Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)


Selection and Prioritization of CFS Activities for the Biennium 2016-2017

CFS has started a process of selection and prioritization of activities for the biennium 2016-2017. Though this online discussion, the CFS Secretariat  would like to invite all those interested to provide inputs to this process.


The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the foremost, inclusive platform for food security and nutrition issues. Given the importance of its role there is wide range of potential activities that CFS could undertake.  At its 40th Plenary Session in October 2013, the Committee put in place a structured and inclusive two-year process to decide on its upcoming program of work and to select and prioritize future  activities.

The prioritization process of CFS activities is based on the following five criteria:

  1. The consideration of the mandate of CFS and what the added value of the work item is;
  2. The contribution of the activities to the overall objective of CFS; (see annex 1)
  3. There should be no duplication of past activities or current ones being carried out by other actors with comparable mandates;
  4. The resources available should be taken into account;
  5. There should be consensus among CFS stakeholders.

The process should result in the following outputs regarding CFS activities for the biennium 2016-2017:

  1. Major workstreams that are characterized by a broad-based and relatively long consultation and negotiation process on strategic topics recognized of major importance for food security and nutrition and lead to the finalization and endorsement of CFS key products;
  2. Other potential workstreams to be carried out by CFS, other than those that are already in place;
  3. Themes for future HLPE reports.

This process aims to help the Plenary in October 2015 take an informed decision on which issues to address and by which kind of activity.

For ease of reference, an extract from the CFS Multi-Year Programme of Work and Priorities (MYPoW) that was endorsed at CFS 40 in October 2014 and which includes the main activities to be carried out by the Committee in the biennium 2014-2015, can be found in Annex 2.

The Overall Process of Prioritization

After the multi-stakeholder dialogue in Bucharest on 31 March 2014 for the European region and given the impossibility to hold similar dialogues back to back with the other FAO Regional Conferences, the process will continue with an online consultation which will allow all CFS stakeholders to provide inputs to the process of selection of CFS activities for the biennium 2016-2017.

Following this online consultation, an Open-Ended Working Group meeting will be held on 30 June 2014 in Rome to discuss the outcomes, analyze the different activities proposed, merge and condense when possible and collect further inputs with a view to inform CFS 41

After CFS 41 in October 2014, the focus will move to the analysis of the proposals that were received and to their prioritization.

Internal consultative processes within the different CFS constituencies will take place to discuss and express preferences among the activities that have been proposed.

Two Open-Ended Working Group meetings will take place in the first half of 2015 with a view to finding consensus on the list of activities; the first to analyze and streamline the proposals put forward by CFS Constituencies and the second to present and discuss a prioritized list.  This list will be presented to CFS 42 in 2015 when the final decision on the proposed activities for 2016-2017 will be taken.

The Online Consultation

We would like to invite you to  respond to the following questions:

  1. What issues should be addressed by the Committee in the biennium 2016-2017?
  2. Explain the issue and describe why you are proposing it;
  3. What kind of activity do you propose to address this issue? Which kind of CFS workstream should be put in place to address it?
  1. A major workstream
  2. Another type of workstream
  3. An HLPE report

Luca Fratini

Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on MYPoW

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

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UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition

The UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition welcomes this public consultation and would like to make the following contribution.

1.What issues should be addressed by the Committee in the biennium 2016-2017?

Issue is: Diet quality and food safety for food and nutrition security.

Description of the issue: The effects of diet quality and food standards, including private sector standards, on production, storage, transport, processing, consumption and trade patterns, especially regarding food and nutrition security need to be addressed.

2.Explain the issue and describe why you are proposing it;

In the Rio+20 declaration: The future we want, participants reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing food and nutrition security and the access to adequate, safe and nutritious food for present and future generations. Access to diversified, nutritious and safe food is a basic human right and is essential for food and nutrition security and achieving poverty reduction worldwide.

Food security is not only about producing or importing enough food often with a focus on dietary energy. It is also about ensuring the safety, quality and diversified nutritional aspects of the food people eat.

Consequences of not having access to affordable quality and safe foods are numerous:  Foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases kill an estimated 2.2 million people annually, most of them children. Other serious health consequences including cancer, reproductive and immuneffects may be caused by microbial or chemical food hazards. Contaminants contribute to and accaserbate nutrition-related effects, e.g. mycotoxins and stunting, immunomodulation by mycotoxins or environmental contaminants, particularly affecting undernourished people. The rising global burden of noncommunicable diseases is a tragic consequence of food and nutrition insecurity and the fact that many people do not have access to sufficient, quality and safe food or choose not to consume these.

The problem is a global one which has different faces in different countries, but needs to be addressed globally, regionally, and at national and sub-national level.

