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Implement Food Security Act properly, demand activists protesting hunger deaths

Implement Food Security Act properly, demand activists protesting hunger deaths

They claim that most of the 45 people, who died of hunger in the country in the past one year, were denied food on failing Aadhaar identification.

Right to food activists protest in New Delhi on December 17, 2018 Right to food activists protest in New Delhi on December 17, 2018

India saw 45 people die of hunger in the past one year and that’s made in food rights activists take to roads on December 17, 2018, to demand proper implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in New Delhi.

The activists said most of these people died as they were denied their rightful food under the Act due to failure of biometric identification—Aadhaar.

In a day-long protest in front of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution at Krishi Bhawan in New Delhi, the activists demanded a discussion in Parliament on the state of hunger in the country, a strict notification that no person should be denied benefits of any welfare programme in absence of biometric authentication, criminal proceedings against those responsible for starvation deaths and inclusion of subsidised pulses and edible oils in public distribution system.

“The country witnesses a grave situation of hunger,” says Dipa Sinha, a Delhi-based right to food campaigner. “The government must act urgently to ensure that not a single person succumbs to hunger anymore,” she adds.

The activists, while blaming the government, said making Aadhaar mandatory to get ration and not issuing ration cards despite repeated applications deprived the rightful beneficiaries. “There is no system to update ration cards to add new family members,” says Kavita Srivastava, a right to food campaigner who filed a petition in 2001 which culminated in to the drafting of the NFSA.

She also pointed out that beneficiaries of Antyodaya ration card, which lets people get 35 kg food grains at cheap rate, have decreased in numbers. “The enforcement of transparency, accountability and grievance redressal provisions of the Act is very poor,” says Srivastava. “Some other provisions of the NFSA, such as maternity entitlements, are suffering from lack of resources, along with poor implementation,” she adds.

Courtesy: Down To Earth

Mekong River dams may threaten food security – Futurity

Mekong River dams may threaten food security – Futurity

Mekong River dams may threaten food security

(Credit: Getty Images)

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The negative consequences to food security and the environment of hundreds of dams proposed to control flooding of the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia far outweigh the positive changes, researchers say.

A new study, which appears in , is the first to tackle the potential environmental changes that the overall basin could experience from harnessing the region’s hydropower.

“The Mekong River is one of the few large and complex river systems that remains mostly undammed,” says lead author Yadu Pokhrel, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University. “However, the rapid socio-economic growth, increasing energy demands, and geopolitical opportunities have led to basin-wide construction of large hydropower dams.”

Engineers are building dozens of mega dams in the basin’s upper portion. In the lower region, hundreds of tributary dams are planned, and some larger ones are under construction currently.

While there are many positive effects of flood control, the researchers focused on reducing the monsoon-driven floods that the dams would hold back. These annual pulses provide much-needed water and nutrients to downstream regions.

“Any major alterations of the seasonal pulses could easily change the area’s floodplain dynamics,” Pokhrel says. “This could severely affect a wide range of ecosystems and undermine regional food security.”

One waterway in particular, the Tonle Sap River that connects the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, is one of the world’s most-productive freshwater fisheries. Monsoons flood the Tonle Sap and actually reverse the river’s flow each year. This brings water and sediments from the Mekong River into the Tonle Sap River as well as Tonle Sap Lake.

During the dry season, the flow normalizes and the lake drains into its namesake river, which eventually dumps into the Mekong River.

“Flow regulations could disrupt the flood dynamics of the Tonle Sap River,” Pokhrel says. “In fact, our models indicate that TSR flow reversal could cease completely if the Mekong River flood pulse is dampened by 50 percent and delayed by one month.”

Additional researchers are from Michigan State and the University of Tokyo.

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Any assault on the farming community is an attack on the country – food security Western Cape ANC – The Citizen

Any assault on the farming community is an attack on the country – food security Western Cape ANC – The Citizen

Any assault on the farming community is an attack on the country – food security Western Cape ANC

‘We call on all our people to stand together to defeat these criminals.’

ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs has condemned farm attacks in the Western Cape, following the brutal killing of a farm worker during a farm robbery in Philippi at the weekend.

Seven men allegedly robbed the farm and one of the alleged attackers was also killed in the incident, while two of them were arrested in follow-up operations by the police.

Jacobs said in a statement that each assault on the farming community was an assault on the country, blacks and whites, and also a threat to food security.

“Every attack on a farm is an attack on our country. Each loss of life in these criminal attacks is regretted and is mourned. We call on all our people to stand together to defeat these criminals,” he said.

