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:

Angela Cahill Ireland
9-01-2013

The key building block for child survival, growth and healthy development is provided exclusive breastfeeding for six months, with continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond with the addition of safe and nutritionally adequate complementary foods. These optimal infant feeding practices, as defined in the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, provide the foundations for the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goal. Scientific research has shown that breastfeeding is good for mothers, babies and societies. In conditions of poverty and in emergency situations, breastfeeding is a real lifeline and artificial feeding is a huge risk to infant survival. Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions Independent monitoring clearly shows that companies continue to systematically and aggressively market foods for infants and young children using techniques that mislead parents about the risks of artificial feeding and undermine breastfeeding. Such marketing is acknowledged to have a direct, negative impact on the realization of rights of children and women, in particular on the right to health and to adequate food. Correct and unbiased information There is a poor understanding of the fact that breastfeeding should be regarded as a norm and artificial feeding as a substitute that can never be equal to the norm , and how much support a mother needs to succeed in practicing exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and to continue for 2 years or beyond. The need for supportive health care systems Commercial pressures lead to inadequate support provided to women by the health care system. Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), the backbone of which is formed by the ‘Ten steps for successful breastfeeding’, is a key initiative to ensure breastfeeding support within the health care system.

Anna Hudson Ireland
9-01-2013

Please specifically include breastfeeding in the new Millennium Development Goals. 

Breastfeeding is free, it requires no sterilisation of equipment which can be a problem in areas which lack access to clean water, it is better for babies and reduces infant mortality rates and better for mothers. 

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitues should be fully implemented. 

 

 

Ariella Rojhani NCD Alliance, United States of America
9-01-2013

We are currently facing a triple burden of malnutrition: under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and overnutrition/overconsumption, often within the same countries, communities and households.

The triple burden of malnutrition is symptomatic of underlying problems: poverty, inequalities and dysfunctional food systems. 

A single focus on undernutrition is insufficient to address either the range of nutritional problems affecting every country in the world, or the oncoming tsunami of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, asthma and other NCDS linked to overweight/obesity. 

Ariane Marcar Warwick University, United Kingdom
9-01-2013

The challenges we face towards achieving food and nutritional security are substantial, if not daunting. We are putting our whole agricultural system at risk through a series of converging factors that have become global in nature (climate change, increased soil degradation and water stress, decrease in soil fertility, industrial and agricultural pollution, rapid demographic growth we can ill afford and commodity speculation forcing food prices upwards).

One cannot get away from the triangle: population-C02-natural resources. Right now the combination population-technology is widening the gap between humanty's footprint and the available biocapacity. The biotehcnological solutions proposed to date are also either inadequate, problematic or still experimental and so not capable of redressing the situation within the temporal limits we now have to work in, in which we are confronted with having to try and feed an 2 extra billion or more by 2050! Therefore unless we bring our population levels down and restore soil fertility we are unlikely to succeed. This means promoting agro-ecological alternatives over agricultural intensification.

It is in these two areas that we need to focus all our efforts, as well as on making sure temperatures to do not rise above 2 C. I attach a paper on why another Green Revolution in Africa (or elsewhere for that matter) is unadvisable, as the points are relevant to both themes I and II. Respectfully submitted by Dr. A. Marcar.

George Kent University of Hawai'i (Emeritus), United States of America
9-01-2013

Current global discussions on food security and nutrition neglect the needs of infants and young children. Optimal breastfeeding (initiation within an hour after birth, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond) is under pressure in both low-income and high-income countries. The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes is not fully implemented, and there are several issues that are not covered by that Code. The infant formula manufacturers are planning large-scale increases in infant formula use throughout the world, and no agencies are prepared to assess the likely impacts. On the basis of extensive scientific research that has already been done on formula feeding in comparison with breastfeeding, the new wave of formula feeding is likely to result in considerable harm to the health of both infants and mothers.

 

As suggested in my recent book on Regulating Infant Formula, many of the issues could be addressed at the global level through a new Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The new Optional Protocol could present a set of widely agreed principles regarding the nutrition of children.

 

Working under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly, the nations of the world could negotiate a draft OPCN. Drafts could be prepared by national governments working together with nongovernmental organizations. The drafters could draw from the many documents that already propose sound principles relating to children’s nutrition such as the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. There are many other documents, now scattered, whose core ideas could be pulled together.

 

After the draft OPCN was adopted by the UN General Assembly, it would be open to ratification by the nations of the world. Ratification would indicate the nation’s acceptance of the OPCN and its commitment to conform its national laws to it.

 

The OPCN would not replace international bodies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund or the Codex Alimentarius Commission, nor would it replace national regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The OPCN would help to harmonize the work of all participating countries at the national level. It would be the apex document, setting out important principles relating to the nutrition of infants and young children.

 

The drafters of the OPCN would have to accommodate diversity and recognize the important differences in cultural approaches to raising children in different places. As a global document, it would focus mainly on widely accepted principles, and leave the details of implementation to be worked out in different countries according to their particular circumstances.

 

One of the basic principles of the OPCN would be that children have a right to foods that are both safe and nutritionally adequate. The concepts would be defined at the global level, but implemented concretely at the national level. This approach would place children’s nutrition decisively into the human rights framework. Like other forms of international law, it would not result in immediate compliance, but it would establish clear and widely agreed standards, and it would support the preparation of strong law at the national level. A new Optional Protocol on Children’s Nutrition, linked to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, would help to establish coherent regulations for ensuring that infants and young children everywhere are well nourished.

 

Aloha, George Kent

9-01-2013

Below are several key learnings from our Conservation Agriculture projects in Malawi and Zambia that related to the post-2015 discussion:

 

  1. The hiring of female extension officers should be made a priority in agriculture programmes carried out by both government ministries and donor agencies. Enabling women to produce greater yields, particularly in non-staple foodstuffs, would greatly increase overall household nutrition, as well as provide more diverse market opportunities for women.
  • Directly addresses: MDG #1, target C;
  • Indirect – MDG #3, 4, and 5

 

  1. Adjustment of government policies to reduce their emphasis on maize production and marketing, so that greater market opportunities for non-maize foodstuffs can be exploited. This can be accomplished in the following ways:
    1. Reducing floor price of maize to reflect actual market prices.
    2. Utilizing the existing grain depots and other infrastructure as clearing houses for bulking, storage, and selling of all crops (other than maize).
    3. Increasing quotas for the purchase of crops other than maize

 

Furthermore, governments and agencies should collaborate to create district-level agricultural marketing plans to help connect rural producers directly to local, urban, and peri-urban markets.

  • Directly addresses: MDG #1, targets A& C;

 

  1. Implementation plans for agriculture, in which CA is strongly emphasized, need to be carried out at the district level in conjunction with farmers at a variety of economic levels in order for interventions to present a diversity of CA methods that match local agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions. These plans should be vetted by CA task forces made up of relevant stakeholders, and then used as frameworks through which agencies must adhere to in their implementation of CA programs.
  • Directly addresses: MDG#8, Targets A, B and C

 

  1. We strongly caution against the free distribution of hybrid seeds and fertilizers as a means of incentivizing adoption of CA, as it irrevocably creates a dependency that can rarely be sustained following project completion. Programmes implementing CA need to present a diversity of methological and technological options for the farmers to experiment with and innovate to fit their particular situation; this could include mulching (bio-mass transfer), cover-cropping, intercropping, agroforestry, etc. Input distribution should be limited to sustainable “one-off” seeds; in particular, the use of open-pollinated varieties that can be harvested and replanted in subsequent seasons with little yield loss.

 

  1. We at Concern are not opposed to the use of Green Revolution technologies, including seeds, fertilizers, chemical herbicides and/or pesticides. As such, farmers with means in areas with agro-business infrastructure should be supported in accessing loans through microfinance agencies in order to adopt CA. However, it must be recognized that the high costs, limited access, and management regimens that are a prerequisite of these technologies cannot be sustained over the long-term by most small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa without first building their capacities within their existing local resource base. Furthermore, a diversity of approaches may lead to greater diversity of nutritional and economic resources produced by the implementing households.
  •  
  • Directly addresses: MDG#7A, 8F
  • Indirectly addresses: MDG #1C
Conchi Quintana World Rural Forum, Spain
9-01-2013

Saludos cordiales desde el Foro Rural Mundial, asociación responsable de la coordinación de la Sociedad Civil  para la preparación y  promoción del Año Internacional de la Agricultura Familiar, AIAF- 2014.

 

La Agricultura Familiar representa un sector de valor estratégico debido a su función económica, social, cultural, ambiental y territorial. Los hombres y mujeres dedicados a la Agricultura Familiar producen el 70% de los alimentos del mundo, en un  contexto de falta de apoyo generalizado.

 

La Agricultura Familiar es la base de la producción sostenible de alimentos destinados a la seguridad alimentaria y a la soberanía alimentaria, de la gestión ambiental de la tierra y su biodiversidad y de la preservación de la importante herencia sociocultural de las comunidades rurales y las naciones.

 

La Agricultura Familiar, campesina, pastores, pesca artesanal, comunidades indígenas, representa el modelo más sostenible en la lucha contre el Hambre y la Malnutrición. Incluso el Banco Mundial, Informe sobre la Agricultura 2008, considera que los alimentos deben ser producidos cerca de los consumidores, de los que pasan hambre. El 75% de éstos son mujeres y hombres pequeños campesinos, jornaleros sin tierra.

 

Nuestras reivindicaciones a nivel general

 

Para mejorar las condiciones de los hombres y mujeres dedicados a la Agricultura Familiar y liberar todo su potencial como agentes principales en la lucha para acabar con la pobreza y el hambre en el mundo, tenemos que fortalecer su voz, transformar las instituciones y abogar por políticas que respondan a sus necesidades.

 

En este sentido 200 hombres y mujeres líderes de organizaciones campesinas nacionales, regionales e internacionales, de grupos de la sociedad civil y movimientos sociales y de las principales instituciones académicas y de investigación de cuatro continentes del mundo reunidos en Bilbao, España, en Octubre 2011,con motivo de la Conferencia Mundial de Agricultura Familiar bajo el lema "Alimentar al mundo, Cuidar el Planeta" acordaron una Declaración Final en la que establecieron los principales retos a superar a fin de dar sentido a la reivindicación general presentada en este punto.

 

1. Asegurar que las instituciones públicas sean responsables ante el conjunto de las familias de agricultores, aplicando mejores políticas agrarias que  proporcionen servicios específicos de calidad (infraestructura, extensión, investigación e innovación tecnológica, información, difusión pública, educación, respuestas de emergencia, etc.).

 

2. Fortalecer las organizaciones y los movimientos de agricultores familiares para aumentar su influencia sobre las políticas, las instituciones y los mercados.

 

3. Definir las inversiones y el desarrollo de políticas, en consulta con las organizaciones de agricultores familiares que se dedican específicamente a atender las necesidades de la Agricultura Familiar.

 

Ver documento completo de la declaración en defensa de la Agricultura Familiar tras la Conferencia Mundial de Agricultura Familiar bajo el lema "Alimentar al mundo, Cuidar el Planeta". Octubre 2011, Bilbao, España.

 

Mujer agricultora

 

Por otra parte, una cuarta parte de la población mundial está compuesta de mujeres agricultoras, a menudo cabezas de familia, que representan unos 1.600 millones de personas. (FUENTE: Fundación Cumbre Mundial de Mujeres, Ginebra).

 

El cierre de la brecha de género en la agricultura generaría beneficios considerables para el sector agrícola y la sociedad. Si las mujeres tuvieran el mismo acceso a los recursos productivos que los hombres podrían aumentar el rendimiento de sus explotaciones agrícolas de un 20% a un 30 %. La mejora en los rendimientos permitiría superar la subsistencia y destinar parte de la producción a los mercados locales. De esta manera, se logran impactos positivos a varios niveles. Por un lado las mujeres obtendrían mejores y mayores beneficios, el territorio se mantendría productivo y la población tendría un mejor acceso a alimentos.

 

Los posibles beneficios variarían según la región en función de cuántas mujeres se dedican actualmente a la agricultura, cuánta producción o tierras controlan, y la amplitud de la brecha de género a la que se enfrentan. (SOFA 2011)

 

Las áreas prioritarias para la reforma son las siguientes:

 

- Eliminar la discriminación de la mujer en el acceso a los recursos agrícolas, la educación, los servicios de extensión y financieros así como los mercados de trabajo;

 

- Invertir en tecnologías e infraestructura que permitan ahorrar trabajo y mejorar la productividad de modo que las mujeres dispongan de más tiempo libre para dedicarse a actividades más productivas;

 

- Facilitar la participación de la mujer en mercados de trabajo rural que sean flexibles, eficientes y justos. (FAO. 2011. El estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación 2010-11: Las mujeres en la Agricultura).

 

Los próximos Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenibles deben considerar estas realidades marcando metas muy concretas para mejorar situación de la Agricultura Familiar en general y de la Mujer Agricultora en particular. En la definición de estos objetivos concretos deben participar activamente los principales protagonistas del proceso: los y las agricultores familiares.

 

En este sentido, el FRM anticipa que va a presentar una propuesta formal, a desarrollar en profundidad durante el año 2013, para solicitar a Naciones Unidas la inclusión del apoyo a  la Agricultura Familiar Sostenible como un Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODM) en la lista de objetivos a formalizar a partir del año 2015. La propuesta va a ser fruto de un intenso trabajo entre responsables de Organizaciones Agrarias y de Desarrollo, en colaboración con centros de investigación y organizaciones multilaterales. Todas las organizaciones involucradas en este trabajo reconocen el papel crucial de la Agricultura Familiar para erradicar el hambre y la pobreza en el mundo de forma sostenible, de forma que su apoyo se convierta en un indicador esencial de Desarrollo.

 

Muchas gracias por su atención.http://www.ruralforum.net/ffwconference/declaracion.asp?id=es

 

Miren Larrea y Conchi Quintana

Area de Contenidos del Foro Rural Mundial

www.ruralforum.net

www.familyfarmingcampaign.net

See the attachment: Agricultura Familiar
Memoona Manzoor Pakistan
9-01-2013

What should we do to overcome the Hunger, Food &Nutrition Insecurity with reference of Pakistan?

 

Current situation in Pakistan :
 

Source: Pakistan National Nutrition Survey, 2011

Taken from Dawn News paper 9th May, 2012.

 

Steps to help eradicate Hunger from Pakistan:

 

  1. Improve Cultivation techniques on Country Level.
  2. Properly taught Formers for the selection of seasoned crops.
  3. Increased the Food of Animal origin.
  4. Evaluation of the needs of food at household level.
  5. Control the prices of food.
  6. Improve storage conditions.
  7. Implementation of food laws by the Government of Pakistan to control contaminations.
  8. Appointment of properly trained staff in the assessment of malnutrition.
  9. Facilitate the small scale former (livelihood activities).
  10. Establishing of feeding programs.
See the attachment: how to reduce hunger (2).docx
Nestor Ngouambe MINADER, Cameroon
9-01-2013

[English version]

 

Small scale farmers fed the world.

 

In Cameroon, about 90% of food production is made by small farmers with less than one hectare of land surface cultivation. the production goals of those farmer is based on subsidence just a little surplus is sold.

 

Since 2008, Cameroon launched a new vision of development based on growth and employment. according to this goals, Cameron have a be considered as emergent country by 2035 year. and agriculture is considered as corner stone leading to achieve this goals. so Ministry of agriculture and rural development aims to move from small scale agriculture to enterprise agriculture.

 

In this context, I am asking that what sustainability of small scale farmer whose are still ensuring 90% of food production? Those categories of farmer are there ready to manage their farm like agricultural enterprise? there will be still able to continue feeding Cameroonian? will they easily access to land in other to mechanized their activities in this context where foreign investor have privileges on local farmer?

 

Based on this question, i am afraid on the increasing level of food insecurity. we have to improved the capacity of small scale farmer, give to then more input to increase their yield to their small land cultivation. by doing so and according to the fact that they actually ensure 90% of food production, they will be able to feed all Cameroonian by producing 100% of food.

 

[French version]

 

Transformation agricole et sécurité alimentaire.

 

dans un contexte de mondialisation et surtout du changement climatique où les pertes post récoltes vont grandissantes, la transformation agricole s'avère être incontournable pour la sécurité alimentaire dans le monde.

 

les techniques de transformation artisanales des produits alimentaires sont progressivement maîtrisé par les petits producteurs notamment les femmes. mais au vu de la forte demande, il est important de passer au stade de la transformation semi industrielle de ces aliments.

 

Au Cameroun les femmes et les jeunes sont très engagées dans la transformation des racines et tubercules précisément le manioc. le manioc est une racine qui se concerne au maximum 72 heures après sa récolte. cependant c'est l'une des racines les plus consonnés au Cameroun après les céréales. les femmes s'active à le transformé en Fufu, farine de manioc, gari, bâton de manioc, et plus récemment en pâtisserie alimentaire (gâteau, pain, pâtte alimentaire). Le groupe d'initiative Commune dénommé " Sécurité Alimentaire du Cameroun- SAC" est un exemple d'initiative à soutenir pour la sécurité alimentaire. ces jeunes dynamiques transforment le manioc en divers produits dont le jus de tapoica, patte alimentaire... et contribue à la réduction des pertes post récoltes et à la sécurité alimentaire des populations. malgré ces efforts, une sensibilisation des populations est importante afin qu'elle puisse se familiariser à la consommation des produits transformés localement. aussi un accent doit être mis sur la sécurité sanitaire des aliments.

 

c'est pour ainsi dire que la transformation des produits agricole joue un rôle clé dans la sécurité alimentaire des populations. et un accent particulier doit être tourné vers ce secteurs productif.

Alade Adeleke Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Nigeria
9-01-2013

1. So many factors prevent the insulation of the poor from hunger, food insecurity and mal-nutirtion. Appraoch to achieving MDGs should strive to address these factors when seeking solutions for a better future. While the focus on food production is good, there is the need to broaden attention on sfaeguards that dissalows waste, secure efficient natural resource management in favour of sustainable production of food and efforts on energy in support of food based agriculture. 

 

Most stand alone MDG thematic areas are highly connected to Hunger, Nutrition and Food Security. Good examples are Energy, Management to and Access to Water Resources, Environmental Sustainability and Natura Resources and the issue Governance.

 

Efficiency in provision and management of energy in sustainable ways will help promote production, food storage and bio-technology applications. But energy provision and management have suffered stebacks in the face of poor governance, poor leadership and in some cases ineqality in resource allocation and prioritisation  to favour the poor and the needy.

 

2. Investment in research and development to support wild crops is paramount.  Materials in the wild have been a great source of food and fibre for poor households in the last Millenium and have degraded heavilly in the past fifty years as the world natural resource becomes more depleted. Promotion of food biodiversity most particularly through flora and fauna conservation provides great support for other sources of food through traditional and modern farming techniques. Emphasis on food from the wild is needed as an integral part of planning for fight against hunger in the coming years. 

 

Promotion of crop varities of local origins and sometimes local hybrids will only help broaden the world food sources. Over globalisation of the most popular strains of food is good for trade and boost in pridcution but broadening local sources of food materials will help the world poor to be insulated against hunger in the events of eventualities such as large scale flooding, sea level rises, and some other natural disasters that may impact on mass food production anyhow and anytime.

Ed Werna (PhD) ILO, Switzerland
9-01-2013

on food security - from an urban labour perspective

The discussion on food security is very interesting and important. From the point-of-view of urban labour, I see two angles:

- First, the production side: how to combine improvements in food production and urban employment. This links to the discussion on urban agriculture. Food processing would also come into the picture. Proper training of workers and entrepreneurs and improvements in working conditions along the food value chain would add value to food production. And increase in food production creates jobs.

- Second, the consumption side: many urban workers are food insecure themselves. And this is not always or necessarily a case of lack of food availability in the cities where they live. Many cities have enough food supply, and still a number of workers cannot buy it, due to lack of income. This leads to policies to generate employment and/or social protection (cash transfers).

For information on the work of ILO's Sectoral Activities Dept. on food
security:
http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/presentation/wcms_163460.pdf

 

Michael Appleby World Society for the Protection of Animals, United Kingdom
9-01-2013

These comments are from the World Society for Protection of Animals.

Theme 1: Key lessons from the current MDG relevant to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, and challenges towards achieving food and nutrition security in coming years.

A major factor in the failure to prevent hunger and to achieve food and nutrition security to date has been the lack of coordination and balance between animal and plant food production on a local, national and international scale. Access to small quantities of animal protein is important for the nutrition of malnourished people. However, too often livestock production has been increased and intensified inappropriately, producing meat and milk only affordable by people of higher income, undercutting small scale farmers, and using resources inefficiently compared to food crops. The challenge is in achieving governance – for example by appropriate economic, policy and institutional support – to readdress this balance.

Theme 2: How to address hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition challenges, including drawing upon current initiatives.

To prevent hunger and to obtain food and nutrition security it is vital to achieve sustainability, which means the best balance possible between environmental, economic and social goals. Social goals include both proper food for all people – as emphasised in current initiatives such as the Zero Hunger Challenge – and proper care of livestock. As the FAO has identified, a billion of the world’s poorest people depend on animals for food, income, social status or cultural identification, as well as companionship and security. Furthermore, protection of farm animal welfare can identify benefits for environmental and economic, as well as social aspects of sustainability. The importance of protecting livestock and their environments was stressed by the Rio+20 outcome document:

111. We reaffirm the necessity to promote, enhance and support more sustainable agriculture, including crops [and] livestock ... We also recognize the need to maintain natural ecological processes that support food production systems.

112. We stress the need to enhance sustainable livestock production systems, including through improving pasture land … recognizing that the livelihoods of farmers including pastoralists and the health of livestock are intertwined.

The outcome document also made it clear that the Committee on World Food Security should play an important role in this respect by facilitating country-initiated, multi-stakeholder assessments on sustainable food production and food security. The urgency of an ecological approach was additionally underlined by another initiative, the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development.

Theme 3: Zero Hunger Challenge objectives.

a. 100% access to adequate food all year round

This requires management of both production and consumption, including increased consumption of animal products in some countries (and sectors of the population within countries) and decreased consumption in others.

b. Zero stunted children less than 2 years old

This will be helped by access to some food from animals for malnourished children lacking micronutrients. Current practices including intensification of livestock production are often aimed more at supplying (and profiting from) high-income populations and have hindered rather than helped nutrition of poorer populations, both rural and urban.

c. All food systems are sustainable

As outlined above, this requires an appropriate balance between animal and plant food production, combined with proper care for livestock health and welfare.

d. 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income

In some cases this needs economic support for smallholders, either direct (for example by providing advisory and support structures), or indirect (for example by protecting them from unfair competition from larger urban- or foreign-based companies). Means to effect such an increase could include the transfer of existing technologies from developed to developing countries, enhanced emphasis on developing high productivity technologies for smallholder use, and increased market access for smallholders. Furthermore, enhanced animal welfare will result in enhanced animal health and productivity.

e. Zero loss or waste of food.

Reduction of post-harvest waste is urgent. So too is reduction of inefficiency and waste in production processes. Such inefficiency and waste include feeding of poor-quality feed to livestock, and use of feed such as grain for animals that could instead be used directly for human food. Both practices often also cause problems for animal welfare.

Should some objectives be country-specific, or regional, rather than global?

Yes, it is important for more regions, countries and areas within countries to move towards food security and self-sufficiency. Areas vary in their suitability for different aspects of farming (including livestock vs. crops), but developing local food policies and supporting local producers is important for long-term security, stability and sustainability – including for socially acceptable, humane, sustainable livestock production.

 

Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
9-01-2013

V. Qs on shaping global consensus for the goals:

 

23. How can we build and sustain global consensus for a new framework, involving member states, the private sector and civil society?

 

Global consensus has to be built from the bottom up, i.e., starting from the sub-national level up. This is why this consultation period up to 2015 is so crucially in need to go to the level of claim holders and duty bearers at district level. (Keep in mind that duty bearers to claim holders in the community are, in turn, claim holders to duty bearers at the national, often ministerial, level….and those, in turn, claim holders to duty bearers in the international context, i.e., there is a chain of oppressed oppressors). Thinking loud: Can a worldwide 1-2 weeks period of national debate be agreed upon and set sometime in 2014? Can we then imagine a global process of some kind of formal ratification of the new framework by parliaments, social movements, CSOs, private sector without conflicts of interest (?) and governments the world over?

Sustaining the consensus will depend on progress being made. Annual benchmarks can give us year-to-year reports of progress as perceived by representatives of the wider society. This national annual taking of stock has the additional advantage of giving the new framework flexibility to change tactics within the same strategy (…or change strategy if needed).

 

24. How can our work be made coherent with the process to be established by the intergovernmental Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals?

 

All efforts have to be made to secure such a coherence. Moreover, in all issues pertaining the SDGs and pertaining to this post-2015 framework the principle of one country one vote is non-negotiable in all instances when such consultations are deemed necessary. We all are born to live in this planet as equals. [I see no problem in isolating the rich countries often voting in block against the poor countries and thus formally obstructing this or any coherence. They are already doing so! So what is left for the poor countries is to continue blaming and shaming them, remotely hoping for a future break through. In the meantime, as much as possible, the poor countries ought to act on issues as per their majority vote].

 

Having come to the end of this reflection, I know I have opened only a small additional window that adds to the equally important contributions of many many others. I am afraid I have often been normative (and even possibly wrong). There are too many shoulds and woulds in my comments.

The risk we face is coming up with a more radical new framework than the MDGs framework was only to see it watered down by the powers that be --as has always been the case in end negotiations.

I ask you: Why has consensus always to be pulled to the side of those who feel they have something to loose in this pathetically unequal and unfair world?

 

On some more general issues, I seek advice on six further points:

 

Is there a way we can get away from the use of the maligned term ‘stakeholder’? Stakeholders stake claims, right? The simple replacement of the word stakeholders by claim-holders or duty bearers, as appropriate (to use the correct HR parlance that we and the UN are finally trying to instill in post-2015), just might provide us with the hint of the sort of framework we are interested in fostering in the new era. Claim holder/duty bearer are in the original UN language. Stakeholders is originally business language. To have or to hold a stake in something is the same as having an interest or holding shares!!! (A. Katz)

 

The MDGs have shown us that a focus on outcomes does not assure sustainability of the respective goal being kept up. It is not only the quantity and the quality of outcomes that counts; it is the participatory processes to achieve them that will matter in the long run. (Note that here sustainability is used in a different sense than in the environmental connotation of the term).

 

There are still too many among us that consider HR and equity, gender…as crosscutting issues; they are not. They are core issues (!) and we have to build sectoral or other interventions around them.

 

I also feel strongly that instead of talking about safety nets, we ought to be talking about social protection mechanisms. Universal social protection is the new political and cultural horizon where health rights must be placed. It includes social security, social assistance, labor rights, the right to public services and environmental rights (F.Mestrum). Social protection is the fundamental measure to pursue redistribution of wealth. Safety nets take the issue of poverty as a fait accompli. So since ‘they’ are poor, we throw them a few crumbles of bread since it is morally reprehensible to us to let them starve. In reality, safety nets somehow come up with measures that avoid social discontent that could flare up into protests and thus a challenge to the status-quo. Or put another way: Safety nets are nothing but a way to manage poverty and ‘ill-being’ (as opposed to well-being) by attenuating social unrest. Am I very wrong?

 

Moreover, providing accessible and affordable basic needs to the poor closely relates to what I say above. It just, in a way, replaces safety nets by targeting the poor (note the use of ‘the poor’ in High Level Panel papers; should it not be ‘poor people’? We have to be careful with depersonalizing the billions of  the affected people). [I want to caution you that the same is true for when programs and projects speak of ‘targeting the poor’].

 

Finally, is it true that nutrition, health, education, housing, clean water and sanitation will eventually cut the vicious circle of poverty? I thought the inter-generational vicious circle of poverty could only be uprooted for good with structural changes in the political and economic system that rules most of the world and actually perpetuates the problem.  Am I very wrong?

Vahid Maharramov Economic Research Center, Azerbaijan
9-01-2013

Dear all,

 

It is great pleasure to contribute at least something to announced topics by FAO. On behalf of Economic Research Center ( Azerbaijan) i would like to draw your attention below message: 

 

Azerbaijan is the country that possesses fertile soil, humid climate, including sound financial, labor and other resources. The current resources of this country allow Azerbaijan to produce 3 times more agricultural products. Nevertheless, the country failed to show off its potential in last 15 years and given this loses its production strength as well. Thus, in 1997 the grain fields were around 610 - 650 thousand hectare and at that time Azerbaijan was able to import from 167 thousand ton up to420 thousand ton grain. Despite the fact that grain fields grew by 967 thousand hectare in 2011, the volume of imported wheat increased 3,5 times and reaching 1 million 400 thousand tons along imported wheat flour. In a nutshell, Azerbaijan is becoming dependent heavily on import.

 

Azerbaijan currently is obtaining easy flow of funds thanks to revenues emanating from oil and gas export and it can build sound investment policy over its non-oil sector, particularly production of agricultural products. However, it failed to do so and instead it is directing these funds to non-profitable sectors.

