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WSU RESEARCHER ON FOOD SECURITY – Walter Sisulu University

WSU RESEARCHER ON FOOD SECURITY – Walter Sisulu University

Food insecurity can never be completely eradicated until natural resources are optimally utilised and included in the diets of most people, according to WSU Centre for Learning and Teaching Development senior institutional research associate, Dr Thozama Mandindi.

Mandindi said that although it was good news that the rankings of South Africa’s food security shows improvement, there should be some assistance offered to other countries that are food insecure.

She recently conducted a research study amongst indigenous communities living around the East London coast, namely Kidd’s beach, Khiwane and Kayser’s beach.

“The study revealed that there’s no week that passes without the participants consuming seafood. This would be both seaweed and microalgae or some kind of fish from crayfish, crabs, shellfish or hake, these were ranked the most consumed in those areas sampled in the study,” said Mandindi.

Coming from a home where both her parents were teachers, Mandindi said she grew up as an inquisitive person which led to her being interested in research.

Mandindi’s research study has not yet been published, but she plans to publish a book that she is currently compiling based on the value of indigenous edible foods to contribute to the food security discourse.

“Some communities live in famine, malnourishment and are overcome by affluence-diseases due to abandoning food that was part of their livelihood from time in memorial, food with more health benefits which are purported in the food pyramid, namely whole-grain and nuts, unprocessed vegetables and fruits, with unsaturated oils, less salt and sugar. Therefore, food security discourse should be around cultivating indigenous food in both rural and urban areas to ensure continued supply,” said Mandindi.

Dr Mandindi hopes to successfully assist children from rural areas who lack self-confidence and who might not be adequately prepared for higher education.

“It is applaudable that the rankings of South Africa’s food security show improvement, to number one on the African continent and three places to 44th out of 113 world countries. This does not make me satisfied and relax while our neighbouring countries live in famine, we as South Africans need to spread our wings to see where we can assist in food insecure areas,” she concluded.

Amongst the number of qualifications backing her, is a Senior Secondary Teacher’s Diploma, a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Technology.

By: Vuyolwethu Nzolongwane

Source

http://www.wsu.ac.za/waltersisulu/index.php/wsu-researcher-on-food-security/

Food Security and Grain Import in Sub Saharan Africa

Food Security and Grain Import in Sub Saharan Africa

Sub Saharan African Food Security and Grain Import Dependency

Globalization and Trade

Food security in the globalization could be explained as the consistent access of the food that isFood Security and Grain Import in Sub Saharan Africa required for the healthy life, as there could be the cultural and other aspects for the individuals based on what the food issues and food security can be discussed. However, regarding food security in the country, there can be aspects example, household political, geographical and the other economic factors. The food security are focused across the world so that the food quality or the food could be given in the affordable prices, mostly, the food security is focused by the agricultural and other departments in order to get the healthy food. Moreover, there can be the agricultural crisis as; based on that food can be expensive and non-healthy in the country, the rapid urbanization is the other reason because people are not getting the healthy and pure food, and people do not have adequate food resources. There is the widespread poverty in the countries, especially the developing worlds. The food security is also the problem of the socio-economic structures of the countries, as in the developing countries there is no or little quality of life because the agriculture department of the countries are busy in making the grains for the other countries. Thus, for the protection of the human rights, the developing countries are aware if the rural problem so that there could be food security and the appropriate level of the healthy food. The developed and developing countries are taking the steps for the sustain activity, so that there can be socially acceptable fashion in the various or different modern capitalist economies. Moreover, for the healthy foods and the awareness regarding the food security, the countries and the agricultural departments need to do efforts in, order to provide the individual knowledge and the aspects of the healthy eating.