Last week an elderly farmer and his wife were murdered on their Bonnievale farm. A suspect has been arrested and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

“We want to thank police for their swift action and call on them to intensify intelligence operations against those behind this. We call on our courts to impose the most severe sentences on those found guilty of attacking farms,” Jacobs said in response to the murders.

However, Jacobs also urged farmers to stop evictions and human rights abuses and encouraged them to contribute to creating a peaceful environment that was conducive to productivity in rural communities.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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The blame game of food waste. – Food Security and Food Justice

The blame game of food waste. – Food Security and Food Justice

The staggering amount of food waste our modern societies create is shocking and utterly shameful. The issue of food waste over recent years has received mounting attention, emerging with growing significance in the realms of public policy, initiatives of retailers and producers, and the media. Fundamentally, the problem is a global public policy issue. Food waste has serious implications; economically, environmentally, socially and most critically morally as this occurs as millions of people globally go hungry.

Food waste statistics revolve around estimates as it is a complex and time-consuming issue to measure. Yet the evidence we have available shows there is little doubt ‘the scale of the problem is substantial’. The colossal nature of the statistics mean it is hard to contextualise the scale of the issue. Most recent assessments from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, accounting for 1.3 billion tonnes per year. Closer to home in the UK it is estimated that 10 million tonnes of food and drink waste arises post farmgate, with 60% of this being deemed ‘avoidable’.

The framing of the issue…

One of the most interesting dynamics surrounding food waste is the framing of problem. The responsibility for food waste should reside within all sectors of the food system, from producers, processors, suppliers i.e. supermarkets and us the consumers. Remarkably though it does not, as seemingly the blame and responsibility is continuing to fall upon consumers as the overriding cause and where change needs to occur.

So, is it right we should bear the brunt of the blame?

Food waste is a complex and systematic issue. It occurs at all stages of the food system. Organisations such as WRAP have helped quantify and expose the amounts of food waste produced by households in the UK. Their work is shaping the food waste agenda and has helped aid the growing attention the issue is receiving in public domains. Advising us of the need to change and take responsibility of our throwaway culture. Through means such as this food waste is receiving the needed attention it merits. However, it is helping to frame and create a narrative that it is solely a consumer problem, concealing the other side of the story which needs just as much attention.

The narrative we all know…

It cannot be denied that the statistics show that households and consumers make the greatest contribution to food waste across the food system, accounting for around half of food waste in UK. From simply buying too much food to throwing away good edible food due to labelling, ordinary consumer behaviours contribute to large-scale food waste. The food waste agenda has focused on how we as consumers can reduce household waste from meal planning to loving your leftovers through to composting. This emphasis on the individual is totally necessary and productive. As through public policy efforts and campaigns such as ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ people most importantly now know about the issue and its scale. Individuals are now engaging with the idea of waste and what they can do to stop it, which can only be positive. However, substantiated change through intense individual consumer focus is not the answer for widespread systematic reductions in food waste as there is another narrative that needs to be told…

The other story…

A 2018 BCG report illustrates the other side to the food waste story. Within the report they estimate that globally nearly half of all food waste occurs during production, handling and storage, processing and packaging, and distribution and retail. It occurs in a variety of ways often dependent on the context but can include inefficiencies in production lines and machinery, to over ordering produce. It is interesting then that companies involved in these areas of the food system do not seem to have received the same attention in terms of taking responsibility for their contribution to food waste. Companies within these parts of the food system generally state publicly and allow for around 5% of waste within their particular food processes. This seems a commendable figure, though when you consider transparency, the number of companies working within these areas and the scale to which they operate you start to question this.

A new way forward…

Acknowledging there is another narrative to the food waste issue is imperative in reducing the volumes of waste we create. Food waste is a product of the structure of our entire food system, from farm to fork. Current approaches which continue to focus on consumers and households are raising awareness of the issue but doing little to generate substantiated change. Intense focus on the consumer causes of food waste is glazing over the wider issue and is failing to recognise the primary need to combat the problem; collaboration across the food system. Increasing the focus on the large amount of food waste pre-consumer is important as companies who play a major role in the food system have the capacity to make systematic and influential changes which can act as catalysts. These companies operate across all parts of the food system, having great expertise and insight into the potential solutions and where resources are needed to compact structural food waste. They have the influence to change behaviours across the food system, from encouraging shareholders to invest in more efficient machinery to influencing consumers to demand realistic food cosmetic standards for fruit and vegetables. Their power and ability to make change it seems is boundless. Continuing to highlight the need for consumer behaviour change is fundamental in reducing food waste but companies also need to be driven to change and acknowledge their part in the problem. Only if we work together and make change across the food system, will we go some way towards rectifying this critical contemporary issue.

