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Topic: Concepts and Frameworks

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Food Security—A Commentary: What Is It and Why Is It So Complicated?

Every year over 10 million people die of hunger and hunger related diseases. Nearly six million of these are children under the age of five; that is one child’s death approximately every six seconds. Understanding how this still occurs amid the ever increasing social enlightenment of the 21st century—and under the auspices of a vigilant global developmental community—is one of the key challenges of our time. The science of food security aims to address such concerns. By understanding the multiplicity of the phenomenon, practitioners of global multilateral hegemony seek to shape appropriate policy to address these issues. The difficulty however is that the phenomenon is increasingly wrapped up inside an ever growing bundle of societal aspirations including inter-alia under-nutrition, poverty, sustainability, free trade, national self sufficiency, reducing female subjugation and so on. Any solutions therefore, involve fully understanding just what is indeed included, implied, understood or excluded within the food security catchall. Indeed, until such time as consensus can be found that adequately binds the phenomenon within a fixed delineated concept, current efforts to address the multitude of often divergent threads only serves to dilute efforts and confound attempts to once-and-for-all bring these unacceptable figures under control.

Mark Gibson
Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), Colina de Mong-Ha, Macao, China

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Agricultural cooperatives and globalization: A challenge in future?

Globalization is one of the greatest strategic challenges for agricultural cooperatives. Globalization has increased significantly over the last decade, and despite financial crises and recession in many parts of the world globalization will likely continue — albeit with less force than before. Cooperatives have specific challenges of globalization. In some areas, cooperative challenges have been solved. Critical issues such as the use of foreign raw materials and production abroad are now a part of business development in several large cooperatives. Foreign members are also increasingly common, still not without challenges. In other areas, however, more structural and fundamental problems persist. Here major changes in the organization of cooperatives are required if all advantages of globalization are to be exploited. Danish agriculture has for decades been characterized by a high market share for cooperatives and a structure which to a high degree has been export and globally oriented, indicating no specific problem concerning globalization of cooperatives.

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The Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition: A Right to Food Perspective

The vision of the reformed Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is to strive towards “... a world free from hunger where countries implement the voluntary guidelines for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security”.1 As an important tool to achieve this vision, the Global Strategic Framework (GSF) will offer a set of guidelines for States, intergovernmental actors, the corporate private sector, and the CFS itself, on how to promote policy coherence within the rights based framework, towards the full realization of the right to adequate food.