3.What kind of activity do you propose to address this issue? Which kind of CFS workstream should be put in place to address it?

The issue should be addressed by a major workstream of the CFS or as a HLPE report and subsequent policy roundtable in the CFS annual plenary.

The UNSCN Secretariat

United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition

c/o World Health Organization

20 Via Appia, Geneva, Switzerland

Phone: +41 22 79 10456 ; Email: [email protected] ;


Dear Minister Counsellor Fratini,

Many thanks for this opportunity to engage in this process and provide input.

With Reference to the HLPE Report on Food Waste: A work stream specifically focusing on Post-Harvest Losses (PHLs) with cross cutting issues of environmental impact, nutrition, health & water sanitation, in its nature would likely engage a multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary approach:

The food crisis in 2006/ 2007 resulted in a sharp rise in global food prices bringing an increased focus on agriculture and a renewed interest in the reduction of postharvest losses (PHLs) as a means of increasing food availability and rural incomes.

In the case of smallholders, most cereals are stored by farming households after harvest until they are sold or consumed during the year.

A key aspect of addressing post-harvest losses is through encouraging smallholders to invest more of their resources in postharvest handling and storage to maintain the high quality of their cereal and reap the rewards of higher value markets. 

Better post-harvest management associated with loss reduction was, in addition to discussion the HLPE report, also reported by the World Bank’s 2011 “Missing Food Report” as a way of helping to build resilience against current and future climate-related shocks, and reduce the need for compensatory agricultural extensification, land use change, and damage to the environment services, including carbon sequestration.

The targets primary outcome if to achieve a goal on the reduction of food losses & waste – there should be a relevant end point e.g. 2030 & clear regional quantitative targets; with the note that post-harvest not only includes crop losses, but also livestock, fisheries.  There should also be a further push for separation of both, loss and waste, with clear targets on Productivity losses (including Livestock) & Post-Harvest losses.

To address the remaining cross cutting issues – it is important to note that simply increasing the nutrition by ensuring a healthy and nutritious diet through promotion of a micronutrient rich diet, increasing coverage of nutrition behavior change activities is not enough.  It must be couple with improved water sanitation and drinking water.   It is key that improving nutrition and proving safe drinking water are principles that are run in parallel; since for example if a child is infected with a waterborne disease it is likely to fail to achieve the expected impact, to singularly increase the nutritive value of the child diet, as diarrhea usually accompanies these waterborne conditions.

For the Committee of Food Security; under this work stream there could be three key focus areas:

1. A CFS roundtable event on defining actionable linkages with water & health to synergise impacts, when improving nutrition through Food Security measures

2. Best Practices for reducing post-harvest and post production losses; Guidelines for countries on the correct measures to take and tools to use for greatest impact

3. A CFS roundtable event on solutions to reducing post-harvest losses and other food losses


Many thanks for your kind attention and advice.

Kind Regards


Georgina Bingham Zivanovic PhD FRES

Product Development Manager Food Security

Vestergaard Frandsen SA

Chemin Messidor 5-7 | 1006 Lausanne| Switzerland

T: +41 (0) 21 310 7331 | M: +41 79 824 2032

E: [email protected] | W: | Skype: georgina.bingham

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The most important factor for the Farmers in India is the Asymmetric Information

reaching them on every count - Input, Output in terms of their availabilityand also their price.

The source of information for all these still continues to be the Input supplier i.e the retail supplier of Seed, fertilizer, pesticide etc.

2) The next issue is the procurement of different agricultural products by government. Here the farmer is also a victim.

3)The core issue of these again boils down to the crucial issue of Land Reform.

In India who really tills the land - what is their proportion in terms of having the ownership of the land (certainty of tenurship even).

4) What is stable policy in Agriculture? Do we need Agricultural policy or We are badly in need of a POLICY for Farmers?

Which is important. Who will set the priorities?

Agriculture as a sector needs a policy or Farmers as a class of people - one of the most productive - (though the % of contribution is less than 14% to GDP)need a policy for their survival.

If Farmers donot survive who will cultivate the land to provide that basic minimum of sustainable food.

Can India afford to depend upon the rest of the world for it's food requirement.

These are the issues Which CFS can take up seriously.

Pradip Kumar Nath,

Adjunct Faculty,

Center for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (CPME)

National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD)

Hyderabad, INDIA

  1. What issues should be addressed by the Committee in the biennium 2016-2017?

The proposal made by the Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário Brasil related to the need to seize the momentum of the International Year of Family farming and discussion of its follow up to address issues related to

  1. Multi-stakeholder, broad-based, participatory platforms for food security and family farming.
  2. Regional and sub-regional agricultural strategies and integration mechanisms which are conducive to food security and family farming.