Economic problems regarding the food security and grain imports are there in the countries, as the household budgets is the greatest issue of getting the healthy food in the country. Food security is the urban problem because the healthy and fresh food is expensive and people do not have this much income, in order to get the quality food. It is the urban issue because there are people, who can suffer from the healthy issues if there is no focus on the food security. There are the issues regarding food security in the developed world as well as the developing world because there is food insecurity and food is expensive for all the people who are in the countries. There are issues for the developed and developing worlds because there are the barriers to the trade. Moreover, the consumer rights are focused in order to get the environmental protection and to provide the nations with the food security as farmers of Africa and other developing countries are producing and making efforts to support food securities in the developed countries.

The efforts are there for food security and grain imports are done, in order to feed the people of the other countries, especially the people of the developed countries, because the efforts are done in the agricultural segments of the countries for the food for export. In the agricultural production, there can be issue as within the exports there can be the fluctuations in the market prices. The food security is focused by various departments in the U.S and the other multi-national corporations including the trans-national corporations, so that there could be the advantages of the health and sustainability in the developing world. Thus, the macro-economic issues could be there in the countries, consisting of the food security, from the agricultural phenomena, issues can be there in the geographical approaches because developed and the developing countries can face the extreme food insecurity. Thus, in the United States, there is the urban poverty; stay focused on the standards of food security there is less security because the food is at the higher prices and many of the people cannot afford the prices of the healthy food. Concerning the economic issues in the U.S, it is a developed country; still there are the issues, in the developing or third world countries, because they have scare resources, however, they can get food at the low prices. Both the developed and developing countries are facing the tensions of the political issues, example the GATT and the WTO. Countries are also facing the tensions of the trade barriers example; Donald Trump has made different legislations on the imports and there are the trade barriers, as countries are focused to make better social contracts with the first world countries.

The Significance of Food Security and Regional Resilience

Africa Net Importer

Africa is known, as the net importer of the food in the various countries, as the agricultural is vastFood Security and Grain Import in Sub Saharan Africa potential of the country, moreover, in the period of 1960-2007. There was the major agricultural productivity in the country and the from the year 2000 and 2005 there was the increase in the per capita income of the people of households and the people, example, USD 185 per. In the year, 1980 the country has grown consistently and by the year 2007, Africa has made the high records on the livestock products and the cereals. Therefore, from the years 1980 and 2007, there was the increase in the net food imports by the average of the 3.4 percent because the country has also started the trading of the fruits and vegetables regarding the cereal import values in the real terms. Thus, in the 1970’s there was the increase in the highest net food of imports. Africa is the famous country in making the grain and dealing with the issues of the food security, because it is in the low-income countries and do the efforts in order to give the quality food to the other developed countries, in this way, the economy and agriculture sector of Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa grows. Furthermore, the export revenues are high because there is the population growth that supports the food production to grow. Moreover, in Africa there is the growth of food consumption as the per capita income of the people are high, there is still weak economic growth in country, as the food expense and the household income is high in the people of Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa has better domestic production this is reason that people of Africa believes on food security and on providing the quality food all over the world, Africa’s population is feeding the developed and developed countries and there are the increase in imports. However, the country has the better agricultural productivity and this is the reason that the households in Africa are getting good food. South Africa has the internal and external agricultural policies, based on the reasons, Africa in recent years cannot achieved target as it achieve in year 2007, because the taxation on food production have made the exports and imports difficult in Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Taxes have affected the food productivity; however, the country is doing the successful practices so that there could be effectively and growth in the African agriculture, thus, the domestic food production is focused on the agricultural productivity. In the African agriculture and the Sub-Saharan Africa there is the focus on the raw commodities, so that the export revenue.

