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Monthly Archives: December 2018

Food risks hidden behind the documentary – Food Security and Food Justice

In October 2018, a food documentary released in China attracted wide attention and discussion.

The documentary, Once upon a bite, was released in China just a few days ago and quickly had more than 170 million viewers.

It’s even more interesting than the three consecutive legendary food documentaries in China in 2012 called A bite of China, which have been viewed more than 180 million times in China.

“Once upon a bite,” the documentary, its food research vision is no longer limited to China, but in a broader perspective with a more open attitude to explore and compare the Chinese food and food from all over the world. With Exquisite shooting technique, this documentary shows how people use similar raw materials to make different delicious food from different geographical and historical background.

While attracting wide attention, this documentary has also aroused wide controversy. Among them, whether fish could be eaten raw or not has always been the focus of people’s attention and debate.In the long history of human exploration of food, cooking is an iconic achievement. Because a lot of researches have shown that cooking foods makes us able to extract more calories and kill bacteria, so we stuck with it.

顺德鱼生
‘Shunde sashimi’ is a dish made by thin slices of freshwater raw fish, which is percious for its clean living environment and fresh sweet taste.

However, raw food are still popular among several places , which mainly because raw food can keep the natural and fresh taste. The most typical case in this documentary is the freshwater sashimi called ‘Shunde sashimi’.This kind of local specialties in Shunde city of China and has more than 1000 years history ,it even become more well-known after being promoted by this documentary. But this risk behind it must been seen for there are some statistics show shunde has one of the highest rates of parasitic infections in China.

Researchers conducted a census of parasite infections in shunde in 2002, This survey was carried out by the center for disease control and prevention of shunde district. Three towns were randomly selected from the 10 subordinate towns of shunde district, and one village was randomly selected from each town to inspect the intestinal parasitic worm eggs of all resident populations. The term “resident population” here refers to people who have lived for more than one year. The results are striking. Of the 1,561 people examined, 880 were infected with the parasite, with an infection rate of 56.37%. Among them, the infection rate of liver fluke was the highest, reaching 50.74%, and the infection rate of other hookworm, whipworm and roundworm was several percentage points respectively.

According to the analysis of shunde district center for disease control and prevention, the production mode, living habits, sanitary conditions, etc., are the factors of parasitic infection. Diet, as the most important part of “living habits”, is naturally difficult to discard the pot. Considering the infection path of liver fluke, it can be reasonably judged that the extremely high parasite infection rate of shunde people, especially the infection rate of liver fluke, is closely related to the diet habit of loving raw fish.

Although the documentary has been widely acclaimed, it promotes Chinese and world food culture. Although this documentary didn’t give a clear recommendation on how people make choice between health and delicious food, under the beautification of documentaries, it is easy for people to turn a blind eye to the risks behind food. The authors suggest that the audience should be reminded that while eating raw fish is a pleasure, modern epidemiological statistics tell us that eating raw fish is risky.

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Northern Policy Institute Looks at Food Security in Northern Ontario | SaultOnline.com

Northern Policy Institute Looks at Food Security in Northern Ontario | SaultOnline.com

The high cost of healthy eating is an ongoing concern for many families and individuals in Ontario’s northern communities. It often leads to food insecurity, a situation in which people are unable to obtain a nutritious and culturally appropriate diet due to financial restrictions and other barriers. In Ontario’s northern communities, the relatively higher cost of food is a major contributor to food insecurity in northern communities compared to those in the South.

Northern Policy Institute’s latest commentary, Setting the Table: Food Insecurity and Costs in Ontario’s North, by Eric Melillo, explores the causes of higher food prices in the North, as well as other underlying social concerns that contribute to food insecurity. In the commentary, Melillo proposes potential solutions to address this issue that could lead to lower food costs in the North.

The commentary illustrates that there is a positive relationship between community remoteness and the cost of healthy eating, and in general, the further north one goes, the cost of healthy food increases. For example, it costs over $1,900 more per year to buy healthy food for a family in the Rainy River and Kenora Districts than it would cost for a family in Toronto. In northern communities, there are several factors that can account for higher food prices, including increased travel costs, a lack of market competition, and inadequate road and transport infrastructure.