 

Azerbaijan which is in potentila of exporting food to world countries is in need of food. Another problem is related to the loss of production. The lack of warehouses and manufacturing facilities triggeres damage of fruit-vegetables in the fields or making as garbages.

 

According to our observations, the degradation process of soil has accelerated in recent years and it arranges 47 % of overall soil fields. Therefore, this rings alarm for future that there might be shortage or similar issues regarding food supply in the country.

 

Recommendations

 

  1. FAO should build broad information base through identifying the production potential of agricultural outputs of all countriesby involving experts to this process.
  2.  FAO should raise the issue on supplying demands for foods, agricultural products through complete internal production of countries that possess fertile soil, labor, financial, water resources. Given this, FAO should invite governments to act responsibly by submitting recommendations and proposals to them.
  3. FAO should raise issue regarding food security before world countries and unleash initiative on providing support to less-fertile countries via countries who have broad potential in this field. FAO can especially focus on patronizing children up to 5 years old. 

 

VahidMaharramov,

Azerbaijan,

ERC expert on agrarian policy

A Nielsen New Zealand
9-01-2013

It was clear from the outset that the goals of the MDG framework are interconnected and each one of them cannot be achieved without also addressing other areas. This is important to keep in mind as we look forward beyond 2015. Addressing food security and nutrition requires addressing areas such as inequalities, population dynamics, conflicts and governance. Vulnerable groups are those most affected by food insecurity, and women in particular tend to bear the burden of sourcing food and ensuring their families are adequately nourished, often forcing them into dangerous situations to do so. Vulnerable groups must be included in strategies and programmes aimed at improving access to food and nutrition to ensure they do not face additional barriers and can enjoy equal access to food and nutrition sources.

 

It is of utmost importance for their health that children under 5 and pregnant women are well-nourished, yet malnourishment among these groups is widespread throughout the developing world. Targeting these groups to improve their nutritional status should be paramount.

Ensuring investments are made in sexual and reproductive health and rights can have a positive impact on food security and nutrition. When women and couples are able to choose the number, timing and spacing of their children they can plan their families, and will often choose to have smaller families. Smaller families means fewer mouths to feed and a greater chance of children being well-nourished.

Sonja Vermeulen CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food ...
9-01-2013

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?

 

One of the key lessons is a positive one – the MDGs have demonstrated that it IS possible to achieve large-scale and long-lasting reductions in poverty and gender inequality (as measured by enrolment of girls in schools).  What we can learn from this for the post-2015 agenda is that we should again be highly ambitious in our goals for future human and planetary well-being.

 

 

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? 

 

On behalf of the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) of the CGIAR (Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers), I wish to draw particular attention to the importance of seriously investing in environmental sustainability and food chain efficiencies if we are to feed ourselves in the long-run.  With the Global Donor Platform on Rural Development, CCAFS co-funded the independent Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change during 2011-2012.  The Commissioners brought scientific evidence together to argue that we need to bring action on three fronts together if we are to achieve universal food security in future: (1) increasing yields per unit of land and other inputs in ways that deal with increasing climate variability and climatic trends (for example via genetics, careful matching of crops and environments, very precise management of nutrients, innovative use of downscaled climatic forecasting), (2) reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture (many of the strategies are synergistic with the strategies for yield increases and adaptation) and (3) reducing inefficiencies in food supply chains (particularly by shifting towards healthier lower-emissions diets, reducing losses of food due to poor post-harvest storage or wasteful household food management, and improving distribution and affordability for people vulnerable to malnutrition).  Readers interested in the Commission’s findings (including many detailed sub-recommendations) can download the report at http://ccafs.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/assets/docs/climate_food_commission-final-mar2012.pdf - where there is also a 6-minute video that synthesizes the arguments very clearly. 

 

Sets of aspirational recommendations can sound vague or impossible.  But around the world we now have many success stories: examples in which interventions have been brought to scale that increase availability of food to poor consumers while also reducing environmental impacts, particularly greenhouse gas emissions.  Substantial learning on successes (and pitfalls) has been shared (and can be found) via international platforms such as Africa Adapt (http://www.africa-adapt.net) and CDKN (http://cdknetwork.net), as well as sector-specific initiatives like the Climate-Smart Agriculture Partnership (http://www.climatesmartagriculture.org/en/) – as well as many regional, national and sub-national learning platforms.  While there have been some efforts to collate globally promising technologies and institutional arrangements (e.g. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/newsroom/docs/the-hague-conference-fao-paper.pdf ), or to draw generalized lessons from large-scale success stories (e.g. http://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/24863 ), the reality is that climate change is experienced locally and must largely be addressed locally (for adaptation; mitigation is more global in scope).  What the global level most needs to do is to provide the kinds of governance and learning frameworks that enable local-level resilience and creativity.  This means investment both in very general development needs (e.g. free, universal, high-quality, compulsory education, or fair universal tax systems) and in very specific climate-related needs (e.g. scientific research that brings us to the stage that we can make climate forecasts that are downscaled sufficiently in time and space to be directly useful to individual farmers and local policy makers). 

 

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?

 

 

These objectives are highly appropriate in terms of (a) simplicity and (b) level of ambition.  Additionally the focus on smallholders is appropriate due to their continuing major role in the nutrition and livelihoods of both rural and urban consumers.  On the other hand the objectives lack (a) a tangible definition of sustainability (and hence an explicit objective for managing our natural environment) and (b) a clear goal for nutrition security as opposed to food security.  The post-2015 Global Development Framework could certainly use the ZHC objectives (and thus contribute to this critically important agenda) but perhaps build in explicit objectives on environment and on nutrition.  Given the huge variation around the world in climate change impacts, water scarcity (and soils, biodiversity and other key environmental factors), level of dependence of livelihoods on agriculture, provision of social services and safety nets, and the burden of nutrition-related diseases (e.g. stunting, obesity, diabetes, micro-nutrient deficiencies), perhaps the over-arching objectives should be global but the targets country-specific (or even specific to particular places or social groups within a country).  Targets should certainly be time-bound.  In doing so, they keep abreast of the rapid pace of change in climate, demographics, economics and geo-politics – and acknowledge that development is never “done”.  It is not an admission of failure to accept that the set of objectives and aspirations under design now will be followed by yet another (iterative) set in a couple of decades.

Faustine Wabwire Bread for the World Institute, United States of America
8-01-2013

Theme 1: Key Lessons From the MDGs

 

The MDGs have demonstrated that goal-setting matters for development. Since 2000, the MDGs have galvanized support around the world for ending hunger and extreme poverty. When the goals were launched, countries pledged to work together to cut global hunger and poverty in half by 2015. Also, unlike many global initiatives that came before it, the MDGs remain a  prominent concern of national governments and the international development community. This is due in no small part to the fact that the goals have concrete targets to measure progress and hold government leaders accountable.

Global poverty is now falling with unprecedented speed, and indeed it is possible to imagine a world by 2040 where chronic hunger and poverty no longer exist. According to the World Bank, the percentage of people living below the international poverty line ($1.25 per person per day) has fallen by more than half since 1990; in other words, the MDG target of cutting income poverty in half by 2015 has been reached.
At this point, however, it is not clear whether the hunger target of the MDGs—cutting hunger in half— will be met by the 2015 deadline.The lagging progress on hunger, compared to progress on poverty, illustrates a problem with how the MDGs are being pursued. Too little attention has been paid to the interrelationship between hunger and poverty, particularly in rural areas where most of the world’s hungry and poor people live. In order to sync reductions in hunger with reductions in poverty, greater investments in agriculture are necessary and must be targeted at smallholder farmers.

 

Theme 2: What works best?
 

Focus on Marginalized Groups: The goal to end hunger mostly depends on the commitment of political leaders to scale up proven approaches and target the most difficult to reach groups. Leaders will have to address the structural inequalities that deny certain groups of people access to social and economic opportunities. These are predominantly racial, ethnic and religious minority groups. Women and girls face additional barriers—including in majority groups. Accelerating progress against hunger therefore requires a more deliberate focus on women and girls.

Strengthen Data Systems: Effective policy responses depend on reliable information about how various groups are faring. Countries where hunger and poverty are stubbornly persistent have a limited capacity to collect and analyze data. Strengthening data systems needs to be a priority of leaders in countries affected by hunger and their development partners.

Increase Investments in agriculture: Improvements in food security and nutrition are linked to a productive agricultural sector. Common sense might suggest that we need to make sure that domestic food supplies match demand for food—but that’s not the core of the problem. The recent increases in hunger were because of the high food prices, not because there wasn’t enough food to go around. Although grain stocks were low, they were not too low to feed everyone if some nations with surpluses hadn’t panicked and banned exports. In the same vein, famines have occurred in countries where some parts actually have food surpluses. The unprecedented rise in hunger recently was a consequence of the high costs. Despite incontrovertible evidence that food security is linked to agricultural productivity, over the past three decades donors slashed agriculture as a share of their development budgets. Agriculture is a key driver of economic growth in poor countries. In very poor countries, agriculture provides more than 70-80 percent of the labor force with the greatest share of their incomes. When the agricultural sector is growing, so are people’s incomes. It’s what determines whether they are eating only a bowl of rice seven days a week or they can occasionally afford to add some meat and vegetables to their diet.

Strengthen social protection programs to reach the most marginalized. Scaling up investments in the nutrition of rural women and girls is central to their economic empowerment. Putting in place safety nets for the most vulnerable rural women and girls, such as activities that promote access to health care and education, lays the groundwork for a healthy society.

  • Lift the importance of maternal and child nutrition
  • Remove barriers faced by rural women and girls

 

Theme 3: Post-2015 Framework
 

Bread for the World emphasizes that whatever agreement emerges must include a bull’s-eye target: ending hunger and extreme poverty by 2040. Every country should agree to set national development goals, including the high-income nations.

  • A post-2015 agreement should establish a framework in which each country sets ambitious goals that properly reflect its level of social and economic development. This framework should make it clear that poverty and hunger are morally unacceptable everywhere.

The post-2015 global development framework should be worked out by a broader set of stakeholders than those who developed the MDGs. The MDGs were conceived by rich nations with far too little input from poor and middle-income nations.

  • The views of poor and hungry people themselves on the fight against hunger and poverty should be strongly considered in any new agreement. This is likely to reshape development goals from their formulation in the MDGs and focus greater attention on the means of achieving the goals. For example, a target of MDG 1 was to “Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people”; and when poor people, particularly young poor people, are asked about the barriers they face to getting out of poverty, they nearly always name lack of jobs as their top concern. But the issue of jobs and job creation has not been given the attention it deserves from policymakers and donor agencies.
Elin Weyler Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden
8-01-2013

Input for from Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to the e-consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition

Hunger, Food and Nutrition are prerequisites for people’s livelihoods, sustaining life, and prosperity. A child that goes hungry will not assimilate knowledge, will not thrive as a human or become a contributing member of whichever society it belongs to. However, a child that is thirsty will not even feel hunger because thirst is a more urgent need. A child that feeds will stay hungry if it is plagued by diarrhoea, cholera or other infectious diseases that could be prevented by access to safe water and sanitation.

The same way that arable land and seeds are a prerequisite for food production, so is water. The water distribution across the globe in changing due to climate change, irrigation schemes, energy demands and crop choices. In order to feed a growing population we will have to consider water in whichever targets we set. The causes behind food insecurity may be assessed by looking at the three A’s:

  • Availability; production of food and its physical availability in various places – mediated by weather & climate, land use / agricultural methods, transport and storage infrastructure
  • Access, including how households and individuals are able to get hold of food – mediated by poverty, education, and cultural/social power to command resources
  • Absorption, including the ability to absorb food – mediated by health conditions, in turn mediated by water, sanitation and hygiene conditions.

As organisers of the World Water Week, SIWI, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) as key collaborating partners, focused on Water and Food Security as overarching theme for the 2012 conference. Over 2500 water experts, attended over 200 sessions organized by over 250 convening international organizations to discuss the precarious challenge of feeding a thirsty world. The conclusions from each session and workshop are found on www.worldwaterweek.org. For the format of this discussion, let us here present some of the main overarching conclusions that address the questions in the scope. The full report from the 2012 World Water Week is available here: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/documents/Resources/Synthesis/2012_Overarching_Conclusions_web.pdf

 

Theme 1

 

Setting new priorities for a water and food secure world

Over the past half-century, dramatic improvements have been made to increase the quantities of food produced. Today, we feed more people than ever before, but we also leave more people hungry and send more food to waste than any time before in our history. Moving forward, focus must be on resource efficiency, effective distribution to the hungry and sustainable stewardship of water, land, and lifesupporting ecosystems. Large scale investments in agricultural research and development, infrastructure, irrigation and supply chain efficiency improvements, coupled with dramatic reductions in losses in the field and consumer waste will yield major returns. Providing farmers with better access to markets, both locally and internationally, is likewise crucial to support smallholders’ livelihoods and ensure the food they grow is beneficially used.

This will require a radical shift towards a smarter, healthier, more rational and sustainable global food system. There are many barriers that can delay action, such as a potentially unfavourable political economy, vested interests and bureaucratic inertia, which must be overcome. But the challenges faced to feed an increasingly thirsty world are outmatched by the opportunities they present to stimulate economic growth and provide for a healthier population. With commitment to coordinated action taken on a number of fronts, we can ensure that water will not be a limitation for future well-being on our planet and that everyone has access to clean water and sufficient nutrition to enjoy a sustainable diet.

Water and food security are inseparable

Land and water are prerequisites for agriculture and farmers are the main custodians of the world’s freshwater. Roughly 70 per cent of global freshwater withdrawals are used in agriculture. There are several areas where major efficiency gains, in terms of water,  energy, human as well as financial resources, can be made, such as producing ‘more crop per drop’, reducing losses and waste in the food supply chain, diversification of agricultural activities and employing a ‘landscape approach’ to development in order to expand food production and maintain ecosystem services. There are a number of other areas for which the convening experts called for increased attention: investment and policy intervention, including the promotion of healthy and sustainable diets, improved early warning systems to agricultural emergencies, wiser and fairer trade regulation, and coordinated approaches to assess trade-offs and maximise synergies between water, energy and food.

Producing more with less

Sustainable intensification of agriculture is critical to meet present and future food demand and will require effective action across a number of strategic areas such as energy efficiency, improving irrigation productivity and expanding the safe re-use of water and nutrient resources.

Investing big in small-holders

There is a huge untapped potential for increasing both the productivity and water efficiency of smallholder agriculture. To realise this potential, it is critical to understand the realities faced by many farming communities that lead to sub-optimal use of resources, as well as high rates of losses.

Fixing the leaks in the food supply chain

FAO estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes uneaten each year, with significant variation in the levels of losses and waste between seasons, years and between commodities and regions. Investments in improved harvesting, storage, transport and cooling infrastructure can reduce losses significantly. This, coupled with local producers’ increased access to better food processing, packaging and new markets, means that more food will be sold and less lost, providing economic and social benefits to both producer and consumer. The world is hungry because we are wasting food.

Improving early warning and responding to a more turbulent climate

Building resilience to drought, floods and shifts in rainfall through adaptive planning is a critical need for the short, medium and long term. New approaches to develop climate smart agriculture and improve the “hydroliteracy” of rural communities can help poor farmers better withstand the shocks of a more variable climate. These systems also need to be accompanied mechanisms to act quickly to take preemptive action based upon available data.

Safeguarding ecosystems while expanding agriculture

A bundled view of ecosystem services can help optimise strategies to promote food security and ecosystem health. To work at a landscape level, new mechanisms are needed that can engage a broader range of stakeholders in negotiations around the benefits- and cost-sharing of ecosystem services, starting by increasing land-user knowledge of ecosystem processes.

Promoting fair and effective food trade

Food trade is a rational and necessary mechanism for achieving efficient use and better sharing of global water resources as well as socio-economic progress. Increased trade in agricultural commodities can provide opportunities for smallholder farmers but this requires they gain better access to markets and stronger bargaining power within them. This can be facilitated through modern information technology, effective government regulation and access to know-how and appropriate production technologies.

A call for collaboration

The challenges that our world is facing cannot be solved by isolated silo thinking and sectoral sub optimisations. Water plays key roles in agriculture, health, economic development, urbanisation, energy production, international affairs and the fulfilment of human rights.

Land acquisition

Investment in agricultural land by international actors has increased dramatically in recent years, primarily in Africa and Latin America. Investors will need reliable access to water for irrigation of its crops on the purchased or leased land. More attention, besides better safeguarding of local priorities and customary rights to land of indigenous populations, is also needed to ensure the effective and equitable management of both internal and transboundary water resources that will be used on leased lands.

 

Theme 2

 

The Sustainable Development Goals must address both process and outcomes by emphasizing equitable, transparent processes (participatory, integrative management) as  well as clear goals and measurable targets in terms human and ecological well-being (sustenance of aquatic ecosystems, energy production, and food security). Along with the increased focus on Public Private Partnerships, there is also the recognition of the importance of standard development to guide corporate water stewardship and allow comparison and communication across sectors.

Renewed national and international investments

As we move from the Millenium Development Goals to new Sustainable Development Goals there is a need for renewed national and international investment in the water and WASH sectors. The Millenium Development Goals have been enormously successful in uniting donor attention and allowing the development community to join forces in meet major global challenges. This suggests that uniting behind a list of concrete targets can have dramatic impacts. There is a continued need to prioritise water investments.

Recognising the real purpose of water use

In the agricultural context this can be measured a variety of ways from the amount of food produced per unit of water (crop per drop), to the economic value of agricultural production per unit of water, to the nutritional value of agricultural production per unit of water.

Supply chain focus

As much as half of the produced in the field is lost or wasted before and after it reaches the consumer. Increasing productivity means developing governance approaches that decrease both pre- and post-harvest losses and increase water productivity.

Defining good governance

In terms of next actions, an important point regards developing a common definition of ‘good governance’. To achieve better governance we need two critical components: 1) Better data and knowledge procurement, sharing, and use; and 2) Involvement of major actors like public sector, private sector, and donor communities.

Innovations strengthen monitoring

Monitoring the results of water governance interventions can be used to improve accountability and will enhance the projects implementation. More effective methods of stakeholder engagement can be done using recent technology in collecting and sharing data. For example, text messaging and crowd-sourcing offer new ways to democratise data collection and spatially-explicit databases and internet portals.

Create incentives to produce more food on existing agricultural lands, and within existing water use

There is potential in improving health, reduce water use and alleviate pressures on the environment by focusing more on nutrition sensitive diets. We are facing dietary challenges in opposing trends in different parts of the world; obesity in some regions and malnutrition in others. Currently 45 per cent of global crop water use goes to animal feed. Inland fisheries and aquaculture are two other vital protein sources for many of the worlds’ poor, particularly when crop fails.

Invest in small-holder agricultural water management to reduce malnutrition/hunger

Small-scale water management technology projects have often been overlooked by investors, although investment costs normally are low while profit margins tend to be relatively high. New business models (e.g. irrigation service providers), investment tools (e.g. the investment visualiser) and specialised insurance products were cited as useful contributions to this trend. Apart from the economic benefits, investments in small-holder agricultural water management also hold substantial benefits for food security. Being able to grow cash crops in the dry season, not only drastically improves the farmers´ economic possibility to buy better food, but it also contributes to a diversified diet. Small-scale agricultural water management thus must be controlled at some level to avoid environmental as well as human health damages. For a future nutrition-sensitive agriculture production to take form it is also essential that wastewater is treated safely and then re-used in the farms. 

Intersection between sub-topics and the benefits or synergies that cross-fertilization can bring to the water sector

The link between WASH and nutrition emerged on several occasions, primarily through a more refined understanding of the connections between WASH, malnutrition and diarrhea; the developing understanding of environmental enteropathy and its growing prevalence amongst the most vulnerable members of a community.

There is a need for a balance of technical, institutional and governance improvements; one without the other will delay progress in meeting development goals and perpetuate business as usual practices. A recommendation is to reach lower levels: to conduct regional dialogues that can lead to improved understanding and deliver more sustainable outcomes.

Feedback on the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition

The consideration of water in the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition, as part of economic and production issues, demographic and social issues are important. Recognition of the right to water is imperative and consideration taken to indigenous peoples. One aspect that might have to be considered in addition is that water will cross borders when land will not. Safe water and sanitation and its importance for nutrition is addressed. The role of water is considered for a sustainable agricultural production and we encourage the framework to expand on the issue under point VI. c) that “the demand for water for agricultural production and for other uses and ways of improving water management”.

 

Theme 3

 

Working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The aggregation of the dialogue at the World Water Week on this issue centered on the need for higher resolution in the revised goals, targets and indicators with respect to equity and non-discrimination. How can the political objectives of these goals be aligned with our need to promote stronger pro-poor investments by government? The water world is addressing this directly through an increasing focus on wealth quintile analysis of WASH coverage and an explicit emphasis on measuring the impact on the poorest in the proposed SDGs targets.

The world in 2050

The young generation of water professionals formulated the most pressing challenges and most promising solutions related to water and food security by 2050 during the World Water Week in Stockholm. A Core Team engaged with other young professionals who attended the conference and through video-interviews and social media inputs from those following the conference remotely, in order to formulate the vision which will be followed by an action plan during 2013.

This vision, although ambitious, is one they think should lead development efforts by stakeholders pertaining to water and food. The young vision has a good message for formulating SDG’s in recognizing that the only way to achieve an ‘ideal world’ is by being adaptive. This means that developing solutions, strategies and approaches, needs to be continuously checked and modified to respond to changing conditions. This is because they see that the only certain thing about the future is uncertainty.

Looking forward to the continued disucssion.

Regards,

Stockholm International Water Institute and the World Water Week.

Paul Sommers California State University, Fresno, United States of America
7-01-2013

Colleagues,

As someone, who is both an agriculturists and nutritionists, and who has worked on agriculture and nutrition linkages for more than 30 years primarily at field implementation level, my approach has been to put nutrition at the center as the driver for agricultural activities.  As an agriculturalists, I am ready to use the tools in my resource kit to respond to demand and increase productivity of crops and or livestock. So nutrition has to take the lead and growers will then follow. Nutrition needs to identify the dietary gaps, especially micronutrient malnutrition, when the deficiencies occur, as well as locally grown and consumed crops that are nutrient dense in the micronutrients missing in the diet. Nutrition staff  also need to work with communication specialists to design an effective behavioral change strategy so that demand for those foods are created. Once the dietary issues and crops are known and a market demand plan is in place then I can use the tools  in my agriculture  kit to work with small holder growers to  increase on-farm availability for direct consumption as well as  local market access of those crops.

The policy implications of this strategy are clear. Countries are quickly adopting the market based value chain approach as a main means of improving small holder food security.  By viewing specific dietary deficiencies as drivers for new or expanding markets, the agricultural value chain approach takes on a whole new meaning where it not only grows incomes but addresses a very real and specific dietary issue in a specific location.

FAO Gouvernance Study Group (Astrid Agostini, Dubravka Bojic, Juan GarciaCebolla, Carol Djeddah, Florence Egal, Nicole Franz, Rebecca Metzner, Jamie Morisson, Jonathan Reeves, Mike Robson, Margret Vidar, Rolf Willmann)

Hello,

This is a collective contribution from a number of members of the FAO Gouvernance Study Team responding in particular to:

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 achieving food and nutrition security?”

 

Many participants in the e-consultation underlined the importance of civil society participation and ownership, accountability of institutions, as well as of the coordination of policies, institutions and actions. These aspects relate to different dimensions of improved governance. Indeed, from the perspective of food and nutrition security, livelihoods and sustainable natural resource management, improved governance is critical for multiple reasons and notably:

 

First, the increasing complexity of development-related processes.

At the global level, factors beyond national control can affect efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition; these include energy supply (and price), global commodity markets, and trade policies. Whether a given country is member of WTO or not, and whether it has ratified relevant international instruments – in human rights, agricultural, trade, natural resources or environmental fields – can and often do have implications for a range of food, production and  natural resources management policy and legal frameworks. So too will a country’s capacity to negotiate within international fora and to implement relevant international commitments.

At the global as well as at the country level, recent years have seen a growing plurality of actors (with many new, more active and more diverse stakeholders and interests, and more visible divergences in power between interest groups) with an interest in food security. This can make inclusive processes difficult to manage effectively. At the national level, there is also an increasing awareness of the interconnectedness between the environment, social and economic spheres.  Development goals can be achieved but it has become apparent that for progress to be sustained requires unprecedented levels of interdisciplinary collaboration across sectors and  institutions, and between actors.

 

Second, increasing uncertainty surrounds the potential impact of climate change (with the likelihood of increased resource competition and risk of conflict), and the level of willingness of key stakeholders with vested interests in current systems to engage in reform.  This makes more difficult the design and implementation of efficient and effective interventions in situations where asymmetries in information are the norm.

 

Third - for the majority of people, their most direct experience of “governance” is at local level through interaction with local extension agents, local agro-dealers, forest guards, fisheries officers, public health services, agricultural, social and education services. Even the best designed natural resource, social and economic policies will be ineffective in the absence of effective systems for service delivery, regulation, control of corruption and protection of rights. Inequalities in access to natural resources (rights to access land or water resources) and/or to inputs and services such as seeds, fertilizers or credit strongly limit agricultural productivity. Lack of transparency and information about Social Protection programmes, lack of awareness among possible beneficiaries, and wide “administrative discretion” lead to the failure of such programmes to reach many of those in greatest need.

While there is not a direct correlation between the two issues, it can be observed that many states with low food and nutrition security lack the capacity to create enabling and coherent policy and legal framework, be transparent and accountable to relevant stakeholders, and to enforce the rule of law and encourage gender equality.  This is often accompanied by a lack of capacity and of opportunity, for the people, to take an active part in decision-making processes and hold governments to account.

By contrast, when governance structures, both formal and informal, exercise their functions in an accountable, transparent and equitable manner, and give voice to a wide range of diverse interests, including those of the food insecure and hungry who are often excluded and marginalised, the resulting activities should contribute more fully to improving food and nutrition security in a country.

 

Setting the “building blocks” of the governance of food and nutrition security

Looking at hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition issues from a governance perspective offers insights and information that can improve the design of policies, programmes and projects, and provide tools to make their implementation and enforcement more effective.

While there is not, as yet, a universally agreed definition of governance, it is generally accepted that governance refers to the formal and informal rules and processes through which public and private stakeholders articulate their interests and decisions are made, implemented and sustained in different jurisdictions and levels. Taking a governance perspective requires decision-making processes affecting food and nutrition security, livelihoods and the management and sustainable use of natural resources to be in line with a number of key principles.

They are:

Participation – that people and their institutions are able to participate freely, fully, actively and meaningfully in the planning, design, monitoring and evaluation of decisions affecting them;

Accountability – that leaders are answerable within their organizations and to the people they serve, for their actions;

Transparency – that decision-makers are as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take and that timely and reliable information on these decisions and actions is freely and easily available;

Equality and Fairness – that all groups, particularly the most vulnerable, have equal opportunities to improve or maintain their well being;

Efficiency and Effectiveness – that rules and regulations apply equally to all groups, and that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society, while making the best use of resources at their disposal; and

Rule of Law – that governments are as bound by laws as the citizens and private corporations, and that the laws themselves are consistent with international human rights.

These principles should be used nationally to consider how improved governance can support the achievement of food security goals.  One size does very definitely not fit all contexts. Different countries face different development challenges at various stages of their development, and hence require different capacities and approaches to tackle them effectively. What works in one setting may not necessarily work in another. The particular socio-economic, legal and political conditions of each country will facilitate or constrain progress towards better governance.

In other words, the purpose of having a number of key governance principles is not to describe the ideal state of “good food and nutrition security governance”, but to provide practical guidance for prioritizing interventions, designing and assessing development strategies necessary to achieve the post-2015 UN development agenda.

These key principles can also be useful in pointing out mechanisms that allow improving governance in food security and related sectors (e.g. agriculture, land, forests, fisheries) without requiring changes in the state governance system as such. The challenge is finding the right mix and form that fit the specific country context and its specific needs, and that will allow progress to be made.

Collective contribution from the FAO Governance Study Group (Astrid Agostini, Dubravka Bojic, Juan GarciaCebolla, Carol Djeddah, Florence Egal, Nicole Franz, Rebecca Metzner, Jamie Morrison, Jonathan Reeves, Mike Robson, Margret Vidar and Rolf Willmann)

Hinack Philippe Léopold CIRASTIC "Collectif Inter-Associatif pour la Réalisation des ...
7-01-2013

Hunger, food and nutrition security: towards a post-2015 development…

[contribution in French, English version below]

Notre Raisonnement!- Face aux questions orientées sur la problématique de la Faim, la Sécurité Alimentaire et, Nutritionelle dans le monde : « Comment faire pour y remédier à cette espèce d’injustice honteuse et, latente ? – À qui la faute, première ; lorsqu’on sait pertinemment que les vrais affamés et, attiseurs de l’insécurité alimentaire se trouvent en premier lieu au cœur des offices institutionnels susceptibles d’œuvrer pour son éradication? – De qui se moque-t-on éperdument ? À chaque fin d’une décennie, les Seigneurs autoproclamés du temple de Jupiter (l’ONU ou L’ORNU), nous baratinent avec un scoop nouveau ! Mais Le CIRASTIC persiste et signe disant que : c’est du pauvre appauvrit, que provient de la misère…».

