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:

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/

Odette Nzeyimana PCFS, Burundi
17-12-2012

For the first theme; 

 

It is remarkable that during the current period the decision‐makers and policymakers in countries responsible for the development and implementation of policies and programmes for delivering food security and nutrition and the progressive realization of the right of adequate food are not fulfilling correctly their task.

 

For the second theme, we can contribute by enumerating opportunities, in our regions the climate is favorable ,we have unexploited lands, we have three kinds of seasons a year, abundant lakes and rivers

 

As solutions to have food security,

 

Mobilising campaigns for the population to raise productivity by implementing the strategies of water conservation, irrigation, seed conservation centres ,adopting the techniques of transformation of food for a better conservation( dry system)

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

Haribondhu Sarma icddr,b, Bangladesh
17-12-2012

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

16-12-2012

Social protection is a huge factor in food security.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Gonzalo Roldán Argentina
16-12-2012

Hola a todos, luego de leer y debatir a lo largo de este debate, creo que es indispensable pensar en hechos concretos. Fomentar programas agrarios contribuyendo con los mecanismos basicos para llevarlos a la practica. Lo que creo que es indispensable cambiar de logica del actual sistema capitalista.

 

15-12-2012

Los puntos a tratar som nuy importantes, sin embargo también pienso que deben incluir, como se mencionaba en otro comentario asegurar la producción agricola sostenible, sabiendo que las tierras de cultivo pierden su fertilidad. Mi pregunta es si ya tienen contemplado este tema, que piensan hacer para que estas tierras sean mas productivas? o cuando dejen de usarse para cultivo que otro uso es apropiado darle? Hay que pensar en el cuidado del medio ambiente también.

Ferdousi Begum FANTA, FHI360, Bangladesh
15-12-2012

Dear All

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Best regards,

Ferdousi

Soy  de Hermosillo, Sonora; México agradezco esta oportunidad que  tenemos  la población del mundo  para expresar propuestas  o ideas sobre tan importante asunto de sobrevivencia  humana.

 

Este complejo  asunto  es a mi juicio  necesario enfrentarlo  a través de un  cambio de  paradigmas  muy sencillos  y que tienen   que ver   con  el concepto de desarrollo y sustentabilidad  que tiene  el uso de los recursos  naturales.   Es importante rediseñar los programas  de educación  para   que los niños y los jovenes  conciban  que  hoy más que nunca necesitamos   valorizar  a los cuatro elementos : tierra, agua, aire  y fuego  como  los insumos  básicos  y que nos permitiran  tomar conciencia  y priorizar  nuestras necesidades  humanas.

 

Este cambio  de paradigmas  nos permitira  la atención de la  tierra  no como un  espacio  de suelo  donde  desarrollar de  manera indiscriminda  el mercado inmobiliario, comercial e industrial, que destruyen   suelo  cultivable,   bosques    fauna  y  flora  que necesitamos para  el equilibrio ecológico y armónico para  los otros elementos: agua, aire y fuego.

 

Este cambio  lo considero  de caracter estructural  debido a ser el eje rector  que nos permitira dirigir nuestro pensamiento hacia  los recursos  y  la población que  dispone de  ellos de una  forma  u de otra;  produciendo  y controlando el mercado de alimentos   o los hambrientos  que no tienen para  comprarlos  y  estan  cada  día más a expensas  de la ayuda  subsidiaria o asistencialista  de  gobiernos  u organizaciones.

 

El otro gran cambio es   diseñar programas   para  impulsar  las granjas  y  los huertos familiares,   promover  y capacitar  la profesionalización para la producción de alimentos  de autoconsumo, promover  la producción de  vegetales, de ganado  y de pescado por  granjas familiares  y microempresas.

 

En todo esta idea  concebimos  que la tecnología   y la ciencia  son  las grandes aliadas   para   que sirvan como herramientas al servicio de las personas  tanto para  ayudar en la organización, admnistración  e intercambio de   información  interplanetaria.

Colin Sage University College Cork, Ireland
14-12-2012

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

 

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

See the attachment: IJAS Commentary v10n3.pdf