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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), 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:

Nous vous remercions pour nous faire  fait participer à cette consultation d’importance capitale pour  notre organisation, Action pour le Développement Durable au Sahel (ADDS- BONKANEY), pour notre pays et enfin pour la sous région sahélienne.     

    Comme vous le savez à  mesure que nous nous  rapprochons  de  2015  fixée,  pour la réalisation des objectifs du millénaire pour le développement (OMD),  nous sommes réellement  pessimistes, car comme vous  le savez certains indicateurs ne font que se dégrader en région sahélienne  en général  et au Niger en particulier.

 Les fréquences des  crises alimentaires et nutritionnelles sont  devenues plus rapprochées car les causes sont multiples, au niveau de l’exploit agricole la terre à elle seule n’arrive plus à nourrir le paysan  qui la cultive et cela pour plusieurs raisons dont entre autre la sécurité foncière, le manque d’intrants, ou même des calamitées naturelles dont particulièrement  la sécheresse.

S’agissant  des  mesures, les objectifs, les buts et les indicateurs requis pour parvenir à la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et éradiquer la faim après 2015,  il nous semble que tous  acteurs doivent  participer aux débats  afin de parvenir des  politiques, stratégies et plans d'action consensuels   pour enfin arriver à éradiquer la faim dans le monde .

Enfin pour ce qui est de nos expériences sur les 03 thématiques nous vous le ferions parvenir avant la clôture de la consultation.

 

Veuillez agréer  cher Monsieur nos salutations les plus distinguées   

 

SEYDOU OUSSEINI   Agronome

Secrétaire General de L'ONG - ADDS

Action pour le Développement Durable au Sahel

See the attachment: BONKANEY OMD 12.docx
Simon Vilakazi Economic JusticeNetwork of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in ...
22-12-2012

The above objectives are good. However, they do not say anything about making land available to landless people to enable them to produce food which in turn should result in the achievement of the objectives themselves.

 

Secondly, the objectives do not touch on the important issue of  governments. I would like to suggest that there is a need for an objective that point to the  governments.

D. Hien Tran Landesa, United States of America
21-12-2012

Secure rights to land, particularly for women, are a critical but often overlooked factor in achieving household food and nutrition security.  Data analyzed by the OECD Development Centre show that countries where women lack rights or opportunities to own land have on average 60% more malnourished children than countries where women have some or equal access to land.

Secure land rights can lead to increased household agricultural productivity and production by 1) providing the ability and incentive to invest in improvements to the land; 2) increasing opportunities to access financial services and government programs; and 3) creating the space needed – one without constant risk of losing land – for more optimal land use.  This enhances household food and nutrition security through two avenues: increased food production for consumption and increased incomes permitting the purchase of more and better quality food.  In both ways, secure land rights can help moderate the impact of food price volatility on poor rural households.  Indeed, the Zero Hunger Challenge already recognizes the need to improve tenure security and empower women to achieve its objective of a 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income. 

The link between secure rights to land and household food and nutrition security is more pronounced when women have secure land and property rights.  With secure rights, women gain improved status and have greater influence over household decisions. Studies show that this can translate into improved nutrition for women and their children.  In Nepal, research (Allendorf 2007) demonstrates that the likelihood that a child is severely underweight is reduced by half if the child’s mother owns land. 

Secure rights to “microplots” of land, plots as small as one-tenth of an acre, can protect against household food insecurity and improve nutrition.  A study (Prosterman 2009) in the Indian state of Kerala revealed that the value of microplot production was the most “consistent positive predictor of child nutrition.”  Landesa has seen this in our own work (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie8jBEWdNLQ).  Land tenure security, particularly for women, can thus also help achieve the Zero Hunger Challenge objective of zero stunted children less than 2 years old. 

Improved land governance and political commitment to policies and programs that support land tenure security are critical.  This is particularly true with respect to women’s land rights, which can be disadvantaged by formal legal or customary laws, or are not enforced due to structural, cultural, or other factors.   As the world weighs options for improving food security, we must include one of the most promising elements for addressing the needs of the world’s hungry:  secure land rights. 

 

 

 

World Vision International United States of America
21-12-2012

On behalf of the nutrition, food security, livelihoods, agriculture and advocacy teams at World Vision International, I would like to share a finalized position paper that covers the present theme on hunger, food and nutrition security. It addresses topics pertaining to all three questions raised by this e-consultation (lessons learned from the MDGs, recommendations for a way forward, and suggested targets and indicators).

 

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

Senior Policy Advisor, Maternal & Child Nutrition

Nutrition Centre of Expertise

World Vision International

See the attachment: WVI Position Paper--FSN Post-2015
Jennie Bever Babendure Arizona State University and Friends of the WHO Code, United ...
21-12-2012

Lack of adequate breastfeeding is a significant contributor to malnutrition, disease and death all over the world, but especially in developing countries.  Unfortunately, lack of regulatory enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes  has allowed infant food manufacturers to prey on mothers and babies, convincing mothers that artificial baby milk is equivalent or better than their own breastmilk.  When mothers are convinced by formula company marketing to forgo breastfeeding, they not only put their own health and that of their children at significant risk, they also accrue the significant economic burden of paying for a commercial product that is far beyond the means of a large portion of the world.  Parents are soon unable to afford to feed their children the expensive artificial baby milk products touted by glossy ads, but have missed the important window to establish breastfeeding.  As a result, artificial baby milk is watered down with unclean water, or infants are fed the cheapest substitute available such as powdered coffee creamer.  These infants, who could have thrived on their mothers’ free breastmilk, instead suffer from disease, malnutrition and death due to the aggressive and predatory marketing of artificial baby milk.  The best way to go about addressing this would be to support the creation of laws and enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  Created by the World Health Organization in 1982, this Code was developed to protect infants and children from malnutrition at death at the hands of aggressive infant formula marketing.  However, even the WHO itself has turned a blind eye to the Code in recent months as its Pan American Health Office accepted donations from Nestle, one of the worst violators of the Code.  Increased breastfeeding needs to be a major focus of the Millenium Development Goals as it has been shown to greatly impact child and adult health for decades.  It is a sustainable, portable, affordable solution to infant nutrition that nearly all mothers have access to.  Supporting legislation and enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes would be a significant step that the UN could make to reduce malnutrition all over the world.  I sincerely hope that the Millenium Development Goals will include supporting breastfeeding mothers by reducing the influence of infant formula marketing around the world.  For more information, please watch this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PBtb-UDhEc

Rahul Goswami Centre for Communications and Development Studies, India
21-12-2012

Dear FSN moderators and friends,

Thank you for opening up this matter, which in short is the removal of hunger. You have provided three themes for guidance, and the views we provide will find listeners (or an audience) on two occasions during 2013, in March and in September. In the provision of views, it may be advisable to observe a few personal preferences and here, before fulfilling the themes, are mine: that action to end hunger is not a "post-2015" target or goal and is a generation overdue; that, as you have stated, "many food security and nutrition policies, strategies and action plans have been written over the past number of years" and we see more, and not less, hunger and malnutrition stalk our communities which substantially dilutes my belief that such strategies and action plans work for the grater common good; that, as you have also stated, "close to 870 million people around the world remain undernourished and do not have access to a healthy diet" and indeed as long as the transformation of 'raw' - or primary - agricultural produce continues as the main activity of food processing and packaging industries, this total number will rise at an appreciably faster clip than the growth rate of population does.

Theme 1:
The most important lesson that has been there to learn, freely and independent of political or economic pressure, about the MDGs is how invisible they have been to those whose work has contributed to their limited success, and by the same token, their invisibility to many of those whose 'development', millennially related or otherwise. Why has this been so? In part I see this as a result of the MDGs (individual goals and the group of goals) having remained a subject of negotiation between inter-governmental agencies and relevant ministries and departments in countries. The MDGs did not, indeed they remained distant from, the sub-national scoreboards and locuses of learning they could quite easily have become. That is but one aspect. A second, more powerful on the ground, is that eradication of hunger is almost always in developing countries held up as an example of the ability of a certain regional form of politics to deliver these most basic of welfare measures - hence the commonality of countries together striving to achieve MDGs was treated as and remained a 'foreign' idea useful only insofar as it could be included as a subject for a seminar, and otherwise mostly irrelevant in the field.

As for the second question in theme 1, concerning a remaining challenge (I will omit the 'opportunity' part, because the 'for whom' question which is an accompaniment is a topic by itself), there is a lesson to be learnt from the sector of climate change, wherein several strategies on climate change and agriculture have been designed generally independently of agriculture sector policies (which in turn are designed independent of what small cultivating households, or smallholder farmers, require), as if the task of managing the two-way stream of communication between cultivator and climate researcher is left to the state and therefore tends more often than not to be incomplete.

Climate change is now and upon us, but these are recurrent questions the member states of the FAO (and of the UN) have faced since 1945, with the end of World War Two. If you read the passage below, it helps illustrate how little has changed from one point of view, and how much has, from another, far more destabilising point of view:

"...some of the basic problems that have afflicted humanity since the beginning of society remain unsolved. Large parts of the world still suffer from hunger, and the threat of famine is ever present. Today we are confronted by a new challenge in human history which, if not faced, could sweep away the little progress we have so far achieved - this is the upward surge of world population at a rate never experienced before."

That was the fourth director-general of the FAO, B. R. Sen (of India), and he said these words during his inaugural address at the First African Regional Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria, on 3 November 1960. Sen appealed "… to our Member Governments not only to discuss their problems, but also to avail themselves of the knowledge and skills FAO has acquired over many years in the fields of agricultural development and food production and distribution."  He said: "While the increase of agricultural productivity must remain the sine qua non of economic development of the less developed regions, the importance of education, public health and institutional factors must be recognised in any plan of balanced economic development."

As you see, it has been over 50 years and few of the deficits recorded then have been banished. How could they have been? In the years - the decades - since 1960, many a development theory has been advanced only to be discarded, but not before the worst of them were thrust upon poor folk and choiceless urban dwellers, as they are now.

Theme 2:
The economic and political landscapes in which we attempt to address hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are not ours to command. Were they, I dare say we would not to include food and hunger in a post-2015 line-up of urgent needs. No matter what the moth-eaten rhetoric claims, there is little or no democratic control we have (we as practitioners or researchers or facilitators; farmers as farmers) over economic decision making. There are very few such genuinely socialist societies left. Is it possible to wrest control of our societies out of the tight and noisome grasp of the political-industrial combine and its scientist-servants? At country level it is extraordinarily difficult, and it is not for nothing that the 99% versus the 1% agitations have foundered in many parts of the world, for the machinery of the state is usually more aligned to the political and business elite than it is to the proletariat (and the cultivating proletariat).

Hence it has become a relatively far more simple matter now than it was a generation earlier to influence especially the youth and the new adults (let us say the 15-30 age group) and this is why so many working people continue, despite the evidence they encounter in their lives every day in the form of rising food prices and a shrinking democratic space, to be influenced by pro-capitalist ideas. Can the promise of organic agriculture practices using native or indigenous systems of knowledge help usher in a new democratic systems that represents the majority, a society based on human need and sustainability? That ought to be the sort of question and studied responses we in the FSN feed into the FAO for (at least) the remainder of the troubled life of the MDGs.

If there is an encouraging trend it is this: that there appears to be growing recognition that farmers need to be recognised as co-creators of knowledge in agriculture, encouraged and respected for the innovations they develop. We do know that promoting agriculture for development presents a serious challenge of managing multiple agendas and collective interests of formal and informal institutions (the state, the private sector, and civil society). Their inter-relationships, their obligations, processes, mechanisms, and differences are just as important, as pointed out to us so succinctly in "The Top 100 Questions of Importance to the Future of Global Agriculture" (International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 2010) which emphasised that "it is precisely at this interface that governance, economic investment, power and policy making converge and play their respective critical roles."

Theme 3:
Through this network and allied networks, we do know that a number of pilot actions are under way concerning the points raised in this theme. At the level of global discussion (inter-agency, inter-government, inter-disciplinary) there is ample strategising, but at the level of the local will we still know little about what this rapid surge in attention to climate change and agriculture will mean in practice? Who defines the agenda - is it cultivating communities or is it administrators who come under repeated political and business pressure? On what basis and on whose terms are particular approaches and technologies favoured as a result? Are interventions driven by particular donors or commercial interests? What happens to the needs of those cultivating households most vulnerable to the effects of climate change?

Studying the official documents of the FAO Council (it sat for its 145th session in early December 2012), it is difficult to reconcile the FAO's stated intention as an organisation with the burgeoning number of new partnerships and alliances that the FAO is striking every week. However, there is a different clarity concerning political commitment.

"Political commitment is a prerequisite to appropriate policies being put in place, and investments made to enable people to realize their right to adequate food, both in the short term through various social protection instruments, and in the medium and long term, through measures that empower poor and vulnerable people to be self-reliant, resilient, food secure and well-nourished. Political commitment not only refers to the responsibility of government, but also of civil society, the private sector and the wider development community." So said a relevant paragraph from the Council's "Reviewed Strategic Framework and Outline of the Medium Term Plan 2014-17" document. Thus we see there are three kinds of actors other than the private sector.  Why then is such importance being accorded to one kind?

Some of the answer, a small part, can be found in a qualifying statement of the same document: "Agricultural and food systems are becoming more complex.  More than 80 percent of the total value of food production corresponds to the industrial and commerce sectors.  These food systems are also more concentrated and integrated into global value chains which provide new opportunities for small farmers and new challenges from the point of view of maintaining fair and transparent markets."

Thank you and regards, Rahul Goswami
 

Samir Chaudhuri Child in Need Institute (CINI), India
21-12-2012

Theme 2: What works best?

1. Targeting nutrition inputs during the most critical period of the life cycle i. e the first 1,000 days of life.

Child in Need Institute (CINI) has adopted this crucial strategy to get poor women and their family members provide support and care during pregnancy and the first two years of life. Working with trained women who have good communication skills, selected from the locality, help to bring about crucial behavior change to ensure exclusive breast feeding and addition of locally available supplements during 6 months to two years. Accessing health care during this period for commonly treatable childhood ailments from local health facilities is vital to cut the interaction between infection and malnutrition - the biggest cause of malnutrition and ill health during this period.

2. Working with women self help groups.

Many of these groups now have access to microcredits and bank loans in India, but what they do not have is the wisdom to invest their earnings in child care, good food, safe water and sewage disposal. Frequent interaction with trained workers make this possible.

3. Through a rights based approach, ensure access and utilisation of existing services provided by the government. Even the poor when empowered with knowledge are able to make the best use of existing services.

4. Ensure convergence of locally available services so that a well nourished and healthy child is sent to school, provided protection so that s/he do not end up as a child labour or is trafficked. 

5. CINI in India works very closely with state and national government to add value to existing government programmes to benefit children in the areas of nutrition, health, education and protection in an integrated manner. 

These are the insights gained by CINI since it was founded by me in 1974 in Kolkata, India. Visit www.cini-india.org to know more about our integrated approach through establishing "Child and Woman Friendly Communities" (CWFC).

Theme 2 Food for Cities Consultation: what works best?

Some very quick thoughts to contribute to this consultation on behalf of Urgenci, the global Community Supported Agriculture network:

The issue of eliminating food insecurity is intricately linked to the issue of who controls access to food production and distribution, which in turn are linked to climate change. This can be either a vicious circle, as is currently the case, with increased industrial monoculture and global food distribution, commodification and speculation on food, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The alternative is to build a virtuous circle; it is a community-empowered paradigm shift that involves genuine food sovereignty: local small-scale food production and short/direct distribution chains combined with decommodification, control over and access to land for growing food. This leads to positive knock-on effects, whereby Local Authorities preserve existing green belt from speculation, support access to land through schemes ranging from Community gardens to urban planning of rezoning (decontaminating) land from brown-field sites for urban agriculture, encouraging the use of public space for free horticultural spaces, legislation that facilitates community supported agriculture and solidarity purchasing groups where risks/benefits are shared. Grow-it-yourself trends are also an important part of the puzzle, and can involve roof-top, balcony and indoor gardening (sprouting seeds, an excellent source of protein etc). Community Supported Agriculture is one of the most relevant ways to establish these virtuous circles, irrespective of whether we are talking about rural or urban areas.

Local Authority involvement is the relevant level of decision-making in food growing, spatial planning and actions to both fight climate change and preserve/reclaim land for local agriculture in all areas, particularly in preserving it from speculation in urban and peri-urban districts. To this end, the Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure and governance adopted by the CFS constitute a powerful tool.