  À l’attention de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies (la FAO- le PAM – les OMD) :

   Le CIRASTIC répond de justesse aux questions posée sur les trois thèmes : 1- 2- 3

Sur le Thème -1 : Voici ce que pense le CIRASTIC des enseignements à tirer du cadre (1990-2015) des objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement:

[On a noté la ferveur manifeste des uns et des autres; lors des prises de paroles, des allocutions sous la forme des discours qui ont suscité un brin d'espoir. Mais, hélas!!! -Parce que beaucoup de ce tout dit, ne demeure dans les faits, que des résolutions qui suspendent l’espoir, face au désespoir cuisant. - On a vu et compris ; on a attendu dans l’espoir d’entendre l’écho positif du réel escompté ! Mais, encore, hélas! Parce que qu’on néglige le réel au profit du virtuel édulcoré du sophisme au relativisme absolu. Les multiples mobilisations des fonds à débloquer, n’ont jusqu’ici, eu que d’effet positif virtuellement! Sur le vrai terrain escompté, c’est la misère honteuse (…). - Beaucoup de résolutions sur le bon sens qui dénotait la prise de conscience. Et après, rien de concret pour éradiquer ce fléau honteux. - Le minimum des fonds débloqués, aurait dû faire beaucoup de bonnes choses en faveur de ces populations dans le monde en détresse, sous cet angle. Mais, malheureusement encore, une bonne partie de ces fonds récoltés a servi comme d'habitude : à « nourrir les effets virtuels, au détriment de l'essentiel nécessiteux ». D'où notre question sans réponse, à savoir: Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait du minimum de ces fonds alloués qui stimulerait l'envi des mêmes donateurs à toujours donner sans compter? À ce propos précis, les tords sont partagés entre les Donateurs aveugles et les Gestionnaires de ces fonds alloués pour aider les vrais pauvres. - Autre enseignement, est que: les uns et des autres, sont priés d'avoir l'obligeance d'arrêter de se moquer d'eux-mêmes ; en croyant se moquer des populations victimes qui souffrent atrocement de cette injustice honteuse (la faim, l’insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition, qui ne sont qu’un aspect majeur de la pauvreté appauvrit qui en résulte à la misère…].

B- À propos des principaux défis et opportunités, voici ce que nous pensons:

: Si la pauvreté est la pire forme de violence, parce que : «elle est inéluctablement la manifestation de linjustice exacerbée». - Comme la pauvreté n’affecte pas seulement  les pays dits défavorisés; il serait indispensable de conjuguer tous nos efforts en donnant du sens aux formes acquises pour une transformation qui a du sens réel et non virtuel.* Considérant qu’une partie des connaissances liée au savoir du sujet connaissant se situe à l’interface de deux ou, de plusieurs influences positives ou négatives: le défi se situe au niveau de l’interdisciplinarité. Parce que nous mouvons dans un monde en pleine mutation incessante; ce qui nous responsabilise tous! Qu’on le veule ou pas. D’où na nécessité impérieuse de faire preuve au moins pour une fois, de probité intellectuelle. Comment cela ? En bien, en conjuguant nos acquis de forme (atouts, efforts), par la transformation productive escomptée par ces populations de plus 1milliard qui souffrent. pour se faire, nous, nous permettons se rappel 1: (Quels sont, à votre avis, les principaux enseignements qui peuvent être tirés du Cadre (1990-2015) des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD), en particulier en ce qui concerne les OMD liés à la faim, à la sécurité alimentaire et à la malnutrition ? - Quels sont, à votre avis, les principaux défis et opportunités pour parvenir à garantir la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle dans les années à venir?).

Sur le Thème -2-  Voici en quelque sorte, une prospective des mesures efficaces qui vont au-delà des effets virtuels très disproportionnés de la réalité escomptée. Le CIRASTIC propose :

-1- Apprendre à ne plus attendre le temps de l’extrême gravité d’une situation, pour proposer l’apport des secours éclairs ou ponctuels! -2- Il faudrait penser à la mise en œuvre des structures qui vise à améliorer sensiblement à moyen et à long terme, les conditions de vies de toutes ces populations qui subissent cette espèce de misère honteuse et injuste. - En rassemblant et intégrant toutes les différentes catégories de forces vives susceptibles de stimuler et de générer à bon escient les différentes ressources surplace. Ce faisant, l'on tiendra le taureau par les cornes.  -3- Multiplier toutes les pistes qui quantifient et qualifient l'expertise valorisante à vulgariser par l'éducation des masses populaires ; les différentes méthodes scientifiques et techniques qui responsabiliseraient chacun. "Nous du CIRASTIC, nous avons des plans de mise en œuvre à proposer sous la forme d'un appel à proposition..."

 

-B- Quand à l’accent mis sur l'importance sur la gouvernance, le CIRASTIC pense que: «le problème vient du fait de l'ignorance alimentée par l'avidité et l'égocentrisme de certains gouvernants qui laissent sciemment ce tout mesquin, prendre le pas d’avance ; au détriment de la nécessité de faire des choses de manière objective. (Ce qui bénéficierait aussi les masses populaires concernées). D’où l’importance des luttes utiles à mener pour  sensibiliser et mobiliser dans l’optique inspirée, réaliste et rationaliste. Afin d’obtenir le pragmatisme qui passe par l'éradication tangible des fléaux honteux et injustes. - C'est une situation qui concerne tous les pays du monde ! Au Bien que les influences d’une problématique diffèrent d’une région à une autre, la question de respect de l’éthique, n’est, l’apanage de personne face à une urgence qui nécessite une action vitale

-C- On ne peut tirer le meilleur parti de toutes ces initiatives que lorsque l'action escomptée est réalisée ! Ou est en train d'être réalisée. Les résolutions ne suffisent plus que l’on les garde dans les bunkers dorés! Nous voulons, et implorons les actions par la mise en œuvre qui intègre la prise en compte de toutes les différentes forces vives des domaines concernés et autres...

NB :«Des résolutions du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies- De la Conférence Rio+20 des Nations Unies sur le développement durable et CSA » Tous, doivent comprendre au-delà des mots que :

Sans la preuve d’un minimum de probité intellectuelle qui contribuerait à valoriser l’éthique, aucune initiative louable ne peut espérer trouver d’effets escomptés. Il faut impérativement que les efforts soient faits de Deux côtés majeurs. À savoir: Des Donateurs d'une part et Receveurs chargés de gérer ces fonds d'autre part. Mais, c’est auprès des Receveurs Chargés de Gérer le Fonds, qu'existe le problème ! Parce que c’est au cœur de leur institution qu’il y a de vrais affamés qui affament ! - De vrais pauvres qui appauvrissent en exhibant au virtuel médiatique, la misère des miséreux qu’ils ont eux-mêmes fabriqués(…). NB : «Si les pauvres qui croupissent dans les institutions et ailleurs; cessent d'appauvrir les victimes miséreux, on aura moins du misérabilisme avéré ! Parce que la misère émane de la pauvreté des pauvres qui s’évertuent à se substituer par tous les moyens aux vrais riches

-On a vu au sein même de l'office des ONG, plusieurs projets dérobés par ceux qui étaient susceptible de les valoriser! On a vu et on continue à le voir que certains ONG financés, ne font pas ce qu'il faudrait faire sur le terrain! D’où la nécessité impérieuse de sensibiliser tous les partis! C’est ce que nous pensons sans ambages. Le CIRASTIC en est victime de ce système mesquin instauré…

 

-D- Thème -3- Ce que nous pensons : au-delà du scénario à répétition interminable que l’on nous sort à chaque fin d’une décennie au cœur du socle des Nations Unies. Nous n’espérons que ce nouvel scoop soit véritablement porteur d’espoir ; face aux multiples défis honteux à relever :

"La faim qui n'est qu'un, aspect fondamental de l’injustice criarde et honteuse,* Nous osons espérer que le tout dit en terme de résolutions, ne soit pas simplement vide et creux"! *Nous espérons que ça ne sombre pas dans les abîmes de l'obscurantisme édulcoré du sophisme au relativisme absolu. *Nous, du CIRASTIC ; Nous, nous permettons d'implorer un minimum de bon sens et de la compassion face à cette urgence qui s'impose après tant de temps. *NOUS, PENSONS QUE TOUT EST POSSIBLE D’UN SEUL TENANT! À CONDITION DE REDEFINR DANS L’OPTIQUE INSPIREE, REALISTE ET RATIONALISTE, LES RÔLE DE CHAQUE ACTEUR Concerné - chaque partie du monde à ses besoins spécifiques liés à ses propres réalités de tous les jours. Le combat commun, mérite aussi la prise en compte des spécificités par secteurs.  NB : Nous u CIRASTIC nous avons de manière explicite, un capital imaginatif à partager sous la forme d’un appel à proposition.  – Il s’agit «des initiatives pragmatiques de mise en œuvre qui visent à améliorer sensiblement les conditions de vies des populations, multiples ». Notre potentiel imaginatif est à l’échelle continentale. Nous du CIRASTIC, nous persistons à penser que : la lutte contre la pauvreté en général, passe par l’implantation des bases de l'éducation scientifiques et techniques appropriées. Il faut un minimum qui stimule et consolide…

En attendant, Merci de votre bonne compréhension !  Et, au plaisir d’une coopération vraiment franche.

  • Consolider les Bases-Stimuler le créativité et voir se Développer des liens de solidarité  ***

[English version]

Hunger, food and nutrition security: towards a post-2015 development ...
Our reasoning! - Face to questions directed to the problem of Hunger, Food Security and Nutritional around the world: "How to remedy this kind of injustice and shameful, latent? - Who is to blame, first, knows when the real hunger and food insecurity catalysts are in the first place at the heart of institutional offices could work for its eradication? - Who are we kidding madly? At each end of a decade, the self-proclaimed lords of the temple of Jupiter (the UN or the ORNU), we flannel with a scoop again! The CIRASTIC but persists and signs saying: it is the poor poorer, that comes from misery ...”

To the attention of the General Assembly of the United Nations (FAO-WFP - MDGs):
 The CIRASTIC responds accurately to questions asked on three themes: 1 - 2 - 3
On Theme -1:

Here's think that the lessons of CIRASTIC framework (1990-2015) of the Millennium Development Goals:

[There was fervor manifests each other, when taking words, speeches in the form of speech which aroused a glimmer of hope. But, alas! -Because much of what said it all, does not remain in effect, suspend the resolutions to hope against despair cooking. - We have seen and understood we waited in the hope of hearing the positive response of the real expected! But still, alas! Because it neglects the real benefit of virtual watered sophistry to absolute relativism. Multiple mobilizations funds to unlock have so far only had a positive effect virtually! Expected on the true ground, it is shameful misery (...).

- Many resolutions on common sense which denoted awareness. And after, nothing concrete to eradicate this scourge shameful. - The minimum funds released, should have a lot of good things for the people around the world in distress, from this angle. But unfortunately, much of the money raised was used as usual to "feed the virtual effects at the expense of the most needy." Hence our unanswered question, namely:

What we did the minimum of these funds would stimulate the environment of the same donors always give without counting? In this precise, twist Donors are shared between blind and managers of these funds to help the real poor.

- Another lesson is that: each other, are requested to kindly stop making fun of themselves, believing mocking the victims who suffer terribly from this shameful injustice (hunger food insecurity and malnutrition, which are a major aspect of poverty resulting in impoverished misery ...].
 

-B- About Challenges and opportunities, here's what we think:
If poverty is the worst form of violence,   because "it is inevitable    the  manifestation of ' exacerbated injustice."

 -  As  poverty n'   not only affect  the so-called disadvantaged   it would need to combine our efforts in giving meaning to acquired forms for a transformation that has real meaning and not virtual. * Considering that part of the knowledge related to knowledge of the knower is located at the interface of two or  ,  several positive or negative influences:  

The  challenge at the level of interdisciplinary. Because we move in a constant changing world, which empowers all we !  Like it or not spineless. Where did imperative to exercise at least once, intellectual integrity. How so? As well, combining our assets form (strengths, effort), the productive transformation expected by these populations over 1 billion who suffer. to do so, we allow ourselves to recall 1: (What, in your opinion, the main lessons that can be learned Framework (1990-2015) of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in the MDGs related to hunger, food security and malnutrition - What are, in your opinion, the main challenges and opportunities for achieving food security and nutrition in the years to come?).

On Theme -2 - Here somehow, a prospective effective measures that go beyond the effects of virtual reality very disproportionate expected. The CIRASTIC offers:
 

-1 - Learning not to wait for the time of the extreme gravity of the situation, to provide input or occasional flashes relief!  -2 - Consideration should be given to the implementation of structures that aims to significantly improve in the medium and long term, the living conditions of these people who undergo this kind of misery shameful and unjust. - By collecting and integrating all the different types of forces that stimulate and generate various resources wisely treading water. In doing so, we take the bull by the horns. -3 - Multiply all the tracks that quantify and qualify the rewarding expertise to popularize the education of the masses, the different scientific methods and a technique empowers each. "We the CIRASTIC, we have plans to implement to offer in the form of a call for proposals ..."

-B- When the emphasis on the importance of governance, CIRASTIC think: "the problem is the ignorance fueled by greed and selfishness of some leaders who knowingly let this all mean , take no advance at the expense of the need to do things objectively. (This would also benefit the masses involved). Hence the importance of the struggles to lead useful to sensitize and mobilize the optical inspired, realistic and rational. To get the pragmatism that passes through the eradication of flails tangible shameful and unjust. - This is a situation that affects all countries of the world! Although the influences of a problem differ from one region to another, the question of ethical, is the prerogative of individual faced with an emergency that requires a vital action

-C- You can make the most of all these initiatives expected that when the action is carried out!  * Or is being carried out. Resolutions not enough that they are kept in bunkers gold! We want and crave action by the implementation that integrates the consideration of all the different forces and other relevant fields ...
NB: "Resolutions of the United Nations Secretary-General-De Rio +20 United Nations Sustainable Development and CSA" All should understand beyond the words:
Without a modicum of intellectual integrity that help promote ethics, no laudable initiative can hope to find the desired effects. It is imperative that efforts be made to two major sides. Namely: The Donors and Recipients on the one hand to manage these funds on the other. But it is with trays Officers manage the Fund, the problem exists! Because it is at the heart of their institution there are real hungry starving! - Real-depleting poor showing in the virtual media, the misery of destitute they themselves have made (...).

 NB: "If the poor languishing in institutions and elsewhere continue to impoverish the victims destitute, there will be less of misery proved! Because misery stems from the poverty of the poor who struggle to replace by all means to the real rich ...
-We have seen within the NGO office, several projects stolen by those likely to develop! We have seen and continue to see that some NGOs funded are not what should be done on the ground! Hence the urgent need to educate all parties! This is what we believe bluntly. CIRASTIC is the victim of this system established mean ...

- D- Theme -3 - What we think: beyond the endless repetition scenario that  ' we spell each end of a decade in the heart of the base of the United Nations. We do hope that this new scoop truly hopeful; shameful face the many challenges ahead:
"The hunger is a fundamental aspect of blatant injustice and shameful * -We hope that everything said in terms of resolutions is not just empty and hollow!" * We hope it does not sink into the abyss of obscurantism watered sophistry to absolute relativism. * -We, the CIRASTIC, We allow ourselves to implore a modicum of common sense and compassion in the face of this emergency is needed after so long.

* WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE ONE PIECE! PROVIDED IN THE CONTEXT OF REDEFINED INSPIRED AND REALISTIC rationalist THE ROLE OF EACH PLAYER Concerned - every part of the world to their specific needs related to their own everyday realities. The common struggle, also deserves consideration by specific sectors.

NB: CIRASTIC we explicitly share capital imaginative as a call for proposals. - It is "pragmatic initiatives implementation aimed at significantly improving the lives of people, many." Our imaginative potential is at the continental scale. We, of CIRASTIC, we continue to believe that: the fight against poverty in general, through the establishment of the foundations of education and scientific techniques. A minimum stimulates and strengthens ...
 
In the meantime, thanks for your understanding!

And the pleasure of a really frank cooperation.

Consolidate Remote stimulate creativity and see the development of solidarity

See the attachment: dans ce cadre.pdf
Martine Weve STOP AIDS NOW!, Netherlands
7-01-2013

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

 

This is a reaction to Ugo Gentilini’s request, for responses on the role of social protection in food security.

 

  • Social protection is eminent to promote and protect food security. Important to have a social protection measures in place to ensure that vulnerability of poor people can be reduced in a more sustainable way.

 

  • For PLHIV and people affected by HIV food security is an important issue. Without adequate nutrition PLHIV cannot adhere well to their needed medication intake. Food security and therefore social protection systems should be in place so that poor people and marginalised people, like people affected by HIV have access to their basic daily needs, e.g. nutritious food intake. Social protection systems and measures should therefore be accessible to all in need, most marginalized and vulnerable (no discrimination).

 

  • Governments and partners constraints in Social protection:
    • - Obvious financial constraints are there. Support on tax system strengthening is needed. Other ways of financing for the system, through community support efforts.
    • - There is a need for national social protection system or policies… At the moment, many countries do not have a national policy, so different efforts by different stakeholders, duplication of efforts etc., only focus on one area etc.
    • - Problems with targeting, not really most marginalised reached and fear for dependency.

 

  • Opportunities:
    • - Social protection and food security floor initiatives to be combined = should be pro-poor and pro-growth (preventive, protective, promotive and transformative social protection objectives).
    • - Rights-based approach and Child and HIV sensitive.
    • - Role of Civil Society in correct targeting, distribution, implementation.
    • - Role of beneficiaries., SHG systems, kitchen gardens, community cooperatives
    • - Social protection measures to reach multiple goals: food security, right to education, health, shelter
    • - See, enclosed recommendations for social protection by the Stop AIDS Alliance.

 

Thanks

Martine Weve, HIV and Livelihoods advisor

Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
7-01-2013

III. Qs on themes and content of a new framework:

12. To what extent can we capitalize on MDGs achievements and failures in developing our post-2015 development agenda?

To a great extent and to begin with, the agenda can not again be drawn top-down --a challenge that I still see unresolved. Opening up the consultation to development workers worldwide reading this is only a variance of a top-down model.  We not only can, but must capitalize on both the positive and negative lessons learned from the MDGs. Which lessons? Ask the recipients of MDG ‘benefits’! This calls for governments and local civil society the world over to jointly open, in the next year, a wide dialogue on post-2015 options. Seed funding is needed if we are serious about this.

13. What is the legacy agenda of the existing MDGs that will be inherited in the next framework? Which elements should be revised in the light of lessons learned, such as the importance of girls’ education and gender equality?

Positive points notwithstanding, the legacy of MDGs shortcomings, as I see them, is that they had donor over-influence; had a technical over-emphasis; paid no attention to acting on the underlying social and economic inequalities; they lacked a systematic long-term financial commitment; had a predominant focus on health and education; and overlooked the entire participation and political economy contexts. Furthermore, they did not quantify the obligations of the rich countries (this assumed that poverty is a problem of poor people only); actions to be taken in the rich countries must simply be part of the next framework.

Poverty was defined in the MDGs as a state in which people have to live in the equivalent of less than $US 1 a day (but inflation is likely to make the one dollar in 2000 worth around 60 cents by 2015); and China, Cuba, and Vietnam (where, by the way, I live, so I am in a position to know), have long focused on structural development concerns, but have not labeled them as ‘Millennium Development Goals’, i.e., not wanting to play the MDGs game.

These are all shortcomings we do not want to carry over to the next framework. Beware: the elements to be revised, such as the ones insinuated in the question, are not for us reading this questionnaire to decide! Additions and revisions are to come from consultations with claim holders and duty bearers down below in many little places giving this process the flexibility needed in terms of the participative selection of contents and the timing of their participative introduction.

14. Which issues were missing from the MDGs and should now be included? How to address inequality, jobs, infrastructure, financial stability, and planetary boundaries?

It is not for us to decide these issues. They must come from dialoguing with claim holders and duty bearers at national and sub-national level importantly including women and youth organizations, trade unions, social movements, parliamentarians, local civil society organizations, organizations of migrants (who cannot be ostracized as non-citizens!)…

Inequalities are a result of power imbalances so, obviously, the organization of a counter-power is the answer for the next period; rights holders have to become de-facto claimants through processes of empowerment and social mobilization.

Employment issues must be discussed directly with trade unions for inputs.

Nobody knows better the shortcomings in infrastructure than their daily users (and/or those who need it and do not have it); we have to reach out to get their inputs.

Financial instability is a trademark of the cycles of boom and bust of capitalism and, as we now know better, is caused by the reckless behavior of greedy megabanks and financial institutions and individuals. Global and national regulation --including people’s audits-- must keep them at bay making sure taxpayers never again bail them out for the disasters they bring about. A Tobin-type tax is an issue whose time has (belatedly) come. People’s audits also must be introduced to look into the issues of odious foreign debt in poor countries.

For planetary boundaries, we should fall back on work done by UNEP and in Rio; but what is needed for the new framework is to set aside funding to educate the public at large, all over the world, about these boundaries so as to make this an additional  topic of their empowerment and mobilization.

All the above notwithstanding, remember the most crucial element missing in the MDGs was a conceptual framework of the causes of underdevelopment (or maldevelopment) alluded-to earlier.

15. How should a new framework incorporate the institutional building blocks of sustained prosperity, such as freedom, justice, peace and effective government?

I wish I understand what ‘institutional building blocks’ are. So I am a bit at a loss here. But anyway, first of all, the concept of sustained prosperity must be de-linked from the concept of economic growth with the latter having to be seriously questioned.

Freedom, justice and peace are all embedded in the human rights framework which will have to, once and for all, be the guiding framework for post-2015 development agenda. [It is a real pity (or a scandal? ) we are facing having to wait another 24 months for this to become true!].

As for effective government, I have always said that elected officers are as good as the people who elected them; electors deserve those they elect(ed). The problem is that (the often anachronistic and formal) representative democracy is made use of every 4, 6 or 8 years. “You made a bad choice? You are stuck till the next election”. Under these circumstances, nothing short of making the accountability/watch dog function a function of civil society (with commensurate funding) will be good enough in the new framework. Actually, the ultimate purpose of social mobilization is the application of local direct democracy to remedy the serious shortcomings of representative democracy.

16. How should a new framework reflect the particular challenges of the poor living in conflict and post-conflict situations?

I assume that by ‘the poor’ actually the question means ‘poor people’ (or people living in poverty). I hope I make my point…

If we are talking about ‘particular challenges’, can we expect the new framework to have general recommendations here? Is this a contradiction? Would global recommendations have any chance to work?

I strongly feel this is, par-excellence, a topic for South-South cooperation (with commensurate funding). Countries living in conflict and/or post-conflict can give better advice to others on what to do/not to do. The international community’s help should come in the implementation of the recommendations coming from such S-S cooperation --the help firmly based on the principles of their extra-territorial human rights obligations now recognized by ECOSOC.

17. How can we universalize goals and targets while being consistent with national priorities and targets?

The first question I have here is: Must we again universalize goals and targets? And then: Does the MDGs experience tell us universalization of national level targets was a good thing so as to follow it now? I have said that I personally prefer the setting of benchmarks over the setting of goals and targets (whatever the difference is between these two).

National priorities have to be based on a progressive realization of human rights long-term plan with annual benchmarks. The priorities must be disaggregated to the district/municipality level so as to first concentrate actions on the x% of the most marginalized ones. (Vietnam has done so with a hundred thirty some districts). [This applies equally to giving priority to marginalized groups in society; I do not need to name them here since they are well known]. This all is what the human rights based approach calls for! So, nothing new here. In this case, we are talking about a human rights principle that is not subject to progressive realization, but calls for immediate implementation, namely the principle of non-discrimination.

The only way another set of universal goals is going to get us further in the next phase is to mandate those goals be achieved in each district/municipality and not as a national average.

18. How will a new framework encourage partnerships and coordination between and within countries at all stages of development, and with non-state actors such as business, civil society and foundations?

If the framework should encourage partnerships and which partnerships is the first question to be asked here. We need to know which partnerships the question refers to. Partnerships with whom?
‘Partnerships’ between countries have a very sorry historical past in the realm of neo-colonialism. Partnerships in traditional ODA do not have much to show for either in terms of each partner wielding equal weight in decision-making (this includes partnerships with often non-transparent/non-democratic mega philanthropies and foundations).
South-South partnerships are an upcoming potentially promising avenue the new framework should definitely refer to, explore and foster.
A special worrisome ‘animal’ here are public-private-partnerships that have been plagued by devastating conflicts of interest and by claims of white-washing the conscience of participating TNCs. Quite a bit has been written about this and I will not go into more details. (I call your attention to seminal work done on this by IBFAN and by Judith Richter).
[It would be desirable the new framework calls for greater transparency of mega philanthropies with an opening-up of their internal decision making processes].
The new framework simply has to put in place mechanisms through which governments together with representatives of civil society have a controlling stake in all partnerships. Governments and civil society organizations have learned (and suffered) by now and are now up-to-the-job, from now on, to take this mandated role.   
At global level, PPPs are also a big worry at the UN in general (Global Compact) and in UN agencies. The People’s Health Movement has been active in denouncing this state of affairs in WHO calling for concrete and definitive measures to be taken. The question also calls for  coordination between countries and within countries. The latter, I understand well. But does ‘between countries’ refer to foreign aid? If yes, I have made my point. If not, this coordination will have to be further explained.
 
19. How specific should the Panel be with recommendations on means of implementation, including development assistance, finance, technology, capacity building, trade and other actions?

I would say the Panel should not be specific on such means, but perhaps propose a range of options. It is for the participatory country and sub-country level to work on them and gain full ownership of the ones finally selected. There should be a specific time period and funding set aside for this.
As regards development assistance, foreign aid has to be made to abide by the human rights framework and by the principles of extra-territorial obligations.
The transfer of technology is a key additional issue. At grassroots level, the technology has to be appropriate, as decided by its direct future users. Otherwise, we have witnessed how TNCs transfer second hand technology to developing countries --technology they have replaced by a more advanced one in rich countries. This perpetuates underdevelopment and must, therefore, be countered.
Capacity building: my experience is in health. I have seen the proliferation of aid-funded vertical programs, be they for TB/HIV/malaria or for family planning… They all duplicate in big part the training offered with the same service provider at the point of delivery being called out for yet another training. Add to this that often different donors repeat the very same training due to a total lack of coordination. The service provider attends mostly for the sitting allowance provided and returns home not applying what has been learned. I call this disease ‘workshopitis’. The remedy? In health, we need roving multidisciplinary provincial teams that go facility by facility, stay 2-3 days in each, observe how services are provided, correct deficiencies, add new knowledge, leave a list of to-dos and return in three or six months to check on changes only to make yet a new round of recommendations, and so on.
Trade is also a big problem. Rich countries have stayed away from using WTO as a vehicle for their international trade deals and have opted for bilateral free trade agreements where they can better use their muscle to extricate more favorable conditions. The negative human rights consequences of most of these FTAs are nothing short of appalling. The rich in the poor countries may benefit, but not poor people. The new framework cannot possibly ignore this fact at the risk of coming up with a ‘robbing Peter to pay (rich) Paul’  agenda of development. [Not coincidentally, this also applies to poor countries servicing their odious foreign debt].  
 
20. How can accountability mechanisms be strengthened? What kind of monitoring process should be established? How can transparency and more inclusive global governance be used to facilitate achievement of the development agenda?

The answer is: Through civil society organizations specifically funded to act as watch dogs.
The monitoring should be based on annual benchmarks so as to check if on processes set in motion to assure the progressive realization of human rights are on course. (This presupposes each country prepares a long-term progressive realization plan of action with a, say, ten years horizon. The new framework must explicit this).
If a more inclusive global governance is to be understood as participatory governance, then the issues pertaining to governance transparency are included in the watch dog function.
What this question does not touch-upon is the issue of providing accessible redress mechanisms. The obligation of States is to take steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress any abuse through effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication. States must ensure that those affected by business-related abuses or other human rights abuses have access to a prompt, accessible and effective remedy including, where necessary, recourse to judicial redress and non-judicial accountability and grievance mechanisms. The new framework must address this issue.
It is well known that CSOs are active in many countries in preparing shadow reports for the UN Human Rights Council. The framework must explicitly encourage CSOs to participate. Once the Council engages in the universal periodic review of the human rights issues of each country it issues recommendations which, unfortunately, are not binding. Mentioning this fact, may help the new framework creating greater consciousness about this shortcoming which could result in some corrective action on this in the future.
 