Food security is also impacted by inadequate income and social assistance. Currently, both federal and provincial levels of government have established plans in place to combat the high cost of healthy eating in the north and food insecurity more broadly. Data would suggest however, that these programs have not adequately addressed the situation to ensure that such food is accessible and affordable for every Canadian.

Melillo proposes different solutions that have the potential to alleviate food insecurity in northern communities either by lowering the cost of nutritious food and/or increasing the income of those currently struggling. Potential solutions include:

Continued development of the northern economy, including the construction of roads to isolated communities;

Implementing a drone pilot project that would identify the value of drone and airship technology as a solution to food insecurity;

Encouraging cooperative business models as opposed to for-profit grocery stores;

Reconsider implementing a basic income guarantee, which could lead to increased income and purchasing power for those currently struggling with food insecurity.

To read the full commentary, visit: www.northernpolicy.ca/foodinsecurity

Food system resilience – is Clean Meat the answer? – Food Security and Food Justice

Food system resilience – is Clean Meat the answer? – Food Security and Food Justice

A question of sustainability in the face of a growing need for resilience within our food systems.

Climate change is a major global issue gathering a vast amount of attention. at alarming rates and human’s role in this can no longer be denied. The destructive on natural and human systems are already evident. Food production is under risk in already food insecure areas – a risk that is only set to increase. Despite the  goal of no hunger by 2030, the number of undernourished people worldwide increased by between 2016-2017 – this has been linked to climate-related shocks.

With more mouths to feed due to the ever growing population, food security is brought into question and the agriculture system is put under rising pressure to meet demands. By 2050, global population will surpass 9 billion people and the demand for meat is likely to be 70% greater than it is today according to the . Both meat and staple crop in to this increase in demand. Here brings in the issue of food justice – only those who can afford to will be able to eat meat, with others not having the financial means to eat at all.

Attention is turning to farming intensification methods. These are same methods that currently cause great concern due to their environmental impact – livestock supply chains are responsible for a huge . But how are we to reduce these emissions while maintaining supply for increasing demands?

Could ‘Clean Meat’ be the answer?

 

Clean meat, formally referred to as the less appetising name of ‘in vitro meat’, is a hoping to revolutionise the global food system. A small number of cells are painlessly harvested via biopsy from the animal – be it cow, chicken, pig, turkey or kangaroo – in order to establish cell lines. These are effectively a ‘starter pack’ of clean meat consisting of different types of cells (muscle cells, fat cells, ect). The cells are then cultured in a nutrient rich media inside a bioreactor so that they can grow and multiply to become what we know as meat!

There are a number of challenges still present before clean meat can be rolled out in supermarkets as a viable alternative. At the moment, it is only possible to create ground meat as opposed to creating a ‘steak’. The use of is currently being researched in order to address this issue. Another major concern with clean meat at the moment is cost. Currently, it costs of ground clean meat produced, according to – a considerable amount cheaper than even a couple of years previous. This needs to be significantly reduced before it can become a mainstream meat product sold in shops. Mosa Meats claims that they are aiming to release a by 2020, with the hope that clean meat will be down at $1-2 per pound in the future – cheaper than any other animal meat on the market. To reach these targets the must develop to a new level – this means increasing efficiency, improving cell lines and optimising growth conditions within the bioreactors. Investors in clean meat seem to think this is possible – time will tell.

Although the challenges are many, the potential advantages of clean meat are also numerous:

Environmental: Clean meat has the potential to be a whole lot greener for the environment with showing greenhouse gas emissions to be 4-22% that of conventionally produced meat, using 99% less land and 82-96% less water.

Health: Clean meat also boasts above conventional meat. Due to production taking place in a completely sterile environment, contamination of meat in slaughterhouses is no longer an issue. The need for antibiotics is also absent – a major issue in livestock farming currently, especially with the rise of antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’.

Animal Welfare: The introduction of clean meat would hopefully decrease the need for farming intensification of livestock, likely meaning animal living conditions could greatly improve and many more animals could be saved from slaughter. 

But what will this mean to local livestock farmers? The introduction of clean meat has the danger of threatening the livelihoods of many livestock farmers. Perhaps this new competitor could persuade farmers to turn to more sustainable farming approaches, converting livestock land to arable land.

