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Daily Archives: December 4, 2018

Organic food, just no artificial chemicals? – Food Security and Food Justice

Organic food, just no artificial chemicals? – Food Security and Food Justice

Organic food is not just no pesticide and fertilizer, it involves the whole process of food production and a longer chain.


Are you an organic food consumer? What do you think about organic food compared with non-organic food, safer and healthier? Do you think you know enough about the meaning of “organic”?

Just no artificial chemical is not enough

In terms of “organic”,no synthetic chemical is a common sense for most of us. As an ordinary consumer, I had understood it like that for a long time, until I met and chatted with some local farmers in an organic market, I realized it’s not enough.

What’s “organic”?

Often regarded as safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly, “organic” is expanding in the world, meanwhile, similar but not standard regulations are accepted in different regions. However, the laws and regulations are too complex, I think most people prefer to accept the short and simple definition which claims the standard of organic food as “.

Generally, these laws and regulations of “organic” mean closer to nature. Here, I try to explain more about organic food from several dimensions.

Some key points related to organic

Sustainable seeds

Can you image seeds can’t be saved for the following year and farmers have to pay money to buy new seeds from seeds companies every year? That’s the truth of seed slavery. Seed monopoly is a serious global problem. Data shows, 67% of global seeds are monopolized by 10 big multinational corporations.

Monsanto, which is famous for the genuine modification seeds, accounts for the largest percentage (23%). GMOs not only make farmers rely more on capital and specialists, but also destroy the biodiversity.

Organic inputs

This is mainly in the process of growth. As mentioned at the beginning, in an organic farm, artificial chemicals, including — but not limited to — herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides and additive, which may lead to cancer or other diseases, are refused. Instead, organic substances are always used as alternatives. In addition, making use of the interaction of different species in an ecological system is also a practical method.

Although it seems consumers pay most attention to the point of artificial chemicals, after I talked with some organic farmers, I learned that some issues here are still often ignored, i.e., do the so-called organic fertilizers come from plants or animals organic enough? Is there no pesticide residue in soil?

Healthy soil

Soil is an often- ignored issue. Healthy soil is always ignored by consumers but it’s really significant. Active biomass in healthy soil is good to ecosystem and improve food production in a natural way. However, synthetic chemical is a soil microorganism killer in conventional agriculture.

In some organic farms which I visited in China, farmers spend several years on improving the soil which needs not only money and time but also the respect of nature and enough patience.


Picking ripe

In general, local food is suggested as more natural and healthier because less nutrition would be lost, also, the farmers can harvest ripe food. As we know, some foods are picked before they are ripe enough, allowing for softening time, like banana and avocado, to make sure they are still fresh when transferred to the supermarkets of a far country. It’s hard to identify they are organic or not, but at least not natural.

Natural farming

Several years ago, I saw someone criticized a girl’s yard as a mass, because in her photo on Weibo, different kinds of plants and grasses grew together, looked not so tidy. But the girl responded that it was “natural farming”. It was the first time I heard about this term.

Natural farming started in Japan and is popular in Asia, also called “do nothing farming” ( even driving away insects is unnecessary), reducing the material inputs and labor work, making use of biodiversity to improve the yields.

I regard this ecological approach as another level of organic. Is that a lazy work? No, it’s science and philosophy.

Organic & Food safe and justice

Why organic? As Committee on World Food Security pointed out, today, the rise of world hunger is still a big issue. On one hand, it seems unreality to make sure all people access to organic food. On the other hand, organic approach is safer in the whole process of production and food chain.

In my opinion, some ideas should be taken into consideration.

The core of this factors is to keep the ecology safe, to keep the land safe, healthy and in good condition in the long run, which means it’s also justice to the successors.

In conclusion, when we talk about organic food, not only using no artificial chemicals should be considered, but also the long chain, from the very beginning — seeds and soil, to the very end— harvest and future,  is needed to think about.

It’s not to say everyone should choose organic food, currently, people still rely on the high production and low price of conventional food. However, it’s necessary for consumers to learn more about organic food and the truth of what we eat everyday, then make choices which suit for ourselves.

