Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

This member contributed to:

    • As of my observation, FAO should focus on the following issues for SPIs:

      1. Ensuring the credibility and the reliability of data on which the policy based on from different relevant stakeholders and reach at a conclusive evidence-based data that all parties/stakeholders trusted (it is common to read different results and conclusions from different organizations on the same agenda)
      2. The depth of data analysis including the skill of analysts also matters a lot therefore, there is a need to continual capacity building particularly data for policy making.  
      3. There is a need to draw different showcases on failed polices due to low quality data particularly from different developing countries as lessons learnt. 
    • I think FAO should be focus on providing capacity building training for relevant stakeholders when it is important to link political governance and economic governance and train how the political governance support the economic governance positively or not influencing negatively. In many cases in developing countries particularly in sub-Saharan Africa political governance influence negatively the economy governance.

    • As of my observation, there are many cultures in Ethiopia which highly supportive for maintaining biodiversity, agro-biodiversity but there is limited encouragement to expand and/or maintain it from 'modern' agriculturalists believing that the traditions do not bring the expected production and productivity which culminates to ensure food security. But, I suggest there is a need to promotional activities for the traditions that favors biodiversity.

    • Dear Sir/Madam,

      In principle, I strongly agree that  access to food should be a component/part of human rights and needs to be promoted well. But, I always feel it as luxury for developing countries particularly in Africa and Some Asian countries since the majority of the population under starvation/hunger mainly due to bad economic governance. How do we think of ensuring access to food with the sense of basic human rights in a country trapped in a vicious circle of poverty? But it needs concerted efforts I suggest in the following 

      a. Create regular awareness for governing bodies, citizens on access to food as human rights and encourage to exercise it 

      b. Establish strong performance monitoring system and take responsive/corrective measures 

      c. Design innovative and home based pro-poor development interventions in all matters (access to finance, market,  resources, social capital and etc.)

      d. Affordable cost for quality foods

       Shirega Minuye

      Senior Researcher

       Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

    •  From my own observations I suggest the following points should be considered

      1. Water pollution due to poor waste management is a challenge for sustainable fish resources therefore there is a need to include in the guidelines how to mainstream fish resources prevention from water pollution

      2. The way of water use practices both modern and traditional ways have an impact on the sustainability of fish resources therefore there is a need to devise proper water governance system that considers traditional water management practices


    •       Dear All, I would like to share mythought in this regard.

      As of my experience, plastics as container of agricultural inputs both liquid and solid are very crucial but  the main problem appears in where and how to dump after use and sometimes it is used as household utensils.Therefore, I feel it is important  that there should be tailored guidelines with site specific contexts guidelines.This guideline should sssess the after use of plastic products from different country contexts and should give directions for developing country specific implementation guidelines

    • Price Volatility issues:

      This is really a important issue particularly in developing countries

      where accessible food in sufficient quantity and quality is very

      difficult. This cyclical challenge is mainly arise from my own

      observation due to misaligned/misguided/injected policies from the

      above (i.e. policy makers) without tailoring to the context of a

      specific country in question. In addition to that implementing even a

      little logical policies as per their direction  is cumbersome due to

      bad governance and fragile political systems. It is also repeatedly

      echoed that establishing modern market information system (for

      instance avoiding of  price information asymmetry), increasing food

      production, developing logistics and infrastructure facilities could

      reduce price volatility, However, the major challenge in this regard

      is lack of systematic instruments to unnecessary transaction costs

      linked to trading malpractices of brokers and traders. Very often,

      these actors also use fraudulent pressure to break the effectiveness

      of smooth of food and other durable goods marketing which finally

      aggravates the already  spike prices .Therefore, there is a need to

      establish a robust system that could make both market actors that are

      favored by market distortions and controlling bodies/government

      agencies to be accountable and transparent. In this part, NGOs which

      are experienced in the issues should render technical support.

      Many authors argue that market information system supported with

      high-tech and artificial intelligence would make a sensible result.

      But, I feel that this might partially work for developing countries

      where digital technologies literacy level or awareness is  low and

      wide digital divide among urban and rural within the same developing


      The other that should be taken into consideration is the customers

      buying behavior or responses to traders/brokers speculation.

      basically, sense of scarcity is common among customers in developing.

      countries particularly even in the case of temporal food supply

      disruption/s. Consequently, the consumers are very often fell off with

      the traders/brokers marketing deceiving techniques

      which in effect influence the buyers/customers negatively. Therefore,

      there is a need to make aware of the benefits of collective marketing

      by which consumers collectively or in group could buy the items they

      need from sources of product which essentially break the unnecessary

      long market chain. The other thing is detaching price volatility from

      using as political machinery particularly in fragile states. In this

      part, NGOs could play their part.