But it doesn’t seem natural!

A further challenge to gain acceptance is to overcome the “but it’s unnatural” reaction. Many surveys have been carried out to assess the attitudes towards clean meat. In a study carried out by , it was found that the way in which clean meat was described to a participant greatly affected their views towards it – the labels of ‘in-vitro meat’ and ‘cultured meat’ were found to be problematic. Even with these labels avoided, of participants said they would be willing to try clean meat. Perceptions of naturalness are crucial for acceptance of food and food technologies.

Even with people willing to try clean meat, it is another matter to presume that they will buy it in the supermarket week in week out. For this to happen, it will need to be cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and taste just as good, if not better, than meat straight from the animal.

Clean meat has the potential to reduce the environmental impacts of our agriculture system, improve animal welfare, address growing public health concerns, and prevent a threatening future food crisis. The question is, can it overcome the various challenges in its way and become accepted by society as “natural”?

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Three lake region counties awarded for food security tech

Three lake region counties awarded for food security tech

Technology

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 18:23


By VICTOR RABALLA

 James Shikwati.
IREN chief executive officer James Shikwati. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Three counties in the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) have won awards for demonstrating the most promising smart technological solutions that address food security challenges.

Trans-Nzoia, Kakamega and Busia counties won county solution hubs contest after undergoing a competitive process against other devolved units which make up the newly established economic partnership.

The three became winners of the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) Technologies and Innovations Challenge 2018 held at the end of a three-day expo.

IREN chief executive officer James Shikwati noted that the key objective of the contest was to grow a constituency of young people who take initiative and proactive steps to address challenges that face the lake region.

“I welcome more partners to this initiative to enable us compliment county government activities in the region,” he said.

The prize was organised by IREN in conjunction with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in the expo that featured training and networking sessions.

Mr Shikwati said the ITIC-2018 recruited 166 youth who were enrolled into county solution hubs.

Trans-Nzoia County emerged top with the post-harvest management solution dubbed “NGAO”, a pesticide that uses dehydrating properties of diatomaceous earth to dehydrate cereals to prevent aflatoxins and deter weevils.

Kakamega County Solution Hub on the other hand developed a self-sustaining energy system that powers an irrigation water pump, while Busia County Solution Hub came up with a solar-powered cassava drying and chipping machine as a solution for post-harvest losses.

The ITIC 2018 competition aims to promote smart solutions for the 14 Lake region counties by identifying scalable food security compatible technologies for use by farmers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the agribusiness value chains.

“The Friedrich Naumann Foundation is proud to be associated with the innovative activities exhibited by young people from the Lake region of Kenya,” said Veni Swai, Senior Programme Officer, East Africa.

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The post Three lake region counties awarded for food security tech appeared first on Wiredfocus.

Food allergies and their link to food insecurity – Food Security and Food Justice

Food allergies and their link to food insecurity – Food Security and Food Justice

I have had a food allergy for most of my life, and research shows that allergies to food are part of millions of people’s lives. It is estimated that 1-10% of people have a food hypersensitivity, which equates to approximately 11-26 million people in Europe and 240-550 million people globally. A food allergy not only limits which foods people can eat but it can also increase food insecurity.

Food security, according to the World Food Programme, is when a person has availability and adequate access at all times to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a health and active life. Therefore, food insecurity is when a person lacks at least one of these components. People with allergies can experience food insecurity especially through lack of availability, access or safe food.

Allergy pic
Some of the most common food allergies [From google images: https://pixabay.com/en/tree-nut-allergy-food-allergen-995054/ https://www.glutenfreeliving.com/blog/making-gluten-free-diet-work/ https://www.inlifehealthcare.com/2017/03/06/gather-knowledge-about-these-common-food-allergies/egg-allergy-51580/ https://pixabay.com/en/milk-dairy-allergy-food-allergen-995051/%5D