Value-addition vital for food security – The Lahore Times – Ireti Adesida

Value-addition vital for food security – The Lahore Times – Ireti Adesida

Value-addition vital for food security – The Lahore Times

Value-added agriculture is a process of increasing the economic value and consumer appeal of an agricultural commodity. It is an alternative production and marketing strategy that requires a better understanding of the rapidly changing food industry and food safety issues, consumer preference, and effective management. It may not be inferred that value addition, means only the processing of a raw material in some form of canned foods. There are various ways of adding value to a commodity. Further, in a country like Pakistan, the scope of value addition is astonishing for the reason of availability of raw material as well as the large market size.

In a marketing system of the value chain, farmers are linked to the needs of consumers, in close collaboration with suppliers and processors to produce specific goods required by consumers. Instead of focusing on the benefits of one or two links, players at all levels of the value chain can benefit. Well, functioning value chains are said to be more efficient in bringing products to consumers and therefore all actors, including small-scale producers and poor consumers, should benefit from value chain development. Value chains are providing a good source of employment generation and poverty reduction. The poor people engage with value chains at a number of different nodes of the chain, as workers and consumers as well as producers. So, the value chains can play an important role in uplifting the socio-economic status of the local people.

Food processing involves any type of value addition to the agricultural produce starting at the post-harvest level. The size of global processed food industry is estimated to value about US $3.5 trillion and accounts for three-fourth of the global food sales. Most of the growth is taking place in developing countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Asia-Pacific, which are experiencing increase in population. The huge market in ASEAN countries alone, with over 550 million people, is a vast potential waiting to be untapped. Despite its large size, only 6% of processed foods are traded across borders compared to 16% of major bulk agricultural commodities.

Japan is the largest food processing market in the Asian region, followed by India and China. One of the most technically advanced food industry is Australia globally as the products are manufactured to international standards comparatively low prices. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and some parts of Asia remain on the lower end of competence in food technology. Europe, North America, and Japan are divisions of higher-end technology, with a sharp shift towards convenience and diet. Food is the second largest in Pakistan and accounts for 27% of its value-added production and 16% of total employment in the manufacturing sector, with an estimated 169 million consumers; Pakistan is the world’s eight largest markets. More than 1000 large-scale food processing companies in Pakistan, 75% of the rural-based food manufacturers in the so-called informal sector (problems of access to raw materials, finance, skills, knowledge and management). Pakistan food industry has changed dramatically with a forward shift in the traditional lifestyle and eating habits. The average consumer spends 42% of one’s income on food. Retail sale of processed food increased 10% per anum and currently estimated at approximately US $ 1.4 billion, of which imported products account for $ US 325 million. Supermarkets are gaining popularity as a shopping site and now accounts for approximately 10% of all retail food sales. Moreover, Pakistan will find a large number of Western-style fast food chains because of increasing popularity of such food style.

Food Processing Units in Pakistan

Type of Processing Industry Units Employment
Fruits & Vegetables 155 23500
Cereal Based 1246 45000
Edible Oil 321 34,000
Sugar Sector 427 25000
Livestock Sector 68 28,5000
Total (all agro based industries) 1989 154,250

Source: Asian Productivity Organization (APO), 2004

The ability of food processors at industrial level depends entirely on the availability of raw materials. Pakistan is a major producer of commodity and industrial crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane and oilseeds. Livestock and horticultural products are also important elements in agriculture and raw materials for further processing and export. Harvest and post-harvest losses of wheat and other grains are between 15-18% and value-added products are biscuits, starch, and glucose. High demand on the international market, especially mangoes, apples, dates and citrus and having 12% share in the agricultural value addition. Citrus and mango accounted for 48% of all fruits produced in Punjab. Baluchistan provides the second largest amount of fruits, mainly apples and dates. A high post-harvest loss 20-40% and only 3-5% is processed. Value-added products are jam, squashes and syrups etc.