These latter alternatives are all low-impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (agro-ecology, organic, local..)

It is very important to take cultural differences into account. (For example in Africa Urgenci has been developing a different model from the common CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) as known in Europe, N. America and Japan…). No one size fits all. What is important is the community empowerment, awareness-raising, capacity building as to the benefits of fresh local organic food, which is not necessarily an expensive alternative. It can also involve community food banks and local cooperative-owned processing units.

The key to much of this is trust. Many people go to supermarkets because they trust them. This is a recent sociological phenomenon, and is built around a lifestyle of convenience food/shopping rather than an understanding of nutritional values or seasonality. Historically we have trusted the farmer/family who grew our food. We knew where it came from (back garden, local suppliers etc). It is not necessary to elaborate here on these issues. What is important is to rebuild the knowledge of what food is, how it is grown, and for children to develop this awareness through (urban) school gardens. This sort of programme is generally very successful, irrespective of the continent or country.

 

Please find attached the document compiled by various Spanish civil society organizations belonging to various alliances:

 

See the attachment: Post2015_SANversionFINAL.pdf
Noemie Gerbault ORU-FOGAR Core group sécurité alimentaire, France
21-12-2012

Pour information, l’Organisation des Régions Unies FOGAR (ORU-FOGAR) et son Core group « sécurité alimentaire » se sont engagés, dans la Déclaration finale du 2e Sommet des Régions du monde pour la sécurité alimentaire, à développer, d'un point de vue politique et opérationnel, une approche territoriale des systèmes alimentaires. Cela se matérialise par la mise en œuvre de Systèmes Alimentaires Territoriaux (S.A.T.) dans les Régions et leurs territoires d’influence pour faire la démonstration par la preuve de l’impact et de l’efficacité de tels systèmes pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle des populations et anticiper les crises et favoriser la résilience.

Le prochain Sommet des Régions du monde pour la sécurité alimentaire, prévu en 2014, présentera l’impact de la mise en œuvre d’une approche territoriale de la sécurité alimentaire dans 10 Régions du monde.

Rycken Laurence International Dairy Federation, Belgium
21-12-2012

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) appreciates the opportunity to contribute to this FAO/WFP consultation on Food and Nutrition Security in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The International Dairy Federation is the pre-eminent source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain.

Food is the primary source of the nutrients needed to sustain life, promote health and normal growth, and it is the essential component that links nutrition, agriculture and ecology within the ecosystems framework to assure human productivity. The inter-relationships among food security, agricultural and food systems, ecosystems and the environment call for an interdisciplinary approach for implementation of successful interventions.

To improve the nutritional status of individuals and populations, cultural, agricultural, economic, and social conditions requires better integration. Many nutrient deficiencies are concurrent and interrelated, and solutions also must be integrated. Careful consideration of the inter-relationships between nutrition and human health, agriculture and food production, environmental health, and economic development is needed to adequately address hunger, food security and malnutrition challenges particularly as the global population continues to expand.

Please consult the IDF full submission to see how dairy and the dairy chain contributes to work on these challenges, by providing a naturally nutrient rich food, and by improving its industry’s environmental performance. 

David Patterson International Development Law Organization, Italy
21-12-2012

Theme 2:

One of the greatest challenges in the current food and nutrition security debate is government accountability.

A key element is the ability of citizens to hold their governments accountable to national Constitutions, the national laws to address food security, and international legal obligations and commitments made through various international instruments and at forums such as the UDHR, ICESCR, WFS, WFS: five Years Later and the annual CFS. The last decade saw a paradigm shift in the rights-based approach to food and nutrition security, and also to development programming by various implementing agencies.

Particularly, the 2002 WFS: five years later brought to fore a fundamental human right – the right to adequate food.

Currently, over 20 countries have constitutional protections for the right to food. There is visible growth in domestic legal frameworks that give explicit legal recognition to the right to food, and a corresponding growth in jurisprudence of right to food cases at the domestic, regional and international levels.

More work is needed to build capacity of key actors such as activists, legal professionals, government policy makers, legislators and judges at national levels, and also subnational levels in Federal systems. This includes in research, education and awareness, training, assessment and monitoring, to institutionalize the right to food and strengthen access to justice for violations of national laws, national Constitutional protections, and international law. IDLO and partners will publish a research report on the justiciability of the right to food in March 2013. Further information:

http://www.idlo.int/english/Media/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?IdNews=382

Benjamin Graeub Biovision Foundation / Millennium Institute, Switzerland
21-12-2012

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?

  • MDGs have proven very successful in bridging a political divide and channeling money to a select number of goals. Part of this is due to the fact that the MDGs were not formally negotiated but rather proposed by UN agencies
  • A sole focus on hunger and malnutrition is not enough! To achieve sustainable development, a more holistic approach that promotes a sustainable agriculture and food systems that have positive economic, environmental, and social impacts is necessary.
  • While there has been some advancement, it seems that the strong focus on production increases that resulted from the MDGs is not enough to effectively fight hunger and poverty – at least that is what hunger and poverty numbers currently show. A stronger focus needs to be placed on topics such as environmentally friendly improvements of local, smallholder production in developing countries and inefficiencies in the food system (waste and food losses) and sustainable consumption, which in turn reinforces positive synergies in the system. There was far too much emphasis on short term solution, quick fixes while the system changes that are needed remain the exception.

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

  • A major challenge will be the  political divide around the future of agriculture and what measures are necessary to realize the agriculture-hunger-poverty nexus already acknowledged in the MDGs[1]
  • This divide can also be the source of major opportunities. Just as the MDGs brought together actors with diverse backgrounds and opinions, so also will any effective post-2015 arrangement bring together opposing forces.
  • Another challenge may be that any effective post-2015 agreement on goals and targets will have to be more specific than the MDGs were to address the multi-dimensionality of the issues. It will thus be a major challenge to agree on specific measurements. The experience from the MDGs would suggest that these measurements not to be negotiated, but rather prepared by the relevant UN bodies (FAO, IFAD; WFP) or multi-stakeholder expert groups in a transparent process with input from all relevant stakeholders – especially small-scale farmers.
  • To build a system that allows for effective monitoring of current initiatives and their achievements will be a further major challenge that has to be tackled in order to make the post-2015 framework an effective tool.

 

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?

We believe that no matter what goals, targets and indicators are agreed upon it is important that resources are available for stakeholders to develop their own strategies on the national and sub-national level to tackle these issues. A one-size fits all approach in the implementation of the post-2015 framework is to be avoided. Instead, participatory and inclusive national assessments on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture should be facilitated (as called for by the Rio+20 declaration and currently discussed within the CFS) and should establish the basis of international action to achieve the post-2015 goals. Only with such an approach can there be local ownership and a truly bottom-up pressure for the right measures and governance structures to be put in place. We are currently piloting this approach in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Senegal and Ethiopia) and by the end of 2013 will be able to present preliminary results.

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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

The GSF of the CFS should be used as a basis of discussions to avoid duplication of work in NYC that has already been done in Rome. Therefore it is important to have several events with both Rome- and NYC-based delegates discussing the negotiated and agreed work in Rome on the topic.

The Zero Hunger Challenge should be the basis of any discussion in the area of poverty, hunger and sustainable agriculture. While it is not perfect, it is a good starting point because it incorporates the main issues that need to be addressed and is very ambitious in its goals.

 

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?

We strongly support the goals and the general direction of the Zero Hunger Challenge. As the Secretary-General pointed out, these goals should be achieved within his lifetime. We do therefore think that any post-2015 goals need to be time-bound and propose 2030 as the target year. This also allows countries to effectively plan for 2030 and allows for effective monitoring of progress and achievements as well as failures.

The one issue that is not emphasized strongly enough in the context of an increasingly risky and uncertain future is resilience. It is indispensable that resilience – and not just climate-resilience – will be at the core of any sustainable food system. We therefore would like to see under point c. “All food systems are sustainable and resilient”.

We believe that to the goals proposed by the Zero Hunger Challenge the targets can be negotiated within the relevant intergovernmental bodies while it is crucial that indicators are not negotiated but proposed by the entities with the necessary technical knowledge. This shall be done in an open and transparent process, taking into account the inputs of all relevant stakeholders.

We believe that the goals should be global but that the process allocates resources to allow for region- and country-specific adoption and implementation plans to be carried out.

We would also point to the fact that agriculture and food systems are part of the climate change problem, and also very much affected by it. Looking forward, there is a need to emphasizes that agriculture and food systems alone cannot deliver on all the sustainability dimension without the other sectors strong commitment to transformation towards sustainability (greenness too. The task of meeting food and nutrition security is the responsibility of all sectors, should we be successful.

 

See the attachment: E-consultation FAO_BV_MI.pdf
IBON International Philippines
21-12-2012

The MDGs have been useful in sparking public awareness on poverty and other key development concerns. They are, however, focused on short-term and short-sighted development goals that do not address the structural roots of the current global economic, social and ecological crises. For instance, MDG 1 to reduce extreme poverty into half has supposedly been met, and yet 43% of the global population still live on less than US$ 1.25 per day. The richest 1% of the world’s adult population continue to own 39.9% of world’s household wealth. This is more than the combined wealth of the poorest 95% who are in the global south.

The MDGs are embedded within the broader context of the neoliberal restructuring of the global economy (trade and investment liberalization, privatization and deregulation) which have worsened many human development indicators in the region. The continuing food crises dramatically underscored in 2008 and 2011 show that any so-called gain in meeting the targets are easily lost and eroded due to failure to  address the roots of poverty and underdevelopment.

Process-wise, the MDGs were not defined by its supposed beneficiaries. The MDGs were set by the UN with strong participation from northern countries and donors  but without involvement from the people. Countries of the south have become mere implementors of said goals. Democratic ownership is fundamental in formulating policies and programs owned by the people.  Finally, accountability mechanisms have been confined to state executives reporting to donors and donor governments.  
Mechanisms for the people to hold their governments to account for failing to meet the targets are absent.

Theme 2
What works best? Future key issues?

Governments and the international community must adopt concrete commitments and targets, consistent with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities, on the following peoples’ priorities:  human rights;  poverty and inequality; food sovereignty; full employment and decent work; universal social protection; gender justice; climate justice and environmental sustainability; new trade, financial and monetary architecture; democracy and good governance;  and peace and security based on justice.

Specific to hunger, food and nutrition security,  food sovereignty must be adopted as a policy framework towards adequate, safe, nutritious food for all, including policies and investments to support small-scale farmers, women producers, workers and secure access to (and protection of) the water, land, soils, biodiversity, and other resources upon which food security depends. Agrarian reform is integral to this in order to secure workers’, farmers’ and rural people’s democratic access to land, water resources and seeds.  There must be support in the form of finance and infrastructure in line with, but not limited to, the recommendations of the 2006 International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

Theme 3
Objectives, Targets and Indicators for a  Post 2015 Development Framework

A transformative development agenda requires a radical redistribution of ownership, access and control over productive resources. It involves the democratization of state and social institutions so that communities and citizens, rather than markets can democratically set social goals and priorities. It requires a reorientation of production and consumption to meet people’s needs and human potentials within environmental limits rather than maximizing short-term profits.

Specific objectives set in the zero hunger challenge --  100% access to adequate food all year round
;    zero stunted children less than two (2) years old;    sustainability of all food systems; 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income; and  zero loss or waste of food – while significant are again, short-term development goals that do not address structural causes of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

Sustainable development goals  in a post 2015 development framework to be effective must be transformational, operationable and monitorable.  Important indicators could be: poverty reduction; women participation; equality (building on Gini coefficient); decent work; social protection especially for youth and children; self-reliant economic development, among others.

Claiming Right to Participate
The ongoing process of establishing a new set of sustainable development goals and a post-2015 development framework should recognize and provide full mechanisms and opportunities for full participation of civil society in deliberations and decision-making at all levels.

At the national level, multistakeholder bodies should be formed with representatives from the government (including parliament and local authorities), civil society and other stakeholders to decide on national development strategy and priority targets based on local consultations with experts’ inputs. At the international level, multistakeholder processes led by Task Teams under the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals can be set up where member governments and representatives of civil society and other stakeholders can formally meet and work side-by-side to draft proposals for the General Assembly.  
These modalities should include providing adequate support for the participation of those directly affected and most vulnerable to poverty, inequality, injustice, ecological destruction and human rights violations, especially from the Global South. #

Sources:
1.    “SDGs: Can they promote sustainable development?”, IBON International Policy Brief, June 2012
2.    “Reforming Global Sustainable Development Governance: A Rights-Based Agenda”, IBON International Policy Brief, March 2012
3.    “Monopoly Capitalism and the Ecological Crisis”, IBON International Primer, 2012

IFSN- ACTIONAID SUBMISSION FOR THE ONLINE  CONSULTATION ON 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?

The Millennium Development Goals agreed by world leaders provided a pathway with clear objectives and indicators to track and monitor progress on poverty reduction. This has helped accountability, as world leaders have been constantly requested to account for their efforts to meet the MDGs targets., However, MDG 1 and its sub-targets have not been able to address the increased inequality, the lack of coordination at international and national level,  and the failure in the governance of the food system. As a result there are still unacceptable amount of undernourished people concentrated in developing countries along with an unsustainable food system. Thousands of hectares of land are under biofuel and animal feed production to meet the food and energy demand  of developed countries. Although the poverty reduction target is likely to be reached  , increased inequality continues in the global trend. This is, among others, due to the prevalence of only quantitative methods, which cannot capture the difference between the entitlement to rights, and the full enjoyment of those rights, as well as the accountability of states as duty bearers.

ActionAid believes that entrenched poverty, growing inequality and inadequate access to food and resources are the major barriers to achieving the right to food for all. Most people are not hungry due to lack of food availability instead they are too poor to access the available food . Ensuring greater access to food – the ability to produce or purchase food – highlights the central role of poverty reduction in the fight against hunger and depravation.

An holistic approach is needed to address the root causes of  food insecurity.  Reducing hunger and malnutrition starts with much fairer access to resources, employment and incomes in rural areas. Agriculture, especially smallholder and family farms, can play a key and catalytic role in the improvement of rural livelihoods. Many of these smallholders are women, who face additional constraints compared with men due to discrimination, cultural factors and unequal access to productive resources. Only bold actions and sustained efforts to democratize and rebuild food systems will ensure increased access to food and feed the future generations, fairly, sustainably and equitably along with preserved natural resources, forests, and enhanced biodiversity.

Reducing chronic food waste, tackling over-consumption and the diversion of enormous quantities of grains for animal feed and biofuels away from human consumption is absolutely essential. Nevertheless this must be coupled with support for women and men smallholder farmers and producers to  a paradigm shift towards climate-resilient ecological agriculture to confront the challenges of poverty, hunger and climate change.  

Any new framework beyond 2015 - to address food insecurity and malnutrition - should be based clearly on the following factors, which were largely missing in the MDG 1 on food security and hunger:

•    Right to food. The Right to Food approach empowers the rights holders – food insecure and malnourished people - and holds the duty bearers accountable on food security and malnutrition. The post 2015 framework should stipulate governments to enact and implement the Right to Food legislative framework in the countries.   
•    Women’s access and control over natural resources is key to achieve food security. Many studies show that women control over land result in increased food production and food security.  An ActionAid forthcoming research is collating evidence to showcase how women’s secure access to land contribute to their empowerment and the enjoyment of other rights.  

•    Importance of investments in agriculture: greater and responsible investment in agriculture is essential for food security and poverty reduction in poor countries. In achieving food security for all, the level of public spending into agriculture should be monitored within the overall ODA commitment and other regional agreed targets. National policies should promote greater investment for smallholder sustainable agriculture. Besides, the investments made by smallholder farmers deserve respect and recognition as private investment.  

•    Increased local production and access to natural resources. ActionAid field surveys  revealed that that communities with sufficient food production were better placed to face the food crisis while the households with land entitlement were better off during the food crisis. The post 2015 framework should include the country’s implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure to provide secure access to land, fisheries and forests as a mean towards the full realization of the right to adequate food.

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

Challenges

The following issues, which will continue to exert a major impact on food security and nutrition, should be factored in the post 2015:

Food price rise due to the declines in stocks to use ratios of some of most heavily consumed grains, long-term decline in investment in agriculture, diminishing productivity growth from green revolution technologies such as hybrid seeds, climate-induced supply shortfalls, specifically the increased incidence of droughts and floods, depleted soils and water tables resulting from unsustainable production, explosive growth in demand triggered by the expansion of biofuels, increased oil and fertilizer prices, speculation in oil and food commodity futures markets and unabated trade liberalisation. Volatile food prices destabilize food producers and consumers, and make impossible for farmers to make well-informed investment choices.

