Summary of key themes emerged from the FSN moderated Post 2015 on-line consultation on food security and nutrition

The online consultation WFP-FAO co-led Post 2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition elicited over 270 contributions from a diverse set of respondents.
This included views from governments, from NGOs and CSOs, from academia, from professional bodies and interest groups, the private sector and individuals. The geographical scope was wide, drawing from all countries in most of the regions, north and south, developed and developing. Contributions were essentially policy positions and views - views were not systematically supported by a review of the evidence.

Distribution of comments received

distribution

The overall feedback provided strong implicit and explicit support for priority emphasis on food security, and nutrition in the next iteration of global development goals. Contributors conveyed both an appreciation of the central importance of good nutrition and healthy diets as a precondition for attaining a range of human development goals, and a sense of unfinished business.  While stopping short of detailed policy prescriptions – which contributors stated are probably best developed principally at the national level. Contributors agreed there is a need for ambitious objectives, and a stronger, better-targeted framework to guide and prioritize action to eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition.  The Zero Hunger Challenge was mentioned as a good example.

A number of key issues were proposed to sharpen the formulation of a next set of hunger and nutrition related goals:

  • The issue of sustainability – food security and nutrition should be achieved while ensuring the well being of future generations
  • Increasing  resilience of agriculture production and food systems, and livelihoods, especially to the effects of climate change and (possibly) economic shocks
  • A stronger emphasis on rights based perspectives, including for food security and tenure of land, forestry, and fisheries, with links to promoting good governance, a reduction  in inequality and a legislative base for action
  • A concern with a much more explicit emphasis on gender equality. In the context of this thematic discussion it is seen as an important precondition for accelerating progress to reducing hunger and malnutrition.
  • The need to integrate food-based responses with public health interventions at all levels was stressed.

Several contributions emphasized the need to keep pace with the projected rapid growth in global demand for food. Part of the response, it was argued, requires continued increases in productivity – in ways that are sustainable, equitable and resilient. Small-holder agriculture was highlighted repeatedly as being essential for achieving multiple goals in many developing country contexts. In addition many contributors asserted that food availability can be significantly improved through a reduction of the estimated 30% waste of food produced. Some advocated reducing the diversion of limited food resources to bio-fuels and animal feeds.

Several contributors highlighted the importance of ensuring food access: As the affordability of food relates largely to questions of incomes, this has cross-over with other goals and the wider anti-poverty agenda, such as the desire for decent  jobs. Boosting smallholder and rural incomes, and establishing a social protection floors, including food assistance, with expanded access to safety nets was a priority in many contributions. Contributors also differed on food price policy, with some contributors advocating market liberalization, and others calling for state interventions in food markets.

Concerning national policy issues, several contributions called for an intermediate goal calling for political commitment to hunger reduction by all states. Strengthening land tenure rights especially for women – based on the respective voluntary guidelines was seen by many contributors as an essential objective. A second element was the level budgetary commitment to food security and nutrition – by all countries not just donors.