Self-sufficiency in edible oils during 1947-1960 and major sources of edible oil are cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, rapeseed oil. Imports started in 1960, is now the local production is only 29% and imports are 71%. Higher per capita consumption of 11.9 liters and value-added products are special fats, shortenings and margarine. Sugarcane is one of the largest cash crops in Pakistan, providing raw material for sugar-based products. Its share in the value added of agriculture and GDP are 3.6 percent and 0.8 percent respectively. During 2009-10, area under sugarcane was 943000 hectares. Sugar waste such as mud, molasses can be used for various value-added products to be produced using biotechnology techniques and value-added products are white sugar, brown sugar, refined sugar, paper and chipboard.

Livestock accounts for about 50% of the GDP of agricultural value added and about 9.4% of GDP. Net foreign exchange earnings from livestock products and by-products account for 11% of total export earnings of the country. Pakistan is probably one of the world least efficient users of livestock resources because home-based slaughtering generally does not make most efficient use of the by-products. Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of milk in the world, with annual production of 45 billion liters. Only 4-5% milk is processed. The value-added dairy products in Pakistan are often consumed whole milk powder, skimmed milk powder, condensed milk, cream, butter, and ghee. Poultry sector is an organized and vibrant segment of the agricultural industry of Pakistan. This sector generates employment for 11.55 M people. Poultry meat contributes 23.8% of total meat production in the country. Meat sector is much disorganized in Pakistan, although the local export potential exists and value-added products are gelatin and sausages.

There are many obstacles to value addition in Pakistan as inadequate supply of inputs, inadequate safety standards, poor financial support, erratic inputs & poor artisan skills, poor technical choices and lack of innovation. Main challenges facing agro-processing industry in Pakistan are post-harvest losses due to a lack of storage and transport, inability to supply raw materials, inadequate cold chain facilities, poor funding, lack of investment in supply, lack of training facilities for farmers and processors, poor product quality, weak regulatory system, poor technical choices and a lack of innovation, unequipped food analysis laboratories, inefficient market structure and lack of coordination links with academia, industry and research organizations. In this context, there should be the establishment of agro-processing training institutes and small food processing units at the district level, revise Pakistani food standards for food quality, improving process efficiency and decreasing losses and increasing links between industry and research organizations. So, both public and private sectors must cooperate by sharing responsibilities and coordination. This, in turn, will lead to a situation in the country of prosperity for all stakeholders by ensuring food security and increasing income.

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Environment-friendly hybrid seeds will boost food security, says biotechnologist – Ireti Adesida

Environment-friendly hybrid seeds will boost food security, says biotechnologist – Ireti Adesida

A biotechnology expert, Mrs Eniyekpemi Ebimoboere, has said that development of environment-friendly hybrid seeds will boost production of local vegetables and food security in the country.

Ebimoboere, the CEO of Afritropic Farming and Agric Services, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 in Lagos.

She said the availability and development of the hybrid seeds would help tackle malnutrition and health challenges among Nigerians.

“The development of hybrid seeds plays a major role in boosting food security in the country.

“Hybrid seeds also help in the fight against malnutrition because it is very important to have vegetables to support our highly carbohydrate-based diet.

“This is possible when individuals purchase these hybrid seeds and cultivate these vegetables around their homes.

“With this hybrid seed technology Nigerians can eat healthy with the availability and accessibility of highly nutritious vegetables. We can tackle food insecurity across the country,” she said.

She harped on the necessity of developing the seeds and how compliant they were to the soil in any environmental location.

“Most conventional vegetable crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions may not thrive in the South-West or South-South as much as they will in the northern region of the country.

“That is why we have worked on these hybrid vegetal seeds to improve seeds so that they can stand the environmental and climate conditions in all parts of the country.

“They are hybrid seeds and not Genetically Modified seeds (GMOs), they are conventionally processed. These seeds are bred to suit the environment,’’ she said.

She added that they had low health risks, more qualitative, affordable and nutritious among other advantages.

“We develop these hybrid seeds to ensure the presence of nutritious vegetable in local meals across the country.

“We like seeing quality produce and that is why we organise trainings and seminars on the benefits of these hybrid seeds.

“Hybrid seeds have varieties and the number one benefit is that their yield is far higher than what the conventional seeds would produce.