Increased impact of climate change - in the form of drought, floods, hurricanes, erratic rains, biofuel, land grabs, and food waste etc - is a growing challenge for food security. Post 2015 strategies should include climate related concerns and building resilience of communities against climate shocks, investment in sustainable models of production, including climate resilient sustainable agriculture.

Opportunities

The food crisis has driven the attention back to the importance of investing in more sustainable agriculture. It has also made clear the failure of the food system governance and the huge bill that developing countries had to pay for lack of coordination. The reformed Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has attempted to respond to the crisis by building a new food governance system with the right to food at the centre of any food security strategy. Putting together UN Agencies, Donors, Governments, private sector, civil society, IFI, and all the relevant stakeholders working on food security, the CFS provides the foremost food security platform to provide guidance and space for coordination, cooperation, consensus building, and continue learning process.

The result of this effort has been the development and the endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests, and the adoption of the Global Strategic Framework. Both the documents provide political and technical guidance on the way to manage national land tenure systems and national human rights-based strategy, with the overarching goal of supporting the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.

All Governments should refer to these instruments when developing their national food security policies, and develop and/or strengthen mapping and monitoring mechanisms in order to better coordinate actions by different stakeholders and promote accountability.

The reformed CFS has committed to support countries in developing an innovative mechanism, including the definition of common indicators, to monitor progress towards food security. As stated by the GSF, objectives to be monitored should include nutritional outcomes, right to food indicators, agricultural sector performance, progress towards achievement of particularly MDG1, and regionally agreed targets. The CFS also committed to develop an innovative  mechanism to monitor the state of implementation of the Committee’s own decisions and recommendations, so as to allow for the reinforcement of the coordination and policy convergence roles of the CFS. This is to be considered the foremost opportunity to advance on the accountability agenda, and to provide “international voluntary agreements” with teeth to enable their effective implementation.
 

Another important opportunity is offered by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. (PGRFA), adopted by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on 3 November 2001. The Treaty recognizes the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world, establishes a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials, and ensures that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have been originated. Farmers’ rights are formally recognized and the Contracting Parties should take measures to protect and promote these rights.
The current attempt on further regulating seeds by using (and abusing) Intellectual Property Rights represents a threat for the rights of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed, as well as to access and participate in benefit sharing. The Treaty calls for protecting the traditional knowledge of these farmers, increasing their participation in national decision-making processes and ensuring that they share the benefits from the use of these resources, and helps maximize the use and breeding of all crops (also the local-used not commercial crops) and promotes development and maintenance of diverse farming systems.
ActionAid and IFSN support local seed banks in order to help preserve local and traditional knowledge, seed diversity, and economic accessibility to good quality seeds for farmers .

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?

The Human rights based approach and the importance of the political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security

ActionAid and IFSN strongly support the human rights based approach to poverty. Human rights approach as applied to food implies that food insecure and malnourished people are put at the centre of national food security strategies, and empowered by Governments in assessing their vulnerabilities and how to respond to them. States as duty bearers, should be accountable on food security and nutrition. States have been provided with tools such as the Voluntary Guidelines for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, and most recently the Global Strategic Framework, that provide guidance for developing effective institutional and adequate legal frameworks, establishing independent monitoring mechanisms, and implementing these frameworks to achieve the progressive realization of adequate food. Countries who have followed the prescriptions of the Guidelines have been able to progress on hunger reduction, but no indicator or target in the MDGs framework has been developed to monitor the implementation of these international instruments.
The successes in Brazil, India and Malawi provide guidance and inspiration . In these countries the role of Government in developing participatory food security strategies based on the right to food and with the active participation of several stakeholders in designing interventions proved to be a success in reducing the hunger in each country. States should commit to develop legal frameworks, rehash and development of appropriate institutions and policies with the participation of stakeholders. Analyzing successes in Brazil, India and Malawi highlight the following major lessons that can be replicated by other countries:

1. Government commitment and promotion of the Right to Food
2. Pressure from civil society to introduce and improve the programmes
3. Decentralized implementation and participation
4. Cost-effective programmes

Increased local production and access to natural resources as precondition for the realization of the right to food

Lessons learnt from the 2007/2008 food crisis includes that people resilience draw from increased production and greater access to natural resources. Communities with sufficient food production were better placed to face the food crisis while the households with land entitlement were better off during the food crisis.  To contrast, the latest wave of FDI are having devastating impacts on rural communities and their access to land.  Rural people who gain their livelihoods from land are dispossessed by foreign and national investors who take advantage of weak governance and legal loopholes in the national systems.  OECD estimated that 83% of farmland acquired is dedicated to the production of export crops..  Current investments are also looking for access to natural resources (land and water) and acquisition of land for biofuels production with little benefits for local people.  

Public investment have declined over the past 20 years: the share of public spending on agriculture in developing countries has fallen to 7%, even less in Africa. Donors ODA going to agriculture has fallen from around 10% to 5%.  Only recently major attention is given to the fact that small food producers undertake the bulk of investments and that 500 million small scale producers feed the world population. This encourages a shift from how to regulate international investments towards how to create the appropriate conditions to facilitate and support farmers own investments. In this regard, public policies are crucial to mobilize national spending in supporting of farmers investments. The following measures should be given adequate attention within the post 2015 framework:

-    Full implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in order to ensure and strengthen people’s secure access to land, fisheries and forests so as to progress on food security.
-    increase the level of public spending in the agricultural sector by setting an ambitious target for investments in agriculture. Efforts to build national systems to collect timely and disaggregated data by sex and age,.  
-    leverage investments in agriculture that deliver on food security while respecting human rights, protecting the environment and promoting women’s empowerment. Public policies should create the enabling conditions for farmers own investments and  promote public investments for public goods, including research and development.  

The role of women and the need of food policies targeting specifically women

Women play a critical role in agricultural production in developing countries, where they comprise , on an average, 43 percent of the agricultural labour force. .
ActionAid’s work in empowering women farmers and helping them gain control over resources and incomes has had significant positive impacts on raising agricultural productivity and improving household food security and nutrition.  

Hence keeping women at the centre of policy discussions regarding food security can deliver remarkable economic and social benefits.

Governments and other duty bearers should ensure policies and practices that facilitate women farmers for a better life and greater contribution in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. ActionAid experience   underscores the following measures be given adequate attention within the post 2015 framework :  

•    Women farmers’ participation in gender specific policies on food, hunger and agriculture
•    Access to and control over land
•    Access to financial services including social transfers
•    Gender appropriate farming inputs
•    Access to clean water
•    Appropriate extension services and trainings
•    Appropriate research and technological development
•    Appropriate marketing facilities

In practice, targets and indicators should empower women to participate equally, whilst ensuring specific needs of women are also met, eg in terms of land rights. Targets and indicators need to be supported by sex disagreggated data and data use.  Progress here would be supported/complemented/driven by a stand alone gender equality goal, ensuring specific focus on tackling broader causes of inequality, such as violence against women and girls.

The promotion of climate resilient sustainable agriculture and agro-ecology

The fact that still 870 million people suffer from hunger, and the majority of them live in rural areas and are women, confirmed that a complete shift is needed towards a model of agriculture that deliver on food security while protecting the environment and promoting women’s empowerment.

After the 2007/2008 food crisis, World Bank  affirmed that agricultural investment was the most appropriate and effective strategy for poverty reduction in rural area, where the majority of poorest people live. Unfortunately, the World Bank proposed solutions were drawn from the Green Revolution prescriptions without taking into any account the lessons learnt. The social and ecological costs of the Asian Green Revolution are visible to everyone, with loss of biodiversity, soil depletion and land degradation, water pollution, concentration of land and rising social inequality, and the replacement of locally-used crops with cash crops for export.

The other dominating assumption that free trade would have provided food for all ensuring global supply also failed, as the 2007/2008 food crisis showed how unequal market power has benefited traders while developing countries have seen their food bill hugely go up.

IAASTD report stated that business as  usual is no longer a solution and we need to promote a more sustainable model of production, hence the need to invest in agro-ecology.

ActionAid believe that states should commit to change their policies, investment and practices in favor of agro-ecology. ActionAid experiences and reports underscore the potential of agro-ecology to improve food production, improved income, and climate change adaptation . The important lesson we draw from the 2007 and most recent food crisis is that developing countries cannot rely on a few number of commodity traders for their food security, but should build their food security on localized diverse food security systems, with the use of buffer stocks and food reserves to stabilize prices and guarantee food supply in case of shocks or climate related events.

The  “productivity” narrative focusing only on increasing productivity to feed 9 billion people in 2050 should be challenged by the fact that world produce enough food to feed everyone. Solution lays in the reform of the food system which should provide everyone with the means to access food. Agroecology proved effective not only to increase productivity, but also in its capacity  to meet the multiple challenges of climate change, hunger reduction, building resilience, empowerment of women small holder farmers     .

The post 2015 framework should look at:

•    support for small scale farmers and peasants and producer groups in their ecological approaches
•    support for diversified food systems that build on local and traditional knowledge
•    support for participatory research and plant breeding that combines indigenous and traditional knowledge with science and modern technology
•    programmes to phase out input subsidies schemes  for agro-chemicals in favor of subsidies to promote ecological agriculture.
 
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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?
The Zero Hunger Challenge initiative launched by the UN Secretary General announced very ambitious objectives including the 100% access to adequate food at all times, strong reference to the enjoyment of the right to food and the  diversified food systems. This is an excellent contribution to the post 2015 framework, which should be complemented with adequate policies as highlighted by the Global Strategic Framework.

The GSF  should be considered as the most comprehensive basis to build the new framework for the post 2015.
The new framework should also build on the reformed CFS as the foremost food security platform for coordination and coherence, as well as the model of governance to promote at regional and national level. All the stakeholders should be involved in the formulation of human-rights based food security strategies, with the active and full participation of those most affected by food insecurity. Ultimately, increasing efforts are needed to develop monitoring mechanisms in order to better coordinate actions by different stakeholders and promote accountability.

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.

For the post 2015 framework, ActionAid and IFSN support a food and nutrition security goal which point at zero hunger .
The development of specific targets can start from here, and ActionAid and IFSN recommend the following to be included. All the actions needed to create or further improve systems that enable the data collection to measure the progress.
A specific target on the right to food, monitoring progress in incorporating the right to food into national constitutions. Specific ad hoc indicators, used by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, should be included in the set of targets related to measuring the progress on the right to food.
A specific target on women’s secure access to land (measuring access and control over land by women), built on the findings of the SOFA 2011 and the recently adopted VGs on land tenure. Women’s access and control over land should be differentiated as a separate target. Women’s access to land should be constantly measured as target towards the full realization of the right to food.  
A specific target on investment in agro-ecology. An ambitious target for investments in agriculture within the ODA 7% commitment and other regionally agreed targets - such as Maputo declaration of 10% of national budget - should be introduced. A minimum percentage of local sourced food production (based on local production capacity) should be introduced by country. This would boost agricultural local production, ensure country self-sufficiency, prevent dependency on international market for food provision.

A specific target on accountability, tracking countries which fully endorse, domesticate, implement the relevant agreements on food security and nutrition, namely the VGs for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, the VGs on responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests, the  recently adopted Global Strategic Framework,  and the FAO Rome Principles.

 

Save the Children International (Liam Crosby), United Kingdom
20-12-2012

To motivate further progress the goals that feature in the post 2015 framework must be embedded in global systems that will expedite their achievement. There will need to be stronger accountability mechanisms next time around, at local, national and global levels. Save the Children proposes that three accompanying mechanisms could support a framework that successfully operates at these levels: national financing strategies; a robust international accountability mechanism and a data investment fund.

It is essential that the goals are time-bound to ensure accountability for progress. The goals and targets that we propose below are achievable “within our lifetime”, i.e. by 2030.

In many countries with high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, progress is predicated by a range of international factors such as food price volatility, international trade rules, and other countries’ subsidies and mandates, meaning that to be credible, some policy indicators will also need to be international. As such, the post-2015 framework will need to be broad enough to ensure action at international level as well as the national level.

Save the Children proposes that the post 2015 framework should include a goal to eradicate hunger, halve stunting, and ensure universal access to sustainable food, water and sanitation.

In particular, this goal should be underpinned by the following global targets:

  • Eradicate hunger; halve stunting and malnutrition rates among children.
  • Directly link sustainable food production and distribution systems to nutrition targets.
  • Ensure everybody in the world has access to adequate, safe and environmentally sustainable water facilities within 1 km of their home, and in all schools and health facilities.
  • Ensure everybody in the world has access to basic sanitation within 1km of their home, along with sanitation in all schools and hospitals.
Alison Blay-Palmer Nourishing Ontario Research Group, Canada
20-12-2012

RE: THEME 2

Nourishing Ontario Research Group in Canada has been exploring and documenting food system sustainability with over 100 community food projects across the province. Our research points to common problems that stem from globalization pressures while the solutions need to be place-based.  Each region has its own assets and challenges and as a result will confront food and nutrition security in its own ways. We find that three key approaches tend to emerge as potentially promising:

1. Avenues to scale up community food and nutrition initiatives founded on sustainable diets by improving urban and rural linkages;

2. Building food system resilience as a form of community development including the identification of complementary urban, peri-urban and rural food production, processing and distribution opportunities; and

  1. 3. Improved land access/tenure.

Our international conversations confirm these key issues to be similar regardless of the extent to which a country or region is industrialized. Transforming the current food system into multiple, place-based, people-centered regions that are sustainable, locally-reliant and resilient has to go hand-in-hand with improving access to nutritious, socially and culturally acceptable food. Moreover, given that most of the world's population now lives in cities, city-regions require more attention as the connections of cities and rural spaces become increasingly important for ensuring both access to food and viable farm income. (See also our general comments below).

RE: THEME 3

  1. For the proposed indicators a, b, and e: 100% access to adequate food all year round; zero stunted children less than 2 years old; and zero loss or waste of food; these indicators are excellent; zero waste may be an impossible target, but is nevertheless and important direction
  2.  
  3. For the proposed indicator c (all food systems are sustainable): defining food system sustainability is very difficult so developing metrics would be very challenging.  If this is attempted, it would be important to ensure that indicators capture small-scale ecologically resilient food production, processing, distribution and sales in rural, peri-urban and urban areas. And, could this include measuring: human health related to food system access; social and community well-being; democratic community engagement/participation?
  4.  
  5. For the proposed indicator d, 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income.  What baseline data would be used to measure 100%?  It would be important to measure this for rural, peri-urban and urban areas.

 

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Our research points to common problems that stem from globalization pressures while the solutions need to be place-based.  Each region has its own assets and challenges and as a result will confront food and nutrition security in its own ways.  With this in mind, our approach to supporting communities has been to document innovative case studies and best practices and provide information about the processes that can help move communities towards increased food system sustainability. As much of our work is focused on understanding what makes some food initiatives successful and finding ways to replicate, adapt, and scale up those successes, we have produced an online toolkit and expect to continue adding resources as our work expands. The models and practices needed to transform the food system already exist, and we need to find ways to make them central, rather than marginal, to how we produce and access food.  

Earlier this year Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, was in Canada and observed that: “Canada has long been seen as a land of plenty. Yet... What I've seen in Canada is a system that presents barriers for the poor to access nutritious diets and that tolerates increased inequalities between rich and poor, and Aboriginal non-Aboriginal peoples” (SR FOOD). At the same time farm income and the number of farms (and thus farmers) in Canada is decreasing, while farm debt and the average age of farmers are increasing (National Farmers Union). Accessibility and farming are not separate issues, rather, they are distinct but intertwined consequences of a problematic food system. Governments are often identified as obstacles to transforming that system due to policy designed for an industrial and trade-based food system. There is now a pressing need for governments at all levels to act as facilitators for local sustainable food systems and improved, more equitable food access.

We want to highlight Graziano da Silva's recent comments (at the release of FAO's The State of Food and Agriculture 2012): “We need to assure that the investments meet a certain set of conditions that assure that they contribute to food security and sustainable local development.” We add that sustainable local development includes the collaborative development of regional urban markets for agricultural production, as a means of stabilizing and providing a secure source of both income at the farm level, and food and nutrition security for vulnerable populations in city-regions.