21. How can a new framework tackle the challenge of coherence among the organizations, processes, and mechanisms that address issues that are global in scope?
[I saw the concept of ‘poverty of ambition’ being used in these post 2015 discussions; I think it fits nicely here].
Since Paris has, for all practical purposes failed, I think the in-country coordination of donors and local organizations should be made mandatory for multilateral and bilateral agencies and for non-governmental donors both on general aid and aid by sector. Central in the coordination process will be addressing the global issues that the new framework will suggest be prioritized worldwide with the specific mandate to adopt/adapt them to the local realities and priorities. Coordination meetings are to be chaired by two government representatives ideally from the ministries of planning and finance and must have a representative participation of CSOs. More human and financial resources have to be specifically allocated by donors for such a coordination function.
Underlying the actual willingness and commitment of all involved agencies to work in a coherent manner will, in many cases, call for a profound exercise of revisioning and remissioning of what they do based on an honest question: Are we part of the problem or of the solution? The new framework can no longer condone silo mentality, vertical programs, each donor for himself in development work. Service delivery work is not enough; technical capacity building work is not enough; advocacy work is barely enough. Remissioning is about these institutions funding and engaging in empowerment an social mobilization work in the countries they work in.
Globally, it would be highly desirable that the new framework proposes ways to be worked out for the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights also to be involved in coherence, in processes and in mechanisms issues.
Furthermore, it seems indispensable that in the post-2015 period the UN special rapporteurs be allocated adequate budgets to allow them to have proper small staffing and more travel funds to do their (excellent) work.
 
22. How can we judge the affordability and feasibility of proposed goals, given current constraints?
Affordability is strictly a country by country matter. Being a cautious optimist, I think the current constraints will be overcome. Therefore, to be prominently kept in mind are the provisions of the extraterritorial obligations of rich countries. This means that countries showing well justified shortcomings to embark in the progressive realization of human rights will go to donor agencies for help. Given that the progressive realization is based on yearly progress marked by benchmarks --and countries will have ad-hoc plans-- donors will be able to commit resources long-term, in tranches, based on the budgeted official progressive realization plan of each country. Coupling this with CSOs participation on accountability issues gives us some hope for (cautious) optimism on feasibility.
Affordability/feasibility issues can be and have been addressed successfully in several instances through participatory budgeting initiatives. These ought to have an important place in the post-2015 recommendations.
 

Christine Campeau Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), Switzerland
7-01-2013

Dear Moderator,

 

Based on EAA’s long experience working with farmers and agricultural communities around the world, and with our governments at national and international levels, we welcome the opportunity to submit the following critical points for consideration. Our submission is attached.

 

We would also like to note our participation in the drafting of the Beyond 2015 position paper on food and nutrition security and would like to express that the attached contribution further supports this document.

 

Best regards,

 

Christine

Subhash Mehta Devarao Shivaram Trust, India
7-01-2013

My thoughts on a more integrated multi sect oral response to meeting the nutritious food needs through agriculture in addition to my contributions 134 and 182; I am sharing Prof Dr Amar KJR Nayak’s case study (www. navajyoti.org) on how he and his colleagues, over a short term, have transformed one of the poorest communities in South Asia to one of long term sustainability by following the low cost integrated agriculture of the area for meeting their nutritious food needs, by using the producer org/ company (PC) intervention staffed by professionals ( creating human and institutional capacity among rural educated as general practitioners in agriculture) to manage risk, take over problems and responsibilities, other than on farm activities of their members, reduced hunger, mal nutrition, poverty, effect of climate change and suicides while improving livelihood, net income and purchasing power:

 

Integrated Low Cost Agriculture for Internal Consistency and External Synergy for Sustainability of Smallholder Farmers: Case of Nava Jyoti Agricultural Community

XIMB Sustainability Seminar Series, Working Paper 4.0 , August 2012

Amar KJR Nayak1

Abstract

Both from a theoretical perspective and empirical evidences from smallholder agricultural community, the paper argues that technology intensive agriculture is unsuitable for smallholder  farmers [most believe that ecological agriculture is technology intensive] in  rural  agricultural  settings.  It  argues  that  integrated  low  cost agriculture is internally consistent  for sustainable agriculture and externally synergistic to smallholder   farmers,   local   ecology   and   greater   overall   performance   to   different stakeholders. Performance of smallholder farmers and the processes adopted in Nava Jyoti community over the last three years and evidences from a sample of organic farmers in India suggests that integrated low cost agriculture is the only way for sustainability of our food production  system at the base of the pyramid; that could ensure food  sufficiency, nutritional security and environmental safety for all. Intensive Agricultural Technology with GM Crops at its core may only be an illusion for food security.

Key Words

Food security, agricultural technology paradigm, smallholder farmer, net farmer income, internal consistency, external synergy, integrated low cost agriculture, sustainability

1 ©Amar KJR Nayak, Professor of Strategy and NABARD Chair Professor, Xavier Institute of

Management, Bhubaneswar, Email: amar@ximb.ac.in

 

See the attachment: Navajyoti case study
7-01-2013

Please find attached the input from the Climate Emergency Institute.

Yours Sincerely

Peter Carter

See the attachment: 6 Jan FAO Hunger MDGs (2).pdf
Saba Mebrahtu UNICEF, Nepal
7-01-2013

Dear All,

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.  

Multi-setor partnership is crucial for achieving the goal of zero stunted children less than 2 years old - which in turn requires high level political commitment to bring all the key sectors on board, and to committ to work towards attaining this goal in a coherent and coordinated manner.  

(1) Ensuring 100% access to adequate food all year round is essential but it is not sufficient - other causes of chronic under-nutrition need to be addressed simultaneously - such as access to improved sanitation, safe water and hygiene.  This will require for instance - the agriculture sector partnering with Ministry responsible for water resource management and promotion of hygiene practices - which is often the domain of two Ministries - Public Health + Water resouce management etc.. 

(2) My concern would be that the poor with very limited or no access to productive resources (e.g poor landless laborers) will be missed from agriculture based interventions which aim to improve productivity of small-scale farm households - such as disadvantaged families or vulnerable population groups. An approach that has been proven effetive is social transfers (in kind or cash tansfers) to protect the most vulnerable from food insecurity, hunger and chronic under-nutrition.   In that case, strenghtening partnership between health/nutritin and social protection sectors is crucial to ensure that   these schemes have adequate duration - during the narrow window of opportnity (pregnancy to two years of age), adequate value, and are combined with nutrition education for better nutritional outcomes.

(3) I am also concerned that gender is not emphasized enough - there are a number of gender related factors that need to be tackled (e.g. early marriage, heavy workload and poor care during pregnancy which are largely due to traditional beliefs and women's low social status).    So, unless maternal care and nutrition is seriously tackled - it will be difficult to achieve the zero stunting goal by the age of two years.  Here Civil Society could play an important role - to help bring about social and behaviour change.  I feel that this is not emphasized enough especially in the above five objectives. 

All in all agriculture and food-based approach needs to be well integrated in a coherent manner with WASH/Social Protection/gender to achieve results,  and an important pre-requisite is a high level political commitment to coordinate the key relevant Ministries including Civil Society.   

Simon Ross Population Matters, United Kingdom
6-01-2013

We believe that addressing the demand side, population growth and high per capita consumption, is an important part of any strategy for food and nutrition security.

Simon Ross

Population Matters

 

Maria Eugenia Rinaudo Mannucci Environmental Analyst, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
5-01-2013

First I would like to thank the whole team that made ​​this public consultation on the major challenges we face in the world.

By the way, I would like to share with you, this famous phrase of Vandana Shiva: "Humans have forgotten that water comes from rain and the food comes from the earth. We came to believe that food and water are the products of a company".

Theme 1

Initially, I think that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are major challenges for today's global society. They are facing in cooperation and governmental and institutional partnerships to improve the quality of life of millions of people at the present time, suffer from poverty, hunger and lack of development in their communities. 

We learned a lot about the evolution of the MDGs over the years, which, in my opinion, all have been successful, however, I revealed several challenges still remain to be fulfilled in relation to objectives 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8. Global efforts undertaken by the United Nations with governments and communities has been really important and satisfying. I think we are on the right way to combat the major global challenges such as poverty, hunger and climate change (economic and environmental issue that directly affects the aforementioned issues).

 

I think these are the profound challenges we face:
 
  • - Effective international cooperation to combat hunger and poverty. Continue to encourage the training of persons to offices of local interest, which may contribute to endogenous development and at the same time to the local economy.
  • - Undertake eco-social studies to determine the influence of climatic changes in high-risk areas, as well as generate and develop action plans to deal with natural disasters caused by climate change (mitigation and adaptation).
  • -Advancing international alliances to promote a "climate-smart agriculture", thus we will be contributing to the creation of carbon sinks, creating green jobs and promoting sustainability and food security.

Another important point that I want to share with you, is the importance of adaptation plans to climate change in agriculture to promote food security and curb poverty and hunger. In Venezuela, I had the opportunity to participate in the final discussion of an Adpatation Program for Climate Change in Venezuelan Agriculture, project that was funded by UNDP to promote development and enhance food security in the country. Studies conducted during this project, unveiled agricultural crops which are more resistant to climate impacts and at the same time, favorable to human health.

At the present time, has not yet been made ​​effective this plan, however, we are in the process of generating new local discussions to that end.
 
Theme 2
 
I think that the strategies that have been developing some countries like: strengthening the capacity of communities through local development, education and application of green technologies for sustainable agriculture, are the main ways we must to take to tackle poverty and hunger.
 
The establishment of green energy technologies and climatically vulnerable areas should be a priority for improving socio-ecological conditions. For example, the construction of solar cookers, is an important and easy to promote local development and ensure as far as possible, adequate food intake.
 
As for my opinion on the current initiatives on the promotion of food security and the eradication of poverty, I think both campaigns mentioned in the question are viable and are doing their best to inform, educate and build partnerships to promote development and prevent hunger. Are represented by ethical and professional technicians, which, I'm sure will continue doing good work in cooperation with local and international campaigns.
 
Theme 3
 
I agree with all these objectives outlined above, however, I think the main challenge ahead is to encourage all governments (with different development models and political views) to work towards these goals.
 
For example, the case of Latin America is important to evaluate these objectives mentioned above. This continete, is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, which helps to strengthen agricultural production for the welfare of citizens (provided, either through a sustainable production). Despite this, the vast majority of people in this space, suffer from hunger. According to the latest report from the FAO (2012), more than 33 million people suffer from hunger (only in South America).
 
We must recognize that Latin America has a massive program to eradicate hunger and poverty called "Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger" and that according to previous figures, has fallen quite the number of citizens who suffer from this. 
 
However, there are countries in this region that have not taken proper measures to control poverty and hunger. I can properly say that Venezuela is one of them, which unfortunately, in recent years has increased the number of poor in the country, which do not have sufficient financial support for food unfit for consumption.
 
Our food production capacity has fallen dramatically over the years, while imports have increased despite having large number of nature reserves, agricultural and livestock, as well as, qualified for these tasks.
 
So I think that our current challenge in relation to these objectives is to promote the governments, the interest required to be agents of change with international organizations committed to these challenges.
 
Thank you so much!
Mohammad Monirul Hasan Institute of Microfinance (InM), University of Bonn, Germany
4-01-2013

 

Though there are flaws in the objective function of MGDs, the achievement in terms of goal is praiseworthy. Much works has been done for the challenges of MDG implementation. But there are lot of challenges and pitfalls in the process of implementation and sustainability of the process. It looks nice that the goals have been achieved, but the sustainability of the goals is really a big question today. I would like to highlight my ideas on the thematic topics in the Bangladeshi perspective.

Theme1:

In Bangladesh, it is reported that by the government and also by UNDP that most of the MDGs are almost achieved and some are very close to the targets. It is very impressive and government can make it a political success and brag about their achievement. But there are some real issues that need to be address that I will highlight.

In goal Poverty and Hunger, Bangladesh has reduced poverty to 31.5% in 2010 according to National data. It is also proved by other dataset also that the rate of extreme poverty has declined to almost 30%. This is a good achievement for Bangladesh. But another question is very crucial now, is it enough to measure poverty by 2122 kilocalorie per day? Where only two plate of rice can generate this energy, the other requirement of the human body is ignored. People are having rice everyday but the nutrition that they need is not sufficient. As a result lot of diseases are attacking them and they are becoming vulnerable. So only 2122kilocaloire a day or $2.00 a day should not be the measurement of poverty. I think poverty has lot of dimension. According to the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, poverty has more dimensions that are now being measured. So I think the measuring poverty in terms of kilocalorie is misleading and not accurate.

Bangladesh also has improved universal primary education and gender equality to a great extent. It is also is on track in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS. Bangladesh has also improved the safe drinking water and sanitary latrines to the poorest people. But still a lot of works need to be done.

Challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years

Objective function: It is very important in the next agenda to set the objective function that really faces the challenges of 21st century. It is shame to the mankind that some people are starving for days without food and some are wasting foods. Even the measurement of poverty is wrong. Of course, 2122 kilocalorie is important but this should have at least some variety of sources, like carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals etc. nutrition issue should be more emphasized in the next agenda. In the education level, people should have able to read, write and ability to read the newspaper in their own language. Proper health care should be ensured to the mother and children and also the seniors those who are out of income category. Now days those who have money can avail good medical care in Bangladesh, because most of the people don’t have any medical insurance and savings to bear the medical expenses. They somehow got primary treatment, but they never goes to the professional doctors. This is very important to have either health insurance or provide sufficient medial doctors to the local areas.

Governance and sustainability: The process of implementing of MDGs is having lot of corruption and misuse of resources. Most of the targeted households are illiterate and they can’t protest this corruption by their own and they believe that the program is like an aid. But the problem should be address from the government. So in the next agenda, corruption and governance issue should be incorporated. Sustainability of the program should also be ensured, because some household today seems to be graduated from poverty but anytime they can also fall into the poverty again, because the sustainable income generating activity is required to make them get out of poverty and nutrition issues. Otherwise, the program will not be successful.

 

Theme 2:

It is very important to establish good governance, accountability and also political commitment in achieving food and nutrition security. Because in a country like Bangladesh, corruption is the main hurdle for eradicating poverty. Corruption is everywhere. The victims are the poor people those who need help and those who seek service. From healthcare to job sector, you have to bribe the authority. It becomes an open secret matter. Everyone knows but no one can do anything. Civil society is shouting but the government itself is corrupted. The security, law and order, police everyone is corrupted. So whenever, a goal like MDGs comes the fifty percentage of money goes to the pocket of the authority. So Political will, accountability and governance should be improved in the country. There should be a goal in the next agenda that corruption level should be declined by more than 50% by next five years.

 

 

Theme 3:

I think the set of objectives that has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General under Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC) is alright.

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.

f.    Zero corruption in development projects like MDG goals.

g.   Sustainability of the food and nutrition program

h.   Climate change affected people should be most priority and full support with zero corruption.

i.    Increase the social security for all, especially for the vulnerable people.

j.   Access to communication technology to all.

 

These goals may be in some cases country specific and regional also. The climate, culture and geography are different from country to country. So region specific goals should also be addressed in the next agenda.  

 

Mohammad Monirul Hasan 

Senior Research Associate, InM

http://www.monir1021.blogspot.com/

Emily Levitt Ruppert FAO/WFP Facilitation Team, United States of America
4-01-2013

Dear Colleagues,

A series of comments have come in during this e-consultation about the importance of maintaining a multisectoral approach to addressing hunger, food and nutrition security. However, in the new post-2015 framework, many have recommended a more integrated approach (integrated framework) rather than a list of the respective thematic goals without clear links between them. This is a noted weakness of the MDGs.

 

ACF's contribution noted: "the countries that have had most success in bringing down rates of undernutrition, six key success factors – 1) strong political will; 2) civil society participation and ownership; 3) a multi-sectorial approach; 4) institutional coordination; 5) a multi- phase approach and; 6) continued, predictable financial investment - make up an ideal ‘enabling
environment’, which if in place should facilitate a reduction in rates of childhood undernutrition. In contexts with the most demonstrable success, all six factors are present in varying degrees.
" (link to ACF's full contribution)
 

Claudio Schuftan in Vietnam added: "An adaptation of the already well accepted UNICEF framework is perhaps the best way to address this omission." (link to Claudio's full contribution)

 

What thoughts do participants in this e-consultation have about how to have a more integrated set of multisectoral goals (contributing to the hunger, food and nutrition security goal/outcomes) in the overall post-2015 framework? Are there effective country examples that exist in national development frameworks that could be used as models/templates?

 

Emily Levitt Ruppert
Member of the FAO/WFP Facilitation Team

 

Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
4-01-2013

II. Qs on the shape of a post-2015 development framework:

 

5. How should a new framework address the causes of poverty?

 

Based on the new conceptual framework on the causes of maldevelopment I plead be arrived at by consensus, the post 2015 framework will importantly have to work on deconstructing neoliberal globalization --the latest incarnation of raw capitalism. Why? Because it is not about the alleviation of poverty (much less about the chance of eradicating it); it is about a quantum reduction of disparity the world over --among and within countries. It is about working out new mechanisms of redistribution of wealth and power. And such a redistribution will only come through empowerment and social mobilization from below; with people going from having voice to exerting influence. I worry that all the good intentions of the UN to address the structural causes of poverty in the conceptual framework will lead to another 10 years of failure if it does not politicize this issue. The rich have no intentions to give up their power and privileges; non-violent counter-power has to be organized and applied. Dialogue has to become a dialogue of equals. 

  

6. How should a new framework address resilience to crises?

 

Ultimately, the common denominator of most of the man-made crises can be attributed to the excesses of capitalism. Decisive steps must be taken by the new framework to foster the social mobilization needed to make sure effective disparity reduction measures are launched nationally and internationally. [ Internationally, this means giving accredited NGOs a seat, voice and vote in UN and in government deliberations. Environmental crises have both natural and man-made causes. As Rio and Rio+20 have shown us, we can effectively address the latter. The new framework must depart from this premise and thus, as a minimum, incorporate Rio+20 recommendations.

 

7. How should a new framework address the dimensions of economic growth, equity, social equality and environmental sustainability? Is an overall focus on poverty eradication sufficiently broad to capture the range of sustainable development issues?

 

The economic growth model has been shown to be unsustainable, mostly (but not only) on environmental grounds. Does the new framework have an option not to deemphasize economic growth as the main development goal? It actually needs to denounce it in no uncertain terms.

Reaching equity and social equality inevitably points to the fact that both need the processes of empowerment and social mobilization I insisted-upon earlier.

 

For environmental sustainability, the roadmap has already been worked-on by the experts in  Rio and Rio+20 so that the new framework has to adopt its recommendations.

 

As said, the focus ought not to be on poverty eradication, but on disparity reduction which has connotations for urgently needed actions both in rich and in poor countries including changes in many, if not most, aspects of ODA.

 

The disparity reduction approach is necessary, but not sufficient to capture the range of sustainable development issues. Rio+20 is clear about this.

 

8. What should be the architecture of the next framework? What is the role of the SDGs in a broader post-2015 framework? How to account for qualitative progress?

 

The broader architecture of the next framework must absolutely be based on the human rights framework. Enough of lip service. It is time for deeds (related, nothing less, than to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the UN Charter). From now on, we have to look at the development process from the perspective of claim holders and duty bearers in their dialectic relationship. This language must be adopted and both groups have to be made more confident and assertive in their respective roles, i.e., claim holders placing concrete demands/staking claims and duty bearers abiding by UN Covenants, Conventions and General Comments. The concept of progressive realization is another one to be given center stage.

 

The role of the Sustainable Development Goals is also key. We only have one planet! Heed the recommendations from Rio!

 

Also related to the architecture, there will have to be a global UN body with executive powers following up on the implementation of the new framework. (The MDGs did not really have this; it was left to countries to apply them; there was no global accountability). This body must be endowed with funding. It must have some kind of an executive ombudsperson role on issues of implementation and must work towards influencing international financing mechanisms being made available.

 

To account for qualitative progress, yearly benchmarks have to be set by each country (especially for the poorest districts/municipalities) based on processes that must be implemented en route to the progressive realization of the different human rights. Civil society organizations are to be appointed as watch dogs for the achievement of these benchmarks; they need to receive funds specially earmarked for this.

 

9. Should (social, economic, and environmental) drivers and enablers of poverty reduction and sustainable development, such as components of inclusive growth, also be included as goals?

 

The word enablers is a rather vague one. So is inclusive growth. I had already suggested a) that we need to deemphasize economic growth as the main development goal, b) that the selection of outcome goals is likely to be less useful than the use, inclusion and of yearly processes-achievement benchmarks, and c) that disparity reduction, and not poverty reduction, is the term to be used from now on.

 

Indeed, the three drivers mentioned in the question need to be tackled --but absolutely not forgetting a fourth one, namely the political driver. Each is necessary, but not sufficient. [The UN being non-political is to be understood in terms of non-political-partisan, but, by God, it needs to act more decisively on issues political in nature it strongly stands for; therefore, when needed, calling a spade a spade. Some agencies do it more that others].

 

10. What time horizon should we set for the next phase in the global development agenda (e.g., 10, 15, 25 years, or a combination)?

 

I am more inclined for five years with yearly-interval benchmarks as yardsticks of progressive realization. Yearly achievements/shortcomings can thus be assessed and adjustments made accordingly, as needed, in a participatory manner. With the world changing as fast as it does, I am sure that major adjustments are justified every five years --at least at the country level.

 

11. What principles and criteria should guide the choice of a new set of goals?

The human rights principles of non-retrogression, universality and inalienability, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness, equality and non-discrimination, participation and inclusion, and accountability and rule of law are, once and for all, to guide the new framework. The assessment of these principles being respected is to be built-in into assessing annual benchmarks.

 

The main criterion that must go with this is for countries to be mandated to participatorily draw-up long-term and annual plans for the progressive realization of human rights Human rights are all closely related to the development process. (Such plans could be a requirement for ODA as well). The new framework must demand these progressive realization plans be drawn up.

Paul Larsen WFP, Norway
3-01-2013

1. Hunger reduction needs to be targeted as a distinct political and policy goal of the highest priority, and separate from poverty: we have seen that the poverty MDG1 was reached, while the hunger part of MDG1 was thrown off track by the food crisis since 2008. Hunger thus requires particular attention and efforts.

 

2. Hunger targets must capture individual access to food and nutrition, in particular for children under five, and include the broadest possible data on stunting as well as underweight, calorie as well as micronutrient deficiencies, and individual, household, and community as well as national level statistics.

 

3. Given the crucial importance of child nutrition during the first 1000 days after conception, hunger indicators should capture the impact of emergency and acute under-nutrition, including of pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as of chronic hunger, to guide high-impact investments and interventions.

Etienne du Vachat Action Against Hunger (ACF), France
3-01-2013

Dear all,

 

Here is Action Against Hunger - ACF's contribution to the consultation on hunger, food and nutrition security within the post-2015 development agenda.

 

We hope you will find it interesting.

 

With our best wishes for 2013,

Etienne du Vachat

Food Security Advocacy Officer

ACF-France (Paris)

 

--

 

Theme 1: lessons learnt from the current MDG framework

 

While we recognize the importance of having a framework that is both clearly defined and workable like the MDGs were, we think the next framework for development should be more comprehensive and call for more accountability. Clearly, the political and financial commitments have not been strong enough to translate the goals into full success. Indeed, despite the fact that the MDGs were built upon concrete goals, with quantifiable targets that were relatively simple to understand and monitor, some goals will not be achieved in the given timeframe. Furthermore, the chosen indicators and targets tend to give a truncated – and thus bias – picture of complex problems.

 

Comments regarding the indicators on hunger in the current MDG framework and suggestions for improvement:

 

There is currently one target (1.C) focusing on hunger – ‘Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger’ – that comes together with two indicators:

 

1.8 – Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age

 

  1. 1.9 – Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption

 

These indicators could be improved:

 

Regarding the indicators:

 

  • Underweight (weight/age) is a composite indicator whose interpretation is difficult as age is often not precisely estimated. In the next framework for development, two other indicators should be systematically added to this one:
    • The height/age that describes stunting
    • The weight/height that describes wasting

 

Computing these three indicators is the only way of reflecting the various aspects of child malnutrition.

 

  • The indicator 1.9, in analyzing only the level of dietary energy consumption (= calories), does not take into account “hidden-hunger”, which refers to micronutrient deficiencies (= chronic lack of vitamins and minerals) and is most of the time not visible. To better assess that issue, it is urgent to come to a consensus on what would be the best indicator (or suite of indicators) to reflect access to and consumption of nutritionally adequate diet at macro level. The dietary diversity scores[1] used by FANTA and FAO could be a basis to draw upon.
  • Indicators should be disaggregated as much as possible to highlight inequalities/discriminations between groups of population according to their location (rural/urban areas), age and gender. Ideally, indicators should also be time-disaggregated to show the cyclical character of hunger. Underlying disparities in data must enable governments to accurately target policies (i.e. safety nets, food assistance) on the most vulnerable and nutritionally at-risk groups. 

 

Regarding the reference population:

 

  • The indicators of the next framework for development must be exclusively based on the WHO Child Growth Standards of 2006 if they are to accurately reflect undernutrition prevalence[2].

 

Current challenges and opportunities:

 

The current MDG framework reflects a sectorial approach that must be renewed, so as to better take on the new global challenges. Among those, food price volatility, climate change and demographic growth are key issues to food and nutrition security. Recurrent challenges such as vulnerability to socioeconomic and climate related shocks have intensified, further enforcing the need for a post 2015 agenda to promote resilience by addressing vulnerability. Donors, governments and NGOs alike have traditionally placed too little focus on building resilience within communities before crises occur, choosing instead to focus on tackling hunger and disease during or after the crisis. Furthermore, recurring crises are typically perceived as “humanitarian” issues in need of an immediate, short-term response when in fact a twin track approach with adequate resources is needed, ensuring that the immediate needs of vulnerable populations are met while simultaneously building the longer-term resilience of communities at risk from recurring food crises.

 

It is very likely that the objective on hunger in the current MDGs framework will not be achieved by 2015. It is thus crucial to make a larger room to undernutrition in the post-2015 development agenda, ideally through both a nutrition-specific goal and nutritional indicators within the other goals. New initiatives such as the SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) movement show that awareness on the importance of nutrition for long term human development is raising. They also convey the message that cost-effective, high impact interventions now exist to address the problem of undernutrition, and that those interventions – that are both direct (or nutrition-specific) and indirect – should be implemented following a twin track approach. A momentum has thus been created, but it must be enhanced by a clear objective on nutrition in the next agenda for development.

 

Theme 2: what works best to address hunger and under-nutrition?

 

ACF’s Zero Hunger series produced in 2011[3], found that in the countries that have had most success in bringing down rates of undernutrition, six key success factors – 1) strong political will; 2) civil society participation and ownership; 3) a multi-sectorial approach; 4) institutional coordination; 5) a multi-phase approach and; 6) continued, predictable financial investment - make up an ideal ‘enabling environment’, which if in place should facilitate a reduction in rates of childhood undernutrition. In contexts with the most demonstrable success, all six factors are present in varying degrees.

 

Agriculture contributes to nutrition through 3 main pathways: direct production for farming households; increased incomes for rural societies and pushing down food prices.

 

However, hunger and food insecurity are not only a matter of agriculture, although it is a very important contributing factor. If a strong focus has to be placed on smallholder agriculture, it is important to address other food security related aspects as well, such as income generation, urban livelihoods, food assistance and social protection.

 

Moreover, even though undernutrition is strongly linked to food security, the latter does not necessarily guarantee a satisfactory nutritional situation. Indeed, nutrition is determined by a large variety of factors that goes far beyond food security, among which are women’s education and income, child care practices, access to quality health services, family planning, coverage of vaccination, availability and access to clean/protected water sources and to adequate sanitation facilities, etc.

 

Furthermore, it is acknowledged that female empowerment, enabling women to have control over household resources, brings significant gains in nutrition. As such, it must be put at the heart of programmes.

 

Hence, ACF advocates for the development of a nutrition-sensitive agriculture[4], so that agricultural interventions translate to significant improvements in nutrition outcomes. ACF’s field experience has demonstrated the importance of nutrition-sensitive agriculture at the household level. For example, the development of kitchen gardens has the potential to improve dietary diversity, particularly if in conjunction with small scale livestock rearing. Nutrition-sensitive policies can pave the way not only to long term agricultural investments to raise smallholder farmers’ productivity but also to developing a cross-disciplinary approach linking nutrition with agriculture, gender, health, social protection, and dietary education.

 

Theme 3: the Zero Hunger Challenge

 

The ZHC admittedly sets an interesting frame for objectives on the global food system. However, although it provides a more holistic way of looking at hunger and points out that adopting a long term vision is necessary to reach food and nutrition security, it appears more like wishful thinking than a seriously defined, realistic, time-bound set of objectives.

 

Those should be modified so as to be achievable on the medium-term timeframe that is likely to be settled for the post-2015 framework, i.e. to 2030-5. Country or regional level roadmaps which break down the goals into discrete time-bound targets and actions should be drawn up. It is necessary to specify targeted levels of improvement according to the different contexts. For instance concerning the objective (d), the appropriate percentage of increase in smallholders’ productivity should be based on national negotiations with all stakeholders – particularly farmers’ representatives – and be accompanied by financial commitments.