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Celebrating a Renewed Commitment to U.S. Leadership in Global Food Security – ACDI/VOCA : ACDI/VOCA

Celebrating a Renewed Commitment to U.S. Leadership in Global Food Security – ACDI/VOCA : ACDI/VOCA

We sincerely applaud bipartisan congressional leaders for the recent enactment of the Global Food Security Act (GFSA). At the height of particular partisan rancor, this broadly supported bipartisan legislation passed with overwhelming support in the United States House of Representatives and Senate this month. We thank the bipartisan lead sponsors: Senators Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA); Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ); Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN); Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who is chairman of the respective committees of jurisdiction; and Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) as well as the nearly 150 House and Senate cosponsors for their continued leadership in food security as an enduring priority in U.S. international development work. Senators Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and Casey (D-PA) laid the foundation for this important legislation a decade ago.

Food security’s place at the global development table is now cemented with this five-year reauthorization. The law supports the federal government’s leadership already underway to implement a comprehensive strategy for U.S. foreign assistance to reduce global poverty and hunger. Originally enacted in 2016, the GFSA may now continue to sustain adequate investment, attention, and coordination around global agricultural development, food security, and poverty alleviation.

The GFSA will help future administrations maintain a mechanism to bring together the resources, programs, and policy expertise of multiple agencies of the federal government and important nongovernmental participants to address food security in developing countries. It brings together a multifaceted approach, including research, to ensure the thriving of the right seeds in challenging environments, support for the creation of new market value chains, and better opportunities for smallholder income.

Further, with the law’s five-year reauthorization, we see great opportunity to better align U.S. policy in this space and strengthen programs with private sector and civil society investment. This alignment will bolster country-led efforts, strengthen local capacity, and make the critically important connection among agricultural development, nutrition, and health. We look with enthusiasm for long-term results in continuing the downward trend in child stunting that now affects more than 150 million children under the age of five and increasing economic growth by raising individual and family income.

Our vision is of a world where safe, affordable, and nutritious food is produced in every country in ways that are socially inclusive and environmentally responsible and that the global food system is more diverse, secure, and sustainable. Working together across the globe on this goal means fewer people go hungry. It also means producers of all sizes are able to sustain the health of their families, land, and animals, contribute to the economic growth of their communities, and benefit from high-quality education, health care, and career opportunities.

At a time of great division in American politics, it is heartening to see an example of how we can work together to address hunger and poverty, thus building a safer, more stable and prosperous world. Congratulations to all who worked to secure passage of this important law.

PH tells neighbors to scale up action towards improved food security : Food Evolution

PH tells neighbors to scale up action towards improved food security : Food Evolution

The Philippine government has ended its two-year chairmanship of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) with a call for nations within one of the world’s biggest and most important marine regions to scale up efforts to achieve widespread impact.

“Moving forward, we must shift our focus on actions that can really deliver higher level of outcomes such as poverty reduction and improved food security,” Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.

Leones was speaking during the 14th CTI-CFF Senior Officials Meeting recently held in Makati City.

The two-day meeting is one of the culminating activities for the Philippine chairmanship of CTI-CFF, a multilateral partnership of six countries working together to sustain extraordinary marine and coastal resources by addressing crucial issues, such as food security, climate change and marine biodiversity.

The six countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and the Philippines, collectively known as Coral Triangle 6 or CT6.

Leones, chair of the CTI-CFF Committee of Senior Officials, said the chairmanship of the Philippines for the past two years was not easy because it has been challenged with a number of difficulties that caused a small hiccup in the organization.

The region, he said, also suffered from natural disasters that have cost lives and economic losses among CT6 nations, further aggravating what has already been a difficult sector to manage.

“Our coastal communities which have always relied on the richness of our seas remain highly vulnerable to an ever changing environment, which is why there is a need to develop programs and initiatives that are more adaptive and sustainable,” Leones said.

Leones, however, believed the region has already moved on from “difficult times” and was now “eager to keep on working to achieve our common goals.”

Sustainability in the Pub: Panel talks food security at St John bar | The Examiner


45th session of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome – Soroptimist International

45th session of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome – Soroptimist International

A report by SI President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen

“The 45th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) convened 15-19 October 2018 in Rome, Italy. Established in 1974 and reformed in 2009, the CFS serves as an inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all. Its mandate is to coordinate a global approach to food security; promote policy convergence; support and advise countries and regions; coordinate at national and regional levels; promote accountability and share best practices; and develop a global strategic framework for food security and nutrition.

