Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

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