 

Targets may also differ from one country to another according to the specific actions each country must undertake to reach the objective. For example, whereas the sustainability of agriculture practices is a stake in both developed and developing, unsustainable agriculture practices do not have the same roots and consequences in the North and in the South, and policies must be designed accordingly. In developing countries an important lever would be to facilitate access to credit, develop adequate financing mechanisms and safety nets for farmers so that they don’t adopt short term behaviors that are detrimental to them and the environment.

 

It is very important to link this objective of sustainability with the one on increased farmers’ productivity, so that increasing food and nutrition security at household level does not lead to fostering highly productive and cash crop agriculture systems. Traditional systems are often the most resilient and can be highly productive as well, even though they are not always oriented towards income generation. The key is that the transition must be farmer-owned and controlled, and oriented towards local and regional markets rather than export markets, as has been the case until now through two decades of perverse international and national policies and incentives. Improvements to local irrigation, road, storage, processing, market and credit infrastructure are also critical to making that happen. Furthermore, emphasis must be put on women farmers and the necessity to close the gap between men and women in access to inputs, as it is stressed in the ‘Global Strategy Framework for Food Security and Nutrition’.  Improving living conditions in the country should also be regarded as an important issue. Rural areas must be revitalized to become more attractive to young people and businesses.

 

The objective (e.) on food waste and losses is also very relevant to smallholders’ livelihoods and food and nutrition security, considering the 30% of pre- and postharvest loss every year. To avoid these losses, smallholder farmers use to sell their production right after harvesting, hence exposing themselves to early food shortage while often selling their production cheaply. Harvest losses are thus quite strongly linked with the seasonality of hunger, itself due to the seasonality of harvest, income and prices, which leads to shorter or longer hunger gaps periods and recurrent crises. Hence, achieving the objective (a) will greatly depends on the reduction of food losses. This can be done notably through investments in storage and post-harvest processing equipment, and also through environment-friendly pest and disease control.

 

Finally, indicators should be both measurable at country level and at global level. They should be disaggregated when possible so as to enable the design of effective policies, and be as comprehensive as possible. This is particularly important for the objective (b) on child’s undernutrition. By focusing on stunting, it takes only one aspect of undernutrition into account. Yet, adopting a holistic approach of undernutrition allows tackling it more effectively. Hence, the objective should embrace the several aspects of malnutrition, i.e. stunting, wasting and underweight. It should be also be stressed that children with wasting are at higher risk for linear growth retardation, hence, addressing wasting is a way of preventing stunting. Furthermore, the wording of the objective should be changed, so as to encompass the idea of ‘window of opportunity’, to highlight the importance of mothers’ good health during the antenatal period and to encompass other underlying factors leading to under-nutrition.

 

[1] http://www.foodsec.org/fileadmin/user_upload/eufao-fsi4dm/docs/Dietary_Diversity_paper.pdf

[2] According to WHO and UNICEF, “Using the new WHO standards in developing country situation results in a 2-4 times increase in the number of infants and children falling below -3 SD compared to using the former NCHS reference”. Joint statement available here:

http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/severemalnutrition/9789241598163_eng.pdf

[3]http://www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/fileadmin/contribution/0_accueil/pdf/Zero%20Hunger%20Overview.pdf

[4] FAO’s definition of nutrition-sensitive agriculture: “Agriculture that effectively and explicitly incorporates nutrition objectives, concerns, and considerations to achieve food and nutrition security.”

Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
3-01-2013

I. Qs on lessons learned and context:

 

1. What have the MDGs achieved? What lessons can be learned about designing goals to have maximum impact?

 

The mix of MDGs achievements/shortcomings is by now well known. The question here is: Do we really want to set goals --in terms of outcomes? Or do we rather want to set (annual) benchmarks --much more related to processes (a central critique of the MDGs). Goals, in the past and in the present, aim at achieving national averages. By design, this leaves half of those affected below the average. To be consistent with the UN-sanctioned Human Rights Framework, setting goals will only make sense if these are applied at the sub-national level, i.e., district or municipality since only this allows focusing national efforts on those territorial units so far most neglected and discriminated. With this being accepted, the concept of maximum impact will have to be redefined in the new framework. 

 

2. How has the world changed since the MDGs were drafted? Which global trends and uncertainties will influence the international development agenda over the next 10-30 years?

 

The world has changed plenty; but how much due to or despite the MDGs? Let us keep in  mind that the selection of MDGs was arbitrary and top-down with many of us having complained about issues left out and about the lack of consultations when they were set. The global  trends that will influence development are, for sure, peace, the progressive realization of human rights, and our success in making democracy more a local direct democracy (as opposed to the flawed representative democracy we, at best, have now). But keep in mind that the global trends will be made up of myriad local and regional trends --certainly not forgetting those due to both economic and climate-related migration-- which the new framework will have to influence in a positive direction. The human rights framework is the most effective tool we have to achieve this. In the next development phase, let the human rights perspective, then, guide the deployment of human, financial and other resources. 

 

3. Which issues do poor and vulnerable people themselves prioritize?

 

First of all, ‘vulnerable people’ I think is a euphemism. [It is the same as speaking of ‘people at risk’; we tend to think that people take risks but, beware, risks are also imposed!]. To avoid any sort of victimization, we must talk of marginalized people. Vulnerable has a connotation of ‘poor them…’; marginalized tells us our social arrangements have put them in that situation. Now to the question of which issues claim holders prioritize: The question has not been answered! Why? Mainly because we have not systematically asked them. Let us do that…and then heed their advice!  I have great hope that this time we put this question at the very center of what we do in the massive consultation that has now been launched. Should I be optimistic? For people to influence priorities, development work cannot only continue focusing on service delivery, on capacity building and on (depoliticized) advocacy; what is needed is a focus on empowerment and social mobilization (the latter also called practical politics). It is not easy to say what is really empowering in community development work. Any attempted operational definition will (always) carry a certain bias depending on the conceptual glasses one is wearing. What is clear is that --in a mostly zero-sum game-- the empowerment of some, most of the time, entails the disempowerment of others --usually the current holders of power. Empowerment is not an outcome of a single event; it is a continuous process that enables people to understand, upgrade and use their capacity to better control and gain power over their own lives. It provides people with choices and the ability to choose, as well as to gain more control over resources they need to improve their condition. It expands the 'political space' within which iterative Assessment-Analysis-Action processes operate in any community. That is what we need to pursue.

 

4. What does a business-as-usual scenario look like?

 

The business as usual scenario paints quite a grim picture, I’d say. Take, for example, the poverty alleviation discourse in the MDGs: it displaced the poverty debate worldwide: from a political discussion about its causes to a technical, risk management scheme. (N. Dentico)

Bottom line, I am not sure MDG achievements will all be sustainable. We have raced for the outcomes neglecting the participatory processes to get there, and what we see does not bode well.

 

An equally important question is: What does a business-as-usual mode foretell?  As another example, take the following: if current trends continue, by 2015, 3.7 million more children in Africa will suffer from malnutrition than are today. My crystal ball tells me we will see more fundamentalism more ‘…springs’, growing frustration, more (understandable) explosive conflicts; perhaps some empowerment in the process, but empowerment in an unpredictable direction; some good, I’d expect. What this tells us is the urgency for the post-2015 agenda to address the real deep structural causes of widespread disempowerment of those that live in poverty/happen to be poor.

 

Perhaps the most crucial element missing in the MDGs was a conceptual framework of the causes of underdevelopment (or maldevelopment). In the 1990s, UNICEF pioneered the now widely accepted conceptual framework of the causes of malnutrition identifying its immediate, underlying and basic or structural causes importantly showing that addressing each level of causality is necessary but not sufficient. This omission of the MDGs cannot be repeated by the new framework we are all trying to come up with. An adaptation of the already well accepted UNICEF framework is perhaps the best way to address this omission. Are we up to the challenge?

Isabel De Felipe Universidad Politecnica Madrid, , Spain
2-01-2013

En el  tema 1º deberíamos tener en cuenta no solamente la seguridad alimentaria de abastecimiento (food security) sino también la higiénico-sanitaria (food safety) que tantos problemas viene causando especialmente en los países en desarrollo.

 

En relación al tema 3º, entiendo que hay unos objetivos básicos, identificados en los apartados a y b, en tanto que los otros son instrumentos para lograr los primeros. En cualquier caso, los apartados c,d y e  deben de tener como mínimo un ámbito regional.

 

También debe hacerse hincapié en la necesidad de una colaboración y responsabilidad compartida entre todos los agentes que participan en el sistema alimentario.

 

Subhash Mehta Devarao Shivaram Trust, India
28-12-2012

Smallholder System of Crop Intensification can meet world's nutritious food needs:

Smallholder producers, around the world, are meeting their communities' nutritious food needs at farm gate price thus having access to food, increasing their farm production and net incomes by adopting, ''system of cop intensification (SCI)', based on the SRI principal of following the local integrated low cost successful sustainable agriculture and as applicable to the soil and agro climatic conditions of each area. 

Jonathan Latham's paper and other links to papers, all  trailed below, provides evidence from farmers’ fields coverring a range of crops  – wheat, maize, finger millet, sugarcane, mustard (rapeseed/canola), legumes such as pigeon peas, lentils, soya beans and horticulture crops, showing increase in farm production after converting from conventional to following SCI agriculture principles.

http://independentsciencenews.org/un-sustainable-farming/how-millions-of-farmers-are-advancing-agriculture-for-themselves/

 

How Millions of Farmers are Advancing Agriculture For Themselves

By Jonathan Latham

 

Synopsis: An unheralded and unprecedented farmer-led revolution is underway in agriculture. Small farmers around the world are dramatically boosting their productivity and yields by adopting a growing system called SCI (System of Crop Intensification). SCI is based on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which is characterised by simple modifications to agricultural practices that synergise to promote healthy plant growth. These modifications include improving soil conditions and greatly lowering plant density (crowding). 

Since SRI and SCI methods use fewer seeds, require no fertilisers or pesticides, use less water, and work well regardless of crop variety, they radically boost the income of farmers while also reducing their costs. Unsurprisingly, SRI and SCI are being rapidly adopted, so far in over 50 countries. An important aspect of this story is that SRI and SCI are advancing almost entirely outside the purview of the scientific agricultural research community. Since modern agricultural research mostly ignores farming as a system, and focusses instead on manipulating external inputs and crop genetics, this lack of interest should be no surprise; but the two and three-fold yield improvements typical of SRI and SCI suggest that this narrow scientific focus may prove to have been an error of historic proportions.

 

The world record yield for paddy rice production is not held by an agricultural research station or by a large-scale farmer from the United States, but by Sumant Kumar who has a farm of just two hectares in Darveshpura village in the state of Bihar in Northern India. His record yieldof 22.4 tons per hectare, from a one-acre plot, was achieved with what is known as theSystem of Rice Intensification(SRI). To put his achievement in perspective, the average paddy yield worldwide is about 4 tons per hectare. Even with the use of fertilizer, average yields are usually not more than 8 tons.

Sumant Kumar’s success was not a fluke. Four of his neighbors, using SRI methods, and all for the first time, matched or exceeded the previous world record from China, 19 tons per hectare. Moreover, they used only modest amounts of inorganic fertilizer and did not need chemical crop protection.

Using SRI methods, smallholding farmers in many countries are starting to get higher yields and greater productivity from their land, labor, seeds, water and capital, with their crops showing more resilience to the hazards of climate change (Thakur et al 2009; Zhao et al 2009).

These productivity gains have been achieved simply by changing the ways that farmers manage their plants, soil, water and nutrients.

The effect is to get crop plants to grow larger, healthier, longer-lived root systems, accompanied by increases in the abundance, diversity and activity of soil organisms. These organisms constitute a beneficial microbiome for plants that enhances their growth and health in ways similar to how the human microbiome benefits Homo sapiens.

That altered management practices can induce more productive, resilient phenotypes from existing rice plant genotypes has been seen in over 50 countries. The reasons for this improvement are not all known, but there is a growing literaturethat helps account for the improvements observed in yield and health for rice crops using SRI.

 

The ideas and practices that constitute SRI were developed inductively in Madagascar some 30 years ago for rice. They are now being adapted to improve the productivity of a wide variety of other crops, starting with wheat, finger millet and sugarcane. Producing more output with fewer external inputs may sound improbable, but it derives from a shift in emphasis from improving plant genetic potential via plant breeding, to providing optimal environments for crop growth.

 

The adaptation of SRI experience and principles to other crops is being referred to generically as the System of Crop Intensification (SCI), encompassing variants for wheat (SWI), maize (SMI), finger millet (SFMI), sugarcane (SSI), mustard (rapeseed/canola)(another SMI), teff (STI), legumes such as pigeon peas, lentils and soya beans, and vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies and eggplant.

 

That similar results are seen across such a range of plants suggests some generic processes may be involved, and these practices are not only good for growing rice. This suggests to Prof. Norman Uphoff and colleagues within the SRI network that more attention should be given to the contributions that are made to agricultural production by the soil biota, both in the plants’ rhizospheres but also as symbiotic endophytes within the plants themselves (Uphoff et al. 2012).

 

The evidence reported below has drawn heavily, with permission, from a report that Dr. Uphoff prepared on the extension of SRI to other crops (Uphoff 2012). Much more research and evaluation needs to be done on this progression to satisfy both scientists and practitioners. But this gives an idea of what kinds of advances in agricultural knowledge and practice appear to be emerging.

 

Origins and Principles

 

Deriving from empirical work started in the 1960s in Madagascar by a French priest, Fr. Henri de Laulani, S.J., the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has shown remarkable capacity to raise smallholders’ rice productivity under a wide variety of conditions around the world: from tropical rainforest regions of Indonesia, to mountainous regions in northeastern Afghanistan, to fertile river basins in India and Pakistan, to arid conditions of Timbuktu on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Mali. SRI methods have proved adaptable to a wide range of agroecological settings.

 

With SRI management, paddy yields are usually increased by 50-100%, but sometimes by even more, even up to the super-yields of Sumant Kumar and his neighbors. Requirements for seed are greatly reduced (by 80-90%), as are those for irrigation water (by 25-50%). Little or no inorganic fertilizer is required if sufficient organic matter can be provided to the soil, and there is little if any need for agrochemical crop protection against pests and diseases. SRI plants are also generally healthier and better able to resist such stresses as well as drought, extremes of temperature, flooding, and storm damage.

 

SRI methodology is based on four main principles that interact in synergistic ways:

 

•         Establish healthy plants early and carefully, nurturing their root potential.

•         Reduce plant populations, giving each plant more room to grow above and below ground and room to capture sunlight and obtain nutrients.

•         Enrich the soil with organic matter, keeping it well-aerated to support better growth of roots and more aerobic soil biota.

•         Apply water purposefully in ways that favor plant-root and soil-microbial growth, avoiding flooded (anaerobic) soil conditions.

 

These principles are translated into a number of irrigated rice cultivation practices which under most smallholder farmers’ conditions are the following:

 

•         Plant young seedlings carefully and singly, giving them wider spacing usually in a square pattern, so that both roots and canopy have ample room to spread.

•         Keep the soil moist but not inundated. Provide sufficient water for plant roots and beneficial soil organisms to grow, but not so much as to suffocate or suppress either, e.g., through alternate wetting and drying, or through small but regular applications.

•         Add as much compost, mulch or other organic matter to the soil as possible, ‘feeding the soil’ so that the soil can, in turn, ‘feed the plant.’

•         Control weeds with mechanical methods that can incorporate weeds while breaking up the soil’s surface. This actively aerates the root zone as a beneficial by-product of weed control. This practice can promote root growth and the abundance of beneficial soil organisms, adding to yield.

 

The cumulative result of these practices is to induce the growth of more productive and healthier plants (phenotypes) from any given variety (genotype).

 

Variants of SRI practices suitable for upland regions have been developed by farmers where there are no irrigation facilities, so SRI is not just for irrigated rice production any more. In both settings, crops can be productive with less irrigation water or rainfall because taking up SRI recommendations enhances the capacity of soil systems to absorb and provide water (‘green water’). SRI practices initially developed to benefit small-scale rice growers are being adapted now for larger-scale production, with methods such as direct-seeding instead of transplanting, and with the mechanization of some labor-intensive operations such as weeding (Sharif 2011).

 

From the System of Rice Intensification to the System of Crop Intensification

 

Once the principles of SRI became understood by farmers and they had mastered its practices for rice, farmers began extending SRI ideas and methods to other crops. NGOs and some scientists have also become interested in and supportive of this extrapolation, so a novel process of innovation has ensued. Some results of this process are summarized here.

 

The following information is not a research report. The comparisons below are not experiment station data but rather results that have come from farmers’ fields in Asia and Africa. The measurements of yields reported here probably have some margin of error. But the differences seen are so large and are so often repeated that they are certainly significant agronomically. The results in the following sections are comparisons with farmers’ current practices, showing how much more production farmers in developing countries could be achieving from their presently available resources.

 

This innovative management of many crops, referred to under the broad heading of System of Crop Intensification (SCI), is also sometimes aptly referred to in India as the ‘System of Root Intensification,’ another meaning for the acronym SRI.

 

The changes introduced with SCI practice are driven by the four SRI principles noted above. The first three principles are usually followed fairly closely. The fourth principle (reduced water application) is relevant for irrigated production such as for wheat, sugarcane and some other crops. It has less relevance under rainfed conditions where farmers have less control over water applications to their crops. Maintaining sufficient but never excessive soil moisture such as with water-harvesting methods and applications corresponds to the fourth SRI principle.

 

Agriculture in the 21st century must be practiced differently from the previous century; land and water resources are becoming relatively scarcer, of poorer quality, or less reliable. Climatic conditions are in many places becoming more adverse, especially for smallholding farmers. More than ever, they need cropping practices that are more ‘climate-proof.’ By promoting better root growth and more abundant life in the soil, SCI offers millions of insecure, disadvantaged households better opportunities.

 

Wheat (Triticum)

 

The extension of SRI practices to wheat, the next most important cereal crop after rice, was fairly quickly seized upon by farmers and researchers in India, Ethiopia, Mali and Nepal. SWI was first tested in 2008 by the People’s Science Institute(PSI) which works with farmers in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states. Yield estimates showed a 91% increase for unirrigated SWI plots over usual methods in rainfed areas, and a 82% increase for irrigated SWI. This has encouraged an expansion of SWI in these two states.

 

The most rapid growth and most dramatic results have been in Bihar state of India, where 415 farmers, mostly women, tried SWI methods in 2008/09, with yields averaging 3.6 tons/ha, compared with 1.6 tons/ha using usual practices. The next year, 15,808 farmers used SWI with average yields of 4.6 tons/ha. In the past year, 2011/12, the SWI area in Bihar was reported to be 183,063 hectares, with average yields of 5.1 tons/ha. With SWI management, net income per acre from wheat has been calculated by the NGO PRADANto rise from Rs. 6,984 to Rs. 17,581, with costs reduced while yields increased. This expansion has been done under the auspices of the Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society, supported by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.

 

About the same time, farmers in northern Ethiopia started on-farm trials of SWI, assisted by the Institute for Sustainable Development(ISD), supported by a grant from Oxfam America. Seven farmers in 2009 averaged 5.45 tons/ha with SWI methods, the highest reaching 10 tons/ha. There was a larger set of on-farm trials in South Wollo in 2010. SWI yields averaged 4.7 tons/ha with compost and 4.9 tons/ha with inorganic nitrogen (urea) and phosphorus (DAP). The 4% increase in yield was not enough to justify the cost of purchasing and applying fertilizer. The control plots averaged wheat yields of 1.8 tons/ha.

 

In 2008-09, farmer trials with SWI methods were started in the Timbuktu region of Mali, where it was learned that transplanting young seedlings was not as effective as direct seeding, while SRI spacing of 25cm x 25cm proved to be too great. Still, obtaining a 10% higher yield with a 94% reduction in seed (10 kg/ha vs. 170 kg/ha), a 40% reduction in labor, and a 30% reduction in water requirements encouraged farmers to continue with their experiments.

 

In 2009/10, the NGO Africareundertook systematic replicated trials in Timbuktu, evaluating a number of different methods of crop establishment, including direct seeding in spacing combinations from 10 to 20 cm, line sowing, transplanting of seedlings, and control plots, all on farmers’ fields. Compared to the control average (2.25 tons/ha), the SWI transplanting method and 1515 cm direct seeding gave the greatest yield response, 5.4 tons/ha, an increase of 140%.

 

SWI evaluations were also done in 2010 in the Far Western region of Nepal by the NGO Mercy Corps, under the EU-FAO Food Facility Programme. The control level of yield was 3.4 tons/ ha using local practices with a local variety. Growing a modern variety with local practices added 10% to yield (3.74 tons/ha); however, using SWI practices the same modern variety raised yield by 91%, reaching a yield of 6.5 tons/ha.

 

Mustard (Rapeseed/Canola)

 

Farmers in Bihar state of India have recently begun adapting SRI methods for growing mustard (aka rapeseed or canola). In 2009-10, 7 women farmers in Gaya district working with PRADAN and the government’s ATMA agency started applying SRI practices to their mustard crop. This gave them an average grain yield of 3 tons/ha, three times their usual 1 t/ha.

 

The following year, 283 women farmers who used SMI methods averaged 3.25 tons/ha. In 2011-12, 1,636 farmers practiced SMI with an average yield of 3.5 tons/ha. Those who used all of the practices as recommended averaged 4 tons/ha, and one reached a yield of 4.92 tons/ha as measured by government technicians. With SMI, farmers’ costs of production were reduced by half, from Rs. 50 per kg of grain to just Rs. 25 per kilogram.

 

Sugarcane (Saccarum officinarum)

 

Shortly after they began using SRI methods in 2004, farmers in Andhra Pradesh state of India began also adapting these ideas and practices to their sugarcane production. Some farmers got as much as three times more yield, cutting their planting materials by 80-90%, and introducing much wider spacing of plants, using more compost and mulch to enhance soil organic matter (and control weeds), with sparing use of irrigation water and much reduced use of chemical fertilizers and agrochemical sprays.

 

By 2009, there had been enough testing, demonstration and modification of these initial practices, e.g., cutting out the buds from cane stalks and planting them in soil or other rooting material to produce health seedlings that could be transplanted with very wide spacing, that the joint Dialogue Project on Food, Water and Environment of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad launched a ‘sustainable sugarcane initiative’ (SSI). The project published a manual that described and explained the suite of methods derived from SRI experience that could raise cane yields by 30% or more, with reduced requirements for both water and chemical fertilizer.

 

The director of the Dialogue Project, Dr. Biksham Gujja together with other SRI and SSI colleagues established a pro bono company AgSRI in 2010 to disseminate knowledge and practice of these ecologically-friendly innovations among farmers in India and beyond.

 

The first international activity of AgSRI has been to share information on SSI with sugar growers on the Camilo Cienfuegos production cooperative in Bahia Honda, Cuba. A senior sugar agronomist, Lauro Fanjl from the Ministry of Sugar, when visiting the cooperative to inspect its SSI crop, was amazed at the size, vigor and color of the canes, noting that they were ‘still growing.’

 

Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana)

 

Some of the first examples of SCI came from farmers in several states of India who had either applied SRI ideas to finger millet (ragi in local languages), or by their own observations and experimentation devised a more productive cropping system for finger millet that utilized SRI principles.

 

The NGO Green Foundationin Bangalore in the early ’00s learned that farmers in Haveri district of Karnataka State had devised a system for growing ragi that they call Guli Vidhana (square planting). Young seedlings are planted in a square grid, 2 per hill, spaced 18 inches (45 cm) apart, with organic fertilization. One implement they use stimulates greater tillering and root growth when it is pulled across the field in different directions; and another breaks up the topsoil while weeding between and across rows. In contrast with conventional methods, which yield around 1.25 to 2 tons/ha, with up to 3.25 tons using fertilizer inputs, Guli Vidhana methods yield 4.5 to 5 tons/ha, with a maximum yield so far of 6.25 tons.

 

In Jharkhand state of India in 2005, farmers working with the NGO PRADAN began experimenting with SRI methods for their rainfed finger millet. Usual yields there were 750 kg to 1 ton/ha with traditional broadcasting practices. Yields with transplanted SFMI have averaged 3-4 tons/ha. Costs of production per kg of grain are reduced by 60% with SFMI management, from Rs. 34.00 to Rs. 13.50. In Ethiopia, one farmer using her own version of SRI practices for finger millet is reported by the Institute for Sustainable Development to have obtained a yield of 7.6 tons/ha.

 

Maize (Zea mays)

 

Growing maize using SRI concepts and methods has not been experimented with very much yet; but in northern India the People’s Science Institute in Dehradun has worked with smallholders in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh states to improve their maize production with adapted SRI practices.

 

No transplanting is involved, and no irrigation. Farmers are planting 1-2 seeds per hill with square spacing of 3030 cm, having added compost and other organic matter to the soil, and then doing three soil-aerating weedings. Some varieties they have found performing best at 3050 cm spacing. The number of farmers practicing this kind of SCI went from 183 in 2009 on 10.34 hectares of land, to 582 farmers on 63.61 ha in 2010. With these alternative methods, the average yields have been 3.5 tons/hectare. This is 75% more than their yields with conventional management, which have averaged 2 tons/hectare.

 

Because maize is such an important food crop for many millions of food-insecure households, getting more production from their limited land resources, with their present varieties or with improved ones, should be a priority.

 

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

 

Farmers in Thambal village, Salem district in Tamil Nadu state of India were the first to establish an SRI Farmers Association in their country, as far as is known. Their appreciation for SRI methods led them to begin experimentation with the extension of these ideas to their off-season production of turmeric, a rhizome crop that gives farmers a good income when sold for use as a spice in Indian cooking.

 

With this methodology, planting material is reduced by more than 80%, by using much smaller rhizome portions to start seedlings. These are transplanted with wider spacing (3040 cm instead of 3030 cm), and organic means of fertilization are used (green manure plus vermicompost, Trichoderma, Pseudomonas, and a biofertilizer mixture known as EM, Effective Microorganisms, developed in Japan by T. Higa). Water requirements are cut by two-thirds. With yields 25% higher and with lower costs of production, farmer’s net income from their turmeric crop can be effectively doubled.

 

Tef (Eragrostis tef)

 

Adaptations of SRI ideas for the increased production of tef, the most important cereal grain for Ethiopians, started in 2008-09 under the direction of Dr. Tareke Berhe, at the time director of the Sasakawa Africa Association’sregional rice program, based in Addis Ababa. Having grown up in a household which raised tef, and then written theses on tef for his M.Sc. (Washington State University) and Ph.D. (University of Nebraska), Berhe was thoroughly knowledgeable, both practically and theoretically, with this crop.

 

Typical yields for tef grown with traditional practices, based on broadcasting, are about 1 ton/ha. The seed of tef is tiny — even smaller than mustard seed, about 2500 seeds making only 1 gram — so growing and transplanting tef seedlings seemed far-fetched. But Berhe found that transplanting young seedlings at 2020 cm spacing with organic and inorganic fertilization gave yields of 3 to 5 tons/ha. With small amendments of micronutrients (Zn, Cu, Mg, Mn), these yields could be almost doubled again. Such potential within the tef genome, responding to good soil conditions and wider spacing, had not been seen before. Berhe is calling these alternative production methods the System of Tef Intensification (STI).

 

In 2010, with a grant from Oxfam America, Dr. Berhe conducted STI trials and demonstrations at Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center and Mekelle University, major centers for agricultural research in Ethiopia. Their good results gained acceptance for the new practices. He is now serving as an advisor for tef to the Ethiopian government’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

This year, 7,000 farmers are using STI methods in an expanded trial, and another 100,000 farmers are using less ‘intensified’ methods based on the same SRI principles, not transplanting but having wider spacing of plants with row seeding. As with other crops, tef is quite responsive to management practices that do not crowd the plants together and that improve the soil conditions for abundant root growth.

 

Legumes: Pigeonpeas (Red Gram – Cajanus cajan), Lentils (Black Gram – Vigna mungo), Mung Beans (Green Gram – Vigna radiata), Soya Beans (Glycine max), Kidney Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), Peas (Pisum sativum)

 

That SRI principles and methods could be extended from rice to wheat, finger millet, sugarcane, maize, and even tef was not so surprising, since these are all monocotyledons, the grasses and grass-like plants whose stalks and leaves grow from their base. That mustard would respond very well to SRI management practices was unexpected, because it is a dicotyledon, i.e., a flowering plant with its leaves growing from stems rather than from the base of the plant. It is now being found that a number of leguminous crops, also dicotyledons, can benefit from practices inspired by SRI experience.

 

The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Support Program, Patna, has reported tripled yield from mung bean (green gram) with SCI methods, raising production on farmers’ fields from 625 kg/ha to 1.875 tons/ha. With adapted SRI practices, the People’s Science Institute in Dehradun reports that small farmers in Uttarakhand state of India are getting:

 

•         65% increase for lentils (black gram), up from 850 kg/ha to 1.4 tons/ha;

•         50% increase for soya bean, going from 2.2 to 3.3 tons/ha;

•         67% increase for kidney beans, going from 1.8 to 3.0 tons/ha;

•         42% increase for peas, going from 2.13 to 3.02 tons/ha.