Literatures have shown the increase in the Global food security as improvement; however, by the year 2009 and 2010, there was the global economic downturn as it was estimated by the food security assessment. Moreover, the countries are trying to compensate the food-insecure with the help f the Sub-Saharan Africa because the current trends of the Africa agricultural are focused on to increase the productivity, so that there could be the attempts to change trends in order to enhance the efficiency in the agriculture department. The country Africa and the other countries are focused on the production practices and the technologies so that there could be increase in the production. The country governments or the government of Africa is doing investments, in order to get advantages in the food security, trading or food availability. To increase the agricultural productivity Africa has analyzed the vulnerable to food insecurity for the effectiveness in the perspectives of the food security. Poor countries across the world are becoming the international donors like the Sub-Saharan Africa because the continuous efforts are there to improving the regions. Africa is doing investments on the technology adoption and on the deterioration in food security so that better advantages and benefits can be there by Sub-Saharan Africa. Major focus of the Sub-Saharan Africa is to facilitate the food security and to mitigate the poor countries so that there should not the production shortfalls. In the food insecurity, the production growth is focused by the countries, so that there should not be the further issues. Moreover, the population growth of the Sub-Saharan Africa has exceeded with the 3 percent, in every year. The country is following the capita nutritional standard so that there could be the best or better strategies for rising. The Sub-Saharan Africa has focused currently on the international research organizations so that the country could get help in order to expand the agricultural. Sub-Saharan Africa has focused on the food security so that the country could have the better socio-economic structures, in this way; the Africa is producing and making efforts to support food quality and food security for the grain import (Rosen & Shapouri, 2012).

Grain Optimization and Resilience

The grain resilience is supported much in the country Africa, as the agricultural has the enormous benefits and there is the increase in the net food imports by the average of the 3.4 percent, this mean that the country is improving the national, domestic and the international market. In the Sub-Saharan Africa, there is greatest and the largest support of the country trade partners, however, in the 2015 there was the increase by the 3–4% yearly because the GDP growth has arises in the country. Moreover, by the 2016 there was the greater self-sufficiency because the growth of the crops has increased by the central African countries. Africa has the greater benefits in the country domestic markets because the domestic supply shocks and the international markets give the benefits and revenue to the government and people, thus, there is the natural resource availability that promotes the specializing production of the crops.

The political environments of Africa are supportive and there is focus on to provide the strong human capital so that the country could get the large share or support of the GDP. In the region of Nigeria there is better focus on the crops, so that there could be agriculture benefits, Nigeria is fulfill the oil goal as well as the agriculture production goals for the Sub-Saharan Africa. The grain optimization, is giving the several benefits to the highest net food of imports. Africa is well known about the advantages that could be there by the developed countries. However, Africa is getting advantages in many ways as Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa grows the best quality food all over the world, and country is well aware of the growth perspectives. Thus, in the African agriculture there is focus on the global food security as improvement so that the grain optimization and resilience can increase the current trends of the Africa agricultural. The country is providing the increase in the productivity, as there are the attempts to change trends so that the country could grow and increase in the production. Moreover, the Sub-Saharan Africa is to facilitate the food security by the help of the international research organizations so that better productivity can be there in the country and better economic and food security can be focused in the countries. There country has the better conditions of the household political, geographical and the other economic factors because the support is there in the country. Africa is managing the agricultural crisis and aware of the modern capitalist economies in the home agricultural segment, thus, it provides the better individual knowledge because the countries have the awareness’ regarding the Sub-Saharan Africa crops and the healthy eating. The country is getting the healthy food in the country. However, there are the barriers, which the country has to face in the market, there is support to the trade but the barriers by the other countries always focused on the environmental protection and sometimes not provide the opportunities to farmers of Africa to get the better advantages of their own crop (Vanlauwea, Wendt, Giller, Corbeels, & Gerardf, 2013).