     Availability
Ask anyone with a food allergy and they will tell you that finding allergy friendly food can be incredibly difficult. For example, research has shown that 56.5% of people with Coeliac disease have difficulty finding gluten-free food whilst eating out, and 24% had difficulty finding appropriate food when shopping. The lack of availability of appropriate food can be especially prevalent when eating out, but the availability of food in shops is more likely to impact on food security. In my experience, smaller supermarkets tend not to be as allergy friendly, as they have less choice and available options tend to be more expensive. So, in order to get better food I need to travel to bigger shops. However, the inability to travel to bigger shops can cause the lack of availability of appropriate food so increase food insecurity.
     Access
One of the main things that affects access to food is how expensive food is. Research from the US has shown that families in the US with food allergies have approximately $4,184 extra expenditure per child annually. Some of these costs are due to medical treatment, but excluding this it still cost to US families $20.5 billion a year. My mother has Coeliac disease and at times we struggle with how expensive gluten-free options are. I also can have difficulty affording my own milk free alternatives. To figure out just how much more expensive ‘free-from’ food is I went online shopping on Tesco’s supermarket website, as in my experience it is the best supermarket for shopping with allergies. I then searched for the cheapest version of the ‘normal’ and free-from alternative of various ‘staples’ and calculated how much more expensive the free from version is.
table version 2
On average, these ‘free-from’ food alternatives are 4.7 times more expensive. The high cost of these foods means that people with allergies may struggle to afford enough safe, nutritious food which means that they are more likely to be food insecure.

     Safe
Food allergies can often be life threatening. Food induced anaphylactic reactions result in 150 deaths each year in the US and in the UK 8% of children and 2% of adults have at least one life threatening food allergy. Food allergies have gained a lot of media attention recently since the heart-breaking death of a 15-year-old girl who died after eating a falsely labelled sandwich. This incident has resulted in an outcry from the public for better labelling of food products to help protect people with allergies, including a petition to the UK government to improve allergen labelling. This is an example of how the current food system, especially establishments that serve food, is failing to keep people with allergies safe, so is adding to their food insecurity.

     Solutions for food insecurity
There are many initiatives to try and help people that experience food insecurity. One of the biggest examples is food banks. The use of food banks is increasing – from 61,000 in 2010/11 to 1.18 million in 2016/17 in the UK.  Food banks provide an amazing service to help people who struggle to get enough food, but people with allergies can find the foods they need are not readily available. This problem was so prevalent in the US that it led to the founding of an initiative called the Food Equality Initiative (FEI). It was started in 2015 and is the first US allergy friendly food pantry. The FEI distributed over 18,000 pounds of food between October 2015 and September 2016 which shows how needed allergy friendly food initiatives are needed.

One intervention in England is that people with a diagnosis of Coeliac disease are able to get some staple foods on NHS prescription, and 80% of people with the condition use this service. This service is being cut in some NHS trusts due to budget issues but this type of help is not only limited to England. Canada gives people with Coeliac disease tax reductions to help with the additional cost of gluten-free food and in Italy people are given a monthly cash allowance. This indicates that governments across the globe recognise that food is more expensive for some people with allergies and that they sometimes need help to ensure their food security.

Food insecurity can affect people with allergies due to lack of availability of suitable food, the increased price of allergy friendly food and the potentially fatal effects of unsafe food. Governments and charities need to make more of an effort to include considerations for food allergies in their interventions, as well as ensuring food labelling keeps people with allergies safe.

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Scientists call for eight steps to increase soil carbon for climate action and food security – Scienmag: Latest Science and Health News

Scientists call for eight steps to increase soil carbon for climate action and food security – Scienmag: Latest Science and Health News

Leading scientists call for action to increase global soil carbon, in advance of the annual climate summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland (COP24) and World Soil Day (5 Dec).

The amount of carbon in soil is over twice the amount of carbon found in trees and other biomass.

But one-third of the world’s soils are already degraded, limiting agricultural production and adding almost 500 gigatons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, an amount equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 216 billion hectares of U.S. forest.

Modalities for climate action in agriculture will be addressed 3 December at the first workshop of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, a breakthrough initiative of the 2017 UNFCCC climate negotiations.

In a commentary piece, Put More Carbon in Soils to Meet Paris Climate Pledges, published today by the journal Nature, climate change and agricultural scientists who serve on the science and technical committee of the organization 4 per 1000 describe a path for recuperating soil carbon stocks to mitigate climate change and boost soil fertility. The scientists suggest that the KJWA formally commit to increasing global soil organic carbon stocks through coordination and activities related to eight steps.