 

No transplanting is involved, but the seeds are sown, 1-2 per hill, with wide spacing – 20x30cm, 25x30cm, or 3030 cm for most of these crops, and as much as 15/2030/45cm for peas. Two or more weedings are done, preferably with soil aeration to enhance root growth.

 

Fertilization is organic, applying compost augmented by a trio of indigenous organic fertilizers known locally as PAM (panchagavya, amritghol and matkakhad). Panchagavya is a mixture of five products from cattle: ghee (clarified butter), milk, curd (yoghurt), dung and urine, which particular appears to stimulate the growth of beneficial soil organisms. Seeds are treated before planting with cow urine to make them more resistant to pests and disease.

 

This production strategy can be considered ‘labour intensive’ but households seeking to get maximum yield from the small areas of land available to them find that the additional effort and care give net returns as well as more security. The resulting crops are more robust, resistant both to pest and disease damage and to adverse climatic conditions.

 

Vegetables

 

The extension of SRI concepts and practices to vegetables has been a farmer-led innovation, and has progressed farthest in Bihar State of India. The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS), working under the state government, with NGOs such as PRADAN leading the field operations and having financial support from the IDA of the World Bank, has been promoting and evaluating SCI efforts among women’s self-help groups to raise their vegetable production.

 

Women farmers in Bihar have experimented with planting young seedlings widely and carefully, placing them into dug pits that are back-filled with loose soil and organic soil amendments such as vermicompost. Water is used very precisely and carefully. While this system is labor-intensive, it increases yields greatly and benefits particularly the very poorest households. They have access to very little land and water, and they need to use these resources with maximum productivity and little cash expenditure.

 

A recent article on using SRI methods with vegetables concluded: “It is found that in SRI, SWI & SCI, the disease & pest infestations are less, use of agro chemicals are lesser, requires less water, can sustain water-stressed condition; with more application of organic matter, yields in terms of grain, fodder & firewood are higher.” (from a background paper prepared for the National Colloquium on System of Crop Intensification (SCI), Patna, India, March 2, 2011).

 

Trials in Ethiopia conducted by the NGO ISD have also shown good results. Readers can learn more about how these ideas are being adapted for very poor, water-stressed Ethiopian households in Tigray province here (Brochure at: http://www.isd.org.et/Publications/Planting%20with%20space%20brochure.pdf).

 

Conclusion

 

Philosophically, SRI can be understood as an integrated system of plant-centered agriculture. Fr. Laulani, who developed SRI thinking and practice during his 34 years in Madagascar, in one of his last papers commented that he did this by learning from the rice plant; the rice plant is my teacher (mon matre) he wrote. Each of the component activities of SRI has the goal of maximally providing whatever a plant is likely to need in terms of space, light, air, water, and nutrients. It also creates favorable conditions for the growth and prospering of beneficial soil organisms in, on and around the plant. SRI thus presents us with the question: if one can provide, in every way, the best possible environment for plants to grow, what benefits and synergisms will we see?

 

Already, approximately 4-5 million farmers around the world are using SRI methods with rice. The success of SRI methods can be attributed to many factors. They are low risk, they don’t require farmers to have access to any unfamiliar technologies, they save money on multiple inputs, while higher yields earn them more. Most important is that farmers can readily see the benefits for themselves.

 

Consequently, many farmers are gaining confidence in their ability to get ‘more from less’ by modifying their crop management practices. They can provide for their families’ food security, obtain surpluses, and avoid indebtedness. In the process, they are enhancing the quality of their soil resources and are buffering their crops against the temperature and precipitation stresses of climate change.

 

Where this process will end, nobody knows. Almost invariably SRI results in far greater yields, but some farmers go beyond others’ results to achieve super-yields for reasons that are not fully clear. Although experience increasingly points to the contributions of the plants’ microbiome, it also suggests that the optimization process is still at the beginning.

 

SCI Yield Increases Reported:

 

Crop                            Yield Increase

Finger millet                200-300%

Legumes                      50-200%

Maize                          75%

Mustard                       200-300%

Sugarcane                    20-100%

Tef                               200-400%

Tumeric                       25%

Vegetables                  100-270%
Wheat                          10-140%

 

References

 

Uphoff N (2012). Raising smallholder food crop yields with climate-smart agricultural practices. Report accompanying presentation on ‘The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Beyond: Coping with Climate Change,’ made at World Bank, Washington, DC, October 10.

 

Uphoff N, Chi F, Dazzo FB , Rodriguez RJ (2012) Soil fertility as a contingent rather than inherent characteristic: Considering the contributions of crop-symbiotic soil biota. In Principles of Sustainable Soil Systems in Agroecosystems,, eds. R. Lal and B. Stewart. Boca Raton FL: Taylor & Francis, in press.

 

Sharif A (2011). Technical adaptations for mechanized SRI production to achieve water saving and increased profitability in Punjab, Pakistan. Paddy and Water Environment 9: 111-119.

 

Thakur AK, Uphoff N and Antony E (2009) an assessment of physiological effects of system of rice intensification (SRI) practices compared with recommended rice cultivation practices in India. Experimental Agric. 46: 77-98.

 

Zhao LM, Wu LH, Li Y, Lu X, Zhu DF and Uphoff, N (2009) Influence of the system of rice intensification on rice yield and nitrogen and water use efficiency with different N application rates. Experimental Agric. 45: 275–286.

 

Further Reading: What lies beyond ‘Modern Agriculture’the Bunting lecture of 2007 given by Norman Uphoff at Reading University, UK

Cristina Grandi IFOAM, Italy
27-12-2012

Theme 1, Second question: What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

 

Ensuring food security in a future which will have constrained resources, and which will be feeling the effects of climate change, is one of the thorniest issues facing policy makers today. The natural resource base upon which agriculture depends, soils, water and biodiversity (including seeds), is being degraded and lost. Supplies of fossil fuels used to make inputs, and minerals such as phosphate, will become increasingly scarce and expensive. This means that we urgently need to improve the resource use efficiency of farming systems and enhance resilience through adaptation. Agriculture will come under increasing pressure to contribute to mitigating global warming through reducing emissions and increasing sequestration especially in soils.

 

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva writes in FAO’s new (2012) State of Food and Agriculture report that the world will not end hunger if we do not shift towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. “We cannot separate agriculture from the management and preservation of our natural resources, from food security and from sustainable development itself…. In agriculture, as soon as you pull on something, you find it is connected to everything else.’’

 

The key opportunity for achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years is the combined social and ecological intensification of agriculture, farming and gardening.  Food and farming systems that enable social inclusion by reducing barriers to entry, such as the affordability of organic farming, and gardening, are critical to bringing rapidly growing rural populations into food production in an effective manner, which can increase access to food to both rural and urban communities. Diverse organic production, distribution and consumption economies operate successfully throughout the world and offer endless models that can be replicated and adapted. These models empower people, farmers and consumers to enter into food production and marketing and therefore enhance livelihoods and food and nutrition security. Productivity is enhanced by increasing ecological functions such as soil nutrient cycling, photosynthesis, soil water holding capacity, soil formation, pest and disease equilibrium and carbon sequestration etc through organic practices such as rotations; crop diversity; nitrogen fixing intercropping and catch crops and trees, plant and livestock diversity, composting, use of perennials, companion planting (e.g. push and pull), innovative systems such as those based on SRI / ‘Planting with Space’ and many others.

 

- Theme 2, First 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?

 

There is a growing body of evidence that organic farming systems can be more energy, nutrient and water efficient than their non-organic counterparts. Research published in the journal Science found that nutrient inputs of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium in the organic systems to be 34-51% lower than in non-organic systems, whereas average crop yields were only 20% lower over a period of 21 years (Mader et al. 2002).

 

The majority of farming worldwide is rain fed and even if financial resources were available the world does not have the water resources to irrigate all of the agricultural lands. Water use efficiency is therefore a critical issue. Improving the efficiency of rain fed agricultural systems through organic practices is the most efficient, cost effective, environmentally sustainable and practical solution to ensure reliable food production in the increasing weather extremes being caused by climate change.

 

Research shows that organic systems use water more efficiently due to better soil structure and higher levels of humus and other organic matter compounds (Lotter et al., 2003; Pimentel et al., 2008). The more porous structure of organically treated soil allows rainwater to quickly penetrate the soil, resulting in less water loss from run-off and higher levels of water capture. This was particularly evident during the two days of torrential downpours from hurricane Floyd in September 1999, when the organic systems captured around double the water than the conventional systems captured (Lotter et al., 2008). A recent article in Nature (Seufert et al., 2012) showed that soils managed with organic methods have better water-holding capacity and water infiltration rates and have produced higher yields than conventional systems under drought conditions and excessive rainfall.

 

Other published studies also show that organic farming systems are more resilient to the predicted weather extremes and can produce higher yields than conventional farming systems in such conditions (Drinkwater et al., 1998; Welsh et al., 1999; Pimentel et al. 2005). The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials found that organic yields were higher in drought years and the same as conventional in normal weather years (Posner et al., 2008). Similarly, the Rodale Farming Systems Trials (FST) showed that the organic systems produced more corn than the conventional system in drought years. Water efficiency and resilience of organic agriculture to extreme weather events is very relevant in the context of global climate change and dependence on rain-fed agriculture and therefore should attract much greater international attention.

 

Organic is a solution that meets smallholders conditions

 

A report by the United Nations on organic agriculture in Africa found that organic and near-organic methods and technologies are ideally suited for many poor, marginalized smallholder farmers in Africa because they require minimal external inputs and make use of locally and naturally available materials. They studied 114 projects in Africa and they found that organic farming increased the availability of food over time. Access to food improved through increased quantity of food production ensuring household food security, but also selling food surpluses at local markets led to farmers benefiting from higher incomes. Fresh organic produce was found to become more available to more people in the wider community. The study also found that organic farming enabled new and different groups in a community to get involved in agricultural production and trade (UNEP-UNCTAD, 2008).

 

New support for smallholder agriculture, especially in Africa, is urgently needed to increase productivity and provide economic opportunities for small-scale farmers.  They need more than subsistence diet. They need an income so that they can send their children to school, pay for medical bills, have adequate housing, clothing, transport and all the needs that we all aspire too. This investment needs to be focused on agro-ecological systems, such as organic, rather than on intensive farming methods that require expensive inputs made from fossil fuels, that will become increasingly scarce in the future and which further degrade the environment. Organic methods are the most suitable as the necessary methods and inputs that are needed can be sourced locally at no or very little cost to the farmers.

 

The FAO director general Graziano da Silva, has stated that small scale farming is essential for fruit and vegetable production and many other local products and that local markets are based on small-scale agriculture. He stated at the opening of the Committee on Commodity Problems in June this year “Smallholders cannot continue to be seen as part of the hunger problem. They are an important part of the solution and are crucial to promote sustainable agriculture and management of our natural resources.”

 

The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, has argued for the scaling up of such models of agriculture and ensuring that they work for the benefit of the poorest farmers. However, in most African countries organic agriculture is not specifically supported by agricultural policy, and is sometimes actively hindered by policies advocating the use of high-input farming (UNEP-UNCTAD, 2008). Agroecology is a science and a set of farming practices that seek to improve agricultural systems by mimicking natural processes, creating beneficial biological interactions among the different components of the agro-ecosystem (De Schutter, 2010)1 Organic systems put into practice the core principles of agroecology such as recycling nutrients on the farm, integrating livestock and crops, diversifying species and genetic resources, and considering the productivity of an entire agricultural system rather than a single crop. Agro-ecological farming is based on knowledge-intensive techniques that are developed through farmers’ knowledge and experimentation.

 

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (‘the IAA STD report’) is supported by FAO, 400 scientists and 60 countries, recommends support for agro-ecological sciences that would contribute to addressing environmental issues whilst maintaining and increasing productivity. It also recommended that community-based innovation and local knowledge combined with science-based approaches as the best way to addressing the problems, needs and opportunities of the rural poor.

 

There are many existing examples of innovation in agroecology. In Cameroon, training for local people in tree propagation and the setting up of nurseries has led to the widespread planting of trees that can fix their own nitrogen and can rehabilitate degraded land. Yields of wheat, maize, beans and potatoes have doubled. It has also led to the cultivation of indigenous fruit and nut trees for planting and for sale to neighbouring communities (Ebenezar et al., 2011).

 

In East Africa, fodder shrub species have been researched and introduced as a reliable source of less expensive and easily available protein feeds for dairy cattle that can improve milk production and reduce soil erosion and increase soil fertility. It is estimated that 25,000 smallholder farmers have planted fodder shrubs, contributing about 3.8 million US dollars to farmer incomes across East Africa (Wambugu et al. 2011). The largest ever study of agroecology approaches in the developing countries analyzed 286 projects covering 37 million hectares in 57 countries. The study found that on average crop yields increased by 79% (Pretty et al., 2005).

 

In Tigray, Ethiopia, from 1996, the Institute for Sustainable Development worked in cooperation with the farmers to revegetate their landscape to restore the local ecology and hydrology. The biomass from this revegetation was then harvested to make compost and to feed biogas digesters. The result was more than 100% increases in yields, better water use efficiency and greater pest and disease resistance in the crops.  The farmers used the seeds of their own landraces, which had been developed over millennia, which proved to be very responsive to producing high yields under organic conditions, whereas under conventional input practices they were susceptible to diseases such as rust. The major advantage of this system was that seeds and compost were sourced locally at no or little cost to the farmers. The organic system had both higher yields and a much better net return for the farmers (Edwards et al., 2011).

 

IFAD's Office of Evaluation conducted two thematic evaluations of organic agriculture and poverty reduction: one covering Latin America and the Caribbean (2001-2002), and the other covering Asia (primarily China and India, 2004). The evaluations looked at the practice of organic methods and their relation to poverty reduction, food security and trade. They also analyzed small-farmer groups that have been successful in adopting organic technologies and in marketing their organic products. The results of the evaluations were very encouraging. IFAD included organic agriculture in some of its successful projects as for example the IFAD's Sustainable Development Project for Agrarian Reform Settlements in the Semi-Arid North-East of Brazil ( Dom Helder Camara project )  and the Organic and fair trade production revitalize cocoa industry in São Tome and Principe.

 

Argentinean government has been developing from more than 20 years the national program Prohuerta with the aim of improving food security and sovereignty. At the moment the program has 589,000 organic gardens, 160,000 small farms (with animals). The population involved is 3.3 million people Economic performance is extraordinary, for every dollar invested by the government obtained organic vegetables and farm products worth $ 40.  Prohuerta has also been included in the programs of international cooperation of Argentina, obtaining the support of other international donors. For more than four years later in Haiti takes place  "Project Fresh Food Self Production – Prohuerta Haiti" aimed at small food producers. In the last period Prohuerta cooperation is being extended to Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Mozambique.

 

Brazil government implements a number of public policies that are intended to support organic production and agroecology. These are: i) financial measures, such as specific credit for organic farmers; ii) educational programmes, from the school to specific university courses in organic farming and agroecology, iii) creation of the resources necessary to produce organically, such as community seed banks, an official register for phytosanitary products, publication of technical information for farmers, etc, iv) incentives to organise and strengthen the organic production network; v) promotion of organic farming and consumer information: such as the Government’s measures to help purchases and support direct sales, plus specific campaigns to promote organic food and to inform consumers.

 

Cristina Grandi - IFOAM Food Security Campaigner

Lourdes Benavides Intermón Oxfam, , Spain
27-12-2012

1.            La seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición en el centro de la agenda post-2015

A pesar de los progresos realizados en muchos países, según los últimos datos de la FAO, 868 millones de personas, el 12% de la población mundial, sufren desnutrición y no tienen acceso a una dieta saludable. Los problemas de la inseguridad alimentaria y la nutrición son globales y, por tanto, el enfoque del marco post 2015 debe abarcar a todos los actores internacionales, nacionales, inter- o sub-regionales que tienen una influencia en los sistemas alimentarios.

 

Si bien se ha avanzado en la seguridad alimentaria y nutrición desde el año 2000, el progreso hacia el cumplimiento de los ODM 1, 4, 5 y 7 sigue siendo insuficiente, especialmente para los más pobres. Persisten las razones: la pobreza, la desigualdad y un sistema alimentario disfuncional que no es capaz de responder a las necesidades alimentarias y nutricionales de todas las personas.

 

La seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición (SAN) son necesidades humanas básicas por lo que deben ser pieza central de la agenda de desarrollo post 2015. El marco post-2015 debe incluir el objetivo de la Seguridad Alimentaria y la Nutrición para todos y todas, teniendo en cuenta los cuatro pilares que la garantizan: disponibilidad, acceso, uso y estabilidad en el suministro de alimentos. El Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria va más allá y añade además la importancia del  marco de saneamiento, servicios sanitarios y cuidados adecuados . La SAN debe abordarse desde una perspectiva de derechos, en particular, del derecho a la alimentación para que los estados cumplan con su obligación moral y legal de asegurar la alimentación adecuada de todas las personas.

 

Varias iniciativas entre las que se encuentra la iniciativa del Secretario General de Naciones Unidas, el Reto del Hambre Cero (Zero Hunger Challenge) , han hecho un llamamiento por el progreso y la acción unificada para la realización universal de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional y son una base sobre la que construir y desarrollar las propuestas.

 

Las organizaciones de la sociedad civil compartimos la necesidad de una meta orientada a erradicar el hambre y la desnutrición, con especial hincapié en la sostenibilidad. El Reto del Hambre Cero es un buen punto de partida.

 

Para superar el riesgo de divergencia entre el proceso post 2015 y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible, es indispensable que se unan en un único marco de Objetivos Globales, que se exprese en términos universales, de solidaridad global y de imperativos en los límites planetarios.

 

Los sistemas alimentarios son esenciales a la hora de entender la sostenibilidad ambiental, el cambio climático y la construcción de resiliencia en las comunidades. Por ello, es necesario un enfoque holístico, que promueva acciones consistentes y complementarias en todos los sectores. Al mismo tiempo, es esencial acabar con la creciente y extrema desigualdad, de modo que las oportunidades, la riqueza, los bienes y los recursos naturales estén mejor repartidos entre y dentro de los países, con especial atención a los derechos y necesidades de los grupos más marginalizados.

 

La participación de la sociedad civil en el proceso post 2015, incluyendo la formulación de posicionamientos y las contribuciones específicas al marco de desarrollo, es esencial. Es fundamental ampliar la base de apoyo buscando la implicación, participación y colaboración entre distintos actores (ONG, Gobiernos, sector privado). En particular, se debe considerar la participación de los grupos sociales que sufren la inseguridad alimentaria y representar los puntos de vista de los grupos vulnerables y marginados. Una sociedad civil comprometida puede garantizar la inclusión de estas personas en el proceso.

 

Asegurar que la SAN esté en el centro del marco post 2015 es por lo tanto una forma esencial de motivar la acción política necesaria a nivel internacional, con el fin de garantizar el derecho a la alimentación, acabar con las desigualdades del sistema alimentario mundial, garantizar su sostenibilidad y contribuir al progreso en otras áreas del desarrollo humano y económico que se derivan de esta acción.

 

La meta deberá integrar el fin de la extrema pobreza y la privación (es decir, desde una perspectiva de derechos humanos deberá conseguir su  desaparición en términos absolutos), una sociedad más justa y menos desigual, la protección de bienes globales y la sostenibilidad ambiental (respetando los límites ecológicos planetarios) y la rendición de cuentas de los poderes públicos (transparencia, participación, gobernanza responsable y coherencia de políticas).

 

A escala global, algunos de los retos relacionados con el sistema alimentario global y el logro de la SAN son: el crecimiento de la población, los cambios en el perfil poblacional y los cambios en las pautas de consumo, la menor disponibilidad de tierras para la producción de alimentos, los impactos del cambio climático, la degradación de la tierra, el agua y la biodiversidad. La agricultura industrial y el tipo de monocultivos de exportación (en algunos casos no alimentarios) imperantes comprometen la biodiversidad, conducen a la degradación de la tierra y son inherentemente vulnerables al cambio climático. Otros retos son los conflictos y los estados frágiles, combinados con la débil gobernabilidad.

 

Por último, los mercados y el comercio internacional de alimentos tienen poca regulación, lo que ha resultado en un aumento de la especulación y en la financiarización de los mercados agrícolas, que conlleva un aumento de los precios y la volatilidad. También los precios de la energía se han incrementado considerablemente en los últimos quince años, al igual que la dependencia del sector agrícola de los combustibles fósiles, creando un vínculo más fuerte entre los precios del combustible y el de los alimentos.

 

Finalmente, los problemas estructurales del sistema alimentario mundial se hacen patentes al observar pérdidas post cosecha y las debidas a los desperdicios, que actualmente representan casi el 30% de la producción mundial de alimentos y tienen importantes costos económicos y ambientales. Al mismo tiempo, los grandes subsidios agrícolas en el Norte global suelen promover la sobreproducción, con importantes efectos negativos en la nutrición humana.

 

  1. Principios que deberían guiar la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición en el nuevo marco de desarrollo post 2015
  2.  

Nota: los principios están alineados con los de la Campaña Beyond2015, una propuesta que ya incluye más de 500 organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

 

El marco post-2015 debe concebirse desde una perspectiva de derechos y abordar los desafíos globales de la SAN. Este nuevo compromiso debe reflejar la verdadera ambición de la Declaración del Milenio, reconociendo que las cuestiones estructurales y de gobernanza global son parte integrante de la pobreza. Las metas, los objetivos y el enfoque de la SAN en el marco post-2015 deben:

 

•              basarse en un enfoque de derechos humanos que tenga en cuenta los principios fundamentales de participación, rendición de cuentas, no discriminación, transparencia, dignidad humana, empoderamiento y estado de derecho. En particular, el enfoque post-2015 debe basarse en el Derecho a la Alimentación, los derechos de las mujeres y el enfoque de género.

 

•              asegurar la sostenibilidad social, económica y ambiental a largo plazo de la SAN. El marco post-2015 debe considerar su contribución para frenar la desertificación, el cambio climático, la pérdida de biodiversidad y otros fenómenos que inducen la degradación ambiental a la vez que desarrolla la resiliencia de la producción agrícola y los sistemas de distribución a esos cambios.

 

•              ser ambiciosos para conseguir cambios en todos los niveles y abordar los problemas globales. El nuevo marco debe ser auténticamente global y promover acciones que transcienden las fronteras nacionales, enfrentar cuestiones como los subsidios directos e indirectos a las exportaciones agrícolas, los acaparamientos de tierras, los subsidios agrícolas insostenibles que tienen un impacto en la seguridad alimentaria, la especulación financiera.

 

•              integrar enfoque de responsabilidad común pero diferenciada, con soluciones distintas en función del contexto y las capacidades de cada país.

 

•              ser desarrollados de forma inclusiva y participativa, teniendo en cuenta en particular a los más afectados por la inseguridad alimentaria y nutricional, niños, mujeres y agricultores a pequeña escala, para que puedan participar en la definición de políticas. Todos los países deben comprometerse a procesos de deliberación nacionales, para aplicar los objetivos a su contexto nacional.

 

•              orientar la acción hacia los más pobres y vulnerables a la inseguridad alimentaria y nutricional y asegurar que se avance de manera equitativa teniendo en cuenta factores como la riqueza, el género, la edad, la etnia y la región geográfica, con el fin de reducir las desigualdades.

 

•              seguir un enfoque basado en la evidencia y centrado en la persona, es decir, en datos objetivos para la toma de decisiones. Es necesario mostrar resultados que sigan facilitando la toma de decisiones y la priorización de estrategias. Es necesario sumar evidencia económica y política a la evidencia técnica contra la inseguridad alimentaria y la desnutrición.

 

3.            Orientaciones prioritarias para la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición en el nuevo marco de desarrollo post 2015

 

Nota: la propuesta está alineada con la de la Campaña Beyond2015, una propuesta que ya incluye más de 500 organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

 

En base a los cuatro pilares de la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición, las propuestas son las siguientes.

 

3.1 Garantizar la disponibilidad de una alimentación adecuada para todos y todas

En el marco post-2015, urge abordar el tema de la disponibilidad de alimentos adecuados, especialmente para los más pobres. Los incrementos en la producción agrícola deben ser ambiental, económica y socialmente sostenibles -a través de prácticas agroecológicas por ejemplo- y deben garantizar la disponibilidad de alimentos suficientes y nutritivos para aquellos que sufren las consecuencias de la inseguridad alimentaria y nutricional en la actualidad. Las metas deben asegurar la reducción de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero derivadas de la producción mundial de alimentos, y asegurar la resiliencia de las comunidades y de los recursos naturales, incluido el mantenimiento de la diversidad genética.

 

Los pequeños productores de alimentos son en este caso una prioridad, pueden adoptar enfoques agroecológicos, utilizar el conocimiento local, la innovación, los recursos naturales y un sistema de producción circular que ha mostrado menores pérdidas, la conservación de los recursos naturales y la creación de sistemas más resilientes y sostenibles. La inversión en estos productores a pequeña escala, la mayoría de los cuales son mujeres en Asia y África, y que constituyen la mayor parte de las personas que viven en la pobreza absoluta, tiene el potencial de hacer frente a los problemas ambientales y de distribución en el sistema alimentario mundial actual. Se necesita,  para ello, acceso a servicios esenciales, incluidos los servicios financieros, de seguros y de extensión agraria. Además, requieren apoyo para hacer frente a futuros cambios en el ámbito de la energía, del acceso a la tierra y al agua. Los objetivos deberían ir orientados a:

 

•              Implementación de las Directrices Voluntarias sobre la Gobernanza Responsable en materia de Tenencia de la tierra, Pesca y Bosques en el contexto de la seguridad alimentaria nacional (aprobadas por el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial)

 

•              Inversiones públicas para los 500 millones de productores a pequeña escala (con menos de 2 Ha de tierra) y su acceso a servicios financieros, incluidos seguros

 

•              Apoyos para la agricultura y regulaciones (que privilegien la producción de alimentos) y políticas coherentes con la necesidad de asegurar la SAN (frente a la producción de agrocombustibles)

•              Reducción de las pérdidas de alimentos, limitación en la demanda de alimentos en ciertos contextos (promoción de estilo de vida moderadas y sostenibles, reducción del consumo, mejoras en los sistemas de almacenamiento y distribución…)

 

•              Fomento del uso sostenible del agua, la energía y los bienes naturales globales y priorización del uso alimentario de estos insumos

 

•              Reducción en las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero

 

•              Mantenimiento de la biodiversidad de las plantas cultivadas y los animales domesticados y desarrollo de estrategia para la minimización de la erosión genética y la salvaguarda de la diversidad genética.

 

3.2 Garantizar el acceso a una alimentación adecuada

 

Será necesario un amplio rango de avances políticos para alcanzar el 100% del acceso a una alimentación adecuada. Las políticas van desde asegurar la cobertura de transferencias sociales condicionales e incondicionales adecuadas, a largo plazo, y basadas en derechos, el desarrollo de cadenas de valor pro-pobre, hasta enfrentar los desequilibrios comerciales y la volatilidad de los precios de los alimentos en los mercados internacionales. En algunos casos, serán necesarias acciones para enfrentar la creciente integración de la producción de alimentos y el sistema de distribución, que aumenta la propagación de alimentos de mala calidad en mercados emergentes.

 

La mayoría de las personas dependen de los mercados para abastecerse en alimentos, por lo que el acceso a una dieta adecuada depende de sus recursos financieros. La volatilidad de los precios de los alimentos es un factor clave que afecta al acceso a alimentos nutritivos. Las prioridades deben incluir:

 

•              Implementación nacional e integración legislativa de las Directrices Voluntarias sobre la Gobernanza Responsable en materia de Tenencia de la tierra, Pesca y Bosques en el contexto de la seguridad alimentaria nacional

 

•              Acciones para enfrentar la volatilidad de los precios alimentarios en mercados internacionales (transparencia, límites de posición, límites en la especulación pasiva…)

 

•              Estrategias para fomentar el crecimiento económico inclusivo y la cobertura de protección social para erradicar la pobreza extrema (por debajo de 2 dólares al día): esto contribuirá al acceso universal a una alimentación adecuada

 

•              Establecimiento de sistemas de alerta y acciones tempranas en todas las zonas con riesgos de crisis alimentarias

 

•              Fortalecimiento, ampliación y adaptación de los sistemas de protección social a los contextos nacionales para que reflejen suficientemente y de forma sostenible el coste de una dieta adecuada para todos y todas. Implementación de los más amplios suelos de protección social para asegurar beneficios adicionales en salud y educación

 

3.3 Asegurar progresos en la calidad y la utilización de los alimentos

 

La calidad de los alimentos y su utilización son el tercer pilar de la seguridad alimentaria. La desnutrición materna e infantil tiende a estar concentrada en los más vulnerables y los más pobres. La mayor parte de las intervenciones directas requeridas para enfrentar el retraso en el crecimiento y la deficiencia en micronutrientes se conocen y han mostrado resultados: se debe asegurar financiación para estas intervenciones. Pero las causas de la desnutrición son más amplias y por ello, las políticas y programas de nutrición deben ser más amplios para responder a los factores múltiples de las diversas formas de desnutrición. Los objetivos deben orientarse hacia:

 

•              Implementación universal y alcance de los objetivos del Plan Integral de Implementación de la Nutrición Materno-Infantil, Infantil y Juvenil adoptado por la Organización Mundial de la Salud en 2012

 

•              Cobertura universal con intervenciones que han demostrado ser eficaces en la reducción de la desnutrición, como las 13 intervenciones de alto impacto promovidas por la serie Lancet en 2008

•              Acceso a agua adecuada, saneamiento e higiene

 

•              Apoyo adecuado a las prácticas saludables de lactancia materna

 

•              Acciones legislativas para prevenir los alimentos y las bebidas insanos  para niños y niñas y regulación del etiquetado e información al consumidor.