Physiological Factors of Grain

In the Africa and the Sub-Saharan Africa, there are sustainability benefits of the food because the country has the advantages of the food trade because the climate is suitable of the crops. Thus, the climate changes in many of the countries can create the issues and there can be the negative impact in the agricultural production because the environment and the soil to grow the crops in not suitable in the courtiers. Moreover, the crops in the sub-Saharan Africa have the starkest effects because the conditions of the soil advocate and promote the more sustainable growth for the agricultural production. Sub-Saharan Africa focus on to provide the benefits to the various countries, on the global scale Sub-Saharan Africa do the specializing production so that there could be the beneficial crops focused on the food security and grain imports. The land of Sub-Saharan Africa is supportive for the growth of the crops, because the land does not need the excessive land clearing or other process of the irrigation that requires the money, therefore, the Sub-Saharan Africa land is known as the most efficient land in the monetary terms. In the Sub-Saharan Africa, there is the natural resource availability, which provides the benefits to the food security, as the country is producing the sufficient quantities in order to support the climatic conditions and the soil quality so that there could be better resources and the availability of farmland. In the Sub-Saharan Africa, the water quality of soil is very good and the constraints have the resource endowments because the certain crops are better suited and are self-sufficient. In the sub-Saharan African, some countries have the negatively impacted by the climate change but most of the countries have the good climate. The country is focusing on the trades and there are the rising rates of dependence countries on the Sub-Saharan Africa because the country, food imports provide the benefits in the domestic supply shocks and the international markets. Moreover, greater benefits are to the country domestic markets. In the Sub-Saharan Africa, is the sensitive climatic variability as the country farmers are taking the steps, in order to reduce the impacts on the economic and environmental management in the country. However, the Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on the post drought management so that there could be fewer issues in the country (Shiferaw, Tesfaye, Kassie, Abate, Prasanna, & Menkirc, 2014).

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More food for thought – the Food Security Bill | PRS

More food for thought – the Food Security Bill | PRS

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’.

Source

http://www.prsindia.org/theprsblog/more-food-thought-food-security-bill

105 – Biotech and Ugandan Food Security

105 – Biotech and Ugandan Food Security

105 – Biotech and Ugandan Food Security

Uganda is at an interesting precipice.  They have invested in biotech solutions to solve problems in their central food staples, namely the matooke.  The matooke is a starchy banana, and while a cornerstone of the diet, it is threatened by disease.  Most people are farmers, and tend to ‘gardens’ of 2-3 acres, these are subsistence farmers that use the gardens to feed their families.  Xanthamonas bacterial wilt can destroy entire stands of trees.  But scientists in Uganda have used breeding and genetic engineering to generate genetic lines that stop major diseases.  The sad part is that the improved plants are not allowed to be distributed due to the lack of a national biosafety law.  The second part of the podcast is an interview with Dr. Clet Masiga. He is a trained crop scientist, but also a farmer, and I spoke to him on his farm about the needs of Ugandan farmers, changes in policy, and broken down cars.

Most of all, you need to understand that providing the best technology to people in need is simply justice. Justice.

Like the podcast?  Please subscribe and write a review!

The music is from the Musical Well on YouTube, and features traditional Ugandan music.

4 Comments on 105 – Biotech and Ugandan Food Security

That is the way to go rather than pretending that we get much in agric yet they be destroyed in a while.

What an informative podcast! I plan to spread it far and wide among my anti-GMO friends. Thank you, and special thanks to your African colleagues.

I consider that over-simplifying the biodiversity agreements and Cartagena protocol as ‘the evil’ or wrong is as dangerous as opposing biotechnology solutions as GM crops. Colombia is one of the countries that abides to CDB protocols and yet grow BT-cotton and BT-corn among others.
In the same way that technology, international collaboration, and education have made possible that Ugandan research institutions develop this crops, the regulation, legislation and implementation should keep up.

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Reason and ordinance: The National Food Security Bill | PRS

Reason and ordinance: The National Food Security Bill | PRS

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’.

Source

http://www.prsindia.org/theprsblog/reason-and-ordinance-national-food-security-bill

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

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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Source

http://www.mdgmonitor.org/sdg2-end-hunger-achieve-food-security-and-improved-nutrition-and-promote-sustainable-agriculture/

WFP to boost food security – Ireti Adesida

WFP to boost food security – Ireti Adesida

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has started rolling out a $22 million Lean Season Assistance programme for the 2018 /19 season that is aimed at supporting over 430 000 food insecure Zimbabweans.

In a statement recently, WFP country director Mr Eddie Rowe said the programme started in October.

“This contribution is supporting the most vulnerable people in food insecure areas in Zimbabwe over six months to get through what is for many, the most difficult time of the year,” he said.

Mr Rowe said the USAID was providing support to the LSA programme through its Office of Food for Peace.