The eight steps are:

1. Stop carbon loss – Protect peatlands through enforcement of regulations against burning and drainage.

2. Promote carbon uptake – Identify and promote best practices for storing carbon in ways suitable to local conditions, including through incorporating crop residues, cover crops, agroforestry, contour farming, terracing, nitrogen-fixing plants, and irrigation.

3. Monitor, report and verify impacts – Track and evaluate interventions with science-based harmonized protocols and standards.

4. Deploy technology – Use high-tech opportunities for faster, cheaper and more accurate monitoring of soil carbon changes.

5. Test strategies – Determine what works in local conditions by using models and a network of field sites.

6. Involve communities – Employ citizen science to collect data and create an open online platform for sharing.

7. Coordinate policies – Integrate soil carbon with national climate commitments to the Paris Agreement and other policies on soil and climate.

8. Provide support – Ensure technical assistance, incentives to farmers, monitoring systems, and carbon taxes to promote widespread implementation.

A joint forum for coordinated action and funding to close research gaps is needed, the scientists argue. The eight steps also inform the KJWA’s next workshop (June 2019), which will address soil carbon.

“Taking steps to increase global soil carbon requires multi-stakeholder collaboration at the science-policy interface. 4p1000 initiative, which has 281 partners from 39 countries, is showing how such collaboration can be used to address sustainable development goals in an integrated way,” said Cornelia Rumpel, lead author of the commentary and Research Director of the National Research Center at France’s Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.

Co-author Farshad Amiraslani, Remote Sensing Specialist and Deputy Dean of Academic Affairs, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, is concerned with how lack of coordination among stakeholders and no comprehensive database is hindering the impact of land restoration efforts. We need to apply satellite imagery to capture changes occurring at large scales more frequently and cost-effectively, he said.

“We are amassing a rich body of knowledge on how to increase soil carbon stocks,” said Claire Chenu, a Professor of Soil Sciences at AgroParisTech. “But further research is needed. For example, we know root systems make an important contribution to soil carbon stocks, but we are still researching how specific crops with deep roots, vs. cover crops, vs. agroforestry systems differentially contribute to increasing soil carbon. We need more data on the effects of agricultural practices in different ecosystems.”

“Challenges to achieving large-scale carbon sequestration include nutrient limits, inadequate farmer incentives and lack of organic matter in some places, but even impacts at lesser scales will benefit the climate and food security,” said co-author Lini Wollenberg, Low Emissions Development Leader for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Research Professor at the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment.

“The potential benefits are too large to ignore,” Wollenberg said.

4P1000 Science and Technical Committee members and affiliations

Co-authors in Comment article:

Co-signatories:

Bees Crisis: How Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) Affects  Pollinators and Crops – Food Security and Food Justice

Bees Crisis: How Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) Affects Pollinators and Crops – Food Security and Food Justice

Honey bees (especially the species Apis mellifera), one of the most important pollinators nowadays, are facing a rigorous issue which was largely found since 2006 in the USA: the colony collapse disorder (CCD)(source).  Also known as many other names, including disappearing disease, spring dwindle, May disease, autumn collapse, and fall dwindle disease, the CCD can cause a large number of worker bees disappeared. Since most of the plants’ species we used as food need honey bees as a pollinator, the intensive agricultural system including commercial agriculture has impacted the most.

The bee colonies that have influenced by the CCD will first show the following syndrome: insufficient workforce to maintain the brood that is present, workforce seems made up of young adult bees, colony members non-welling to consume provided sugar syrup and protein supplement. While the major symptom is that the adult worker bees would totally disappear with no dead body in front of or beside the colonies, also capped broods and food stores would exist in those colonies while the reaction against the attacked by hive pests would significantly be delayed. (source)

The cause of the CCD is still remaining unknown even until now, however, the scientists have come out with some hypothesis of the mechanism of this disease, including Israeli acute paralysis virus, acute bee paralysis virus and Kashmir bee virus, microsporidian gut parasite Nosema ceranae, Neonicotinoid systemic insecticides, delayed chemical treatments for Varroa mites, nonetheless, there are other research suggest that some environmental elements are also the reason for bees occurred this syndrome such as poor weather condition or long-distance transport of hives to nectar sources or pollination locations. 