“Hybrid seeds also have shorter duration in crop production than regular seeds.

“For example, our hybrid cucumber seedlings when planted can be harvested within forty-five days, it is healthy, and the yields are high in quality,” she said.

By Mercy Omoike

SDG 2 – End hunger, achieve food security & improve nutrition – Ireti Adesida

During the September 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, hunger and food insecurity was one of the key topics of discussion, producing the SDG 2 – End Hunger and Achieve Food Security. Some targets were laid for this Sustainable Development Goal in a bid to achieve by 2030, to support some of the 1996 World Food Summit goals that never came to mature.

1. End the global hunger crisis and ensure all people, especially the poor, have access to sufficient and nutritious food.

The United Nations does not view hunger as just the scarcity of food but also as the inability of individuals to obtain what the FAO refers to as nutritious food. Most families in the Sub-Saharan region cannot afford a balanced diet more than twice in a week, something the UN believes is the main culprit behind malnutrition in the region. The plans are thus that as much as access to food is the main goal, access to right foods be given equal attention.

2. End the malnutrition monster and address the nutritional needs of infants, adolescents, the elderly, and pregnant and lactating women.

3. Increase small-scale farmers’ agricultural productivity and incomes through equal and secure access to land and other factors of production, financial services, knowledge, opportunities and markets for non-farm employment and value addition.

The main target persons here are fishers, pastoralists, family farmers, indigenous people and women, who are usually either neglected and their skills under-utilised, lack the right resources to invest in agriculture, or have little knowledge of what agriculture and modern methods of production really entail. If this plan is successfully executed, the UN projects a 230million reduction in the number of hungry people all across the globe.

4. Formulate measures to ensure the food commodity market and its derivatives functions properly, and that market information reaches farmers in time to avoid surprises on such market aspects as price volatility and demand variations.

These measures will be to ensure these new farmers-cum-entrepreneurs face as little risk of loss as possible while they strengthen their foundations and familiarise themselves with agricultural production and marketing.

5. Influence the redefinition of trade restriction policies and distortions in large world commodity markets in favour of the interests of these small-scale farmers.

This can be achieved through the removal of some or all forms of subsidies on agricultural exports, and all other restrictions that might discourage production, in accordance with the Doha Development Round mandate.

6. Encourage investment, through such methods as increased international cooperation, in agricultural research, rural infrastructure, technology development, agricultural research and extension services, and livestock and plant gene banks, as a way of enhancing the capacity of agricultural productivity in developing countries, especially the least developed ones.

7. By 2020, ensure the UN helps maintain the genetic diversity of domesticated and farmed animals and their related wild species, seeds and cultivated plants through establishment of diversified plant and seed banks at both the national and international levels. The body is also to ensure that benefits reaped from genetic resource utilization, as internationally agreed, are shared fairly and equally.

8. Formulate resilient agricultural practices and sustainable food production systems that increase food production and productivity, help maintain ecosystems, boost adaptation to adverse weather conditions, climate change, flooding, droughts and diseases, and progressively boost soil and land quality.

Alarming Number of People Suffering from Hunger and Malnutrition

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation recently released a report which estimates that more than 800 million people of the 7.3 billion in the world (one in nine) are currently suffering from acute undernourishment. The report further affirms that almost 90% of the hungry people, 790 million, are residents of developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. This represents one in eight or 13.5 percent of the total population of countries referred to as developing.

Between 1990-92 and 2012-14, the prevalence of undernourished people all over the world has reduced by 42% with only 9% of that being experienced in developing regions. Asia, being the most populous continent in the world, is home to 2/3 of the world’s undernourished people, but still boasts a better prevalence than the Sub-Saharan region where one in four people remain undernourished. Nonetheless, there has been a decrease in the prevalence of undernourishment in Sub-Sahara Africa from 33% in 1990-92 to 24% in 2012-14, although the number of people suffering undernourishment has actually increased.
The crisis takes its largest toll in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Southern Asian countries, with the 270 million acutely undernourished people in 2012/14 being a marginal decrease of the 1990-92 estimate. China and a few South-eastern Asian nations such as Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia have had cases of under-nutrition reducing by substantial rates while Latin America is the most successful among developing regions in fighting off hunger.

