemented in partnership with people at local level through such federations of neighbourhood forums, result in people-centered development.
  • •    The existing forums for participation - in India, parliamentary constituencies, State legislative assembly constituencies and gram sabhas (local governance assemblies) - are not adequate for engaging people-living-in-poverty to have an ongoing effective say in decisions that affect their lives

Bottom-up, inclusive and accountable governance
The key issue in Good practice on Participatory approach to Food security and Nutrition and alleviating hunger  is one of governance.
The UN SG’s High level Panel on Global Sustainability too noted that “Democratic governance and full respect for human rights are prerequisites for empowering people to make sustainable choices.”
The Report of the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives too has called for “a change in the tone of multilateral governance from one that prescribes solutions and then institutes legal and financial frameworks to implement them or ensure compliance, to one that protects bottom-up governance.”
Bottom-up governance not only refers to the directions of influence from the local to the global. It also calls for more governance space and implementation to be retained at local and sub-national levels. It is to enable, for instance, small farmers and peasant communities to exercise their rights in retaining their seeds, growing nutritious foods without genetically modified organisms, and accessing medicines without paying unaffordable prices set by transnational companies and protected by intellectual property rights.
Bottom-up democratic governance requires not only the strengthening of civil society in governance skill but also a re-focusing and re-structuring of governance institutions and the overcoming of governance gaps at national and global levels.
 Hence we urge that the Post 2015 global development agenda reflect the following:

  • •    Consider  Planning-by-People Processes such as that of Kudumbashree to ensure participation of people-living-in-poverty in decisions that affect their lives
  • •    create enabling environments for the realization of the right to participate which is already enshrined in the international instruments
  • •    re-focus and restructure governance institutions to overcome related governance gaps at local, national and global levels.
  • Contribution made the by International Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council