(On behalf of Nourishing Ontario)

Alison Blay-Palmer, Phil Mount, and Irena Knezevic
 

Werner Schultink UNICEF, United States of America
20-12-2012

The current MDGs tried to connect hunger and poverty reduction in one goal, using a set of indicators which were not optimal. Undernutrition (underweight in pre-school children) was one of the indicators linked linked to hunger reduction. We know now that this indicator is far from optimal and that efforts to reduce underweight may even lead to negative outcomes such as obesity increase.

We do also know now that inadequate nutrient absorption during the period of pregnancy and the first 2 years of a child's life leads to stunted growth, compromised brain development, reduced school performance and income earning capacity. Stunting is further associated with increased risk of non-communicable disease in adult life. Prevention of stunting should therefore be at the core of a new goal on food and nutrition security. The ultimate goal of food security should be to achieve a well-nourished, healthy, optimally developed population. With our knowledge that stunting is a sensitive, measurable, and objective indicator that can predict development outcomes and the fact that its prevention contributes to the reduction of poverty and inequity makes stunting a very strong indicator.

Stunting prevention offers a very good opportunity to improve welfare of populations in a very cost effective manner. Proof exists that reduction of stunting prevalence at scale is do-able through a mix of interventions which include the improvement of household food security, but also include measures such as improvement of caring capacity.

Mwadhini Myanza IRTECO, United Republic of Tanzania
20-12-2012

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 key success of Fair Food is cooperation that maximizes sharing knowledge and expertise in research on the food industry that comprises of production and trade along with agricultural supply chains.

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

There are new emerging needs as MDGs projects take roots including activities engage with media based products that require heavy investments (soft ware equipments and partnership among CSO networks.

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? 

Customized and coaching programs aimed at sharing of information and experiences of good sustainable development practices

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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

Strengthening transparency and anticorruption measures including consolidated funding budgets for each MDGs chapter and encouraging skill-share events

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 (CR)
b.    Zero stunted children less than 2 years old (G)
c.    All food systems are sustainable (CR)
d.    100% increase in smallholder productivity and income (CR)
e.    Zero loss or waste of food (CR)

f.            Periodically assess and document MDG-1 community beneficiary experiences, capacity,

               knowledge and level of adoption of sustainable global development framework

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

 

Gino Brunswijck Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), Belgium
20-12-2012

FAO e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

 

Theme 1:

Question:

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?

 

Key Lessons:

It has been recognized that progress on the MDG 1.C (halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger between 1990-2015) is hampered in several countries. The MDG’s are centred on results; however, to achieve a long term improvement on the indicators, it is imperative that the objectives are enshrined in sound policies that aim at and support food sovereignty and food security. There is need for a change in agriculture, trade and social policies because the current national and regional policies and international agreements produce contradictory effects on the progress towards food sovereignty and food security. Policies, especially in the fields of agriculture and trade, need to be tuned to the attainment of food security and food sovereignty. Industrialised countries have to ensure coherence in their policies affecting developing countries so that these policies are not impeding the achievement of food security and food sovereignty. A change of policies is thus essential to achieve improvements on food sovereignty.

Challenges:

  1. The main challenge is to change policies in such a way that they aim at and support Food Sovereignty and Food Security in all countries.

Future approaches should focus on a change in policies, so that policies in different sectors do not have a negative impact on food security and food sovereignty. Improving food sovereignty implies improving the global trade and finance system. Food prices have been driven up by numerous factors in recent years such as food speculation, increased demand for food and biofuels and lack of food reserves. This has a devastating impact on poor consumers, which use a significant part of their income for food. The current WTO-system leaves very little policy space for developing countries to devise and implement policies related to food security and food sovereignty. A future challenge is the elimination of such constraints that affect food security and food sovereignty.

  1. Not to consider “food” as a commodity like any other, as it is vital for the life and the survival of humanity. Food should not be considered as a “tradable commodity” and should be kept out of the WTO Agreements.

The progressive deregulation of the financial commodity market has given rise to speculation on food, which contributes to the rise of the world food prices. High world food prices prevent the access of the poor to their Right to adequate food. Therefore financial markets should be regulated to prevent speculation on food.

The elimination of export subsidies and other kinds of subsidies that affect food sovereignty and food security in developing countries should be a priority within the WTO, because they have a devastating effect on the food security and food sovereignty of family farmers.

  1. To increase the production of family farmers while assisting them to keep their traditional modes of production.

In developing countries, family farmers occupy a central role in ensuring access to food for them, their families and the local community. In developing countries agriculture is the most important source of employment and of livelihoods for rural populations. Increasing the production levels of family farming, by improving family farmers’ access to land and credit, improves the livelihoods of rural households, which is vital in ensuring food security and food sovereignty in developing countries.    

Opportunities:

  1. To support the commitment of African countries towards greater budget allocations for agriculture

African countries committed themselves to dedicate 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. The FAO could be instrumental in helping countries to overcome their budgetary constraints in order to fulfil this commitment. The challenge lies in ensuring that family farmers are the first beneficiaries of such policies.

  1. To promote an ecological and sustainable food production

An ecological sustainable food production system will require an elimination of unsuitable modes of production, like for example the industrial agriculture and large scale land grabbing investments, which affect negatively the food sovereignty and the right to food of local communities in developing nations and provoke displacements of local communities. Policies that promote such investments should be changed in the light of the negative effects they produce for developing nations and their communities.

3.  The FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security are an opportunity if they are transformed into a legally binding framework.

The underlying purpose the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security is to achieve food security and food sovereignty for all. However, to ensure a change in policy aimed at the purpose of food security and food sovereignty, these guidelines should become legally binding for companies and governments. The principle of extra-territorial jurisdiction should also be developed and enforced by national judicial systems.

In many developing countries, however, the effective implementation of these guidelines, in particular concerning the access to land for family farmers, is being hindered by large-scale land grabs. A 5-year moratorium on land grabbing would allow developing countries to achieve a simplified land reform ensuring family farmers of the rights on the land they cultivate and to transpose the FAO Guidelines into their national laws. Such an option could be discussed at the Committee on World Food Security.

Theme 2: 

 

Question:

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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

 

Answer:

 

Governance and accountability mechanisms for responsible investment in agriculture should be in place. The FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security should become legally binding for companies and governments. The principle of extra-territorial jurisdiction should be developed and enforced by national judicial systems.

 

Theme 3:

Question:

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?

 

Answer:

The objectives are clear but what is needed is that they are backed by policies that fully support Food Sovereignty and Food Security and that would allow the achievement of these objectives.

Objectives:

a. Access to credit and to inputs, and improved storage conditions for family farmers are vital to reach this objective. The lack of credit obliges family farmers to sell most of their production at the moment of harvest, because they need the money to repay the inputs and to cover family needs. When they run out of food, they have to buy it at a higher price during the dry season what often obliges them to contract a debt. Access to credit will prevent them from losing money in this process of selling food and then buying it. Improved storage conditions would prevent the spoilage of food and this would reduce family farmers’ need of buying food at a high price during the dry season. Mechanisms should be devised to allow financially strained family farmers in developing countries to buy inputs and to access credit. A minimum price policy should be in place in order to ensure decent living conditions for family farmers. This objective should be country-specific as climate factors differ from country to country, e.g. a lower than average rainy season has significant impact on the harvest.

c. Family farmers are essential in the pathway towards sustainable food production that leads to food sovereignty. They are the ones ensuring livelihoods for themselves and their families. A sustainable food production system would allow the rural poor to enjoy the Right to adequate food. Additionally, a sustainable food production system would allow family farmers to use and to conserve their natural resources and to gain a sufficient income from their production. Food production systems should also be environmentally sustainable, drawing on sustainable techniques and methods, e.g. traditional agricultural methods.

Existing local traditional agricultural systems provide a balanced method for local communities to deal with challenges such as feeding people, pressures on livelihoods and biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, regeneration of the soils and climate change. Such agricultural systems are appropriate to local economies and societies drawing on indigenous knowledge of the eco-system.

 

d. Improving rural infrastructure for family farmers is essential to reach this objective. Adequate irrigation systems, mechanisms providing access to inputs, adequate food storage conditions, and transport and distribution systems need to be put in place. The proposals from the report “Agriculture at a crossroads” of the International Assessment of Agriculture Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development go in this direction and they recognize the vital importance of traditional and local agricultural knowledge. While the proposals of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa are tuned to the needs of the agro-food industry and not the those of family farmers.

e. Adequate food storage and transport mechanisms should be put in place to prevent great loss of food. Especially, in rural areas storage conditions should be improved. Food is often lost due to bad storage quality. Furthermore, sustainable transport and distribution chains should equally be established to prevent the loss of food and food spoilage.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is the unique global voice of the diabetes community. IDF’s strength lies in the capacity of our Member Associations – over 220 national diabetes associations in 170 countries – who connect global advocacy to local reality and deliver vital diabetes prevention, treatment and care services worldwide. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to this FAO/WFP consultation on Food and Nutrition Security in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The global diabetes epidemic is an urgent and overwhelming challenge which no country has under control. In 2012, IDF estimates there were 371 million people with diabetes, and this number is expected to rise to 552 million people by 2030 with the greatest acceleration in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Up to half of all people with diabetes are still undiagnosed. While the challenge remains immense, the global diabetes community has made significant progress in elevating diabetes onto the global agenda, with the 2006 UN Resolution on Diabetes and the 2011 UN High-Level Summit on Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Now, IDF’s Global Diabetes Plan 2011-2021 sets out a ten year framework for action with three priority objectives – to improve health outcomes, prevent type 2 diabetes and prevent discrimination against people with diabetes – which we call on FAO/WFP to reflect within the post-2015 development agenda.

Within the context of post-2015, IDF aims to ensure the centrality of health and diabetes/NCDs is reflected across all dimensions of development – social, economic and environmental. In this proposal, IDF presents the connections between diabetes and food security in order to strengthen the place of health within food security, and advance a future development agenda that is people-centred, inclusive and sustainable. 

Key Messages

Traditionally malnutrition has been understood to describe undernutrition, underweight, stunting and hunger. However, today we face a triple burden of malnutrition: undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency and overnutrition/overconsumption, often times in the same country, community or household.

The triple burden of malnutrition is symptomatic of underlying problems: poverty, inequalities and a dysfunctional food system that is unable to meet the health and nutrition needs of its population.

Combating the triple burden of malnutrition will require guaranteeing the right to adequate diets for all, reforming agricultural and food policies, including through taxation, and reshaping food systems for the promotion of sustainable diets.

Current initiatives have not adequately balanced the need for interventions which work now and in the short-term, with the need for long-term thinking and prevention of health and nutrition problems in the future.

A single focus on undernutrition, the approach most common to date, is insufficient to address the range of nutritional problems affecting every country in the world, and the oncoming tsunami of overweight/obesity, diabetes and other NCDs.

The emphasis in the post-2015 development framework should not be only on increasing food, but ensuring that all populations have sufficient access to affordable healthy foods which are environmentally sustainable. To obtain this holistic, nutrition-focused approach, we recommend the following goals and objectives:

Goal: To ensure adequate and healthy food for all

  • Objectives:
    • To halt the rise in overweight and obesity for children and adults by 2025
    • Reduction in the global number of children under five who are stunted by 2025
    • Increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in the first six months by 2025
  •  
  • We also recommend that a global food systems objective/indicator be developed, which can assess the healthfulness of the food system, a critical piece to achieving a healthy and secure food supply for the world.

For our full submission, please see the attached document.

Courtney Scott
Policy and Advocacy Junior Professional Officer

20-12-2012

Australian Government response to the E-Consultation on Hunger and Nutrition from the FAO

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?

There are many lessons learned that need to be considered in the lead up to the post-2015 framework:

•    A future indicator needs to better capture the depth of poverty and vulnerability to changes in poverty status.  This may include readily measurable and understood targets, such as the proportion of the population living below the minimum dietary energy consumption and prevalence of underweight children under 5 years. There is also a need for indicators which better capture other dimensions of under nutrition. For instance, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) encourages programs to monitor and evaluate the results of Australia’s social protection assistance in reducing the stunting of girls and boys . This or a similar indicator may be a powerful tool for improved food security and malnutrition.  

•    Providing quality food to meet the nutritional and health needs of farmers and consumers is an under-researched area. Current interventions are largely focused on the quantitative, calorific dimension of food security.  Qualitative, nutritional dimensions of food security are seriously under addressed and require rigorous primary research.  The links between agriculture, nutrition, health, water and sanitation hold potential to not only accelerate positive health outcomes but impact on longer term sustainable economic development.

•    Innovations that could help smallholder farmers increase productivity have not been widely adopted, and policies to relieve hunger and malnutrition have often failed.  More research on adoption and scaling up of useful agricultural innovations is needed.

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

The Australian Government’s approach to food security is to increase the availability of food (by increasing production and improving trade), while also increasing the poor’s ability to access food (by increasing incomes). The Australian Government also promotes adequate nutrition, through the strengthening of health systems and the delivery of quality maternal and child health interventions.

In line with this approach, we consider the main challenges to achieving food and nutrition security to be:

  • •    Ensuring appropriate economic and trade policies, and open and efficient markets which should boost global food flows, smooth supply and reduce excessive price volatility and risk;
  • •    Poor infrastructure, limited technology transfer and lack of market access;
  • •    Supply side restrictions caused by land and water shortages, climate change, environmental degradation and diversion of food crops to biofuel production;
  • •    Access to maternal and child health services, including neonatal and postnatal care, for rural and marginalized populations;
  • •    Policy frameworks and legislation which do not support women as landowners, farmers and food producers; and
  • •    Growing populations and changing diets which increase the demand for safe and nutritious food as well as access to adequate food.

To address these challenges, the Australian Government is:

  • •    Lifting agricultural productivity by increasing our investment in agricultural research and development, through Australian and international organisations working on food policy and agricultural innovation;
  • •    Advocating reforms to global agriculture and food markets to increase opportunities and incentives for developing countries, to increase their food supplies and improve their incomes and ability to buy food;
  • •    Improving rural livelihoods by strengthening markets in developing countries and improving market access;
  • •    Strengthening health systems and promoting healthy behaviors to prevent under-nutrition and associated morbidity; and
  • •    Building community resilience by supporting the establishment and improvement of social protection programs that reduce the vulnerability of the poor to shocks and stresses.  

Australia considers the greatest opportunities towards achieving improvements in food and nutrition security lie in:
•    Improving agricultural productivity yields, developing climate resilient products and practices and micronutrient content through international agricultural research innovation and extension. This involves focusing on:
- agricultural productivity growth in smallholder systems
- developing market integration and supply chain access
- bilding human and institutional capacity building to enhance sustainable follow-up research and adoption capabilities;
•    Improving distribution, crop losses and incomes of poor households through access to finance, infrastructure, input markets, logistic and storage systems;
•    Ensuring open and well-functioning domestic and international markets;  
•    Building social protection programs and systems to build the resilience of vulnerable communities; and
•    Improving water and sanitation to reduce nutrition loss post consumption.

Theme 2

What works best? Drawing on existing knowledge, please tell us how we go about addressing the hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges head on. Provide us with your 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?

The Australian Government would support a unified approach, which integrates the best elements of the MDGs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the new post-2015 development framework. We would discourage language seeking to enshrine a rights based approach and support interventions that are consistent with international obligations.

Improvements to the existing targets and indicators to address hunger, food security and malnutrition, might be explored in the following areas:

•    With such rapid progress being made in the proportion living below $1 per day, there is a case for adding a new target based on those living on less than $2 per day.  This is a much larger group and will become an increasingly important focus for poverty reduction efforts over the next 20 years.

-    However, there would be advantages in also retaining the existing <$1 per day target, so that progress against extreme poverty can continue to be monitored.

•    There may be good arguments for introducing a new target or indicators for under-nutrition (particularly micronutrient deficiency, stunting and the impact of temporary food crises and other macroeconomic shocks). Any new under-nutrition indicators that are introduced should be consistent, stable and where possible, include baselines to enable performance tracking over time.

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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org) and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

It is important to consider how the current process to develop SDGs will influence the development of the post-2015 goals, targets and indicators, particularly as the post-2015 framework should contain a single set of goals with the MDGs and SDGs merging as one process with one outcome. The Australian Government believes poverty reduction should remain at the core of the post-2015 development agenda. It will also be important for hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition to be a key priority in reducing poverty. As there are numerous food security initiatives including frameworks and reports around the world, caution must be exercised in drawing from those initiatives that do not have broad international support or have failed to deliver outcomes.

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 the 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 by country-specific, or regional, rather than global? Should the objectives be time-bound?