José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General, emphasised the need to take action on nutrition, stating that hunger would undermine the 2030 Agenda if action was not taken. He stressed the growing trend of obesity, particularly in Asia and Africa; the importance of addressing diets; the need for policies and actions at the national level; the importance of developing voluntary guidelines on food systems and nutrition; the role of rural women; the UN Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028; and the need to strengthen CFS.

Photo: 5 October 2018, Rome, Italy – FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva. Opening Ceremony of the 45th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 45), FAO Headquarters, (Plenary Hall). Photo credit: ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto. Copyright ©FAO.

David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, highlighted that 80% of the WFP’s expenditure is in war zones, stating that conflict drives hunger and makes food unaffordable, calling for a humanitarian development perspective.

Cornelia Richter, IFAD Vice President, stressed the need for a more systemic approach to food systems and placed importance on scalable technologies, such as precision farming. She drew attention to a more targeted approach to development cooperation, focusing on diets, nutrition-sensitive value chains, and the role of smallholders.

Patrick Caron, High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) Steering Committee Chair, said the HLPE’s report on Multi-stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs) to finance and improve Food Security & Nutrition (FSN) in the framework of the 2030 Agenda helps promote understanding of the complementary roles, contributions and limits of collaborations with different actors.

Photo: 15 October 2018, Rome, Italy – Zala Shardaben Fathesinh, small farmer and member of the Executive Committee of the Indian Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Opening Ceremony of the 45th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 45), FAO Headquarters, (Plenary Hall). ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto. Copyright ©FAO.

Zala Shardaben Fathesinh, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), shared the challenges and opportunities small farmers face in India and how climate change makes exploitation worse. She emphasized how training and the use of technological tools have been empowering women to deal with food insecurity challenges.

In statements delivered by ministers and high-level representatives, Members outlined national policies, initiatives and success stories and offered to share knowledge and experiences. Germany said an increase in global hunger is unacceptable, because “an empty stomach knows no peace,” and announced its financial support for developing voluntary guidelines on food systems and nutrition. Thailand said tackling the double burden of malnutrition is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Brazil provided an update on its Bolsa Familia Programme, now administered at the regional level in combination with school feeding and other measures.

Oman reported an increase in national self-sufficiency from 40% to 66% through integrated approaches across sectors. The United Arab Emirates underlined research and development, and food labelling as part of a whole-of-country food security strategy. Iraq noted that achieving the SDGs requires support from all sectors, noting his country’s challenges due to recent conflicts.

The Republic of Korea outlined international research and dissemination initiatives to share the knowledge gained from ending hunger in two generations. Switzerland urged increasing resilience to climate change without stressing natural systems and livelihoods, including through integrated food systems approaches, MSPs and responsible investments.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI 2018)

This item was addressed on Monday morning and Friday afternoon. The decision was adopted during the closing session on Friday afternoon.

Final Outcome: In the report, the CFS expresses its deepest concern about the rising number of food insecure people in the world and the negative trends in hunger and malnutrition as highlighted in the ; and calls on all stakeholders to take the necessary actions to reverse these trends.

South Africa emphasized gender equality, in particular women’s access to land. Sudan called for attention to small scale farmers. Delegates also discussed, among other issues, the need to pay closer attention to the definition of notions such as resilience and public goods, as well as to consider capacity development.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2018 (SOFA 2018)

On Monday afternoon, Kostas Stamoulis, FAO Assistant Director-General, moderated a panel discussion on the relationship between migration, agriculture and rural development. The session provided an opportunity to discuss the findings of the which focuses on migration and rural development and was launched that day.

Closing Session

The closing session convened on Friday afternoon. CFS Secretary ad interim McGuire announced that CFS 46 will be held from 14-18 October 2019, in Rome. He noted that Argentina will replace Brazil in the Bureau.

Drafting Committee Chair Antonio Sá Ricarte (Brazil) presented the report of the meeting (CFS 45 Draft Report), which was adopted without amendments.

Jordan drew attention to the lack of reference in the report to food insecurity in the context of conflicts and crises. In its closing statement, CSM further emphasized the need for CFS to use a holistic approach based on human rights. Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) stressed the need for increased investment in agriculture and rural development, including MSP, and for strategies to support women and youth.

SI President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen was in attendance and presented at the event on the subject of the importance of women in the water sector, and the barriers to women in the industry. Discussing barriers in context, and exploring initiatives, Mariet looked at changes in mindset, to better empower women, and position them together with men, as innovators, decision-makers, and equal providers and drivers of water, food and economic solutions.