SDG 2 to Combat World Hunger

In the 1996 World Food Summit, it was resolved that the number of hungry people in developing nations be halved by 2015. A detailed plan for the same was laid and implementation took underway immediately. But then according to the 2012-14 study, the goal is unlikely to be achieved, though a significant reduction has been recorded and shall be further improved upon with the SDG 2. Latin America, the Caribbean region, South East Asia and East Asia have actually met the goal and now the major challenge remains the Sub-Saharan region.

On food security, the 2012-14 report shows that agriculture is still the world’s number one source of livelihood, with more than 40% of the total population depending solely on it. Particularly in the developing nations in Africa, agriculture has provided employment and proved an undisputed source of income in the last few decades. More than 80% of food consumed in the developing world originates from the 500 million small farms across the globe though the proportion has been on a steady decline lately.

The report further shows that men in these developing nations are far more productive than women, and that if women could access resources as easily as men, the number of hungry people in the world could reduce by 150 million.

Final Note

Just like poverty and disease, global hunger and food security is a subject that well merit the attention of international leaders, even from the most developed nations. Through correct practices of fisheries, agriculture and forestry, production of nutritious food can take place, decent incomes will be generated and our brothers from developing countries will have their lifestyles and living standards greatly improved. Right now our soils, oceans and rivers are getting degraded, but if these goals ever get to be implemented, it’s possible to have our old good planet back.

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SDG 2 – End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Reason and ordinance: The National Food Security Bill | PRS – Ireti Adesida

Reason and ordinance: The National Food Security Bill | PRS – Ireti Adesida

Freight traffic: Railways majorly transports bulk freight, and the freight basket has mostly been limited to include raw materials for certain industries such as power plants, and iron and steel plants. It generates most of its freight revenue from the transportation of coal (43%), followed by cement (8%), food-grains (7%), and iron and steel (7%). In 2018-19, Railways expects to earn Rs 1,21,950 crore from its freight traffic.

Passenger traffic:  Passenger traffic is broadly divided into two categories: suburban and non-suburban traffic.  Suburban trains are passenger trains that cover short distances of up to 150 km, and help move passengers within cities and suburbs.  Majority of the passenger revenue (94% in 2017-18) comes from the non-suburban traffic (or the long-distance trains).

Within non-suburban traffic, second class (includes sleeper class) contributes to 67% of the non-suburban revenue.  AC class (includes AC 3-tier, AC Chair Car and AC sleeper) contributes to 32% of the non-suburban revenue.  The remaining 1% comes from AC First Class (includes Executive class and First Class).

Railways’ ability to generate its own revenue has been slowing

The growth rate of Railways’ earnings from its core business of running freight and passenger trains has been declining.  This is due to a decline in the growth of both freight and passenger traffic.  Some of the reasons for such decline include:

Freight traffic growth has been declining, and is limited to a few items

Growth of freight traffic has been declining over the last few years.  It has declined from around 8% in the mid-2000s to a 4% negative growth in mid-2010s, before an estimated recovery to about 5% now.

The National Transport Development Policy Committee (2014) had noted various issues with freight transportation on railways.  For example, Indian Railways does not have an institutional arrangement to attract and aggregate traffic of smaller parcel size.  Further, freight services are run with a focus on efficiency instead of customer satisfaction.  Consequently, it has not been able to capture high potential markets such as FMCGs, hazardous materials, or automobiles and containerised cargo.  Most of such freight is transported by roads.

The freight basket is also limited to a few commodities, most of which are bulk in nature.  For example, coal contributes to about 43% of freight revenue and 25% of the total internal revenue.  Therefore, any shift in transport patterns of any of these bulk commodities could affect Railways’ finances significantly.

For example, if new coal based power plants are set up at pit heads (source of coal), then the need for transporting coal through Railways would decrease.  If India’s coal usage decreases due to a shift to more non-renewable sources of energy, it will reduce the amount of coal being transported.  Such situations could have a significant adverse impact on Railways’ revenue.