    •     The report is so important,  timely and captures relevant critical issues. However, I wish this report more focus on:

      1.Techncial issues like how urban agriculture should be promoted even in the case of very scarce land. I observed that the population growth  particularly in East Africa jumps over many times from agriculture production supply which is double hampered with distorted/abnormal market systems; basically the market institutions are so weak.

      2. Utilization of food or preventing food looses is another issue which can be promoted through awareness creation campaign/cooking demonstration. In most of African countries including Ethiopia poor utilization of food is common due to low knowledge on food management which should be provided at community level

      3. food storage and practices are also the major gap which reduces the shelf life of the food. In this regard, this report should consider how innovative policy should be designed to motivate technologists/entrepreneurs to engage in production of affordable equipment for extending food shelf life

      4. In most cases,  in developing countries particularly in Africa, there is little incentives to attract youth skilled in agriculture education to involve in direct producers of food. I think this can save the youth to be unemployed unnecessarily. Investing knowledge in food systems in Africa remains unthinkable, it needs a vibrant and   entrepreneurial leadership. There is a usual saying the current years are led by knowledge economy but my observation in East Africa, there is very narrow policy incentives that motivates youth population with low financial capacity to exercise their entrepreneurial qualities.

      5. Cultural taboos should also be assessed on how they impact the food systems in urban and peri-urban




    • I think this issue is timely considering the challenges related to climate change and dietary habits of the people which entirely based on the food supply in the existing market systems. This situation if not conclusive has brought the change of the disease concentration and pattern. Therefore, this is an important project.

      Related to the project theory of change and concepts, I think it is comprehensive, but i would emphasize on issues that should be taken much consideration.

      1. seek methods/systems how this goes in harmony with the pastoralist livelihood systems where owning huge number of livestock has given high indigenous value

      2. private-public investment in developing countries is not well functioning and not attractive so devise a way-out solution

      3. Please make consideration on how to conform with particularly the developing government's direction of increasing agricultural productivity (extension approaches) without considering green growth like applying inorganic fertilizers, pesticides and etc.

      4. It is also better to assess the best practices of sustainable land management related projects which very often run by non-governmental organizations. In my experience, there are a problem of sustainability issues.

      5. I think it is also important to think of this project should give opportunity to agricultural colleges/universities, agricultural research institutions and other relevant institutions to involve that can serve as demonstration.

      6. It is also important if you can link it to as employment creation particularly for youth and women.


    • First of all, it is a crucial issue that needs a contribution from all concerned parties. It is therefore, I need to highlight the following points:

      In general, particularly from the developing countries like East Africa, the policy making processes are driven or twisted to the interests of the political parties on the power. Therefore, it could say that others have limited policy influencing power.

      There are also specific challenges that face scientists and other knowledge holders to effectively participate in agri-food system policy making processes.

      Challenge 1: Lack of sufficient funding for conducting studies to generate relevant quality and reliable data for policy making

      Challenge 2: Lack of consistent data from different institutions on the same issues-agri-food systems. There is a common challenge that great variation among the institutions on the quantitative results related to agri-food systems particularly the government structures seemingly come up with the biased results which distort the realities on the ground. Therefore, this might be a difficult task for scientists to prove or disprove as it would be time taking and costlier

      Challenge 3:Data Analysis and synthesis problem: In most cases, based on my observation, scientists and other knowledge holders , the practice of data analysis style is mainly focused on simple variables for academic exercises which left off complex variables which have significant role on the policy designing

      Challenge 4: Lack of producing tailored policy recommendation: It is usually observed that scientists and other knowledge holders provide blanket recommendations either taken form literature review or coping from other similar countries policies without digesting or distilling relevant to their countries.

      Challenge 5: Disagreement among scientists on some issues: For instance, the practice of GMO foods is not favored by many scientists; in this case, it creates confusion for policy makers as it might be difficult to get into which one is right or wrong  

      Related to opportunities,  the existing digitalization and global system need to flourish the knowledge economy which gives a wide opportunity for scientists to exercise their practical experience or knowledge.

