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

19-11-2012 - 10-01-2013

The discussion is now closed.

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

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to contribute to this global debate.

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

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

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

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

E-Consultation: next four weeks

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

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

We seek your inputs on the following three themes:

Theme 1

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

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

Theme 2

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

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

Theme 3

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

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

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


Contribution received:

Edwin Tamasese Soil Health Pacific Ltd, Samoa

Dear all,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

best regards,

Edwin Tamasese
Managing Director
Soil Health Pacific Ltd

Kalekristos Yohannes Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research , Ethiopia


Theme 1 

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

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

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

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

Themes 2

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

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

Theme 3

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

Dennis Baker Canada

In my opinion


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

At a scale required to accomplish this task :

Ethanol starves people : not a viable option.

Fracking releases methane : not a viable option.

Cellulose Bio Fuel Uses Food Land : not a viable option

Solar uses food land : Not a viable option

Wind is Intermittent : Not a viable option

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

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

Ending the practice of dumping sewage into our water sources.

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

Reducing illness / health care costs as well !

Dennis Baker
106 - 998 Creston Avenue
Penticton BC V2A1P9

Peter Webster BSTA, Barbados

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Webster

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

Jose Swala MOLD, Kenya

Theme 1

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

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

John Stollmeyer Caribbean Permaculture Consultants Ltd., Trinidad and Tobago

Theme I

Key lessons learned: 

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

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


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

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


- urban and suburban organic gardens

Theme II

What works best:

- mainstream permaculture principles, re-create productive ecosystems 

- get children reconnected to wilderness,

Thene III

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dear Participants,


Thank you so much for your contributions to-date.


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


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


Maria Sfarra FAO-WFP Facilitation Team

Jorge Stanley Movimiento de la Juventud Kuna, Panama

Para los Pueblos Indígenas, es fundamental que la FAO, el PMA, el FIDA, implemente la Política de la FAO sobre Pueblos Indígenas, la Declaración de la ONU sobre Pueblos Indígenas.

Es saludable que la FAO inicie la implementación de las Directrices Voluntarias sobre la Gobernanza Responsable de la tenencia de la tierra. Así mismo, consideramos que los Estados deberían iniciar su proceso de implementar estás guías voluntarias y el Marco Estratégico Mundial en donde la sociedad civil, los gobiernos y el sector privado contribuyeron a elaborar estos documentos consensuados dentro del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaría Mundial.


Prontamente, se iniciará las consultas sobre Inversión Agrícola Responsable y será fundamental la participación de los movimientos sociales, los pequeños productores, pescadores artesanales y los pueblos indígenas, no solo en estos debates globales, sino en el monitoreo de los acuerdos alcanzados por todas las partes interesadas.



Diane Mulligan CBM, United Kingdom

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


For more information contact: Diane Mulligan




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


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


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


[4] IPPC (2007).


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


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


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


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


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


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


Mahesh Moodley Independent, South Africa

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


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


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


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


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


I thank you for your time


Regards Mahesh Moodley

See the attachment: The Way Upward.pdf