He said they (USAID) had helped them with food assistance for cash-based transfers and purchase of local and regional commodities such as sorghum, as well as an additional contribution of in-kind commodities sourced from the US for the beneficiaries.

“WFP’s ability to respond to escalating needs in the country hinges on timely and sustained financial contributions from donor nations,” said Mr Rowe.

“The US government has provided more than US$77 million in 2017 alone to emergency food support, nutritional assistance, and other programmes.

“In addition, WFP is currently scaling up to provide life-saving food assistance to more than 1,1 million people per month in Zimbabwe  an effort that will require at least US$73,5 million in additional funding through April 2019.”

According to the findings of the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) more than 2,4 million people in the rural areas will face acute food insecurity at the peak of the lean season (January  March 2019).

Speaking during the just ended 20th Global Child Nutrition Forum held in Tunisia, Mr Rowe said they were working in partnership with the Government to support the re-establishment of a national school feeding programme that would link to local agricultural production.

He said the programme was being implemented under the country’s strategic plan for 2017-2021.

“Under its Country Strategic Plan 2017-2021, WFP Zimbabwe is working in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe to support the re-establishment of a national school feeding programme that would link to local agricultural production,” said Mr Rowe.

“We have already embarked on a water source development programme, drilling boreholes at 22 primary schools, ensuring access to clean and safe water-pumped using renewable solar energy  which also supports on-site nutritional gardens.”

Mr Rowe said school feeding in Zimbabwe is an essential piece of the social safety net.

Fairtrade: Fair For Who? – Food Security and Food Justice

Fairtrade: Fair For Who? – Food Security and Food Justice

Fairtrade is all about improving conditions for the people at the bottom of the commodity chain. This means the farmers and workers in developing countries who allow us to have tea, coffee, bananas, gold, flowers, cotton and many other commodities we often take for granted. For every jar of coffee or bunch of bananas we consume, there is often a field of workers in inadequate conditions enabling us to have this. This is why Fairtrade aims to place more focus on these people, ensuring they benefit fairly from their hard work.

Food security refers to ‘reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food,’ something that many farmers in underdeveloped and developing countries lack. Through the use of Fairtrade, food security for the workers, their families and communities is supposed to increase, but this is not always the case.

Making the rich richer?

The question that always looms close to Fairtrade, is who is really benefiting? The first option is the intended group of workers and farmers. The second, and more controversial option, is the big corporations, the supermarkets, the plantation owners. It is claimed that for these groups, Fairtrade is merely a tool of marketing and deception. Given the money hungry Western world, it is not hard to see why this has become a fierce belief of many. Fairtrade produce is stocked in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S, Waitrose and many more. The Fairtrade logo allows supermarkets to have a higher moral and ethical standing in their industry, and gives them control of the profits made under the guise of helping the poor. For example, Johannessen et al analysed Fairtrade coffee produced in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Their findings demonstrated that as Fairtrade is a part of the conventional market in which the supply chain is controlled by multinational corporations, majority of the economic revenue from the coffee goes to the consumer countries. This is despite the emphasis which the consumer countries place on the producer benefits, which it turns out is only a small part of the picture. More specifically, research from non-profit organisation TransFair shows that, on average, from a 3.5oz Fairtrade chocolate bar costing $3.49, cocoa farmers receive only 3 cents. How can this be justified as fair for the farmers?

Disadvantages of Fairtrade

Not only do consumer countries reap the benefits of Fairtrade, the farmers in developing countries are disadvantaged because of it. Fairtrade intentions have been diluted the further down the supply chain you go, and farmers are often kept locked in poverty rather than alleviated from it.

Firstly, the notion of ‘Fairtrade absolutism’ comes to mind meaning Fairtrade cannot help all farmers. This refers to only a small proportion of farmers in developing countries being a part of Fairtrade schemes. Many of the poorest communities in rural areas will never encounter the types of of plantations that work with Fairtrade, instead they may face worse poverty, thus lower food security, as consumers buy produce with the Fairtrade logo over their non Fairtrade branded produce.