Building on such context and need, including outcome of the regional dialogue on family farming organized by FAO, I would propose a third issues which could be addressed and makes sense in relation with FAO mandate as a knowledge organization and overall objective of CFS to propose better coordination, policy advice, sharing of best practices, as well in connection with other work stream (such as improved rural and agricultural):

  • how to better bridge the knowledge gap on agrarian structures, notably family farming in its diversity and in in conjunction with overall rural transformations so as to inform such multi-stakeholders platform and integration mechanisms at different levels?

2. Explain the issue and describe why you are proposing it

Indeed, Assessment at global and local level showed that most often it was difficult to actually capture and characterize family farming in its diversity, although it is key to facilitate informed dialogue and to adapt better policy. Besides, there is often weak understanding of the strong inter-relations between rural transformations and evolving agrarian structures, and the challenges they raise for different types of holding, including diverse family farms, as well as for society (notably for instance regarding the employment issue as well as sustainability agenda[1]). Also, as highlighted by contribution of M. Robinson, UK, it is key to go beyond FF and also characterize roles of new actors, non family structures. What best trajectories can be imagined? What implications for policy? Such often requires an informed dialogue on the potential roles and evolutions of  family farming.

Data are often quite weak and very difficult to compare across countries. Different information systems exist but do not always well coordinate amongst themselves and liaise with users. Capacities to better valorize and analyze the data in such perspective is often lacking. Initiative emerge in different countries but may require or benefit from further support and platform for exchanges on the topic. The international Year of family farming is setting up an international working group to further propose criteria and guidelines to develop definitions and typologies of FF.

3. What kind of activity do you propose to address this issue? Which kind of CFS work stream should be put in place to address it?

Such could include:

  • Further assessment, knowledge generation and dialogue on the diversity of family farms and the inter-connection between rural transformations and agrarian structures and the challenges they raise for different types of holding, including diverse family farms as well as for society, in a context of increased need for sustainability. Also, as highlighted by contribution of M. Robinson, UK, it is key to go beyond FF and also characterize roles of new actors, non family structures. What diversity of trajectories can we currently see and imagine? What implications for society and policy?
  • Further assessment and exchange on the related data, information systems and capacity development requirement. How can current data initiative help to better address the data gap, including the global strategy for rural and agricultural statistics,  the world program of census or LSMS type of data? Can we minimally harmonize some of the data to enable better comparison and dialogue across regions? What kind of information platform and observatory can help better collate and use such information, bridging the gap between data and policy and facilitating longer term dialogue on such? What methods to better assess such transformations at national and global level?

CFS stream could include: HLPE report on the topic, integration of such points along existing work stream (global strategy for improved rural and agricultural statistics) as well as on previously proposed work stream on “country-initiated multistakeholder assessments on sustainable food systems, food security and nutrition” and “smallholders and market”. Indeed, such assessment would benefit to 1) take into account the rural transformations perspective and diverse roles of evolving agrarian structures and 2) provide best practices and guidelines on how to inform such assessment in long term (data requirement, information and monitoring system, etc.).

Such point could be discussed in the discussion on the follow-up to IYFF and of a Global Document to be agreed in October during CFS 41

[1] See FAO Asian regional conference paper on meeting farmers aspirations in context of green development


Canadian Canola Growers Association


  1. What issues should be addressed by the Committee in the biennium 2016-2017? The Committee could explore the role of innovation and investment in the development of agriculture and food systems.
  2. Explain the issue and describe why you are proposing it; There is solid evidence that agriculture can be intensified with accompanying productivity gains without eroding the natural resource base.  Canada for example has actually improved our native soils since the 1930s while intensifying production.  Innovation and improvements in technology and agronomic practices have significantly reduced water use and soil conditions have improved– soils at risk have declined significantly.  With zero till practices and new crop varieties built on new technology agriculture uses approximately 500,000 gallons of water per acre less than was the case in the 1980s.  There are number studies done by international agencies that show evidence of how to boost productivity, particularly for small family farms, through innovation and investing wisely and responsibly in agriculture. 
  3. What kind of activity do you propose to address this issue? Roundtable.
  4. Which kind of CFS workstream should be put in place to address it?
  1. A major workstream
  2. Another type of workstream
  3. An HLPE report

Jan Dyer

Director of Government Relations


The World Farmers’ Organisation, WFO, would invite the CFS to implement more action-oriented, farmer-centric initiatives for the biennium 2016-17. For instance, it would be important to organize regional consultations with farmers’ organizations regardless their size (small medium and large scale farmers), gender age and geographical position to foster their involvement in the CFS activities and processes. A part from the annual meeting of the CFS, there should be additional occasions to directly involve farmers in the policy debate on global food security with a right to speak for them selves and not only represented by institutions. With this perspective, the CFS through its mechanisms should promote the organization of multi stakeholder workshops at regional level that would see farmers at the center of the stage as well as all other actors of the society, private and public sectors, research institutions, international organizations, foundations.