      Best Regards,

      Shirega Minuye, Senior Researcher

    • From my own observation in Ethiopia, the following points are the major peculiar causes but not given the required attention from the development actors for food security and nutrition inequalities particularly in rural areas

      a. Poor awareness among the community members on nutrition friendly dietary practices: The odd thing is event the surplus produced areas in agricultural products are found less nutritionally poor/low nutritional status than the food shortage areas. This is not an availability of food issue but it is gap of food utilization which lacks to maintain balanced diet. Therefore, this requires a tailored awareness creation on keeping balanced diets to reduce nutrition inequalities. Hence, this report should include nutrition awareness program would reduce nutrition inequalities.

      b. Insufficient supply of agricultural labor at the right time of agricultural activities: The female headed households and the poor households are highly affected with the lack of labor at the required time since most of them could not afford to pay for labor cost and/or could not handle the reciprocal labor arrangement. Therefore, they usually harvest poor agricultural production in terms of quantity and quality. Therefore, this draft report should assess the impact as well as propose the workable recommendation.

      c. Limited awareness on the wild edible plants food security and nutrition effect: There are wild edible plants which are nutritionally rich , but not yet explored in comprehensive manner, have different utilization in different areas. In some areas, they serve as supplementary food for instance. Moringa (stenopetela) for the whole year while in other they are used only for compound fencing or shed. Therefore, this needs an effort to make awareness, promotion and demonstration. This is particularly useful for moisture stress areas. Therefore, this report should include the potentials of wild edible plants as a means for filling the gap of food security and nutrition inequalities.

      d. Mono-cropping Crop Production System: This production system is one of the causes for nutrition inequalities in some areas particularly where accesses to market of other agricultural products are limited and/or high transaction costs due to long value chain from source of production.

      e. Consumption seasonality pattern: The consumption pattern of rural areas in Ethiopia varies across seasons for some food items. In relative terms, in the harvest seasons there is a tendency of consumption of diversified foods while in the non-harvest seasons the consumption is keeping up with the limited food items which have less nutritional value. Therefore, this report should at least suggest how food stocks can reverse the food security and nutrition inequalities.

    • Dear Sir/Madam,

      Q1. Partly yes and partly No. When I say partly yes, it would be good if the government commits to promote the involvement of migrants or returnees in the investment of agri-business where there is strong base of functionality developed agricultural value chains. My argument for partly No is I believe to make investment in any business or agribusiness worthwhile, it needs to invest more on the potential investors’ mindset/entrepreneurial skills. But from my crude observation in Ethiopia indicates that more migrants or returnees prefer to invest on services sector which is usually assumed agri-business return on investment is too long.

      Q2. In my observation, matching grant program has both strong and weak points. The strong point is mainly attached to that it enables to access finance, skill and experience sharing/knowledge transfer. Whereas the weak point is that it has bureaucratic and/or long procedures, delay of release of apportioned budget for its purpose.

      Q3. Agricultural machinery/tools matching grant. This has a great motivation to attract migrants or returnees for such investment.

      Q4. I recalled there was World Bank funded matching grant program in Ethiopia 10 years ago to support export oriented business companies particularly involved in textile sub-sector.



      Shirega Minuye

    • Dear Sir/Madam,

      It is an interesting document and captures many important things. However, I like if it elaborates more about the following:

      • In the case of societies where the practice of regular data recording is not available, the responses for a survey mainly based on recall basis and their willingness in providing truth data. However, from my personal experience, survey respondents, not few, are in difficulty to explain quantitative data such as revenue and expenditure data due to recalling problem and while others deliberately hide it. In this regard, some researchers pay some amount of money as form of compensation for respondents wasting time which aims to motivate the respondents to provide true information. Therefore, it is good if this document could cover such issues at least how compensation or incentives have an effect on the data collection
      • There is sometimes understating or overstating of data problem. For instance, it is sometimes observed that there is a gap among different research institutions, donor organizations funded research projects, and government agencies reveal different with wide gap of national level results related to food security, nutrition security. In this case, there is a challenge among data users to select which one is relatively accurate. Therefore, this report should indicate some hints on what tactics should be followed as a solution.
      • It would also be good the report should elaborate the extent of data quality using digital technologies particularly in the data collection vis-à-vis with traditional systems referring developed and developing countries.
    • This zero draft guideline is good and I believe it meets its objective since it is intended to serve as basis for igniting more ideas related to the issue. From my experience, women and girls’ participation and decision making in production and marketing activities are also more compelling factors for food and nutrition security both at household and community level. However, this guideline has touched slightly in indirect way. In addition, the way family’s treatment of siblings (male and female) at household gives a way to make the gender disparity intergenerational. Therefore, the parenting styles of parents should be examined and brings into a table of policy agenda.