 

3.4 Asegurar la rendición de cuentas y el cumplimiento del objetivo

Es probable que la volatilidad de los precios, los eventos climáticos adversos y otros desafíos globales permanezcan después de 2015, por lo que la alimentación y la nutrición seguirán en lo más alto de la agenda internacional, como ya ocurre desde 2008. Es necesario un liderazgo político al más alto nivel, así como acciones ambiciosas por los gobiernos nacionales y las instituciones regionales e internacionales. Hay un gran consenso sobre la importancia de la acción y apoyo a nivel nacional pero también sobre la necesidad de un compromiso político amplio y alineado para conseguir un cambio real en las generaciones futuras. La gobernanza de la SAN implica transparencia, rendición de cuentas, honradez y políticas y procedimientos participativos

 

Para evitar duplicaciones, es importante que el marco post-2015 esté alineado y apoye al Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria, por ser la plataforma inclusiva, intergubernamental e internacional con mayor legitimidad sobre cuestiones alimentarias. El Marco Estratégico Global, recién adoptado por dicho Comité, representa un paso importante en la armonización de políticas de SAN y en la consecución de un nuevo paradigma en la gobernanza de  la alimentación global, la agricultura y la nutrición, anclado en políticas más democráticas y coherentes. El marco post-2015 debe construirse sobre estas buenas prácticas y su visión desde los derechos humanos, la dignidad y la participación.

 

Madrid, a 21 de diciembre de 2012

 

Este documento ha sido aprobado por un grupo amplio de organizaciones de la sociedad civil: el Grupo de Agricultura y Alimentación de la Coordinadora de ONGD-E, la Campaña “Derecho a la Alimentación. URGENTE” y las organizaciones de desarrollo de Coalición Clima.

Abdikarim Bashir Ahmed Dolow Farmers co-operative society, Somalia
26-12-2012

It is great topic really to be discussed as per the them 1there was improvement but did not reached to extent that was needed, still 60% of the people have no access to food specially the developing countries as estimated and 80% of the infants are zero in terms of nutrition, so as my suggestion we should be in to the shoes of this people who are dying because of inadequate food.

Krishna Kant Jha L.N.Mithila University, Darbhanga, Bihar, India, India
25-12-2012

Thanks for giving opportunity to discuss such a vital issue that world is facing even today.

Individuals of different ethnic and racial backgrounds often work different jobs, earn different incomes, hold different levels of wealth, and live in different neighborhoods. Men and women are clearly concentrated in different kinds of jobs and their earnings, a large number of people have no job to do, and their likelihood of living in poverty differs.  More generally, there are large and growing differences in the social circumstances of the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, and one’s socioeconomic status is clearly affected by one’s race, ethnicity, gender and social class, cultural and religious blind faith. This is the situation; the whole world is facing even today, despite, end of poverty and hunger being the first millennium development goal.

 

The basic challenge is that a large number of people have no opportunity towards achieving food and nutrition security where as some people are wasting foods, as they possess the same much more than their need.

 

The remedy lies in foolproof and strong management and organizational framework.  Having association with a number of International Organizations and working in a backward area I feel, for example, that countries like India which is one of the four biggest economy of the world in terms of GDP, is facing the problem of population explosion, keeping its substantive population unemployed, hungry, unhealthy, uneducated, victim of religious and cultural blind faith.

 

The political leaders are note taking strong corrective measures keeping eye on vote bank to continue in power.

 

So time has come when U.N.O should be vested with top management and policy making status.

The following policy should be centrally decided:

  1. Universalize Primary Education giving moral weight for making honest and conscious citizen across the world.
  2. Centralize assessment for the need for different categories of man power.
  3. Educate and train them accordingly.
  4. Optimize the population according to need at global level

 

This will make a way for global justice and equity if central authority is given teeth by framing international law for the same and helping and directing the member countries. This will help the regional politician to convince their voters the development agenda globally decided cannot be altered locally. This will help, in long run, to solve problem of food and nutrition. Besides, temporary measures like zero loss or waste of food, technology to grow maximum food production should be adopted.

 

Vedabhyas Kundu Gandhi Smriti, India
25-12-2012

It is a innovative example of how group of children in rural village of North Karnataka, India got together to form Gokak Shishu Panchayath and address issues of nutrition in their school.

Attached is a paper on the experiment by Mr A R Patil from Belgaum, Karnataka at a National Conference  on Youth , Volunteerism and Sustainable Development organized by UN Volunteers and RGNIYD.

Hugo Bayó Costa Rica
25-12-2012

Theme 1-2 and 3:

My humble experience has been developed in Mozambique, China, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Panamá, Ecuador, Brazil ans Spain. Nowadays, hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are linked to poverty, so:

- To understand poverty, one must speak directly with the people living in poverty.

-The MDGs represented the minimum that the global community could agree on.

- MDGs didn’t engage with the poorest people.

- The lives of people living in poverty are highly complex, and these complexities are not well understood. Analyses tend to focus on issues of power and politics but miss many other dimensions.

- We need to build learning processes intod evelopment systems, onest hat involve asking questions, analyzing data and incorporating comprehensive participatory engagement. This kind of engagement is more important than any particular goal.

-Reaching the poorest should be the principal focus of the agenda.

- The Post-2015 development agenda should be inclusive, sustainable and growth oriented.

- We need to cooperate to reach these goals, but even within a collaborative framework, countries need to be given the space to develop their own policies. The UN cannot be prescriptive; it can only provide a framework. Countries need to proceed in their own way.

-Poverty eradication and sustainable development are part of one agenda.

-Challenges: the biggest killers of infants living in poverty are diarrhea and pneumonia, inequalities between small and larger farmers are growing, agricultural production is falling, weather patterns are becoming erratic, and electricity is expensive. Other challenges include multi-dimensionality of poverty, youth bulge,corruption, lack of property rights.

-Successful interventions include electricity, irrigation in rural areas, roads, change to agriculture and availability of water. In addition to basic infrastructure, development has been driven by girls’ education, good governance (especially in terms of service delivery) and the opening up of trade (although this has at times heightened the rural/urban divide and led to inequality.) -Interventions have to be targeted; sustained growth is not enough.

-Human rights have to be central to economic development. Women’s and girls’ rights have not been raised in this discussion. Women represent 70% of those living in poverty.

–We must analyze power relations and the structures by which people are kept in poverty.

-We cannot rush the process of developing a Post-2015 policy framework. We need time to get it right.

-The decision-making process around the PN2015 development agenda has not been inclusive. Major Groups’ level of access to information has decreased since Rio+20.

See the attachment: Post 2015 development agenda.pdf
Lesha Witmer BPW International, Netherlands
24-12-2012

Sustainable farms, food, feed, fuel, funds – all are needed to put us on a sustainable path to the future. But the most important ingredients in the recipe are farmers, especially women farmers, and rural communities whose empowerment is the key to poverty eradication and to sustainable development.

Let's not forget the conclusions and recommendations from CSD 17 e.g.

Build social capital and resilience in rural communities. In that context:
(i) Empower women and small-scale farmers, and indigenous peoples, including through securing equitable land tenure supported by appropriate legal
frameworks;
(ii) Promote equitable access to land, water, financial resources and technologies by women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups;
(iii) Support and promote efforts to harmonize modern technologies with traditional and indigenous knowledge for sustainable rural development;

and the

HAGUE CONFERENCE ON AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY aND CLIMATE CHANGE

13.       Agriculture and water are closely linked. There are many competing claims on water. Worldwide agriculture consumes seventy percent of all freshwater withdrawals. Agricultural water productivity has to be increased significantly. Integrated land and water resources management, efficient use of water resources and safe reuse of waste water are vital in our approach to climate change adaptation. Adaptation efforts must begin now, because institutions and the infrastructure will bind us to patterns of water use and behavior for years to come.

14.       Farmers have adapted to climate variability for centuries. The agricultural sector has the capacity to offer sound solutions to cope with this challenge, provided that farmers are encouraged to do so. Farmers, particularly women, youth and smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples and other relevant natural resources dependent people have an important role in a transition to climate-smart agriculture. Farmers feed the world, yet far too many are living in hunger and hardship. This injustice must cease. Farmers and rural people through their farming practices are custodians of the land and water.  They are also custodians of the forests, of biodiversity, indigenous and traditional knowledge, and other services. Farmers’ organizations can play an important role in promoting dialogue between farmers and across sectors. They can support individual farmers, especially smallholders. They can improve access to financial mechanisms, funding and carbon markets.

Sergio Tripi Good News Agency, Italy
24-12-2012

It is of paramount importance in the forthcoming year that international institutions make public opinion aware of what they could do with financial resources deriving from a reduction of military expenses. Such a programme of information was pursued steadily by FAO in the Eighties and the parallelism between the cost of a nuclear submarine and the contribution to development it could be converted into was very effective and started to instil a new awareness in people's mind.

 

This programme could well be orchestrated by all UN Agencies, specific examples could be agreed by all of them, than each of them could put each example in relation to their own specific goals and objectives.  The most striking examples would constitute a strong basis for an annual conference that, year after year, would build up a new awareness on part of the public opinion. And each year, the most striking example of "potential conversion" would win the "Best Way to Convert Military Spending" prize.

Louise Croot New Zealand
24-12-2012

The MDG 's that have most impact on the topic of this discussion are Education for all, including higher education for women and girls,  gender equality and maternal health. These are the core set that I believe will involve more women in decisionmaking about land ownership, water access and infrastructure- no area left dry.

The other key prerequisite for successfully addressing hunger, food and nutrition security is peace. The longer we continue to lack the political will to turn guns and armaments into tools and diplomatic work for peaceful co existence we will not achieve success. Self development and constraint within the environmental resources we have in the area of the globe we reside in is a reality. Sustainable management of our soils and habitats are essential.

Marta Andrich Argentina
23-12-2012

 

Los principales desafíos y oportunidades para lograr la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional en los próximos años

 

Marta Andrich Buenos Aires Argentina

 

Afirmamos que existe un nuevo paradigma que se expresa en la agenda post 2015 y que ya se perfila en el documento de Río+20, El futuro que deseamos y en el concepto de “economía verde” (PNUMA, 2011). Nos trasmite el mensaje: “es posible”, es posible un desarrollo sostenible.

 

Se agrega, además, la frase con inclusión social, que la podemos rastrear cuando en los indicadores del primer objetivo del desarrollo del milenio, “erradicar la pobreza extrema y el hambre”, se incluye, a partir de 2008, “el trabajo decente”.  De esa manera se unen pobreza y hambre con la necesidad de superar el hambre con dignidad y de hacerlo dentro del carácter interrelacionado que tiene el enfoque de derechos humanos.

 

En el título se presenta el tema de los desafíos. También podemos describir las realidades que se proyectan cambiando el matiz y tal vez, con una mirada menos optimista, hablar de limitaciones1 o condicionamientos para lograr la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional.

 

Seguramente para mensurar la realidad se pueden volcar una cantidad de variables en modelos matemáticos. Sin embargo, este artículo corresponde a una mirada enmarcada en las interpretaciones propias de las ciencias sociales.

 

Para recortar la amplitud de la propuesta del título se puede pensar en algunos desafíos que provienen el entorno físico y otros que tienen su origen en las relaciones sociales. Pero es imposible una separación neta: lo ambiental está impregnado de influencias antropogénicas y de similar modo los fenómenos sociales también admiten la cuantificación en la medición por indicadores y estadísticas.

 

En lo físico habría que analizar cada uno de los recursos necesarios para la producción de alimentos a lo largo de todo su ciclo vital. Sin duda el suelo, el agua y sus componentes, son condicionantes fundamentales. Las oportunidades, en este caso, probablemente vengan de la ciencia, la tecnología y especialmente de la genética.

 

En lo humano, se destaca el problema de la distribución y de las asimetrías en las relaciones entre las personas y grupos. Sería necesario indagar además, qué ocurre en cada una de las etapas de toda la cadena alimentaria. Pero habrá que enfrentar, también, lo que nos plantean hechos  como el aumento de la población, las migraciones, la seguridad, la gobernanza global y hasta las nuevas maneras de comunicarse.

 

Hablo desde mi región, América Latina, que es la mayor exportadora de alimentos del planeta y se calcula que puede producir lo suficiente como para alimentar a una población tres veces mayor de la que tiene (CEPAL/FAO/IICA2, 2012). Es lícito deducir, entonces, que la causa principal de la subnutrición, en este caso, radica en la mala distribución de los alimentos y en la falta de acceso de los más pobres, de las poblaciones vulnerables a estos bienes y a otros como salud, capacitación, educación, vivienda, empleo. Recordamos la necesidad de ubicar el alivio de la pobreza como objetivo central. Lo que nos ocurre es un ejemplo evidente de que, desde el enfoque de los derechos humanos, todos los derechos están interrelacionados y es una muestra clara de los compromisos que genera la palabra inclusión, que para el caso del derecho al alimento se traduce en: el alimento, pero con inclusión3.

 

Por lo tanto la pobreza es un limitante.

 

En multitud de documentos internacionales se percibe una preocupación generalizada ante la perspectiva de tener que alimentar a 9.000 millones como pronostica la demografía, por ser esta la población que se calcula va a haber para 2050. Es preciso producir más alimentos y hay que hacerlo de un modo sostenible.

 

Si tuviera que elegir otras seis limitaciones diría que, tal vez, las más importantes provengan del suelo, del agua, de la energía, de la tecnología, la infraestructura y de la inversión y el capital financiero. Solo me propongo hacer algunos comentarios sobre las dos primeras. Todos estos elementos también son objeto del obrar humano, de políticas y relaciones normativas, de ahí la complejidad del análisis. Por otra parte, si nos colocamos en el plano global, políticas y normativas se despliegan dentro de un sistema actual de producción, de consumo y de disposición final, que es insostenible y está movido por el lucro y la avaricia.

 

“La estrategia es producir más bienes con menos tierras, más cosechas por gota de agua, más rendimiento por unidad de insumos de fertilizantes y pesticidas, más alimentos por unidad de energía, y más biomasa por unidad de Carbono y de huella medioambiental” como se dijera en la COP 10 de la UNCCD, (Rattan Lal, 2011) a esto podríamos llamar nuestro desafío.

 

Según (Pigretti et al.2012 p 2). “Los científicos que estudian los cambios climáticos, la degradación de los recursos naturales y la desertificación aún se preguntan cuál es el límite de explotación que podrá soportar este planeta”. Estos son los límites físicos que señalan la posibilidad material y social del goce del derecho al alimento.

 

Comenzaremos por algunos limitantes que condicionan el uso del suelo:

 

La tenencia de la tierra

 

Las declaraciones finales y planes de acción de las reuniones internacionales, aunque no sean vinculantes, tienen la riqueza y la virtualidad de mostrar hacia dónde se dirige la agenda internacional. Al analizar esos documentos es notable observar cómo se ha impuesto la expresión tenencia de la tierra que destaca la relación de la persona con la tierra prescindiendo del tipo jurídico de relación y englobando una amplia gama de situaciones. Se afirma al mismo tiempo y de forma unánime que es necesario que haya seguridad en la tenencia.

 

Por “tenencia de la tierra” se entiende un conjunto de reglas (formales o de tipo consuetudinario) que definen la relación entre los individuos y la tierra misma.

 

A través de ella se definen los derechos de acceso que tienen las personas a determinados recursos naturales y la forma de respaldo que estas relaciones presentan a nivel social.

 

Los sistemas de la tenencia y administración de tierras determinan quiénes y bajo qué condiciones van a ejercer los derechos de propiedad, de uso y de control sobre este recurso. Es preciso analizar estas relaciones y que no haya duda sobre quiénes son los titulares legítimos. Esto es fundamental para el derecho a la alimentación, como también proteger a esos titulares frente a las acciones y las infracciones que puedan amenazarlos y que les impidan disfrutar de estabilidad en la tenencia.

 

En la actualidad, la tenencia sola no es suficiente para acceder a la seguridad alimentaria, sino que,  debe ir acompañada del acceso al agua, a la electricidad, al transporte y a algún tipo de infraestructura.

 

La noción de seguridad en la tenencia varía según las diferentes culturas. No siempre se trata de la seguridad jurídica. Los derechos sobre la tenencia de la tierra pueden originarse en el reconocimiento de una comunidad a que alguien posea determinada tierra. Lo que importa es que alguien tenga acceso a la tierra y al efectivo goce del derecho y no tema ser despojado, o si lo fuera, que pueda contar con los recursos para recuperarla. Esto es fundamental para la seguridad alimentaria.

 

La FAO ha elaborado las Directrices voluntarias sobre la gobernanza4 responsable de la tenencia de la tierra, la pesca y los bosques en el contexto de la seguridad alimentaria nacional (FAO, 2012). Estas Directrices tienen como objetivo, según el Director de General de la FAO, Graziano Da Silva: “fomentar la seguridad de los derechos de tenencia, garantizar el acceso equitativo a la tierra, la pesca y los bosques como medio para erradicar el hambre y la pobreza, respaldar un desarrollo sostenible y mejorar el medio ambiente”.

 

Las Directrices fueron ratificadas oficialmente por el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial el 11 de mayo de 2012.

 

Apropiación La expansión de la frontera agrícola y la preocupación por la seguridad alimentaria han promovido el surgimiento de otro problema. No se puede ignorar que existe una competencia por la apropiación de recursos naturales. Lo que no sólo compromete a los recursos sino también la situación de los más débiles.

 

Se puede producir la apropiación por medio de una inversión, en ese caso, es crítico tener en cuenta que las inversiones no desplacen arbitrariamente a las poblaciones locales de sus propias tierras, ni destruyan su hábitat.

 

Importa también, tener presente que se generaliza el fenómeno de la adquisición de tierras en gran escala por parte de algunos Estados que buscan colmar un vacío en la disponibilidad de alimentos en sus propios países. Estas dinámicas han incrementado ampliamente los niveles de adquisición y arrendamiento de grandes cantidades de tierras en ciertos países (Luisa Cruz, 2010)

 

Un estudio conjunto realizado por la FAO, el IFAD5 y el IIED6 reveló la magnitud de dichos contratos de inversión. También hay informes del CFS y del Banco Mundial que estiman que la transferencia de tierras a manos de inversores privados oscila entre  50 y 80 millones de hectáreas. (CFS7, 2011), (World Bank, 2011). Hay, incluso,  estimaciones mayores.

 

Ahora consideraremos la tierra bajo limitantes de carácter físico y antropogénico

 

Desertificación. Tierras degradadas y suelo bajo presión

 

Seguramente el convenio internacional en el que el núcleo es la preocupación por el suelo es el Convenio de las Naciones Unidas para combatir la desertificación (UNCCD). En su página web se presenta diciendo que “La desertificación junto con el cambio climático y la pérdida de la biodiversidad  fueron identificados como los grandes desafíos para el desarrollo sustentable durante la Cumbre de la Tierra en Río, 1992. Este convenio se estableció en 1994 pero es el único acuerdo internacional legalmente vinculante que relaciona el ambiente y el desarrollo al manejo sustentable de la tierra”, Son 195 los Estados parte de este acuerdo. Como todos los convenios de Río se prolonga en las Conferencia de las partes (COPs).

 

“Nuestro principal recurso geológico no renovable es la tierra productiva/el suelo fértil”. (UNCCD, COP 10, nov. 2011).

 

Degradación

 

•     El UNCCD entiende por degradación de tierras la reducción o la pérdida de la productividad biológica o económica y la complejidad de las tierras agrícolas de secano, las tierras de cultivo de regadío o las dehesas, los pastizales, los bosques y las tierras arboladas, ocasionada, en zonas áridas, semiáridas y subhúmedas secas, debido a los sistemas de utilización de la tierra o por un proceso o una combinación de procesos, incluidos los resultantes de actividades humanas y pautas de poblamiento, tales como:

•     i) la erosión del suelo causada por el viento o el agua,

•     (ii) el deterioro de las propiedades físicas, químicas y biológicas o de las propiedades económicas del suelo, y

•     (iii) la pérdida duradera de vegetación natural;

 

Según informe del IFPRI (International Food Policy Research) (IFPRI, 2011) El Global food policy report de 2011, mil quinientos millones de personas y el 42% de los muy pobres viven en tierras degradadas. También nos informa que alrededor de un 24% del área agrícola global ha sido afectada por la degradación, lo que hace que disminuyan los rindes en 20 millones de toneladas de grano por año.

 

Por otra parte y como consecuencia del aumento de la población, la proporción de tierra cultivable per cápita disminuye año tras año.

 

Todo esto ocurre en un contexto en el que el aumento de la producción de alimentos es imprescindible. Por eso se dice que el suelo está bajo presión. En septiembre de 2011, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas llamó a construir un mundo sin tierras degradadas y el órgano de la UNCCD pidió cero degradación y la adopción del manejo sostenible del suelo, para lo que se precisan instituciones robustas y participativas.

 

La preocupación por el suelo no es ajena ni a los convenios ni a los órganos derivados de Cambio Climático (UNFCCC) la preocupación se explica, en este caso, porque el suelo puede actuar tanto como sumidero o a la inversa como emisor de gases de efecto invernadero como claramente se especifica en el Protocolo de Kyoto (art. 3) en el que se comprometen las partes a brindar información verificable sobre el uso de la tierra y los cambios en el uso de la tierra y sobre los bosques (UTCUTS). Este es otro aspecto de la importancia del suelo para que la producción agrícola se realice de un modo sustentable y de este modo asegurar su contribución fundamental para que haya alimentos y continúe habiéndolos.

 

Ya que hablamos de dos de los convenios de Río 92, parece conveniente prestar atención sobre el tercero, el Convenio sobre Diversidad Biológica en algo que funciona como estimulo y como límite, me refiero a una frase del segundo párrafo del artículo 16 que dice que: En el caso de tecnología sujeta a patentes y otros derechos de propiedad intelectual el acceso a esa tecnología y su transferencia se asegurarán en condiciones que tengan en cuenta la protección adecuada y eficaz de los derechos de propiedad intelectual y sean compatibles con ella.

 

El estímulo es la retribución y el incentivo a la investigación, el límite es que toda innovación patentada está atada a un beneficio y orienta la investigación a la obtención de una ganancia.

 

El 4to informe del IPCC, no se trata de un compromiso internacional. Habla desde el conocimiento científico señalando como altamente preocupantes respecto de los suelos, el anegamiento, la erosión, el estrés térmico, estrés hídrico, mayor probabilidad de incendios y el empobrecimiento de las cosechas, problemas que se agravan en los sucesivos escenarios que corresponden a un mayor aumento de la temperatura. Por lo tanto también actúa como limitante la probabilidad de un cambio en los patrones de precipitaciones, de eventos climáticos extremos, sequías, insectos, acidificación de los océanos, derretimiento de glaciares, polución, sobreexplotación de los recursos, desplazamiento y extinción de especies y un aumento global de la temperatura. No está en el lenguaje del informe hablar sobre oportunidades. Habla, en cambio de adaptación y de mitigación.

 

Por ejemplo respecto de la agricultura propone estas medidas de adaptación:

 

Modificación de las fechas de siembra y plantación y de las variedades de cultivo;

 

reubicación de cultivos; mejora de la gestión de las tierras (por ejemplo, control de la erosión y protección del suelo mediante la plantación de árboles).

 

Cambio de pautas de comportamiento, almacenamiento de agua, mejoras tecnológicas.

 

Algunas mejoras pueden obtenerse mezclando los fertilizantes químicos con los orgánicos, alternando con leguminosas, incrementando la reserva de humedad del suelo.

 

Las principales causas de la degradación son: la deforestación, el pastoreo excesivo, el consumo de leña, la gestión agrícola deficiente, la urbanización, la industrialización, la erosión hídrica y eólica.

 

Es necesario mencionar también, entre las causas de la degradación de las tierras y la desertificación, a las presiones del comercio internacional con precios bajos para las materias primas, las coacciones políticas y algunos productos químicos y ciertas tecnologías que obligan a abandonar las buenas prácticas agrícolas

 

La compactación, es decir la falta de porosidad del suelo es la forma más seria de degradación de la tierra causada por las prácticas de labranza convencional. Inhibe el crecimiento de las raíces. El uso permanente de implementos de labranza, el peso de las ruedas, causan compactación. Para evitarla, se recomiendan neumáticos flotantes. No se manifiesta en la superficie como ocurre con la erosión o la salinización. La labranza cero, que es uno de los componentes básicos de la Agricultura de Conservación, o nuestra siembra directa, es comúnmente recomendada y practicada para el control de la erosión.

 

Desertificación La Convención de las Naciones Unidas para la Lucha contra la Desertificación (UNCCD) enuncia que «por desertificación se entiende la degradación de las tierras de las zonas áridas, semiáridas y subhúmedas secas resultante de diversos factores, tales como las variaciones climáticas y las actividades humanas».

 

Las actividades para luchar contra la desertificación incluyen la gestión de cuencas hidrográficas, la conservación del suelo y el agua, la fijación de dunas, programas de repoblación forestal, recuperación de terrenos sobresaturados y salinos, rotación de cultivos, ordenación forestal y de pastizales, y la recuperación de la fertilidad del suelo y de la biodiversidad.

 

Es muy probable que se concrete una amenaza creciente de sequía grave. Según (UNCCD, 2011). El mundo se enfrenta a la posibilidad de una sequia general en los decenios próximos. Aunque la comunidad internacional no reconoce completamente la posibilidad de este hecho. Se sigue sin ver la importancia que el suelo tiene para la humanidad y que es imperioso prevenir y aprender a adaptarse y a mitigar los cambios. Tanto como conocer cuáles son las políticas y las normas adecuadas para la conservación de los suelos ante los cambios que ya están ocurriendo.

 

El agua

 

Limitantes de carácter social: la demanda

 

El agua es la llave de la seguridad alimentaria

 

Tal vez resulte imposible hacer una clasificación como la que intentamos porque los factores humanos se entrecruzan con los que provienen de la naturaleza.

 

Es netamente social el previsible aumento de la población, la urbanización y probablemente, una mayor prosperidad y sus consecuencias, el mayor uso de energía: y que estos incrementos provocarán, a la vez, un aumento de la demanda de agua. Pero este problema no puede aislarse de las proyecciones que se realizan previendo un aumento de la temperatura y cambios en los regímenes hídricos. Hay que situarlo, teniendo en cuenta conjuntamente las consecuencias que sufrirán la agricultura y la producción de alimentos. Es necesario agregar el factor de la incertidumbre, como nos lo advierte el informe de la UNESCO, 2012 que lleva como título: Manejando el agua bajo la incertidumbre y el riesgo que aconseja, además, pensar todos estos problemas que se presentan con un enfoque global. Es posible que globalmente haya suficiente agua para las futuras necesidades pero esta afirmación esconde el hecho de que existen enormes zonas con escasez de agua.

 

La demanda de agua se puede desglosar en seis sectores:

 

Alimentación y agricultura. Este sector es el responsable del mayor consumo de agua. El porcentaje de agua que utiliza este sector oscila entre el 70% y para algunos llegaría a más del 80%.

 

La energía (Utiliza agua para enfriamiento y en el caso de biocombustibles para la producción).

 

La industria

 

Los asentamientos humanos. Para beber, cocinar, limpiar, aseo personal, sanitarios.

 

La que consumen los ecosistemas.

 

La que consume la megaminería a cielo abierto. En un proceso en el que el agua se extrae en grandes volúmenes, se utiliza, se contamina muy probablemente por el agregado de sustancias químicas y se desecha. Hay un impacto en el balance total del agua y en la calidad del agua.

 

Se suele clasificar el agua en:

 

Según UNEP, CEPAL, Hoekstra et al., 2011

 

    Agua verde: El volumen de agua de lluvia acumulada en el suelo.

    Agua azul volumen de agua dulce superficial o subterránea

    Agua gris: volumen de agua contaminada.

 

El aumento de la demanda se calcula entre el 50% al 70% para el año 2050.

 

Cada vez preocupa más la huella hídrica y se toma conciencia de la denominada “agua virtual”. El agua virtual es la cantidad de agua utilizada de modo directo para la realización de un bien, producto o servicio

 

Pongamos un ejemplo de agua virtual. (Según revista ADN agua y medio ambiente, 2012 pp. 2 y 3)

 

Nos preguntamos cuánta agua se necesita para producir un litro de leche.

 

Una vaca produce aproximadamente 6000 litros de leche por año. En ese tiempo consume más de 3000 kilos de  alimento, que, a su vez necesitan casi 4.000.000 de litros de agua para ser producidos, además de 8000 litros de agua para beber y 2500 más para su cuidado e higiene. Conclusión, para obtener un litro de leche se usan en total 1000 litros de agua virtual.