Mariet spoke of Soroptimist International and Women for Water projects including the Mwihoko Women Project In Nakuru County, Kenya, part of the SI President’s Appeal 2017-2019, which has so far seen 24 women farmers and project managers attend a six-day residential training course at Egerton University, where they have learned the necessities of the farming business – elevating opportunities for entrepreneurialism and income generation for women and their communities.

World Food Day was marked during the event at Rome’s United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16 October. FAO Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition, the King of Lesotho and Queen Letizia of Spain, joined heads of FAO and the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), along with other key players in discussing efforts to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

In their speeches, King Letsie, Gilbert F. Houngo and David Beasley specifically focussed on involving Women. Identifying investment in women, agriculture for good nutrition, plus vocational training for women and the empowerment of young people as solutions”.

Key findings by the FAO included:

On the Status of Food Security & Nutrition

821 million people (1 out of 9) were undernourished

On Why Gender Equality is Crucial to Zero Hunger

On Why Women are adversely affected

Lead Image: 15 October 2018, Rome, Italy – Committee on World Food Security 45th Session, (CFS 45), Opening Session, FAO Headquarters, (Plenary Hall). Photo credit: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti. Copyright ©FAO.
Agricultural sector ensures food security

Agricultural sector ensures food security

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Agricultural Sector in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has shown resilience and recorded an increase of 11.4 percent, despite two category five hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which wreaked havoc on the Caribbean in 2017.

While giving his 2019 Budget Address, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that had it not been for the hurricanes, the growth in the sector would have been higher. He said this was as a result of the increased output within the Crops and Fishing Sub-sectors, which recorded growth rates of 25.1 and 31.1 percent respectively.

“It is against this backdrop that my government approached the Republic of China (Taiwan) to develop a mechanism to mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture production,” said the prime minister.

He also said that an assessment of the sector revealed that the core problem is the lack of capacity to respond and adapt to the early warning information of climate variability. He added that the Ministry of Agriculture is putting in place systems that will help to increase the resilience of the agricultural system.

These recommended systems are the establishing of a data collection mechanism for early warnings; developing of crop disaster mitigation and prevention techniques; and increasing the availability of agricultural information.

“In 2019, we will begin work to address these three programmatic areas to link agricultural activity with weather data, and provide crop livestock farmers with early warnings of weather variations. It is envisaged that improved information would also help to reduce damage and losses in the agriculture sector overtime,” Dr. Harris said.

The prime minister highlight that in 2017, the Ministries of Agriculture and Education undertook a consultative process to develop an Agricultural Science syllabus geared towards inculcating an interest among youth at the primary school level.

“The aim of this course of learning is to create a new cadre of farmers that will take the sector forward, increase agricultural contribution to GDP and enhance our food security. We are committed to sustaining growth and prosperity in our Federation,” Prime Minister Harris said.

The post Agricultural sector ensures food security appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

Telangana New Ration Card – How to Check Status of FSC (Food Security Card) – All India Word

Telangana New Ration Card – How to Check Status of FSC (Food Security Card) – All India Word

Telangana New Ration Card – How to Check Status of FSC (Food Security Card): Meanwhile in the year 2014 June when Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was separated they KCR government that is TRS government has planned to issue new ration cards in the name of Food Security cards that is also known as “Telangana FS Cards”, the head of the family in the new T.S Food Security card is the women member. The process was started in the month of January 2015. The head of the family need to apply for the new ration card (FS Card) and the will be issued as soon as possible, maybe in the month of April and May. You need to apply and verify for the Food security card in order the avail the benefits given by the Telangana government. Here are the full details, just continue reading on to know.

How to Apply for New Ration card (FSC) in Telangana State

Now if you have completed the above process now it’s time for verification, and if you have any type of editing or anything else you can do it in this step. Here you will know how the check the status of your new ration card. At the Ration office, they will be having the Login option as per the ration shops and they will be having access to edit, delete and add. You just need to show the originals of your Aadhar Cards in order to complete the process you want. It is so simple to verify or check the Food security card status, you just need follow the below steps correctly-check the ‘Application Form’.

How to Verify for Food Security Card (FSC Telangana):

Final Steps for the FSC Card:

The Telangana government will issue the new ration cards (Food security cards) as soon as possible in the month of April or May. If you have any doubt feel free to comment below. The procedure is kind simple, try to do it yourself instead of approaching the middlemen or agents as it would save your time, money as well as would be useful for you to gain knowledge also. If you have any issues to check then do comment here, we will let you the procedure in the easier manner also.