At this stage it is too early to start narrowing down to a specific set of goals, targets and indicators that might comprise the post-2015 framework. What we need to do is make sure that whatever goals and targets we create are realistic, attainable and achievable. This requires them to be measurable at the global, regional and national level similar to the current MDGs. For example, it is unclear how we would measure 100% access to adequate food all year round and the sustainability of all food systems.

We will also need to consider the time frame for the new post-2015 framework. The above objectives do not seem achievable in a 20–25 year timeframe.
 

Emily Levitt Ruppert FAO/WFP Facilitation Team, United States of America
20-12-2012

Dear All,

On the issue of nutrition security, I raise two questions to the group. 

 

1) This past week we've received contributions in support of the use of stunting as a key indicator for nutrition security in the post-2015 agenda: measuring stunting among U5 children, with data also measured for the subset of children U2, and by sex. Patrick Webb (Tufts University, USA) highlighted that the stunting indicator would need to be complemented by other measures that would support the achievement of stunting reduction.  What do others think about the use of stunting as an overarching measure of nutrition security in the post-2015 agenda? 

 

2) (Question at end in italics) There has been much discussion globally in civil society organizations on the importance of emphasizing dietary diversity and not solely the measurement of adequate caloric consumption in the post-2015 development agenda. Experts are reviewing the adequacy of available indicators and the capability of national information systems to collect this type of data. 

 

Linked to the attainment of balanced diets for all, this week one contributor (Colin Sage, U. Cork, Ireland) noted the fundamental importance of creating 'sustainable food systems for all' supporting this component of the UNSG's Zero Hunger Challenge. The paper (IJAS Commentary) Sage shared states: 

 

"A sustainable food system will not be achieved only through technology-centred changes in the realm of agriculture: it will require massive strides towards securing sustainable consumption too...Unfortunately, there appears to be rather greater appetite to support bio-science solutions that seek to re-engineer the bodies of farmed animals (rumen function in cattle, low-methane sheep, the EnviropigTM) in order to reduce emissions and waste streams, than to embark upon the challenge of formulating a global strategy to lower the levels of consumption in the interests of climate stability, global justice and human health."

 

What experience do participants in this e-consultation have with improving and/or measuring dietary diversity at scale? Do you agree with the suggestion to move away from reliance on biotechnology approaches in favor of large scale modifications to current consumption habits? Is a global strategy (that would need to be implemented/adapted at national level) to change dietary patterns possible?

 

 

 

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

Member of FAO-WFP Facilitation team

Coordinator, Agriculture-Nutrition Community of Practice

 

 

Lisa Kitinoja The Postharvest Education Foundation, United States of America
20-12-2012

The objectives, targets and indicators as stated can be achieved via concerted efforts toward reducing postharvest losses and food waste.

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.

All 5 of these objectives can be met when food is treated as a precious resource, protected from damage, heat, pests and other environmental stresses, and as the focus of rural development. I believe that if governments and international donors realized the potential for new rural jobs and improved incomes for producers, handlers, processors and marketers that are tied to more appropriate postharvest handling systems, they would be more interested in promoting postharvest development. For example, to use improved handling practices and reduce food losses and waste, we need people who make and sell postharvest tools, goods, supplies, and provide services, repairs, advice, training, etc, and work in production planning, packing, cooling, quality control, storage, transport, processing, marketing, food safety, sales and more.  The incredible untapped potential for ag development if food is treated as an important product for nutrition,income and health, and actively protected from waste and abuse is enormous, but this aspect has been neglected for as long as I can remember.

Mariela Contreras UNICEF Honduras , Honduras
19-12-2012

Theme 1:

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) gave the world tangible and visible goals that can be monitored and evaluated by governments and the world community. The challenges we are still facing are many, specifically with regards to the MDGs related to food security and nutrition. The world economic crisis has slowed down this process. Low-income countries still have high poverty and unemployment rates, with a low proportion of people who have secondary school or above. However, the scientific community has more understanding of what needs to be done to better food security and nutrition, especially among children below 2 years of age. The Lancet Series of Nutrition and Child Survival are good examples of opportunities and how evidence needs to be translated into practice. For instance, we know that the promotion of breastfeeding is a cost-effective intervention which protects children´s nutrition and health during the first years of life. We also know that appropriate complementary feeding interventions are key in sustaining adequate nutritional levels among children. A great opportunity is that we are more aware what nutrition during the first years of life means for economic productivity and health later on in life. It is crucial, hence, to have well executed cost-effective nutrition interventions with results at the local level to improve children´s nutrition. We know what to do. 

Theme 2: 

We need to secure the nutrition of infants and children during the first two years of life.  For this, governments and the world community should focus on executing nutrition interventions targeting this age group. As previously mentioned, the promotion of breastfeeding is the most cost-effective intervention that can save lives. In addition, complementary feeding interventions have the capacity to secure adequate nutrition between 6 and 24 months. Governments need to prioritize in bettering food security, so households can have access and availability to food all year round. For example, conditional cash transfers can enable access to food of the poorer families. This intervention, however, is a clear example of how governments need to be hold accountable of their administration and finances when considering the implementation of social programs like the mentioned above. I think it is highly important to strengthen mechanisms that ensure the effectiveness and transparency of country programs.  This can be done by ensuring governments to work against tangible results.

Theme 3:

The objectives mentioned above cover crucial areas of food security and nutrition. I suggest adding other indicators. The new WHO infant and young child feeding indicators could be used as potential measurements of some of the objectives. For example, the proportion of children who meet dietary diversity and meal frequency could be used to measure the objective 100% access to adequate food all year round. As well, the indicator minimum acceptable diet could be used to measure the overall quality of children´s diet.  These indicators are part of the document Indicators for assessing infant and young child feeding practices Part 1 Definitions (http://www.who.int/en/). With regards to nutrition, stunting should be the indicator that measures growth and nutrition. Thus, governments should work in favor of measuring stunting, especially among the under 2 and 5 children.

The objectives should be global because they are a reflection of the problems that most of low-income countries face with regards to food security and nutrition. They should be time-bound and evaluated every 5 years to examine the progress countries make and when necessary re-direct the efforts in pro of meeting these goals. I believe governments are more accountable when time frames exist.  

Iris Krebber DFID, United Kingdom
19-12-2012

Theme 1:

The MDG nutrition target has been necessary but not sufficient to accelerate progress on undernutrition. Until 2008 nutrition was relatively neglected and until then the MDG target did not help to galvanise international commitment on undernutrition. However, when the political landscape changed with the first food price crisis, and with a new body of evidence on what works in nutrition, the MDG helped legitimise a growth in interest in nutrition. Now a substantial global commitment to tackle undernutrition – 28 countries have in the last 2 years, signed up to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. This effort is being strongly supported by a number of development partners and the UN system. This may not have been possible if there was no nutrition MDG target.

The nutrition indicator is quite invisible within MDG 1 – it is frequently not reported in progress reports on MDG1. It also provides a story which is not consistent with progress against the number of undernourished (the other hunger indicator). This lack of clarity has arguably hindered progress. Having said this, it is probably better overall that the nutrition indicator was with MDG1, rather than MDG4 as it has helped to keep nutrition out of the exclusive domain of health.

On the inconsistency between the under-five nutrition and the general population undernourishment targets, there is need to improve understanding to better fight hunger sustainably. Currently there is a largely unnoticed phenomenon that morbidity and mortality among young children has effectively decreased, but the level of undernourishment in the general population has remained unchanged, with hunger-related morbidity actually increasing. There are indications that the undernourishment figure across age groups may even be increasing. This requires urgent attention, not just because of the risk to individual people’s life-cycle trajectories. but also because this undermines growth and poses a threat to the economic development of countries.

Overall, MDG1c has led to significant attention and motivation to act on hunger.

 

1) It is unlikely that the MDG 1c will be met, in spite of the fact that it is the MDG with the “multiplier effect” because it is also essential to MDGs 2-7 being met. About one billion people (1 out of 7 globally) are still estimated to lack access to adequate food and nutrition, and another billion suffer from micro nutrient deficiencies, the majority women and girls. While there are proportionately fewer malnourished people in the world than there used to be, the absolute number may even be rising. Stunting rates are sticky.

Most of the countries which are not on track to meet the hunger MDG are in SSA, followed by South Asia. Absolute numbers of hungry people are higher in South Asia, but hunger is more acute in SSA. This may also be the trend for the future: All countries not on track are vulnerable to climate change and other shocks. Many of them, in particular in SSA, are in protracted crisis, where the proportion of undernourished people is three times as high as in other developing countries.

(2) Climate change, changing land use practices, commodity price stresses and shocks, population increase, the continued volatility of food prices at high level, and disasters are likely to increase the already high base load of chronically malnourished (stunted) and frequently acutely food insecure people.

The number of people who are vulnerable to increasing and repeated shocks or who are in crisis (including protracted crises) is rising, and resilience-strengthening efforts do not (yet?) have sufficient coverage to counter this trend fast enough to keep the downward livelihoods spiral from accelerating.

(3) Even in countries that are making good progress, a significant baseload remains sticky. These are primarily the extremely poor which are already bypassed by a lot of the progress. Given also their increased vulnerability to stresses and shocks and the fact that some programmes may harm them, this gap is likely to widen (growing inequality within countries).

Theme 2:

In thinking about the post-MDG period, it would be good to consider the following issues, in addition to what MDG1c has already covered well:

(i) Prevention: Building food security resilience to prevent large increases in acute food insecurity during crises and shocks – define resilient food security as a target indicator

(ii) Do more to reduce sticky stunting rates – eg through better agric for nutrition outcomes programming, social protection for the poorest and most vulnerable

(iii) More balanced reduction of hunger and malnutrition across regions – more focus on high burden regions and countries

(iv) More balanced reduction of hunger and malnutrition in-country – make sure that programmes and resulting progress do not bypass or even harm the very and extremely poor

Theme 3:

Our current best internal discussion proposal is based on the UNSG’s zero hunger challenge and comprises the following:

 

Post 2015 Candidate goal:  Getting to zero poverty and hunger

Targets:

Target a: By 2030, all people have long term access to adequate, affordable nutritious food.

Target b: By 2030, 50% reduction in the number of children whose growth is stunted by malnutrition

Target c: By 2030, 20% increase agricultural productivity, driving greater efficiency and sustainability.

Target a Indicators:  [Institution holding/developing relevant data set]

  • % of children aged 6-24 months with a Minimum Acceptable Diet [UNICEF/ WHO Demographic Health Surveys] 
  • Household food insecurity experience [FAO/Gallup Global Survey]
  • Number of food insecure people [Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, IPC]

Target b Indicators:

  • % under 5s stunted (low height for age) [WHO/UNICEF]
  • % under 5s wasted (low weight for height) [WHO/UNICEF]
  • % of babies born with low birth weight (< 2.5 kg) [WHO/UNICEF]
  • % babies under six months who are exclusively breastfed [WHO/UNICEF]

Target c Indicators:  

  • % increase in agricultural production per unit of land, energy, water, inorganic fertiliser and pesticide.
  • % land use change due to agricultural production
  • % reduction in post-harvest losses
  • % rate of global forest cover loss (0% by 2030).  Rate of tropical deforestation (reduced by 50% by 2020)
  • All sea fisheries managed sustainably.

And possibly an additional

Target d: By 2030, all countries have built food systems resilient enough to stresses and shocks, to avoid these resulting in increased poverty.

Target d Indicators:

  • Inter-seasonal domestic food price changes relative to income  [FAO/ILO]
  • % of paved roads over total roads + road density [International Road Federation + WB]
  • % of irrigable land under irrigation [FAO]
Beyond 2015 Campaign (Liam Crosby) Beyond 2015 campaign, United Kingdom
19-12-2012

The Beyond 2015 campaign submits the attached paper regarding our priorities for the post 2015 framework from a Food and Nutrition Security perspective.

This paper is submitted by Liam Crosby at Save the Children UK, on behalf of the Beyond 2015 campaign. Beyond 2015 is a civil society campaign pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals, building on the lessons and achievements of the MDGs. The campaign is built on a diverse, global base and brings together 577 orgs from 95 countries, which range from small community-based organizations to international NGOs, academics and trade unions.

Food and nutrition security (FNS) are among the most basic of human needs and must be central to the post-2015 development agenda. In particular, the Right to Food is enshrined in international law and as such there is not only a moral obligation but also a legal obligation for states to ensure that all people have adequate food. While the period since 2000 has seen progress on these issues, over 800 million people globally remain undernourished and an increasing number are overweight or obese.

 

Dramatic inequalities in food and nutrition security remain and in many countries have increased; indeed in some countries and contexts the poorest groups suffer from alarming rates of undernutrition, while richer groups simultaneously experience high prevalences of overweight and obesity. These facts, along with the impacts of our food consumption and production patterns on environmental degradation and climate change, highlight that our global food system is unsustainable, unfair and inadequate. The post-2015 framework offers an important chance to deliver the ambitious, novel and wide-ranging approach needed to change that.

 

Whilst the civil society organizations participating in Beyond 2015 hold a wide range of views regarding how FNS should be addressed in the post-2015 framework, we are united that it is essential that the framework should encourage actions on four pillars, outlined below, which contribute to the overall aim of achieving Food and Nutrition Security For All. In order to achieve this aim, it is essential that inequalities in all aspects of food and nutrition security are addressed, including addressing the systemic imbalances that result in available food not being accessible where it is most needed.

 

This paper addresses the crucial issues which face food and nutrition security today, and identifies some key problems with the global food system which must be addressed in order for universal FNS to be achieved. It establishes key principles that should be adhered to when addressing them, and makes proposals for actions to deliver Food and Nutrition Security for All.

Ashok Pillai Online Volunteer, India
19-12-2012

Hi, 

 

I just wanted to add two more points here which may be universal in nature particularly in the developed world:

1. Sustainable livelihood available for the landless farmers/labor.

2. Reclaim farm lands and bring arid areas under agriculture 

19-12-2012

The three important components of food security are (1) food availability (2) accessibility and (3) absorption and/or utilization. Recently added fourth component is food system stability. Further these components in-turn influence each other. Like higher availability will lead to affordable price of food commodity and hence improved accessibility. Similarly higher food system stability will lead to price stability and stability in affordability. But asset/income distribution determines not only food accessibility to different classes but also aggregate food production/availability in an economy (as different category of farmers will have preference for production of different commodities). To harness the synergy of these components in improving food security, multi-pronged interventions are needed both at national level and global level.

For elaborating these linkages between these different components of food security and highlight some suggested intervention measures the references cited in the attachment file were used.

In addition to the targets mentioned in the attachment file, per capita available cultivatable land can also be a monitorable target for ensuring food security.

P.A.Lakshmi Prasanna

 

See the attachment: PA LAKSHMI PRASANNA.pdf
Subhash Mehta NGO Assn AR4D for Asia Pacific (NAARAP), India
19-12-2012

Dear all,

Thank you for the excellent contributions made covering this very important subject. I would like to add my bit to the three themes, as my focus for the last ten years and continues even now, to bring on the table the AR4D needs of the smallholder producers, specifically, following the low cost successful integrated sustainable agriculture, as applicable to the local soil and agro climatic conditions of each area, if we are to achieve the MDGs, reduce hunger, rural poverty, malnutrition, suicides and the effect on climate change, whilst improving livelihoods, increasing net incomes and purchasing power:

 

Theme 1: For achieving the MDGs in the short term, we need to put the 50% of the Global population of rural smallholder producers and their communities to work, thereby ensuring they have access to their nutritious food needs available at farm gate price, being half to one tenth of the retail price. This ensures their nutritious food security, ensuring economic growth, rural employment, investments to meet infrastructure needs for primary and secondary value addition to increase the shelf of the perishable produce to eradicate post harvest losses. This means creating human and institutional capacity building among the rural educated unemployed youth to take over the problems and responsibilities and manage risks, other than on farm activities of the members, having been trained to become general practitioners (GPs)/ MBAs in agriculture, to staff the producer orgs/ company (PC) set up by the producers, if we are to change the face of rural areas around the world, turning each area into inclusive and sustainable growth, with opportunities for all, especially women, most of them being linked to agriculture and or allied rural vocations, and where today’s rural youth will want to live, rather than being forced to migrate to urban slums for their livelihoods.