There are about one-third of agricultural products need honey bees as a pollinator, including almonds, peaches, apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and strawberries. However, after the honeybees have disappeared, the farmers must pollinate themselves which increase the cost of those products. A similar situation also occurred in someplace in Europe and China where the artificial pollination for apple trees is a high personal cost and time-consuming job which can increase the price of an apple. (source)

Since the CCD can cause such severe impact on agriculture and even human life, some follow-up actions are needed urgently. For the scientist, to find out the cause of the CCD and the way to prevent it is the priority. For the farmers that have been affected, alternative ways of artificial pollinating efficiently or even inducing new pollinators are actions in need. Nevertheless, avoiding applying only a few species when farming to prevent the collapse of the ecosystem and the following disasters is very important in the sustainly agricultural system.

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Post-Brexit Agricultural Policy: The Opportunity to Make Food Sovereignty a Reality – Food Security and Food Justice

Post-Brexit Agricultural Policy: The Opportunity to Make Food Sovereignty a Reality – Food Security and Food Justice

On the 23rd of June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union 51.9% to 48.1%, a movement coined as Brexit. One major concern noted by farmers in the UK is the loss of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a policy in which farmers received subsidies from the EU towards their income. Farmers have noted that this income was widely used to increase the productivity on their farms as well as to support their livelihoods. A loss of these subsidies from the EU means an almost 50 – 60% reduction in the income of farming families and businesses in the UK. With an expected date of departure from the EU on the 29th of March 2019, there has been uncertainty from farmers about what their future and livelihoods will hold post-Brexit. This departure from the EU is a chance for the UK to reform the Agricultural Bill and bring back ownership and authority to those who make the UK’s food – UK farmers. Brexit is also an opportunity for the production, distribution, and consumption of better food for its communities by promoting small-scale farmers and agroecological farming practices. La Via Campesina, an international movement consisting of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers, defines food sovereignty as the people’s, Countries, or State Union’s right to define their agricultural and food policies by prioritising small-scale agriculture while also protecting the environment.

How Did the UK Get Here?

A post-Brexit research into the opinion of UK farmers found that those who voted to leave the EU were deeply dissatisfied with the bureaucratic processes of the EU government as well as the feeling of a loss of control and ownership over their livelihoods. One of the main concerns farmers brought up in the research was food sovereignty, specifically, the lack of say of what they can and cannot produce on their land. One farmer’s opinion on the issue of sovereignty speaks to the ideology of much of the ‘Leave’ agriculture community in the UK, “Britain should be governed by politicians elected by British people.” Farmers have also expressed frustration with the periodic decrease of their share of the EU budget, which was often coupled with more rules and regulations enforced by the EU. On the 23rd of June 2016, by voting to leave, UK farmers said goodbye to the European Union in the belief that UK agriculture will thrive and no longer be constrained by EU membership.

Uneven Balance of Trade & Dependence on the European Union

Until its departure from the European Union, the United Kingdom will have received an estimated 27 billion Euros from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The main objectives of CAP were to increase productivity through specialised technology, to stabilise the food markets in the EU, and to provide reasonably priced foods for human consumption. UK farmers received these European subsidies through CAP Basic Payment Schemes and the Rural Development funding programmes. It has been reported that the UK government will be unlikely to match the subsidy amounts given by the European Union, and this reduction in farming income will significantly impact UK farmers until the government can come up with another viable solution.

Food Sovereignty: Agroecology and Small-Scale Farming as the Next Generation

Now is the greatest opportunity for the UK to support their local producers in providing healthy, nutritious, and good quality food to feed their communities by using agroecology and small-scale farming practices. Agroecology is the sustainable farming practice in which small-scale farmers use the available organisms in nature to improve the soil quality which in turn improves the quality of food for consumption. Agroecological farming differs from the current high-intensive farming practices (that uses more technology and degrades the land) by instead working with the natural landscape.

