Free Trade, Food Security, Human Rights & Opportunity:
It is important for Food Security and Free Trade that participants work together AS participants/partners, treating all stakholders with dignity and respect. Our "bottom-up" approach to Food Security Value Chain is based upon historical precedent from the US mid-1800's Agricultural Revolution, which perhaps needs a bit of contextualizing. Our underlying premise is that all humans are created equal, regardless of whether they live in a grass hut, a chalet in Gstaad, or a Park Avenue townhouse.
In 1821, Nathan Dillon was one of many families that migrated from the Ohio frontier to the Illinois prairie. His children died from starvation, exposure, and diseases such as cholera. They had no doctors, no schools, and were subsistence level farmers in every way. In the Midwest US just 50 years ago there were still farm communities that had no indoor plumbing, no electricity, and no telephones. The point is that none of us are far removed from the rural farm areas of America, Africa or Asia.
Human innovation and drive, combined with education, technology improvements, transportation, storage, and market development, were the "necessary and sufficient" conditions that enabled the Revolution in mid-1800's US Agriculture. Trade Policy, Agricultural Policy, and Food Security Policy all need to support those "necessary and sufficient" conditions. Our role is to provide those opportunities to support those "necessary and sufficient" conditions.
What is very exciting is that as we make opportunities available to local smallholder and rural farmers, (necessary & sufficient conditions) the following generation will not only surpass their parents, but their creativity will apply the technology and knowledge in ways we can not even imagine. The students will become the teachers.