 

Theme 2: ‘Integrated Producer Oriented Development (IPOD) is the way forward as against ‘Market Oriented Development’, which has and continues to be the cause of the agrarian crisis in the developing countries, calling for a shift to policies and focus on and supporting:

a) Communities in rural areas to set up their producer orgs/ company (PC) from the start, staffed by educated rural youth, trained to become general practitioner (GPs)/ MBAs in agriculture, to manage the risks and take over all problems and responsibilities other than on farm activities from their members(rural poor producers)

b) Human and institutional capacity building of rural areas especially unemployed women and rural youth

c) Develop plans and budgets for nutrition through smallholder producers following integrated agriculture to meet rural communities own needs

d) Create a mechanism for rural communities to access nutritious food at farm gate price

e) Assistance and support of public sector investment to meet the needs of the smallholder producers

f) Ensure that the local species, varieties and breeds and successful farmers’ low cost integrated agriculture in each area are adapted, supported and widely replicated

g) Primary and secondary value addition to optimize shelf life to minimize post harvest losses

 

Theme 3: The Zero Hunger Challenge is an ambitious time-bound objective, which can be achieved, say over ten years, provided:

• investments are made in setting up of rural smallholder producer orgs, staffed by professionals, to manage all risks, take over problems and responsibilities, other than on farm activities of their members: www.navajyoti.org,

• follow the low cost, successful, sustainable integrated agriculture of each area,

• primary and secondary value addition to increase the shelf life of the produce and minimize post harvest losses, to meet their communities’ annual nutritious food needs at farm gate price, thus increasing net farm production, purchasing power and net incomes, considering that the world produces twice the food needed but is not accessible to about half the resource poor population, as they do not have the money.

 

The following case studies support this contribution: One village. 60 rupee millionaires. The miracle of Hiware Bazar, Maharashtra, the suicide State of India, link:

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main54.asp?filename=Ne201012VILLAGE.asp

 

I am also providing the link to a case study on nutrition through agriculture, ‘Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health, a USDA and Univ of IOWA case study’:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047149

Regards

Subhash

Kamila Mukhamedkhanova Center for Economic Research , Uzbekistan
19-12-2012

Exactly in the middle of the 15 year MDG period the World suffered from the food crisis.  Due to the crisis, achievements of MDGs on hunger, food and nutrition security witnessed during the 1990-s and 2000-s were reversed significantly in many countries.  

The crisis has become an indication that it is time to reconsider radically the model and approach to food policies, implemented in many countries so far and revise the framework of development goals in the terms of food and nutrition security.  

The main question is what the new model should be based on and what is the set of revised MDGs on food and nutrition for the post-2015 agenda?

Sustainable Food Policies: A Striking Case of Uzbekistan

To find out an answer we can look at the experience of countries which were successful in the terms of implementing sustainable food and nutrition policy and managed to provide effective results even during the crises.  

A striking example of such an economy is Uzbekistan. The main feature of the food policy framework in Uzbekistan was the holistic approach to the issue. In fact, in Uzbekistan since the early years of independence the problem of food and nutrition security has been a part of an enormously complex policy agenda of socio-economic development. Hence, Uzbekistan had to strike a delicate balance between several, at times conflicting objectives – steeply increasing its own food production; finding a new place in the global economy; generating investment resources for industry and infrastructure development; maintaining safety nets for the growing population, and gradually implementing market reforms and supporting the nascent private sector.

Food security has always been considered as a complex problem including a triad of the requirements: a) adequate aggregate supply; b) proper access to food across the population (especially across the vulnerable groups of the population); c) safety and quality of food.

As a result, Uzbekistan was better prepared than many other countries to the recent surge of new threats to food security. In particular, self-sufficiency in wheat and some other key food products provided a cushion against adverse global trends and mitigated their destabilizing effect for the national economy and households’ welfare.

The important difference of Uzbekistan’s approach to food security from that of other countries was the combination of market and non-market instruments and components. Although this often drew the international criticism, at present elements of such an approach are replicated by other countries searching for more reliable and effective means to ensure food security at a time of global economic instability.

In a Search of an Effective Balance: Focus on the Systemic Approach     

The facts above provide the evidence that in order to be sustainable and effective, the system of food policy goals for the future needs to be oriented at seeking the effective balance to put in better use the national resources of each country, prepare adequate and timely responses to possible adverse shocks, taking into account internal processes, related to economic, social and other transformations within the economies.

It is also important, that the system adjusts to the changes occurring, copes with the negative impact of multiple crises in various areas being pro-cyclical during growth and counter-cyclical while the downturn.

To find an effective balance, the new post MDG framework should implement the holistic approach. The main difference of post-MDG agenda from the current one should be that the goals are not oriented at one area (like hunger or malnutrition), but are cross-sectional and related to a number of areas simultaneously, thus ensuring the achievement of the overall development objectives. In other words, the goals and indicators within the new system will not be considered separately but only as the elements of the whole system.

The new post-2015 framework  also needs to take into account the future development trends for the medium and long term.  For instance, it is important to bear in mind that the growing population will increasingly put stress on the current food systems. Transformation of the demographic and social structure of the society, urbanization trends and growing income of the population will change the behavioral stereotypes and pattern of the nutrition, thus transforming the demand for food products and changing the pattern of agricultural production. It is also clear that the increasing pressure on water and land resources will require to improve agricultural productivity and provide the effective land and water management; the aggravating problem of increasing food losses will put further strain on food availability.

Based on these ideas, below is our vision on the set of goals, that could be developed to ensure food and nutrition security within the post-2015 development framework:

New Goals on Food and Nutrition for the Post-MDG Agenda: Our Vision

1. Ensure adequate aggregate supply of food by improving agricultural productivity.

More ambitious food security targets and tightening resource constraints leave no alternatives to increasing agricultural productivity as the basis for future food security. Institutions, technologies, infrastructure and government policies should be integrated within a holistic food security strategy to increase returns to all key agricultural inputs – land, water, labor and capital.

This goal should be strongly linked to the goals on technological development and structural transformations as well as the environmental goals in the terms of effective land and water management.

  1. 2. Ensure proper access to food across the population (especially across the vulnerable groups of the population)

This goal should be strongly linked to the strategies on poverty reduction, reformation of model of social protection, gender mainstream, labor market strategies, policies to cope with the income differentiation.

  1. 3. Provide the effective distribution of food.

In fact, in most of the cases food and nutrition security is not a problem of availability, but a problem of effective distribution.  The effective distribution of food is in turn, strongly related to the governance reformation. As a result, this goal is strongly linked with the reformation of governance and institutions at all levels.

  1. 4. Ensure safe and healthy nutrition (this indicator is not included  into the set of objectives under Zero Hunger Challenge in any form )

Safe and nutritious food is both a valuable outcome and important factor of economic development. As an outcome, it is an integral factor of the food security triad. As a factor, it constitutes a major investment in human capital accumulation, contributing to a healthy and productive workforce. Food quality prevents economic losses caused by diseases, and saves health care expenditures.

Therefore, this goal is strongly linked to social policies (healthcare) and social protection, governance reformation, etc.

  1. 5. Ensure food security policies contribute much to the environmental sustainability. The following aspects of the linkage of food security goals with the environmental ones are of particular importance:

Effective land and water management (this point is linked to the first goal, as the effective land and water management is an important factor of improving agricultural productivity while implementing the resource efficient development pattern;

Zero loss or waste of food (this point is very much linked to the new resource efficient pattern of development which also needs to be considered within the post-MDG development framework);

Energy sustainability (in fact, there is a strong positive relationship between the prices for gas and oil and prices for food. If the energy sustainability is provided and prices for the conventional energy sources are not soaring up, the food prices are also likely to remain stable);

Climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies also contribute much to ensure food security policies;

As it could be seen each goal to be suggested for the post-MDG agenda is strongly linked with the other goals of the system. We suggest the overall goals to be the same for all countries. However, taking into account that there is no one size fits all, the indicators and target parameters should be specific for each country depending on its national development strategy and objectives.

Kamila Mukhamedkhanova, Research Coordinator, Center for Economic Research, Uzbekistan

Relevant researches:

Conceptual approach to Green Economy in Uzbekistan;

Food security in Uzbekistan after 2010: News challenges and policy responses

 

Corinna Hawkes World Cancer Research Fund International, United Kingdom
18-12-2012

Here are some comments from Corinna Hawkes at WCRF International, an organisation concerned with the prevention of cancer through the promotion of improved nutrition:

Theme 1: What are some of the key lessons that have been learned during the current MDG Framework, 1990-2015?

Many lessons have been learned during this period. Here are some:
•    Food and nutrition insecurity encompasses a triple burden of poor nutritional status: underweight; stunting; and overweight/obesity. These three conditions can co-exist within the same individuals, households, and communities. They may also exist independently of each other.
•    All forms of malnutrition are linked with health, including the development of chronic non-communicable diseases in later life. Evidence indicates that poor nutritional status is linked with the development of noncommunicable diseases.
•    Intervention in early life is critical to prevent stunting and the health conditions associated with it later in life since malnutrition has a profound effect on child growth and development during the first two years of life.
•    Good nutritional status should therefore be an objective for development, rather than “hunger” alone.
•    Moving out of a situation of undernutrition does not necessary lead to good nutritional status if replaced by overweight and obesity. Healthy development needs to take a different path to Western nations in this regard!
•    Good nutritional status is achieved by a range of actions, including on food, health and care.
•    With regard to food, improvement to the total diet is essential. Focusing on one or two specific foods or nutrients can have perverse effects.
•    A strong civil society can galvanise and promote action to address malnutrition.
•    Good governance, including multi-sectoral mechanisms, is essential for the effective development and implementation of actions to address malnutrition in all its forms.
•    Having clear goals can motivate action.

Theme 2: What actions are needed?

Taking into account the triple burden of poor nutritional status, the following actions are needed for the post-2015 development agenda:
•    Actions that address all forms of poor nutritional status. Some actions are needed to address two of three aspects of malnutrition at the same time; others are needed that target the specific form of malnutrition alone.
•    Maintaining and promoting breastfeeding – evidence states that breastfeeding leads to positive nutritional outcomes in all its forms. UN recommendations on breastfeeding should be followed, implemented and monitored by all relevant actors.
•    Social safety nets are needed to reduce poverty and malnutrition among poor families, including systems of ensuring adequate food intake, such as school meal provision and cash. However, it is essential that these systems include nutrition standards and/or provisions to promote healthy eating (evidence suggests these otherwise valuable programmes can be associated with  excessive energy intake or unbalanced diets).
•    Malnutrition should be viewed as a food systems problem, as well as one of poverty and unbalanced development. This is particularly the case now that more attention and investment is being placed into agriculture. There currently exists a considerable opportunity to promote “nutrition sensitive agri-food systems”. Actions are needed to improve the nutrition-sensitivity of “short value chains” between farmers and consumers, focused on specific, and often rural, populations e.g. initiatives to promote the production of plant-based foods and their movement into the market throughout the value chain. Given the presence of huge urban populations who purchase food that has moved through long and complex value chains, action is also needed to make “long value chains” more nutrition sensitive. This is needed to bring the triple burden and vulnerable urban populations into the frame of nutrition-sensitive agri-food systems.
•    As part of this, policy actions are needed that target entire populations. For example, national governments and UN bodies should build the protection and maintenance of good nutritional status into relevant policies and agreements; the food and drink industries should make nutrition an explicit priority in all stages of food systems including product research, development, formulation and reformulation, and promotion. disincentives to the food and drink industries to mobilise and create demand for poor quality diets, such as policies to significantly reduce the marketing of high calorie, nutrient-poor foods to infants, young children, adolescents, and their caregivers.
•    Overall, policies and actions will only be effective if they change the 3As – the availability, affordability and acceptability of healthy diets. Policies should thus promote a combination of supports changes in the food environment to address all 3As, plus educational strategies designed to facilitate the acceptability of healthy food choices and other food- and nutrition-related behaviours conducive to health.
•    Evidence suggests that school-based approaches can be effective, but that a “whole school approach” is needed (that is, the integration of nutrition in several different forms throughout the whole school, including education on the curriculum, food served in schools, gardening etc). School gardening interventions are becoming more popular all over the world as a way of integrating many different aspects of nutrition education into one.  
•    Multi-sectoral (health, agriculture etc) and multi-stakeholder (civil society, government etc) action is needed to ensure good governance of the triple burden of malnutrition. For multi-sectoral and mulit-stakeholder action to happen, it is necessary to create the spaces to do so. This requires a policy spaces and governance spaces, such as national multi-sectoral councils. There is evidence that these multi-sectoral governance mechanisms have more power and positive influence when they report directly to the executive branches of government, preferably at the prime ministerial or presidential level.
•    Current civil society mobilisation around nutrition has largely (and understandably) focused on undernutrition. A stronger “social movement” around all forms of malnutrition is needed to bridge gaps and cut across into the health and development agenda. Further focus is needed from civil society on overweight/obesity and nutrition-related non-communicable diseases.

Theme 3: Objectives, targets and indicators

The post-2015 development framework should include goals and indicators.
With regard to nutrition, nutrition indicators should be mainstreamed throughout the entire post-2015 framework given its interlinkages with other areas, such as health and sustainability.
The Zero Hunger Challenge and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition are to be welcomed and have many strengths, but are limited in how they bring the triple burden of malnutrition together into one framework. The post 2015-agenda should be more explicit in how it addresses this triple burden in its actions, goals and indicators for food and nutrition security.
•    There should be time-bound targets that take into account the triple burden of malnutrition.
•    Reduction of stunting should be a key target, as should zero growth of obesity, particularly among infants and young children.
•    There should also be an “indicator” on the development of food systems relevant to the triple burden of malnutrition.
 

http://www.wcrf.org Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wcrfint Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wcrfint Research and Policy Blog: http://www.wcrf.org/blog

See the attachment: comments from WCRF International
Etienne Tournesol Bama Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Devlopment, Central African ...
18-12-2012

Today, many people lack access to a good training program and they don’t know how to do well in the field of agriculture, livestock, fishery, aquaculture, etc...

 

It's better to repromote agricultural training for youth and gentlemen in Central Africa which will be the world basin for productions according to its natural resources.

Francescah Munyi Kenya Organic Finest Aromas Ltd, Kenya
18-12-2012

Soil degradation is a major issue in Kenya and attracting little action. We have tried our soil amendment programme in rural Kenya and have proven that repaired soils is a sure gurantee to quality food production.

18-12-2012

No creo que yo pueda aportar demasiado. Sin embargo, creo que para solucionar el problema debemos tender a:

 

1. Aumentar la variación de cultivos en las áreas donde el monocultivo es predominante.

 

2. Permitir la explotación de tierras a agricultores pobres que no dispongan de tierras propias. Para ello se podrían poner a su disposición microcréditos de dinero que puedan permitirles la compra de tierra, semilla y material de cultivo.

 

3. Potenciar el uso de semillas autóctonas, adaptadas a las condiciones climáticas de los territorios de cultivo. Esto se podría llevar a cabo mediante la potenciación de bancos de germoplasma en países en vías de desarrollo. 

 

4, Potenciar el consumo de vegetales (hortalizas, frutas, verduras, cereales y legumbres) frente a productos cárnicos, para evitar el exceso de gasto de energía que supone criar el ganado.

 

5. Mejorar los abastecimientos de agua en regiones áridas, mediante sistemas de pozos y riego.

 

Un saludo.

Mariam Al jaajaa The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Jordan
18-12-2012

Protracted crises , both armed conflicts and natural disasters, are one of of the main factors contributing to the unacceptably high degree of hunger. 20% of the undernourished people in the world are living in countries suffering from protracted crises. The relationship between Crises and food and nutrition insecurity creates a vicious that needs to be broken through tackling the root and driving causes of such a relationship. Both conflicts and natural disasters should be treated separately with designed assistance. I have attached for you the outcomes of a global civil society consultation that took place in Rome prior to the CFS HLEF on Protracted Crises. Among the many recommendations, accountability of all actors during , before, and after a crisis, was stressed upon, where local communities are put at the center of the accountability mechanism.

See the attachment: Outcomes Paper - CSM Input.doc
ABDIKARIM BASHIR AHMED Dolow farmers co-operative society, Somalia
18-12-2012

We there to eridicate porverty all over the world and we are glad of that everyone tries his or her best. I am a sure we can make it through joint hands against food insecurity.

Fabiana Menna Gran Chaco Foundation, Argentina
18-12-2012

We can´t work on food security without strengthening local organizations. In many cases, food security or food sovranity are related not only with poorness but especially with marginalization, cultural crisis and colonialism. In my experiencia in the Gran Chaco region, indigenous people has malnutrition problems because they lost their culture, their knowledge and consumes the worst food of western society. We must work on strengthening their own organizations, to build a multiactors context, more plural.