Freight traffic cross-subsidises passenger traffic

In 2014-15, while Railways’ freight business made a profit of about Rs 44,500 crore, its passenger business incurred a net loss of about Rs 33,000 crore.17  The total passenger revenue during this period was Rs 49,000 crore.  This implies that losses in the passenger business are about 67% of its revenue.  Therefore, in 2014-15, for every one rupee earned in its passenger business, Indian Railways ended up spending Rs 1.67.

These losses occur across both suburban and non-suburban operations, and are primarily caused due to: (i) passenger fares being lower than the costs, and (ii) concessions to various categories of passengers.  According to the NITI Aayog (2016), about 77% to 80% of these losses are contributed by non-suburban operations (long-distance trains).  Concessions to various categories of passengers contribute to about 4% of these losses, and the remaining (73-76%) is due to fares being lower than the system costs.

The NITI Aayog (2016) had noted that Railways ends up using profits from its freight business to provide for such losses in the passenger segment, and also to manage its overall financial situation.  Such cross-subsidisation has resulted in high freight tariffs.  The NTDPC (2014) had noted that, in several countries, passenger fares are either higher or almost equal as freight rates.  However, in India, the ratio of passenger fare to freight rate is about 0.3.

Impact of increasing freight rates

The recent freight rationalisation further increases the freight rates for certain key commodities by 8.75%, with an intention to improve passenger amenities.  Higher freight tariffs could be counter-productive towards growth of traffic in the segment.  The NTDPC report had noted that due to such high tariffs, freight traffic has been moving to other modes of transport.  Further, the higher cost of freight segment is eventually passed on to the common public in the form of increased costs of electricity, steel, etc.  Various experts have recommended that Railways should consider ways to rationalise freight and passenger tariff distortions in a way to reduce such cross-subsidisation.

For a detailed analysis of Railways revenue and infrastructure, refer to our report on ‘State of Indian Railways’.

Food security in Africa depends on rethinking outdated water law – Ireti Adesida

Food security in Africa depends on rethinking outdated water law – Ireti Adesida

A new study has found that outdated, colonial-era water permit systems across Africa are unintentionally criminalising millions of small farmers who can’t obtain permits. This undermines efforts to boost farming production and meet economic growth goals.

The study examined water permit systems in five African countries: Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The permit system was introduced by colonial powers in the 1920s. They were designed to regulate water use in the interests of the colonial project by granting permits only to white settlers.

These systems established minority ownership of a natural resource that was vital for economies dependent on agriculture. African customary water arrangements were ignored and over-ridden.

These colonial style permit systems are still in use across the countries that were examined, and elsewhere in Africa. As a result, legal access to water through permits remains biased towards a few large users, such as large-scale irrigated farms, mines and industries, who are able to navigate the complicated and expensive process of permit application.

At the same time, customary regimes are expanding in informal rural economies, where millions of small and micro-scale water users invest in water infrastructure for self-supply and water sharing. Farmer-led irrigation development is the backbone of food security.

File 20181112 83567 uezcfj.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
A farmer weeding his maize crop south of Harare, Zimbabwe. EPA/ Aaron Ufumeli

The bad news is that permit obligations have expanded to cover all water users, even those using small pumps to irrigate a few hectares. Small-scale water users who don’t have permits are, according to the legal texts, effectively committing an offence which carries a penalty of being fined, jailed or both.

The micro-scale users who are exempted from requiring a permit have a weaker legal status than permit holders. So women who irrigate vegetables for family nutrition at their homesteads, for example, have no way to safeguard their water uses. They have to compete for water with large-scale users with permits.

There’s a way to address this.

The hybrid solution

A guide for African policymakers has been developed that proposes a “hybrid approach” to deal with the problem. Instead of providing legal protection to a few, the approach recognises water uses governed by customary laws at equal legal standing as permits.

This is a suitable way for small-scale water users to invest in infrastructure and solve water sharing conflicts. And prioritisation of water uses that’s aligned with national goals and constitutional commitments protects the most vulnerable.