Secondly, although the labor standards of Fairtrade are clearly aimed at protecting exploited children, this does not always prevent it from happening. Often the children of the employed workers at plantations still work in fair trade certified farms as they are not classified as contracted workers, resulting in them being informally part of the plantations. However, it must be acknowledged that there has been very little reported about forced child labor at fair trade farms which is definitely an improvement from other plantations in developing countries.

Thirdly, often is the case that there is a market oversupply of certain fair trade products. Food surplus is already a very real issue regarding excess food and by attempting to deal with the problems in developing countries, Fairtrade is instead contributing to this issue. This is particularly the case with coffee. Coffee is one of the most sought after fair trade products, with sales constantly increasing. However, it has been claimed that coffee prices worldwide have been diminished due to the overabundance of coffee.

coffee price graph.png
This graph shows the high levels of coffee production correlate to lower prices, and therefore lower incomes, for the growers. This tends to be due to the increasing levels of supply which are not met with equally high levels of demand, hence causing market oversupply and food surplus.

Misleading logo

The Fairtrade logo can be somewhat misleading for many consumers. For example, market giant Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drink brand, uses the fair trade logo on their highly popular product Kit Kat. Thus many make the assumption that Nestlé is a fair trade company. However, this is not true as less than 3% of Nestlé’s cocoa purchases is incorporated into the chocolate bar Kit Kat.

Controversy relating to Nestlé comes as they have been accused of using the production of majority of their cocoa produce, which is not Fairtrade. This is ethically unsound and raises questions as to whether Fairtrade should be associated at all with a brand which violates their ethical standards, and whether the ties with such a distinguished brand is a higher priority than their morals.

For Future Fairness

Fairtrade itself acknowledges that they have many improvements and further changes to make to truly fulfil their aims of being fairer to the farmers and workers. Their own research has made it evident that they need to ‘deliver deeper impact for farmers and workers’. They claim this will be through dealing with the disproportions of power within the supply chain, empowering women, extending more core work to farm workers etc. Cynics will say that this is simply a way of the Fairtrade brand attempting to promote themselves as the chances of these improvements happening in the foreseeable future are slim, due to the power and influence that Western corporations have on Fairtrade.

Fairtrade have clearly bitten off more than they can chew.

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HeroWork Impact on Food Security Infrastructure in 2018

HeroWork Impact on Food Security Infrastructure in 2018

Article written by Christy Sebelius, HeroWork Volunteer

As a HeroWork volunteer I wanted to investigate the impact of their latest project, the $450,000 Food Rescue Kitchen. To do so I interviewed leaders from a couple of very different non-profits that will benefit from our project: the University of Victoria’s Student Society (UVSS) and Silver Threads.

Students in Need

I have worked at the UVic campus since 2004 and had no idea that the University of Victoria’s Student Society (UVSS) runs both a food bank and free store. This Food Bank has been in operation since 2003. Since then the demand for its services has grown dramatically. Between 2010 and 2015 the program’s usage has increased from 1,281 to 10,877 students. That’s an increase of 850% in just 5 years! 

This unsettled me. I don’t think most understand the extent of food insecurity in our community. It continues to grow.

Students from all walks of life use the food bank, with 20-25% of those being families who live on campus and are doing their graduate work.  The food bank’s food comes from various sources: their dumpster diving program, UVic’s Mystic Market, the Good Food Box Project, UVic fees (dairy and basics), and the Food Security Distribution Centre, which is, as Alexandra Ages, Coordinator at the UVSS food bank, told me, “is by far the biggest supplier.”

Since the Food Security Distribution Centre’s creation in early 2017, it’s been an integral part of providing good, healthy food for students.  Everything from spices to pasta is available, with a twice weekly delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables, goodies for families, and hygiene items.   

Alexandra said that the addition of pre-packaged soups and stews through the Food Rescue Kitchen and the Mustard Seed will be an amazing addition to what’s now available. “Students are always looking for things that are easily accessible and do not require much preparation.” She also emphasized just how grateful the students are when they pick up food for themselves and their families. 