 

Una regulación debe tener en cuenta todos estos aspectos  Pero además importa decidir la condición del agua, si es un bien público, si es privado. Si hay que internalizar los costos, si es necesario poner un precio al agua (recordamos la tragedia de los comunes de Garrett Hardin, en Science 1968) o sólo a su distribución, si convienen los mercados de derechos de agua.

 

Ante la perspectiva de la escasez de agua, según Pigretti et al., 2012. p.10

 

“Existe un auténtico interés por reasignar el uso de los recursos del agua, a fin de obtener su mejor aprovechamiento. Nadie puede manifestarse en oposición a una reasignación de caudales”.

 

El dilema está en una “reutilización mediante un procedimiento que no afectara derechos adquiridos pero que permitiera una reutilización adecuada”.

 

En el plano internacional El 28 de julio de 2010, a través de la Resolución 64/292, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas reconoció explícitamente el derecho humano al agua y al saneamiento, reafirmando que un agua potable limpia y el saneamiento son esenciales para la realización de todos los derechos humanos.

 

Septiembre 2010 el Consejo de Derechos Humanos, Resolución A/HRC/RES/15/9.

 

Siguiendo la resolución de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, esta resolución del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU afirma que el derecho al agua y al saneamiento es parte de la actual ley internacional y confirma que este derecho es legalmente vinculante para los Estados

 

Contaminación

 

Las ciencias naturales nos explican lo que le ocurre a los seres vivos de un río cuando curso de agua recibe residuos peligrosos. Pero sólo las ciencias sociales pueden ayudarnos a comprender por qué nuestra sociedad tolera que alguien contamine nuestros ríos. (Antonio Elio Brailovsky, 2012).

 

Existe una amenaza creciente para la sostenibilidad de fuentes de aguas superficiales y subterráneas por la alteración antrópica de uso del suelo en cuencas de aporte.

 

Las causas: Prácticas agrícolas no conservacionistas, deforestación, uso de agroquímicos y cambios en uso del suelo, perturban balance hídrico y condiciones de calidad de las fuentes.

 

La Industria, asimismo es causa de contaminación de las fuentes.

 

La contaminación del agua está en aumento como resultado del crecimiento económico, por la práctica de la agricultura intensiva, por la relocación de las empresas que buscan los países con normativas o controles menos exigentes. Lamentablemente mucha información no se trasmite o se subvalúa, por eso es difícil de mensurar su impacto.

 

La contaminación se refiere generalmente a los productos químicos (arsénico, cadmio, zinc, cianuro, cobre, manganeso, níquel, plomo, ácidos). Pero también hay que incluir entre los mayores contaminantes a los microbios, nutrientes, fertilizantes, metales pesados, químicos orgánicos, petróleo, sustancias cloradas e incluso la temperatura que al aumentar la del agua actúa como un contaminante. Los agentes patógenos y los nutrientes (nitrogenados) que consumen el oxígeno del agua. Las aguas servidas, efluentes industriales, la minería, los diques de cola.

 

Estos son algunos de los problemas asociados con el agua y que pueden hacer peligrar la seguridad alimentaria. En muchos casos han mejorado las regulaciones. Pero deben ir acompañadas de una toma de conciencia sobre la gravedad del problema que produzca un cambio cultural y que existan instituciones sólidas.

 

La OMS publicó en 2009 guías de la calidad del agua potable (OMS,  2009).

 

Economía verde

 

En este documento, (Río + 20, El futuro que queremos) cada vez que se mencione “economía verde” deberá entenderse que se habla del concepto completo “economía verde en el contexto del desarrollo sostenible y la erradicación de la pobreza”

 

La economía verde es la que mejora el bienestar del ser humano y la equidad social, a la vez que reduce significativamente los riesgos ambientales y las escaseces ecológicas. En su forma más básica, una economía verde es aquella que tiene bajas emisiones de carbono, utiliza los recursos de forma eficiente y es socialmente incluyente UNEP/LAC-IG.XVIII/3.

 

La OECD define así la economía verde

 

•     “Economía verde significa promover el crecimiento económico en tanto se pueda asegurar que los activos naturales continúan proporcionando los recursos y los servicios ambientales en los que se fundamenta el bienestar”.

 

Definición de la UNEP (PNUMA) de economía verde

 

·     “Es aquella que resulta en una mejora del bienestar y de la equidad social y al mismo tiempo reduce significativamente los riesgos ambientales y la escasez ecológica. En su expresión más simple es una que emite poco carbono que usa eficientemente los recursos y es socialmente inclusiva”.

 

Es una postura optimista, nos dice que es posible. (Deseo recordar que la posición oficial del gobierno argentino fue no a la economía verde).

 

Veamos qué dice una postura crítica:

 

La encontramos en el artículo sobre “Dos grandes desafíos contemporáneos: el control corporativo sobre la alimentación y la nutrición y la falta de un enfoque en los determinantes sociales de la nutrición” (Claudio Schuftan y Radha Holla, 2012). Finalmente, debemos comprender que los dos principales desafíos presentados en este artículo – el control corporativo sobre la nutrición, y la falta de un enfoque en los determinantes sociales de la nutrición- no cambiarán sólo con paliativos. Llaman determinantes sociales a las causas estructurales del hambre, como la distribución inadecuada de ingresos, el desempleo, la falta de acceso a la educación, servicios sanitarios, saneamiento y recursos productivos, y la discriminación racial.

 

Tal vez las ideas nucleares sean:

 

·     Adoptar un enfoque basado en los determinantes sociales de la nutrición y el concepto de la soberanía alimentaria en lugar de la seguridad alimentaria,

·     Rechazar el modelo de participación del sector privado por ser una parte interesada en los procesos de debate y diálogo que tienen por objeto el bien público, así como en la toma de decisiones. Explican que: “La principal parte interesada es el público general, que posee ciertos derechos, mientras que el papel del sector privado es el de titular de obligaciones”.

 

Si se desenvuelve esta afirmación se encuentra un sí a la participación de los titulares de derechos en el diseño, la implementación y el monitoreo de todos los proyectos y programas. Han quedado distinguidos claramente los verdaderos titulares de los derechos, por un lado y por otro los responsables de obligaciones.

 

Destacan que aunque es fácil fijar objetivos, los procesos de importancia vital para alcanzar tales objetivos fueron relegados.

 

Comentario: Reconociendo que existen determinantes sociales a las causas estructurales del hambre, entiendo que eso no significa que haya que llevar a cabo una política de igualación, sino, que es necesario reconocer que los actores sociales tienen distinto peso y diferentes obligaciones y para usar una expresión habitual en los tratados internacionales que tienen obligaciones “comunes pero diferenciadas”.

 

Significa también que debe haber una correcta asignación de recursos.

 

Y que, en palabras del papa Benedicto XVI en el Angelus del Domingo Gaudete, ,2012 “La justicia pide superar el desequilibrio entre quien tiene lo superfluo y quien carece de lo necesario”.

 

Bibliografía

 

·     ADN, agua y medioambiente.”Pensar el agua de otra forma”. Año 3 – Número 12. Pp. 2 y 3. Independencia Gráfica & Editora Buenos Aires. Argentina. ISSN 1853-1989.

·     Brailovsky Antonio Elio, 2012  Comentario al libro Ésta, nuestra única Tierra.  Consultado en correo electrónico, brailovsky@uolsinectis.com.ar  20/11/12.

·     Cepal, 2010. Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio. Informe 2010. Antonio Prado. Secretario ejecutivo adjunto. “El progreso de América Latina y el Caribe hacia los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio – Desafíos para lograrlos con igualdad”.

·     Cepal, 2012 Estudio económico de América Latina y el Caribe.  Publicación de las Naciones Unidas. ISBN: 978-92-1-221071-1 • ISSN impreso: 0257-2176

 

E-ISBN: 978-92-1-055366-7 LC/G.2546-P • Número de venta: S.12.II.G.3

Copyright © Naciones Unidas, octubre de 2012. Todos los derechos están reservados. Impreso en Santiago de Chile • 2012-825.

 

·     CEPAL/FAO/IICA, 2012. Respuestas de los países de América Latina y el Caribe al alza y volatilidad de precios de los alimentos y opciones de colaboración. Boletín Número 1/2012. Boletin_12.pdf

·     Cruz, Luisa,  2010. Derecho a la Alimentación (ESA) Documento elaborado por el Equipo del Derecho a la Alimentación, Dirección de Economía del Desarrollo Agrícola (ESA) perteneciente al Departamento de Desarrollo Económico y Social, en estrecha colaboración con la División de Medio Ambiente, Cambio Climático y Bioenergía (NRC) perteneciente al Departamento de Gestión de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente de la FAO, con motivo de la creación de las Directrices voluntarias para la gobernanza responsable de la tenencia de la tierra y los recursos naturales.

     Hoekstra, Arjen Y, Ashok K. Chapagain, Maite M. Aldaya, Mesfin M. Mekonnen, 2011. The water footprint assessment manual: Setting the global standard ISBN: 978-1-84971-279-8.

·     IFPRI, 2011. El Global food policy report. 2011 global food policy report / International Food Policy Research Institute. title: Global food policy report Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-89629-547-6 (alk. paper)

 

1. Nutrition policy. I. International Food Policy Research Institute. II. Title: Global     food policy report. TX359.A12 2012 363.8’62—dc23. Washington. DC.

·     OMS, 2009. Manual para el desarrollo de planes de seguridad del agua: metodología pormenorizada de gestión de riesgos para proveedores de agua de consumo. ISBN: 978 92 4 356263 6.

·     Pigretti, Eduardo A., Dino Luis Bellorio Clabot y Luis A. Cavalli, 2012 Derecho Ambiental de Aguas. Lajouane. ISBN 978-987-1286-55-3.

·     PNUMA, 2011. Hacia una economía verde: Guía para el desarrollo sostenible y

     la erradicación de la pobreza - Síntesis para los encargados de la formulación de

     políticas. www.unep.org/greeneconomy

·     Rattan Lal, (Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center) Nobel Peace Prize Certificate from IPCC. Cita Extraída de su conferencia magistral pronunciada en la Reunión de Alto Nivel de la COP-10 de la CNULD; Changwon, 18 de octubre de 2011. 

·     Río+20, 2012  El futuro que queremos (borrador cero). Elaborado por las Naciones Unidas.

·     Schuftan Claudio y Radha Holla, 2012. En Observatorio del derecho a la alimentación y a la nutrición. ¿Quién decide sobre la alimentación y la nutrición a nivel mundial? Estrategias para recuperar el control. “Dos grandes desafíos contemporáneos: el control corporativo sobre la alimentación y la nutrición y la falta de un enfoque en los determinantes sociales de la nutrición”. p. 24. ISBN: 978-3-943202-11-3.

 

1 Damos a limitación el sentido de que se trata de eso que impide que algo pueda expandirse indefinidamente.

2 IICA Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura.

3 Obviamente aludo a  “desarrollo sostenible, con inclusión social”.  Como tanto se insistiera en el documento final de Río+20, El futuro que queremos.

4 Sobre gobernanza todavía no hay uniformidad de criterios. La idea central es que la gobernanza trasciende al gobierno e incluye organizaciones de la sociedad civil y del sector privado. (PNUD) Se vincula con la legitimidad y la calidad del ejercicio del poder y se extiende hacia arriba cediendo competencias a órganos comunitarios y hacia abajo incluyendo actores sociopolíticos públicos y  privados. Se asocia con buen gobierno, con mejores prácticas de gobierno. Afirma The rule of law.

5 IFAD: International Fund for Agricultural Development.

6 IIED: International Institute for Environment and Development.

7 CFS: Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial.

See the attachment: Marta Andrich.docx
Richard Grant United Kingdom
22-12-2012

Theme 1  What do you consider the main challenges and opportunities towards achieving food and nutrition security in the coming years?

Realising that we must accept that we MUST REVERSE the ever rising world POPULATION.   If we fail it will be our children who will suffer - is that what we want?   We must gain general acceptance to have no more children that will replace ourselves.   In that way we show our love for ours and everyones children.

Roy Anunciacion People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty, Philippines
22-12-2012

 

People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty:

Submission to consultation on hunger, food and nutrition security

 

The World Bank claims it has achieved Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 - to halve extreme poverty and hunger (measured as living on less than US$1.25 per day) - yet 43% of the world continue to live on less than US$2 per day.[1] This amount is insufficient to meet basic needs – food, shelter, health care and education – and it is clear a large proportion of the world continues to live in poverty. However, they are not considered sufficiently poor and are left outside of the work of the MDGs.

The MDGs were unambitious, and hugely flawed. The limitations in the MDGs in the exclusionary process of its development, the Northern-led, box-ticking manner of implementation and the total failure to address the root causes of development issues has meant that little substantial progress has been achieved. The post-2015 development agenda needs to commit to real action to tackling the root causes of poverty and hunger in the Global South. Rhetoric and surface-level targets must be abandoned in favour of more ambitious targets based on human rights. The new development framework should tackle and eliminate the structural causes of inequality that drive hunger and poverty. In the face of ongoing multiple crises, the post-2015 agenda presents an opportunity to introduce substantive structural reforms which will address the root causes of these crises, 

Theme 1

Key lessons from MDGs

Challenges and opportunities in the coming years

There is a need to recognize the inherent limitations of the MDGs to ensure that the same problems are not repeated in a Post-2015 agenda.

·         Goal setting: MDGs were unambitious even on targets that could be achieved by 100%. Some targets such as halving hunger glosses over the fact that the right to food is a basic inalienable right for all people and not only half the population. Basic human rights could be achieved for all if the MDG framework took into account the issues related to good governance and the need for sustained and comprehensive support from developed countries. The Post 2015 framework  needs to be more ambitious in its targets, set concrete goals on good governance and set an accountability framework for developed countries,

·         Process: the MDGs were developed through an undemocratic process without consultation with the target people. This is reflected in the goals failure to call for the eradication of poverty and hunger, but rather it’s halving in accordance with standards which are manipulated to produce favorable results. The Post-2015 agenda must be developed through a truly democratic, consultative multi-stakeholder processes led by Southern governments and Southern CSOs.

·         Limited vision: the MDGs were short-sighted. They proposed grand objectives without connecting problems to root causes. As a result the MDGs have not had meaningful, sustainable impacts on their intended beneficiaries. The post-2015 agenda must address the systemic causes of inequality that mean many live in wealth, yet nearly two-thirds of the global population face poverty and hunger everyday – despite the World Bank’s claim that MDG 1 (to halve extreme poverty and hunger) has been met.

·         Donor-led: The MDGs were developed and led by donor institutions and governments. Developing countries were seen as implementers through their executives only which resulted in little awareness and participation in MDG processes by other stakeholders. As a result the MDGs have become a scorecard through which donor countries and institutions evaluate the ‘improvements’ made by Southern countries. The post-2015 agenda must be Southern-led and be characterized by a true multi-stakeholder process.

·         Accountability mechanisms: The MDGs held state executives accountable to donors. The executive bodies of national governments were expected to report on MDG progress to international institutions and major donor countries, ignoring the people supposed to benefit from the work of the MDGs. There was not accountability mechanism which centered on the people themselves holding their own governments to account. As such the MDGs became a box-ticking exercise, a development agenda disconnected from Southern people.

 

Theme 2

What works best?

Future key issues?

PCFS member organizations are comprised of grassroots farmer and fisherfolk organisations, and their representative civil society organisations. They have everyday practical experience of the struggles facing farmers. They have identified the following critical issues affecting domestic food security, and driving hunger and poverty especially in the rural areas where the majority of global poor and hungry are located.

1.      Land: without land a farmer cannot produce food, fisherfolk have no access to fisheries resources and a base to keep their home and equipment, and pastoralists cannot feed their livestock. Two (2) increasingly critical and interconnected issues are land loss and landlessness perpetuated by inequitable distribution of land and land grabbing. Concentration of land in a few hands leads to many people being unable to grow enough food to sell on the market or support their families. Laborers on large-scale farms commonly experience terrible labor conditions and have no food security. At the same time, urban populations are dependent on local food production for affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food - their access to food is threatened by land grabs. Land grabbing is taking place in Africa, Asia and Latin America due to the demand for biofuels and agricultural production for export to meet the food security demands of other countries.

2.      Climate Change: food producers need to adapt to climate change. Rural, Southern communities are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, including reduced favorable conditions for crop growth. These impacts have been brought about by historic pollution by Northern governments and businesses. Despite the urgency of genuinely addressing climate change in agriculture, international institutions and governments continue to debate mitigation strategies in agriculture hinged on markets for profits. Northern countries should provide finance and support to Southern Countries to adapt to the effects of climate change especially in agriculture.

3.      Fisheries: the fisheries sector has critical economic and social importance - it is the highest value traded food, and more than half the global population depend on fish products for 15% of their protein intake, while 10 – 12% of the global population are dependent on the sector for their livelihood. But fisheries resources are in a state of crises. Wild fish stocks are close to total collapse. Millions of people face being thrown into poverty and hunger. Yet the fisheries sector continues to be forgotten in plans to combat hunger and poverty.

The common experience across these three critical issues is that industrial agri-businesses and industrial fisheries are leading unsustainable environmental and social exploitation of resources, and driving poverty. These businesses are grabbing resources to meet demand for export products while displacing local small-scale food producers and exploiting local labor forces. Their actions are driving climate change, environmental degradation, and hunger and poverty. PCFS member organizations have seen that small-scale food producers can produce enough food to meet global needs while using environmentally and socially sustainable methods.

 

Theme 3

Objectives targets and indicators

The UN Secretary-General has put forward several proposed objectives for the Post-2015 agenda under the Zero Hunger challenge. PCFS remains concerned about the proposed objectives as they reflect the same structure and objectives used in the MDGs. They thus pose inherent limitations in addressing the structural causes of poverty and hunger.

Limitations of Zero Hunger challenge objectives:

a)      100% access to adequate food all year round:  This objective does not guarantee that people will have access to nutritious or culturally appropriate food. Urban poor communities increasingly consume cheap, unhealthy food products, which do not meet nutritional requirements. Furthermore, guaranteeing ‘access’ to food does not mean that it will be affordable.

b)     Zero stunted children less than 2 years old: malnutrition in children affects growth into adulthood and must be tackled at an early stage. This target should be increased to zero stunted children less than 5 years old.

c)      All food systems are sustainable: What is sustainable? This should be qualified: food systems need to be ecologically, environmentally and socially sustainable. We need to abandon industrial, mono-cropping farming practices which exhaust the soil and pollute the environment with heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The most important component in food production systems – farm laborers and farmers – must be prioritized.

d)     100% increase in smallholder productivity and income: the barriers to smallholder productivity are not the farmers themselves but the external factors limiting their production. Promoting and supporting the interests of small-scale farmers and fisherfolk must be coupled with the rejection of destructive large-scale industrialized agriculture and fisheries. The objective fails to recognize how land grabbing and measures favouring industrial agri-business are pushing out small-scale farmers, alongside factors limiting smallholder farmers, such as climate change, dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides brought by their international promotion, and the appropriation of land.

e)      Zero loss or waste of food: the bulk of loss and waste of food takes place upon reaching markets in Northern countries in industrial agriculture. Rejection of unattractive but edible food and waste of food is common. This objective must recognize this distinction to ensure that this objective is adequately addressed.

In the Post-2015 agenda on hunger and poverty, PCFS strongly recommends that:

·         Food sovereignty should be objective number one. Food sovereignty should be the key policy framework to inform the post-2015 agenda on hunger and poverty. It promotes a framework of food production systems based on:

o        Adequate, safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all,

o        Food production that is environmentally and socially sustainable

o        Agro-ecology as a means to increase food production in environmentally and socially sustainable methods

o        Ensures local ownership and control of food production systems guaranteeing domestic food security

o        Support small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, women producers, workers and secure access to (and protection of) the water, land, soils, biodiversity, and other resources upon which food security depends.

o        Agrarian reform in order to secure worker’s, farmer’s and rural people’s democratic access to land, water resources and seeds, as well as to finance and infrastructure

·         Process and Accountability Mechanisms: The post-2015 agenda must be based on substantive and true consultation with the people and it should be led by Southern governments and southern CSOs. It should include a participatory multi-stakeholder approach emphasizing support for Southern movements, and their inclusion as leaders of the in post-2015 processes. While there are initial steps towards this direction in the form of this open consultation, there are still substantial barriers to southern participation in the processes. As stages of the consultation process are commonly slated to be held in the Global North, they are rendered inaccessible for many Southern organizations. For example, the second stage of this consultation process to be held in late January or early February 2013 open to all stakeholders will be held in Rome, Italy is only accessible for organizations located nearby or with substantial resources. Grassroots organisations from the South do not have the resources to self-finance to ensure their participation in these processes. Ensuring their participation is a challenge in this regard.

The Post-2015 agenda should feature accountability mechanisms that people can use to hold their governments to account. The structure for accountability mechanisms should move away from donors to ensure that the people themselves have primary control over the formation and implementation of these goals. As representatives of the people, CSOs should feature prominently in accountability mechanisms, using their sectoral and thematic expertise to hold governments and institutions to account on behalf of the people. Southern Governments need to put in place permanent consultative processes which include all stakeholders and ensures their regular input and feedback on the framing of policy and its implementation.

Policy coherence: There is a proliferation of policy documents aimed at addressing poverty and hunger. The post-2015 agenda on hunger and poverty should complement pre-existing policies on hunger and poverty to ensure there is effective, coordinated action. This should not be another action plan which will divert resources away from existing actions and policies. The Post-2015 agenda should also recognize the inter-relations  between different issues, for example between poverty and hunger, agriculture and environmental sustainability.

 


[1] World Bank, An Update to the World bank’s estimates of consumption poverty in the developing world, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPOVCALNET/Resources/Global_Poverty...

 

Claudio Schuftan PHM, Viet Nam
22-12-2012

Is the Gap in Policy Processes towards better Food Security and Nutrition Interventions Mainly a Gap Between Knowledge and Action?

Food and nutrition issues get little policy attention from decision-makers. The lack of action is not due to a lack of knowledge by the latter. Other gaps are at the root - gaps that denote a deliberate choice of not attending to food and nutrition matters. It is ultimately power relations that affect policy choices. It is here contended that policy processes can only be fully understood if analyzed politically. Consciousness raising and social mobilization are indispensable to influence policy processes. Research organizations have hardly engaged in this consciousness raising; most of them are rather conservative. They think that if decision-makers have more and better knowledge they will indeed take urgently needed decisions; but they never go against their own interests. What is missing, and is argued in favor-of here, is the need for structural changes that address the basic causes of preventable hunger and malnutrition by organizing pressure from below; thus the importance of empowering beneficiaries.

The issues at stake are here analized in a point-counter-point format.

 

Point 1:

As most nutrition colleagues would agree, the right food and nutrition policy decisions are not being made in a world where malnutrition is still a serious public nutrition problem and where a host of options for action exist. It is fitting to ask for the reasons for this and for perhaps, the overall lack of policy attention that food and nutrition issues get from decision-makers.

 

Counter-point 1:

Some researchers in the food and nutrition community are indeed looking for ways to reduce the gap between knowledge-and-action. It is here counter-argued that it is not a lack of policy attention to the knowledge/action gap that is at the root of the problem. Instead, it is a deliberate ignoring of the food and nutrition problem as long as it is not the direct cause of social unrest. (To state the obvious, those who have the power are not those who have the problems). The real gap therefore is not between knowledge-and-action. It is not either a lack of political will. It is a deliberate choice of not attending to these matters if they are not jeopardizing the stability of the system controlled by those who hold the power. The current gap, if looked at as a knowledge gap, most decidedly exists, but is of little significance, because policy is only minimally affected by knowledge alone.

It is political factors that define what the policies to be attended to, actually are - and it is ultimately power relations that affect policy choices. In short, policy processes can only be fully understood if analyzed politically.

As regards beneficiaries genuine participation in decision-making, communities do not engage at all in the policy making process, because they do not have a voice; communities can thus not influence policy. They need to be empowered to do so in order to claim their rights.

How interactions between active civil society and various levels of government affect policy development and implementation is a chapter in the writing. The more militant civil society organizations have indeed achieved some real changes and there is much to be learned from those organizations. We have to help budding civil society organizations to achieve the clout (power) to demand needed changes and to monitor their implementation.

Consciousness raising and social mobilization are indispensable in influencing policy processes; this is best done using the human rights-based approach that organizes claim holders to demand policy changes from duty bearers. (Note that ‘stakeholders’ is a terrible neutral term!)

 

Point 2:

Existing food and nutrition research organizations often engage in attempts to influence policy makers by communicating their findings to them and by contributing new information to policy fora.

 

Counter-point 2:

Historically, however, most of these research organizations have hardly engaged in the consciousness raising and social mobilization of the ‘needed type’ at least not very proactively. In all honesty, most of them are rather conservative organizations, as for example those in the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research institutions (CGIAR). Just communicating and contributing new information to decision-makers will not achieve the changes needed unless this information is more on the political side of changing things.

 

Point 3:

These organizations claim there is a disconnection between the spheres of policymaking and of science-and-knowledge; that one needs to break ground methodologically to engage policy makers as decisions are made.

 

Counter-point 3:

Actually, this has been one of the problems of these food and nutrition research organizations for years: they try to connect policy with science-and-knowledge and not with politics. Do they really think that if decision-makers have more and better knowledge they will make decisions against their power interests? In their guts, politicians already know what scientists want to tell them...they may not have quantified information, but they know. The need is not to break ground methodologically, but to break ground politically.

 

Point 4:

These organizations still often call for more interdisciplinary research.

 

Counter-point 4:

It is definitely not a dearth of interdisciplinary work that has hampered progress. Almost all the hurdles are political and ideological. If one puts together multidisciplinary teams of conservative researchers, the results and recommendations will be conservative and will just tinker with the immediate causes (and will do so strictly within the system). What is being argued here is the need for structural changes that address the basic causes of preventable hunger and malnutrition. (See www.humaninfo.org/aviva)

 

Point 5:

Moreover, many of these organizations call for setting up social protection and safety nets.

 

Counter-point 5:

The time is overdue to stop talking about safety nets! This is precisely what leads to tinkering with changes within the system. The ongoing neo-liberal global restructuring creates a mess and food and nutrition professionals are supposed to pick up the pieces? Just in order that the poor and marginalized do not revolt? Who is cheating here? We need to stop victimizing the poor and throwing them bread crumbs. What about, to begin with, changing the system that makes safety nets for the poor required?

 

Point 6:

The CGIAR organizations claim they have proven their ability to communicate effectively to bring certain actors together to promote "action".

 

Counter-point 6:

Yes, but what are they communicating? Rice with iron or with vitamin A? Doom forecasts for 2020? The horrible impact of AIDS on agriculture and on the economy? The need for improved agro-forestry? Super staple food species? Is that enough? Does this imply that those who will listen and do some of it will then go on to make structural changes? If one brings actors together to promote action, what meaningful and sustainable action will they promote, will this be the political action needed?

People overlook the fact that some governments do place a high priority on reducing hunger and malnutrition. Take Vietnam, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Kerala State in India. What is the common denominator among them? Political determination. Period. This is not just an often used ‘cliché’. So, the bottom line that affects policy-makers’ choices is the politics of it all, i.e., political processes reign.

Epilogue:

 

To sum up, food and nutrition issues appear on the public agenda only when it is in the interest of the decision-makers or when international pressures become unbearable. Only occasionally does one see this happening when leaders have a clear mind and determination about the importance of food and nutrition in the development process. The only factor that ultimately works is organized pressure from below; thus the importance of empowering and mobilizing beneficiaries.

Even current legislation and legal systems do not affect action to reduce hunger and malnutrition to any great degree. This includes the promotion of the right to adequate food and nutrition. Laws may be passed, but are not enforced. National leaderships often feel content with having passed the legislation, and do not care much about its enforcement. Legislation is also frequently in response to international pressures and not to a felt need. Only mobilizing civil society and providing them with the necessary teeth to monitor the laws’ enforcement will make things work.

What can these research organizations then do to create the conditions for actions that will effectively reduce hunger and malnutrition in developing countries? They need to go through a profound process of revising and redefining their vision and their mission so that they can genuinely adopt the right to adequate food and a nutrition-based approach in all that they do. They are simply not looking at food and nutrition as a human right even as they may have made oral and written pronouncements to that effect.

 

They need, for instance, to engage more on operations research that tries out different approaches to maximize the social mobilization of claim holders to negotiate and demand their rights from duty bearers at different levels. In fact, research related to all areas of implementing the right to adequate food and nutrition-based approach is of high priority.

As a general rule, if research findings have high social mobilization potential, they should be popularized directly to the beneficiaries to empower them to claim their rights. 'Selling' research findings to decision-makers may continue bringing us more of the same disappointments. Policy makers do not always really (want to) listen...unless beneficiaries put pressure on them.

 

So, where is the gap? …and don’t you think this is a key issue for us to ponder in the post-2015 era?

 

Claudio Schuftan, Ho Chi Minh City

cschuftan@phmovement.org