1“Improving Nutrition and Food Security through Smallholder Agriculture” By Jethro Greene, Chief CoordinatorCaribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN)Tel: – Fax:
2ObjectivesTo highlight the challenges and successes of small producers network, CaFAN in improving food and nutrition security in the Caribbean region.
3CaFAN BackgroundComprises over 500,000 members from 13 Caribbean countries80% of farmers cultivate between 0-5 acres CaFAN operates a system of farmers clusters groups and organisations with a focal point in each country.The CaFAN Secretariat works with a technical team of volunteers to carry out its functionsMore information
4The ProblemAccording to the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), one of the main public health problems in the Caribbean is related to food and nutrition – in the form of Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs), accounting for 53% of the deaths in the 1980s and in excess of 57% in the current period.
5Infectious Diseases/ Undernutrition 10- 50% ofTotaldeathsChronic Diseases25-Infectious Diseases/ Undernutrition10-197019901950Source: CFNI, Agri-Food, Nutrition and Healthy: Capturing the Synergies, by Dr. Ballayram, Food Economist – October 2010
6Main Causes of Death in the Caribbean 1980 (%)Heart Disease*Cancer *Stroke*InjuriesHypertension*ARIDiabetes **Food/Nut related = 53%2000s (%)Heart Disease * - 16Cancer *Stroke *Diabetes *InjuriesHIV/AIDSHypertension * - 6*Food/Nut Related = 57%Source: CFNI, Agri-Food, Nutrition and Healthy: Capturing the Synergies, by Dr. Ballayram, Food Economist – October 2010
7Cost of Nutrition-Related diseases NCDs are twice as costly to treat compared to other diseasesDirect cost of treating everyone with diabetes and hypertension in the region:US$691 million/annually (2% of GDP or 66% of current expenditures on Public Health)Cost of diabetes and hypertension attributable to obesity is US$ 336 million annually (1 % of GDP or 32% of current expenditures on Public Health)Source: CFNI, Agri-Food, Nutrition and Healthy: Capturing the Synergies, by Dr. Ballayram, Food Economist – October 2010
8Food AvailabilityWith respect to food availability, data shows serious deficit in staples, especially roots and tubers, vegetables and legumes. These foods are high in fibre, complex carbohydrates and low in calories compared to the imported sources of carbohydrates in the Caribbean such as pasta, refined wheat flour, pastries, etc., and the antioxidant disease or fighting capacity of these foods cannot be estimated.
9Where we are NOW Where we want to GO Deficits: (1) Staples (8%); (2) legumes (4%); (3) Vegetables (6%);Excess: (1) Food from animals (5%); (2) Fats/oils (4%); (3) Sugar (9%)With respect to food availability, data shows serious deficit in staples, especially roots and tubers, vegetables and legumes. These foods are high in fibre, complex carbohydrates and low in calories compared to the imported sources of carbohydrates in the Caribbean such as pasta, refined wheat flour, pastries, etc., and the antioxidant disease or fighting capacity of these foods cannot be estimated.
10CaFAN producers addressing the issue of Food & Nutrition Security CaFAN farmers in collaboration with its partners are working with focus on the production of nutritious local foods not only for the purpose of making more profits for farmers, creating employment and increasing income but at the same time, contributing significantly towards food availability and stabilizing food security systems.CaFAN has collaborated with CARICOM Secretariat, Agriculture Division on the Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy (RFNS) and is helping with the drafting of CARICOM Common Agricultural Policy (CCAPS) which has regional food and nutrition security as one of its main pillars.
11CaFAN Roots and Tubers Program With support from FAO under the EU’s All ACP Commodities Project four of CaFAN member organizations in four countries have received support to boost their production of roots and tubers – eddoes, sweet potato, cassava, dasheen. It also promotes the consumption of these crops as part of our overall diet.Additionally, in the next six months this production of roots and tubers will be extended to other countries within the CaFAN network.
14Pilot Project: Linking Agriculture to Health and Nutrition With support from CTA, ECTAD one of CaFAN key members launched a nine month pilot project in SVG in in collaboration with the Government of SVGThe project was aimed at increasing the use of locally grown nutritional food, particularly fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers.Series of workshops and other promotional campaigns were held across St. Vincent. Vincentians were encouraged to grow backyard gardens to supplement the nutritious food basket they purchase from the local markets and supermarkets.
17A Key Results More fruits stands have been seen across the country Many more homes have set up home gardensThe St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SVGCIC) has set up an Agriculture Food and Nutrition committee of which ECTAD chairs. The committee has started a programme to look at the availability of seasonal fruits and promoting them and their nutritional value, and is moving towards publishing a local cook book with recipes from locally grown produce and with tabulation of their nutritional value.CaFAN intends to extend these initiatives throughout its members within the region.
18JamaicaOne of CaFAN’s largest member, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), is promoting at its upcoming 59th annual Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show from 30 July to 1 August. “Grow what you eat – eat what you grow” as a continued effort to promote the use of local foods in Jamaica.Christiana Potato Growers Association is intensifying its efforts in production of roots and tubers, fruits and vegetables with the aim of import substitution.
19Youth involvementSeveral CaFAN members are working with schools in their respective host communities to encourage youth participation in agriculture from the kindergarten level to the Secondary level.Some members are also using young farmers to function as bridges in linking agriculture to several sectors of the society.
20Key IssuesCaFAN believes that the food and nutrition security should not be the sole responsibility of the farmer, but of the entire population.The approach is affordable food and not cheap foodGetting the population to develop an appreciation for agriculture, food and nutrition in their daily livesImport substitution must be linked to food availability and food affordabilityPromote home and school gardening to complement regular farming
21Towards a regional F&N initiative CaFAN is working with its partners towards a regional production and marketing pilot project that would target the region’s food import bill, which stand overall at US$4B.The will be holding a regional production and marketing planning workshop in July towards this effort.It is also aimed at tackling the food and nutrition security problems on a practical basis in terms of organized production.We are also advocating and networking for more efforts in preparing our local foods to maintain their nutritional and health valuesThis will be promoted in October 2011 at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Dominica where CaFAN with support of FAO EU AAACP will host a local farmers night.
22ConclusionCapacity building and strengthening of small farmers organisations and clusters is important in addressing problems relating to food and nutrition securityThere is a lot of work to be done, and CaFAN approach has always been to look at best practice, successes of what is working within the region and to build on themEveryone involved need to stop debating over the problem but rather tackling it head on so that at the end of the day, the food is produced and the problem addressed.
23CaFAN PartnersTechnical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA EU-ACP)Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN)Caribbean Ministries of AgricultureCARICOM SecretariatCaribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)Caribbean Disaster EmergencyManagement Agency (CDEMA)Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)Oxfam GBOrganization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) CARUTA ProjectUniversity of the West IndiesWindward Island Farmers AssociationCOADY International Institute, CanadaCOLEACP, Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison CommitteeCHF (Formerly the Canadian Hunger Foundation)FAO GTSF Value Chain groups