Lawrence Haddad Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom
18-12-2012

I really welcome the Zero Hunger Challenge.  I think it  is the right level of ambition and aspiration.  It has dimensions that apply to all countries, not just the poorer ones--everyone has a role and a responsibility. 

 

The components on stunting, waste and smallholder productvitiy may be able to be applied at country level, but the sustainable food systems and adequate food all year round are more internationally determined. 2040 seems like a good time horizon, with maybe a set of mid term goals in 2025.  I think the key is the Zero-just as we have to think about an end to aid, we have to begin talking about an end to hunger.  The more we talk about it as a possibility, the more we will internalise the challenge. 

 

My biggest problem with ZHC is that there is no accountability--we don't know whether different actors are pulling their weight.  That's why I would like to have some indicators relating to measuring commitment to reduce hunger (national level actions on spending, policies, charters, for example).

 

You might want to check out a blog I did on the MDGs in general (which talks about accountability)

 

http://www.developmenthorizons.com/2012/11/global-development-goals-end-of.html

and a recent blog on where does nutrition fit in the MDGs. 

http://www.developmenthorizons.com/2012/12/the-mdgs-where-does-nutrition-fit.html

Simon Mansfield ECHO, Sudan
18-12-2012

NB: Views are mine, not those of ECHO

 

Theme 1:

The key lessons are that food insecurity (poverty) is caused by unequal wealth distribution, and that aid has zero effect. The key global challenge is reducing populations size while increasing earnings, wealth and job security (without migration) of the poorest. This is a political challenge because it can only be done by redistributing wealth. There is no role for aid agencies such as FAO or WFP.

 

Theme 2:

Political change is the only way forward. This means action to confront wealthy vested interests at every level from local through to global. There is no technical solution nor is there any role for aid organisations. The technical solutions you refer to (zerohungerchallenge) are functionally the same as doing nothing.

 

Theme 3:

Global Gini coefficient of 25? 99% of the wealth of the top 1% redistributed to the poorest 10%? In the meantime limit current international aid to directly saving lives. For example focus on addressing wasting (MUAC, not WFHz), with food aid for households with MUAC wasting only.

See the attachment: Trickledown.doc
Ellen Meleisea Australia
18-12-2012

Theme 1:

Question:

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?

 

Answer:

Key lessons:

The key lesson learned during the current MDG framework was that there are only two things that are important: people and the environment. Nations should NOT focus on “building their economies” or “generating economic growth”. That path has been tried, and it has failed.

If the ultimate goal of society is to improve the well-being of all humans on our planet so that people are able to lead happy, healthy and productive lives, there are only two objectives to be achieved:

(i) Uphold human rights (i.e. ensure equality under the law for women, minorities, LGBT, etc).

(ii) Safeguard natural resources (ie. ensure clean water, clean air, healthy soil, etc)

If these two objectives are achieved, all other objectives (reduction of poverty, reduction of maternal mortality, etc) will also be achieved.

For example, if women’s human right to equality (with men) is achieved, women’s health will improve, maternal mortality will drop, education of women will increase, women’s participation in the economy will increase, etc.

Likewise, if the resources on which human lives depend are safeguarded (through preventing water, air and soil pollution, ending dependence on polluting fossil fuels, farming without using polluting pesticides and other chemicals, etc)  human health will improve and people will have the resources they need to grow safe and nutritious food.

 

Challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security:

Challenges: Climate change is a key challenge – it will destroy many countries and make it impossible for many people to grow food. Instead of focusing on “climate change mitigation”, nations should focus on stopping climate change. To do this they need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy, right now. This switch will be challenging as there are powerful corporations who will oppose this change (because they will lose money) but if the ultimate goal is to improve the well-being of all people on the planet, these corporations must be opposed.

Opportunities: There have been great improvements in human understanding of our planet’s climate, ecosystems and soil and it has been proven that organic, labour-intensive and sustainable farming systems produce high yields with low pollution. Such systems use only the locally-available inputs, they do not rely on imported inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, etc). People benefit from such systems by not having to spend money to buy inputs (therefore avoiding debt) and by having a healthy and productive life. This will not make people “rich” but neither will “conventional agriculture” which usually results in people becoming indebted, the soil being destroyed, waterways depleted and polluted, and much misery for the people involved (who then move to the cities where they suffer even further).

Theme 2: 

Question:

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 (www.zerohungerchallenge.org), and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition elaborated by the CFS?

Answer:

Improved governance and rights-based approaches are essential in achieving food and nutrition security. Accountability and political commitment are vital in achieving improved governance and ensuring that approaches are rights-based.

The Zero Hunger Challenge is an excellent initiative as it focuses both on human rights (access to food) and safeguarding natural resources (food systems must be sustainable and there should be zero waste of food).

The Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition is not useful as it still focuses on “economic growth” and “investment by stakeholders” rather than on upholding human rights and safeguarding natural resources. The core values of this strategic framework are not in line with the ultimate goal: that all people should be able to lead happy, healthy and productive lives.

 

Theme 3:

Question:

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?

 

Answer:

The Zero Hunger Challenge objectives that I think are the most useful in terms of achieving the ultimate goal (“all people should be able to lead happy, healthy and productive lives”) are:

a.            100% access to adequate and nutritious food all year round

c.             All food systems are sustainable

e.            Zero loss or waste of food.

 

The other two “objectives” are just indicators of whether the above three objectives have been achieved or not.
These two “objectives” will be achieved if the three other objectives are achieved:

b.            Zero stunted children less than 2 years old

d.            100% increase in smallholder productivity and income

 

For “objective” d, I would remove the words “and income”. The focus should NOT be on increasing income or wealth. The focus should be on improving peoples’ quality of life. An increase in productivity can represent an increase in quality of life (greater reward for the same work) but an increase in income does not necessarily represent an increase in quality of life, as income increase is often accompanied by an increase in debt.

 

Apart from the three objectives I listed above, nations should also strive to achieve the following objectives:

i. Equality in the law for women and men

ii. Zero discrimination against women, minorities and LGBT (in accordance with internationally-agreed norms of what constitutes “discrimination”)

iii. 100% protection of water, air and soil resources (in accordance with internationally-agreed standards)

 

Thus, there would be six objectives in total:

I.             100% access to adequate and nutritious food all year round

II.            All food systems are sustainable

III.           Zero loss or waste of food

IV.          Equality in the law for women and men (equal rights, equal pay, equal access to education)

V.            Zero discrimination against women, minorities and LGBT (in accordance with internationally-agreed norms of what constitutes “discrimination”)

VI.          100% protection of water, air and soil resources (in accordance with internationally-agreed standards)

 

All objectives should be global and all nations should aim to achieve them within 10 years.

 

Julien Custot Food for the Cities - FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, ...
17-12-2012

Dear all,

 

Urbanization is, with climate change, among the greatest challenges of the XXIst century. Today, already more than 50 % of the population lives in urban areas. By 2050, urban dwellers will make about 70 % of the 9 billion people. All the increase of population will in fact take place in cities, in Asia and Africa. There has been many examples in the recent years - from the food riots in 2008-2009 to the Arab Spring - that food insecurity in cities can lead to civil unrest or conflicts. Development goals regarding food and nutrition security have to consider explicitly the urban areas.

 

Theme 1:

 

Because poverty is measured mainly through money, the MDGs may have been partially blind on food and nutrition security for the urban dwellers. Indeed, in a specific country, 1$ often does not have the same value in a rural area or in a city. Besides, in a rural area, there are often still a lot of non-monetary economy (in low but also in high income countries) while a city is mainly a market place. Moreover, in a city, you have to pay for housing (even in informal housing and slums), transportation, health and education, even before thinking about food. More comprehensive indicators need to be designed to better measure poverty in urban settings.

 

Among the challenges, we can then suggest:

 

  • The need to address food and nutrition security for the urban dwellers, include with a gender perspective,
  • Within a city or a metropolis, indicators should not only look at individual and household status but they should also consider the level of inequalities between the richest and poorest. Higher inequalities will impact access to food for the most vulnerable,
  • The volatility of the food prices should also be consider as an indicator leading to food and nutrition insecurity.
  • Theme 2:

 

Local authorities need to be involved in and committed for food and nutrition security for the realization of the right to food. Local authorities should be fully engaged in the governance process, in relations with the National Government. We may seriously consider promoting local food councils as an effective and most progressive way to get all stakeholders together at sub-national level. At municipal level, accountability of the mayors is linked to a close and daily contact with the population.

 

The “Zero Hunger Challenge” offers a great opportunity as it implicitly include cities:

 

  • 100% access to adequate food all year round, including urban dwellers, with access to staple food as well as fresh food for a sustainable diet. It should include an indicator on the biodiversity and seasonality of the food available.
  • All food systems are sustainable: it must include both rural and urban areas and consider the dynamics across the rural-urban continuum of the local food systems. The role of consumers as drivers of the food systems should be acknowledge. Food systems should not only be sustainable but also resilient. They include management of natural resources.
  • Zero loss or waste of food: waste is mainly done by households in urban areas.

The first version of the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/026/ME498E.pdf) identifies, among the “issues that may require further attention” (page 36), the “ways to boost rural development to strengthen food security and nutrition in the context of rural‐urban migration”. It is indeed a priority.

 

Theme 3:

 

The Post-2015 Global Development Framework, objectives, targets and indicators should also be at the local level.

 

To make the Zero Hunger Challenge more operational, the objectives should be time-bound, with intermediate goals, standing somewhere between 0 and 100%.

 

The linkages between food and nutrition security and agriculture with the management of natural resources should be more directly reflected in the development goals to further promote sustainable diets.

17-12-2012

1. Link farming with global Greenhouse Gases cuts targets. This is not easy, but must be a priority. We now have "severe weather" as a normal in the Earth's, but we have time to mitigate global warning. 

 

To make these objective work the world need actions such as:

 

a. Stop deforestation because of crop and cattle expansion. We can protect the forests and feed the people at the same. The only think needed is searching best practices such as community grown farms, payments for protecting forests, and a best soil management (if we do not overuse the soil it can be used more time, so no farm expansion needed).

b. Change the actual farming system. Finding alternatives to burning (that is one of the most used system in the world) would help the world to cut CH4 and CO2 emmissions.

c. The establishment of a good local farming system is a good step to make stop the dependency on imported products... and our adicction to fossil fuels.

d. STOP ALL bio fuels that comes from crops. Bio fuels are a good alternative to fossil fuels if they come from wastes, but the ones that are from, for example, corn farms causes many GHG emissions... and are a threat to food security. We need the corn and the soy to eat. Food security is more important that fueling our vehicles. 
It is urgent to governments to stop promoting bio fuels (and an international veto would be good).

 

2. Promote family and community-managed agriculture as a priority over large scale and corporative farming. The Earth has enough natural resources for a future with a very good food security. What we need is that these resources be managed accuratelly in the present... and the future. When agriculture lands is in hands of the communities (villages, town, cities, ect) its more easy to make them sustainable. 

 

3. Creating policies that control food wasting is a must.

 

4. For a best future, we need to develop urban farming. Growing food products in cities is good  practice. Most cities have spaces that would able (or are being used) to farm. Terraces, gardens, etc.

 

All objectives must be in a global scale, because hunger and food security are an international problem, not only of a few countries.

Bettina Prato IFAD, Italy
17-12-2012

Dear all,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this very important discussion. Much has already been said by other contributors that I have found interesting and often quite compelling. As someone who works in an organization dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger, with particular focus on smallholder agriculture, I was particularly impressed, most recently, with the comprehensive contribution made by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development in the UK Parliament. Without wishing to restate points already stressed by other commentators, I would just like to share the following few thoughts, in the order of the three themes on which inputs have been solicited.

 

Theme 1: in my opinion, one important lesson from the pursuit of the MDGs is that working towards food and nutrition security is, I would say, the quintessential cross-sectoral (possibly even “all-sectoral”) issue, which is very much affected by what is done (or not done) in areas too often discussed without a “food security lens”. This includes, for instance, economic growth, employment and decent work, investment, energy, water, education, governance, and so forth…. In discussing a framework to replace the MDGs, it is very important not to discuss food and nutrition security as a theme that can be addressed in any sort of isolation from the other themes currently being discussed. More than any other theme (except for poverty, to which it is of course closely linked), food and nutrition security needs to be “mainstreamed” into all other discussions, in order to come up with meaningful pathways and targets on all relevant fronts. This means, of course, also that there needs to be an open “dialogue” between this particular consultation and other thematic, regional, and national consultations on the post-2015 and sustainable development agendas. As an earlier contribution to this e-consultation stated, silo discussions are very much to be avoided in this context. Also important to take home from the MDG experience is the need to focus more attention and resources on rural areas, rural-urban inequalities – in incomes, in nutritional status, as well as in access to clean water, electricity, infrastructure, education and health services, etc, rural data and indicators, and so forth. Rural development and overcoming rural-urban inequalities are central to boosting food security, but these issues were not much in focus in the first MDGs, and they are not yet emerging significantly in the post-2015 discussion. Conversely, reducing these inequalities and fully integrating rural areas into more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive patterns of growth are preconditions for achieving sustainable food and nutrition security for all.

 

Also concerning theme 1, I would say that, besides obvious issues such as growing investment in agriculture, more policy attention to food security, ongoing technological developments, and so forth, one key challenge (but also opportunity) for achieving global food and nutrition security has to do precisely with the transformation of rural areas and how rural-urban dynamics evolve. On the challenge side of this we can place the increasing deterioration of the natural resource base in many rural areas, the impact of climate change (which may redesign very significantly the geography of entire areas of critical importance for global food production and/or for the struggle against hunger), the ageing of rural and agricultural populations in several parts of the world and the high proportion of young people in other parts, rapid urbanization coupled with slow growth of urban economies and governance and service networks, and so forth. On the opportunity side, we have the growing integration of rural and urban economies linked to diffuse small-scale urbanization, integrated territorial development experiences, migration and remittance flows, the emergence or popularization of new technologies and opportunities for decentralized rural energy supply, information and communication networks, and so forth. And of course, the change in agricultural and rural markets and value chains, at country, regional, and global levels, represents both an opportunity and a challenge. So if I were to name one major area where work is needed to ensure future food and nutrition security, I would say changing the face of rural areas around the world, to turn them into hubs of inclusive and sustainable growth, with plenty of decent employment opportunities – many of them linked to agriculture in its broadest sense, areas where today’s rural youth want to and are proud to live, and where they can fulfil their aspirations in terms not only of food security but of overall quality of life.

 

Concerning theme 2, many other contributors have highlighted key success factors, from genuine political commitment and broad-based ownership to partnerships, accountability, human rights- approaches, cross-sectoral approaches (notably around nutrition), and yet other. Here I would just like to offer three points. First, I am not convinced that there is a “best” approach to the challenges of food and nutrition security. There are many good practices, but no blueprints, and this is particularly important to remember as we increasingly strive for positive impact “at scale”. As a result, it is critical to encourage and cultivate space for innovation, learning (and knowledge sharing), and systematic approaches to scaling up success, for progress to be sustained. This sort of space should be cultivated both within and across countries in my view. Second, it is important to work on the transformation of food systems in a holistic manner, simultaneously aiming for greater sustainability, productivity, and capacity to generate inclusive (and indeed pro-poor) economic and social benefits. Recent experience shows that this transformation is possible, provided that the key stakeholders (including rural communities and farmers) have the incentives to change (i.e. appropriate pricing, rewards for positive environmental externalities, market opportunities, etc.) and the tools to mitigate and better manage risks. Third, and final, among the many things that have proved effective to improve food security and nutrition, women’s empowerment and gender equality – in terms of access to productive resources, rights of tenure and use over land (and water), education, citizenship, and so forth – deserves singling out for greater emphasis and concrete attention. In this regard, perhaps it would be appropriate to consider gender-equal access and rights over land as a worthwhile global target for food security.