This approach is administratively lean. By targeting existing permits to regulate large-scale water users and integrating this with alternative arrangements for small-scale users, the administrative burdens that disadvantage many under the current systems can be overcome.

Collective permits where possible and appropriate would also be effective. This could preserve customary arrangements and protect local small-scale water users. It could overcome the bureaucratic hurdles faced by small scale users and lessen the burden on governments to implement individual permit systems.

A system built for purpose

In practice, a hybrid approach to regulating water use is already in use because water authorities lack the resources to raise awareness and to process and enforce millions of permits.

In Uganda, they refer to this practical focus on large-scale water users as the “20-80” practice. It focuses on the 20% of water users that use 80% of the water. In Kenya, targeted permitting has been formalised. Water users are categorised from A to D, depending on the impact their water use has, and they are regulated accordingly. However, the legal protection for small-scale users still remains unaddressed.

Ending hunger on the continent calls for a rethink of current water rights systems, and the implementation of systems built for purpose that recognise, prioritise and protect the water use of millions of small scale water users.

Barbara Schreiner, the executive director of the Pegasys Institute, contributed to this article.The Conversation

Originially published by Barbara van Koppen Researcher, International Water Management Institute on GroundUp.

USCIB Event Concludes With Action Plan to Promote Food Security and Nutrition Partnerships

USCIB Event Concludes With Action Plan to Promote Food Security and Nutrition Partnerships

This year’s event concluded with some important outcomes to help deliver results: GAIN and The USCIB Foundation are planning to take the Principles to donors such as developmental agencies, foundations, and companies interested in public-private partnerships.
USCIB will ask its member companies, with existing public-private partnerships to pilot the Principles of Engagement by applying them retroactively to the ongoing PPP.
Michener emphasized the importance of engaging the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

With the future of food continuing to be a pressing global challenge and malnutrition profoundly affecting every country, The USCIB Foundation once again teamed up with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to organize a public-private partnerships dialogue to tackle malnutrition. The November 8-9 dialogue in Rome, Italy was a second in a series and was built on last year’s event in New York. USCIB CEO and President Peter Robinson participated in the event alongside Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener. Robinson spoke at the opening session and took part in a fireside chat conversation with GAIN Executive Director Lawrence Haddad, who is the winner of the 2018 World Food Prize.

This year’s event featured the theme of “Together for Nutrition: applying principles for public-private engagement.” The high-level dialogue explored practical and tangible ways to implement and scale coordinated initiatives to put the draft Principles, that were agreed upon last year, into practice. The program focused on both under-nutrition and the rise of overweight and obesity, as well as the associated diet related non-communicable diseases. Leaders of governments, development agencies, and the private sector from a wide range of countries, with a particular focus on developing countries with high burdens of malnutrition, participated in the dialogue.

This year’s event concluded with some important outcomes to help deliver results. GAIN and The USCIB Foundation are planning to take the Principles to donors such as developmental agencies, foundations, and companies interested in public-private partnerships. USCIB will also ask its member companies, with existing public-private partnerships to pilot the Principles of Engagement by applying them retroactively to the ongoing PPP. Michener, who leads USCIB’s work on food and healthcare, also emphasized the importance of engaging the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“We [GAIN and USCIB] will take the Principles to the Rome-based agencies, starting with a briefing for Permanent Representatives early in 2019, followed by the FAO Program Committee and the Executive Boards of WFP and IFAD,” he said. “We also plan to take the Principles to regional meetings, with the first meeting tentatively set for Africa in late 2019.”

Global food and agriculture constitute a US$7.8 trillion industry, employing up to 40 percent of the working population in many countries yet progress towards the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is too slow and the scale and complexity of the problem underscores the need for deepened collaboration and renewed commitment to improving nutrition outcomes for all, especially the most vulnerable,” according to Michener.

“Countries cannot achieve their SDG goals without an aligned, motivated and incentivized private sector as a key partner,” said Michener. “In this context, improved dialogue and collaboration between government, business, civil society and international organizations is crucial for guiding engagement and focusing efforts where they can have the most sustainable impact and long-term success.”