Hungry Seniors

Silver Threads supports seniors through programs and outreach services in community centres across Victoria.  Their services were not news to me, but what was news to me is that they also provide extensive food services. 

According to Tracy Ryan, Executive Director at Silver Threads, 85% of seniors in Victoria live independently, and the ability for many to access good nutritious food is an issue on several levels. Not only are there mobility and financial challenges, but the social stigma associated with food banks is greatest amongst this demographic. As a result, many are living on a “tea and toast” diet. 

Silver Threads provides both take-away meals and daily lunch service (at a cost), as well as fresh produce and staples provided and delivered by the Mustard Seed through the Food Security Distribution Centre. It also delivers groceries weekly to other sites Silver Threads supports.  One specific example Tracy cited is a CRD Housing unit, which accommodates 38 seniors. In addition to fresh produce that is already delivered, Silver Threads will now offer pre-packaged soups and stocks, which will help with meal preparation.

Cross-Collaboration is Key

The UVic Student Society and Silver Threads are just two of the over 50 community groups that are affected by the Distribution Centre and will be further lifted up by the Food Rescue Kitchen. To grasp the full impact, multiply these two stories 25 times, reaching nearly every demographic: schools, aboriginal communities, homeless shelters, youth centres, and more.

To tackle such a pervasive challenge requires many leaders and groups to work collaboratively. Tracy, the ED of Silver Threads, asked a key question: “How do we best use the resources that we already have to mitigate the problem.”

In the past organizations often worked separately, each reaching out to different venders and groups for help with food delivery. But with the Food Security Distribution Centre and the new Food Rescue Kitchen, many of these efforts are consolidated and streamlined, allowing each organization to focus on what they do best. Through the process of writing this article, I have learned that both passion and collaboration are key. The Food Rescue Kitchen built by HeroWork is another piece to a big and complex puzzle that strengthens both the Mustard Seed and the Food Share Network organizations, enabling them to serve people who are food-insecure across our region.

But on a personal level, the simple act of witnessing the gratitude and joy on the faces of people who use these services —from the young to the elderly and from all walks of life—is reward enough to get involved in this amazing, life-giving community. 

As Tracy Ryan told me, “Food is the glue that keeps people together.” And as Paul Latour, HeroWork founder and ED, often says, “Charity spaces and infrastructure really do matter.”

Food Security Scheme in Odisha

Food Security Scheme in Odisha

Food Security Scheme in Odisha

Orissa government will soon launch a new food security scheme under which poor people will be able to get nutritional food grains from the state government. Chief Minister has stated that poor people will now get proper nutrients to enhance their health. The scheme will be effective across the state from next financial year.

Launch Details

Food Security Sop in Orissa will be officially launched on the state annual budget in the next financial year 2018-19. The announcement was made on Dec 18th 2017 by the Chief Minister Shree Naveen Patnaik in Orissa. As of now officials are checking on the budget of the scheme. The official budget allocation and the cost of scheme will be declared on next annual budget of the state.

Key Features


Eligibility criteria

The poor people, mostly who are living below the poverty line will be covered under this scheme. By providing proper nutritional food to these people, government might be able to reduce poverty from the state.

Budget of the scheme

As of now a rough budget has been decided. The state is still checking how much financial burden state will have to carry for this scheme. As of now they are considering the budget between Rs. 1200 Cr up to Rs. 1500 Cr. The amount can be changed later.

Implementation Process

Under the scheme the beneficiaries will get edible oil in small pouches. According to the authority the packaging will be done by following central food packaging standard rules to protect them from damaging.

As the measurement of poverty is being calculated through the nutrition anyone contains in his/her body, nutritional food can be helpful for them to increase the nutrients in body. With launching of this scheme, the state will be able to reduce poverty. As of now more than 86, 32,884 families have been benefitted from cheap rice and other food security schemes since the year 2009. More families will be benefitted from this scheme that will be launched next year.