Mr. Ammad Bahalim

Global Health Visions for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dear Chair Fratini,

I would like to submit the following on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundaiton for consideration as part of the MYPoW. 

Kind regards,

Ammad Bahalim

Sr. Consultant - Trade, Nutrition and Agriculture Advocacy


What issues should be addressed by the Committee in the biennium 2016-2017?

Investment in agricultural research and development

Explain the issue and describe why you are proposing it:

Stable and increased investment in research and development for agriculture is necessary to meet the productivity growth needed to address critical social, economic and environmental challenges related to food security and nutrition. Many countries have made substantial progress in support in this area. However, growth in spending on agricultural research and development should be improved substantially and should meet international targets: 1 percent of agricultural GDP and to grow by 5 percent annually. Discussion at the CFS could help mobilize a variety of stakeholders to ensure that investment in agriculture is taking place at the requisite pace.

What kind of activity do you propose to address this issue? Which kind of CFS workstream should be put in place to address it?

HLPE report


What issues should be addressed by the Committee in the biennium 2016-2017?

Sustainable Agriculture Productivity Growth

Explain the issue and describe why you are proposing it:

Agricultural productivity will need to grow in a sustainable manner to address concerns such as malnourishment, resource scarcity and economic opportunity. Sustainable growth in agricultural productivity growth may be an important means of achieving critical development concerns. Members of the CFS could share best practices on how to achieve such growth while also learning how their own work may be improved.

What kind of activity do you propose to address this issue? Which kind of CFS workstream should be put in place to address it?

HLPE Report


Dear Luca,

During 2016-17, the CFS should undertake activities to analyse changes in global food system governance. At present, rapid changes are taking place in the actors that shape decisions about global food policies. New sets of actors are influencing formal decisionmaking, as well as the broader market and governance environment, with major implications for future policmaking at the national and international levels. I propose the CFS analyse this issue in depth either through a workstream or HLPE report.

Addressing this issue would require identifying the actors that are exercising growing influence (particularly multinational corporations, private financial organizations, intergovernmental treaties with strong private backing, semi-monopoly food retailers, etc.), as well as the mechanisms through which they are shaping global policy and (including intergovernmental trade agreements, public-private partnership schemes, the financialization of food markets, etc.). This would build upon the strong base of analysis initiated under the leadership of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

CFS needs to play a leading role in identifying these trends, analysing their consequences and identifying leverage points for change. No other global institution has the legitimacy or capacity to undertake this task. Analysing global food governance - and the political and economic forces driving change - is crucial to maintaining and strengthening future policy space to address the full range of specific challenges (including improving nutrition, driving sustainable agricultural intensification, job creation, and building national and regional food markets).

Ewan Robinson

Research Officer

Institute of Development Studies, UK

Bliss Baker

Global Renewable Fuels Alliance

May 20th, 2014

Luca Fratini

Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on MYPoW

Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 Rome, Italy


Dear Minister Counsellor Fratini,

I am writing to you today in response to the Committee on World Food Security’s (CFS) call for topics to prioritize at the 2016-2017 biennium. The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) would like to begin by conveying its appreciation for maintaining a high level of stakeholder participation in consultations.

For the 2016-2017 biennium the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance would strongly suggest the topic of “Crude Oil and Food Security” to the CFS.

Crude oil and its price impact global food prices in many ways. The price of oil has a direct impact on the cost of fertilizer, the cost of packaging and the cost of transportation. The GRFA first highlighted the direct link between food and oil prices in March 2011 and has tracked it over subsequent years seeing a trend develop – the price of food follows the price of oil.

There is general consensus from international organizations on this topic. In 2011 David Hallam, the FAO’s Deputy Director confirmed this when he said;

“unexpected oil price spikes could further exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets.”

Due to the severe impact crude oil prices have on food prices and therefore food security, GRFA members are of the opinion that the only way to address this important topic is by creating its own “Crude Oil and Food Security” work stream. Like other topics of similar importance the work stream would conclude with an HLPE report with suggestions on how to lessen crude oil’s impact on food prices and food security.

The GRFA would welcome the opportunity to assist the Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group to develop the scope of the working group if the topic were chosen in the future.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or visit


Bliss Baker


Global Renewable Fuels Alliance