 

Coming now to theme 3, the Zero Hunger Challenge offers no doubt an ambitious and inspiring set of goals, which constitutes a vision towards which different context-specific objectives (certainly including time-bound objectives) can be developed. The one element of the agenda that could perhaps be strengthened in its ambition and also better harmonized with the other elements concerns the doubling of smallholder productivity and incomes. In this regard, I would offer the following observations. First, doubling smallholder productivity is not quite the same as doubling incomes – in fact, the relationship between increase in smallholder incomes and increase in their (agricultural) productivity may be complex and not at all straightforward. Second, in some contexts a doubling of smallholder productivity (however defined) may be an overambitious goal, while in others it is possible and appropriate to be more ambitious than this. As a result, it may be best to refrain from defining such a quantitative target for smallholder productivity growth a priori and with universal value. Third, decisions concerning productivity growth are to be made by the stakeholders directly concerned – first and foremost smallholders and other investors in agriculture – as they result from their investment decisions, which are in turn shaped by many factors. Fourth, many smallholders derive their incomes from a mix of sources, including but not limited to agriculture. An increase in the incomes may not represent an increase of income from agriculture, and this should also be acknowledged in some way. Fifth, for the many smallholder farmers who live below one or the other poverty lines, a doubling of income may be a rather modest goal, not quite on a par with the other elements of the Challenge, which are quite bold and inspiring. Finally, smallholder agriculture is the predominant form of agriculture globally, and therefore a key pillar of food systems. This means that it is also at the core of any efforts to achieve “100% access to adequate food all year round”, “all food systems are sustainable”, “zero loss or waste of food”… Etc.

 

So, what may be a concrete suggestion to address all these points? My suggestion is two-fold:

1)      Explicitly position smallholder agriculture in the other elements of the Challenge

2)      Revise the specific element on smallholder agriculture in a more ambitious manner – perhaps along the lines of “zero smallholder farmers live in poverty or food insecurity”

 

Again, thank you for the opportunity to comment!

 

Bettina Prato, Ph.D
Research Coordinator
Office of the Chief Development Strategist

IFAD

17-12-2012

Poucas palavras = boa vontade

Rachael Shenyo Alticultura, Guatemala
17-12-2012

I am a Master's degree student in agricultural & resource economics, and I have been doing my field research on the impact of climate change on crop loss, regional food prices, and familiar impacts in marginal environments located at high altitudes in rural Guatemala. I stongly feel it would be a terrible mistake to not consider climate change impact in any discussion of regional or national or world food security. Crop losses, increased pestilence, changes in yields, loss of soil fertility, loss of arable land, and rising food prices have significant effects on ability to grow and/or purchase food. Our group believes that regional market empowerment is necessary to provide the flexibility in adaptive practices required to reduce risk of climate change impact; but trade policies, monopolies, and genetic rights laws that favor use of imported seeds and varieties have been a key stumbling block in this endeavor.

I would be happy to discuss my findings more. It should be noted that the region we work in has one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world.

Julieth Galdames UdeC, Chile
17-12-2012

1. Fortalecer la agricultura, es la base de la disponibilidad de alimento fresco y saludable para todos. Instruir a la gente, sobre todo de comunidades pequeñas en formas de agricultura sustentable y conservación natural de alimentos.

2. Prohibir definitivamente aditivos dañinos para la salud en el procesamiento de los alimentos, desde su cultivo hasta su envasado.

3. Crear una red global de pesquisa y transporte de alimentos, desde donde se sobre-produce hasta donde escasea, con la voluntad de países y empresarios, para que en el mundo no se siga desechando alimento mientras otras personas mueren de hambre.

Denu Tsegaye Adama University, Ethiopia
17-12-2012

Poverty and hunger are deep rooted in most of African countries triggered by economic, social, and political factors. I believe that a region and country specific targets might help in achieving the targets. I do appreciate and stand for all the goals set by FAO to end hunger and poverty.

Summary

 

  1. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development welcomes this online consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security - toward a post-2015 development agenda. The APPG calls for any Post-MDG process to consider the livelihoods of smallholder farmers of paramount importance to addressing global hunger and eradicating poverty. Acknowledging that giving smallholder farmers rights and assistance to create viable businesses, is a key component of a coherent food system, and should form part of any Post-MDG framework. Addressing food insecurity means empowering smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming, through public and private sector support - with strong information and technology transfer - to profitable small businesses. There is a broad spectrum of policy interventions needed to ensure the emancipation for smallholder farmers; however, once this intervention has been made, the opportunity for smallholder farmers to thrive without further overseas development assistance is possible. This requires reliable financing, strong public sector support and an enabling environment for private sector investment which will underpin the transformation from subsistence farmers to successful small businesses. The Post-MDG Framework must consider the 450 million smallholder farmers worldwide as central agents to reducing global hunger and, given the right support, able to grow themselves out of poverty, for good.

 

Introduction

 

  1. The APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development brings together Parliamentarians concerned with agriculture, nutrition and food security in the developing world. The Group promotes support for the developmental needs of the 450 million smallholder farmers who feed 2 billion people worldwide. It engenders progressive and informed debate within Westminster and beyond by bridging the gap between policy makers, agricultural development specialists and practitioners in the field.

 

  1. The APPG was established in October 2008 in response to growing concerns over the heightened Food Crisis and a steady decline in the funding of agricultural development both by bilateral and multilateral organisations over nearly two decades. Chaired by Lord Cameron of Dillington, the APPG is a cross-party initiative drawing members from both Houses of the UK Parliament which brings together Parliamentarians concerned with both the technical, and social science, of agricultural development in poorer parts of the world.  It uses its cross-party membership to raise the understanding of developmental needs of smallholder farmers and other stakeholders in developing countries and hence facilitates debate on the level of support given by the British Government and other major donors. In doing this, the APPG recognises the pivotal role that agricultural research outputs have in helping smallholder farmers to increase their productivity and in eliminating global poverty.

 

  1. Although the MDGs have acquired unprecedented political and financial support, they have also been justifiably criticized (Pollard et. al. 2011). They overlooked many key aspects of development which are today essential in promoting the health and wellbeing of poor communitites in developing countries. A primary example of this is the complete  lack of any focus in the MGDs on the agricultural or any other productive sector, and the  impact of these sectors on the livelihoods of poor people. The voices of farmers, must be heard. Engagement with rural communitites including smallholder crop farmers, pastoraslists, fisherfolk, processors, and agro-businesses more generally are vital to ensure that their needs and interests are reflected in  a post-MDG framework. Allowing smallholders to be active agents in developing solutions to their problems is a key requirement for a successful Post-MDG planning and development process, and should be recognised as such.

 

  1. The World Development Report in 2008 stated, “Improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of smallholder farming is the main pathway out of poverty in using agriculture for development.” Clearly then a post-2015 consultation should put smallholder farmers at the centre of the agricultural development paradigm. It means consulting those farmers in rural and remote areas, not just those who have access to major cities or good links with government officials. It means fostering an active partnership between the public and private sector to ensure that smallholders are given the assistance they need to improve their production and gain access to markets, so that they can flourish into profitable and viable businesses.

 

  1. Currently the world is letting MDG 1 to halve of the number of people who suffer from hunger globally slip through its fingers and further out of reach. Even if we can reverse this trend of increasing hunger and somehow manage to meet this target in the remaining few years of the MDGs, which seems highly unlikely, what next? Little attention is being given to the global needs beyond 2015 – such as the need to double agricultural production by 2050 if the most basic requirements of an expected global population of 9 billion people are to be met. In addition there is an urgent need to reduce food waste, increase access to food of the hungry (through the better distribution of food), and also a need to find ways to increase production in a sustainable way.

 

  1. It is notable that many successes in tackling food security in the developing world have resulted from co-operation at community farming level and the very highest political level. In Brazil, Bangladesh and Mozambique by way of example, concentrated effort at both levels has created remarkable results, reducing hunger and under-nutrition over the past 10 years. It is essential that agriculture and food security, with a focus on the importance of smallholder farmers, is central to any Post-MDG framework. This should lead to a food system which is equitable and promotes a favourable environment in which even the smallest farmers can grow themselves into a viable business. Sustainably raising agricultural production, improving knowledge access to inputs for poor farmers to grow sufficient nutritious food and cutting post-harvest losses should also form part of this focus on tackling hunger, addressing food security, and helping poor smallholder farmers build small-scale businesses.

 

  1. Evidence collected by the recent APPG inquiry report “Growing out of Poverty” indicates that in some countries, as much as 90% of the population are subsistence farmers. But it also demonstrates that, given the right support they can be transformed into productive, economically active, well-fed contributors to their country’s GDP and national food security (APPG, 2011). The policy interventions that the Post-MDG Framework should consider in addressing food security through smallholder farmers. A number of these are outlined below.

 

  1. More and better support for smallholder agriculture can boost the economic and social status of women, who are the majority of smallholder farmers. This support should empower them to make decisions about their own lives and those of their families. Evidence shows that farmer parents who move from subsistence to surplus tend to spend any available cash on educating their children – thus enabling women to earn more income from agriculture would benefit the education of future generations. More diversified and increased agricultural production can also reduce the nutritional shortcomings of expectant and new mothers whilst simultaneously boosting the physical health and cognitive well-being of their children. So good quality agricultural investment returns not only healthy citizens, capable of achieving their full potential and less likely to require healthcare interventions, but also  increases labour productivity, which in turn will lead to economic and social progress.

 

  1. Sustainable agricultural practices also improve the resilience of farming communities to weather shocks and foster environmental sustainability. Therefore, by turning subsistence agricultural systems into a vibrant, profitable and sustainable rural sector, countries can make progress towards virtually all of the current Millennium Development Goals.

 

  1. It is crucial that any Post-MDG process includes a focus on public investment in smallholder agriculture, sustainable agricultural practices, and the importance of smallholder farmers’ rights and respective national food security targets. Governments must ensure that policies, laws and regulations are put in place that will enable smallholder farmers to build viable enterprises. Smallholder farming systems provide employment and food for most of the developing world – yet smallholders seldom have a voice in discussions and decisions on these issues. The Post-MDG framework must address this problem by ensuring smallholders are given a voice in any national discussions on a new framework.

 

  1. Land tenure and ownership are also important but sensitive issues for agricultural development, comprising a complicated web of customary practices and modern law. The Post-MDG framework should acknowledge that farmers will not take risks on their farm unless they have secure land tenure agreements.  Smallholder farmers, including pastoralists, face competition for their land from other resource-intensive industries such as mining, tourism, agro-fuels, and housing, as well as land speculators Secure land tenure and agrarian reforms can unlock economic growth and empower women, giving them access to and control over finance and other crucial inputs. A post-MDG framework should therefore include land tenure security for women.

 

  1. The Post-MDG Framework should encourage Governments, with assistance from donors, to create conditions that attract pro-poor private sector investment to secure and sustain the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. This by its very nature needs to be a long-term venture. Government’s role in kick-starting commercially-viable smallholder agriculture should include the building of transport infrastructure such as rural feeder roads; ensuring that inputs are available and affordable; and frameworks for coordination and cooperation of public sector partnerships with the private sector (such as the commodity exchange set up in Ethiopia to allow easier and standardised trade for smallholders). The provision of public goods in areas such as agricultural research, extension and training are also part of the long-term role of governments. If these aspects of the wider ‘agricultural development’ agenda are prioritised, the Post-MDG Framework will have more chance of succeeding in reducing poverty.

 

  1. Public and private sector investments in small-scale farming require consistency. Some investments may only see returns in the medium to longer term and a long-term commitment (minimum of seven or eight years) is often required for smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty (APPG 2011). Although private enterprise will drive investment in the agricultural sector, governments have an important role to play as providers of public goods as well as targeted support and facilitating an enabling business environment. Any targets to ensure food security and create an equitable food system must involve the private sector – without which innovation, funds and market access will remain elusive for many smallholder farmers.

 

  1. A business oriented approach to the integration of smallholder farmers into agricultural market chains will also contribute to food security and poverty reduction if large numbers of smallholders are empowered to become commercially viable and earn a fair return on the labour, knowledge and capital they invest on their land. For example, involvement of smallholders, after training in suitable business skills, in activities such as small-scale seed-production enterprise has proved effective in increasing the uptake and dissemination of improved, locally adapted new seed varieties in Nepal (Whitcombe, et.al. 2010). Private sector investments along agricultural value chains can open up new market opportunities for smallholder farmers. However, many are still missing out on these opportunities, and a post MDG-framework should include a focus on developing their ability to link to markets on fair terms.

 

  1. In recent years, innovative partnerships between the public, commercial and voluntary sectors have helped to identify the critical policy, regulatory, coordination and investment actions needed from the public sector to develop productive, competitive, profitable and equitable agri-food systems in sub-Saharan Africa. These partnerships put smallholder farmers at the centre of their business strategy as they acknowledge the central role that smallholders play in contributing to the food system across the world. An example of this is the C:AVA (Cassava : Adding Value for Africa) project where, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a partnership has been forged between smallholder farmers in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Malawi. This is in partnership with public universities and research institutes in UK and Africa, and private sector processors and end users to develop value chains to manufacture and distribute high quality cassava flour.

 

  1. The Post-MDG Framework should recognise the complementary nature of agriculture and nutrition to ensure food security. Food price rises and increasing volatility in food commodity markets continue to impact upon smallholder farmers: this is particularly true regarding economic access to a stable nutritious diet, meaning that more people going hungry than before. Estimates suggest that on top of the one billion hungry people worldwide there are a further one billion who suffer from hidden hunger. It is therefore important that in order to achieve a sustainable agricultural sector, in which smallholders play a leading role, the Post-MDG framework should ensure a complementary focus on nutrition and agricultural development. Without this smallholders will not be able to afford sufficient nutritious food in times of food price spikes and this can severely impact upon their labour productivity, as well as impacting on the physical and cognitive development of their children.

 

  1. Specific indicators for a Post-MDG framework which seeks to promote improved food security through development of small scale agriculture could include a practical set of situational, outcome and sustainability indicators that truly reflects the complex and multifaceted contribution of agricultural development to poverty reduction and food security.

 

  1. A Post-MDG framework which calls on all sectors of society to work towards global food security and poverty reduction should provide smallholder farmers with the tools and opportunities needed work themselves out of poverty. If the Post-MDG Framework sets out a clear agenda, to offer targeted support to smallholders by creating a favourable investment and knowledge transfer environment, smallholders will be given the opportunity to become self-sustained businesses, which will contribute to poverty reduction and food security.

 

  1. The Post-MDG Framework should seek to integrate smallholders into markets, and at the same time recognise the need for investment in public goods and an enabling environment in which public and private sectors are able to complement each other to encourage a working food system which allows smallholder farmers to realise their businesses’ potential.

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For further information, or if you wish to receive oral evidence from the APPG’s Chair - Lord Cameron of Dillington - please contact the Group’s Coordinator, Dominic Foster fosterdj@parliament.uk

References

 

All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development (2010) “Why No Thought for Food?” A UK Parliamentary Inquiry into Global Food Security http://www.agricultureandfoodfordevelopment.org/Growing%20Out%20of%20Poverty%20-%20APPG%20AF4D%20Inquiry%20Report.pdf

 

All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development (2011) “Growing Out of Poverty”  A UK Parliamentary Inquiry into supporting and developing African agriculture http://www.agricultureandfoodfordevelopment.org/Why%20No%20Food%20for%20Thought%20-%20A%20Parliamentary%20Inquiry.pdf

 

Aryeetey, E. (2012) “Towards a New Post-2015 Development Agenda” http://www.unicef-irc.org/research-watch/Post-2015--What-Next-/907/

 

Pollard A., Sumner A., Polato-Lopes M. and de Mauroy A. (2011) 100 Voices – Southern perspectives on what should come after the Millennium Development Goals, London: CAFOD and Brighton: IDS.

 

Vandemoortele, J. (2012) “Advancing the UN development agenda post-2015: some practical suggestions.” Report submitted to the UN Task Force regarding the post-2015 framework for development

 

Witcombe,J.R., Devkota, K.P. and Joshi, K.D. (2010). Linking community-based seed producers to markets for a sustainable seed supply system. Experimental Agriculture, 46, pp 425-437

 

The World Bank (2008) World Development Report: Agriculture for Development. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWDR2008/Resources/WDR_00_book.pdf

 

Yamin A.E. (2012) Post MDGs: what next for a global development agenda that takes human rights seriously? http://www.unicef-irc.org/article/899/

David Gustafson CIMSANS, United States of America
17-12-2012

Please see the attached description of the new Center for Integrated Modeling of Sustainable Agriculture & Nutriation Security, whose planned areas of work are highly relevant to both Themes 1 and 3.

 

I would be happy to provide additional information on current CIMSANS activities, including a round-table on "modeling of sustainable nutrition security," which will be held in Dublin on 10 April 2013, immediately preceding food security meetings planned by CGIAR and the EU, also to be held in Dublin. We also hosted a round-table at FAO in October 2012, and I gave a presentation on certain aspects of this topic at Doha last month.

 

Thanks - Dave