One might question if agroecological techniques and small-scale farming can produce enough food to feed the UK population compared to large industrial farms? First, it must be addressed that large farms with machinery does not equate to more food production. Research has shown that small-scale farmers produce equal, if not more, food yield compared to industrial farming. Notably, current large industrial farms produce one type of food crop (also known as monocropping), typically corn or wheat, at high yields, but small-scale farmers produce a variety of foods crops, at higher yields, on the land.

Agroecological farming is the better route to achieve food sovereignty in the UK than large-scale industrial farming. Agroecology and small-scale farming has been proven to be more energy efficient, safer and works harmoniously with the natural environment, has higher land productivity, and is resilient to shocks that may occur in the market (price volatility) or environment. Food sovereignty has been shown to significantly reduce the reliability on the unstable global markets, reduce landscape degradation, cease exacerbating climate change, and be resilient to high food pricing. By reforming the current Agricultural Bill to promote food sovereignty through small-scale farmers and agroecological techniques, the UK will be able to provide better quality food, increase food availability, preserve the landscape, reduce climate change, strengthen the domestic market, and for farmers: regain their self-identity as producers.

European Union provides funds in support of global food security

The European Union and FAO along with its Rome-based UN partner agencies, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), have signed an €12 million deal that will lend EU backing to three separate programs designed to tackle diverse aspects of food security and rural development.

The agreements were finalized by EU Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva.

The first project will aim to empower rural women as key actors in improving nutrition and food security; another will support global food security governance mechanisms, including by promoting greater involvement by civil society in policymaking; and the third is looking to leverage private sector funding to support agricultural development projects.

The first two initiatives are collaborative programs that will be co-operated by FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). The investment program will be run by FAO in close cooperation with the Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development.


“All three contracts will intensify the cooperation between the three Rome-based agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP), as well as their collaboration with the EU. I look forward to effective joint work and clear results from the projects”

Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development and SUN Lead Group Member


Graziano da Silva said: “The FAO-EU relationship is a strong, well-established partnership with a long track record of successful teamwork and collaboration. We are extremely grateful for the ongoing trust and support the EU has shown us, and are gratified to be able to continue this team effort to build a world with zero hunger.”

Support for rural women, key changemakers

The first collaborative project, worth €5 million, will build off a joint proposal for mainstreaming gender considerations into rural development drawn up by FAO, IFAD and WFP.

The three partners will work together to develop an improved model for rural development work, one that unlocks and harnesses the many contributions that female farmers and food processes and women heads of household make to economic growth, good nutrition, and economic development. They will then ensure that this approach is firmly embedded in all of the work they do in the field.

Ensuring a strong global dialogue

The second project, with €3 million in backing, will provide support to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), an international body convened by FAO that brings international organizations and civil-society groups working on food security together with governments to hash out a common global agenda for tackling hunger and malnutrition.

The program will strengthen participation in the CFS by civil society, facilitate work by an independent panel of outside experts that brings critical studies and independent analysis into CFS discussions, and support production of guidance documents that CFS produces as tools for improved policymaking by governments.

Better intelligence to enhance private sector investments in food security

The third project, named Agrintel and worth €4 million, will enhance FAO-European Commission collaboration in the area of investment support, and is geared towards encouraging private investments in agrifood systems that are sustainable and have a strong development impact.

Agrintel will enhance the EC’s analytical and decision-making capacity on agricultural investment and help guide DEVCO in in making informed decisions regarding specific investment operations in agricultural value chains, in particular as regards their economic, social and environmental sustainability.

In the margins of the @FAO #AgInnovation Symposium, I had the pleasure to sign three projects with @IFAD, @FAO and @WFP. These three projects will help empower women in rural areas, enhance #foodsecurity and enable #sustainable private investments in agrifood systems! pic.twitter.com/ID7owYCS3x

— Neven Mimica (@MimicaEU) November 23, 2018

A strong partnership

The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest development aid donor, contributing over half the world’s total official development assistance. The EC is an important UN partner, contributing over €1 billion in support of external assistance programmes and projects.

The EU remains FAO’s main resource partner, representing with its Member States 45 percent of the UN agency’s budget. In 2017, EU’s contribution reached €239 million.

The post European Union provides funds in support of global food security appeared first on SUN.

Examining Water and Food security for Children in the United States – Essay Writing Help

Examining Water and Food security for Children in the United States – Essay Writing Help

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