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Key issues in relation to food and nutrition security

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1 Key issues in relation to food and nutrition security
The IAASTD Reports (www.agassessment.org Key issues in relation to food and nutrition security K Hans R. Herren, Co-Chair IAASTD, President Millennium Institute Brussels Rural Development Briefing on Food Security Dec 9, 2009 1

2 IAASTD: The Reports www.agassessment.org
Global / sub-Global Reports: 400 authors, 52 countries

3 IAASTD background: tasks
Stakeholder identified the IAASTD Development and Sustainability Goals (=MDG) that the assessment will have to address in respect of AKST’s past, present and future impact on: • Reducing Hunger and Poverty • Improving Rural Livelihoods • Improving Nutrition and Human Health • Facilitating Environmentally, Socially, Equitable and Economically Sustainable Development Realizing these goals requires acknowledging the multifunctionality of agriculture: the challenge is to simultaneously meet development and sustainability goals while increasing agricultural production …under the Challenges of: • Climate Change • Population and Demand Growth • Shrinking Natural Resources / Energy

4 Global context and recent trends
Unprecedented increase in ag productivity through R&D Food production has more than doubled since 1960 Food production per capita has grown Food prices have fallen Percent of undernourished fallen Rural development in China, Thailand and parts of Latin America was the initial stimulus to their rapid economic growth Over the past 40 years, globally, intensification of cultivated systems has been the primary source (almost 80%) of increased output. But some countries, predominantly found in Sub-Saharan Africa, have had persistently low levels of productivity, and continue to rely on expansion of cultivated area. in sub-Saharan Africa, however, yield increases accounted for only 34% of growth in production 2008 4

5 The basis of the Green Revolution
Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer, irrigation and pesticide use are UNSUSTAINABLE Food production has more than doubled since 1960 Food production per capita has grown Food prices have fallen Percent of undernourished fallen for a while, until 1995 and then increased again, to now reach a record 1 billion people. Rural development in China, Thailand and parts of Latin America was the initial stimulus to their rapid economic growth Over the past 40 years, globally, intensification of cultivated systems has been the primary source (almost 80%) of increased output. But some countries, predominantly found in Sub-Saharan Africa, have had persistently low levels of productivity, and continue to rely on expansion of cultivated area. in sub-Saharan Africa, however, yield increases accounted for only 34% of growth in production David Tilman et al. Science 2001 5

6 What’s the Problem with conventional agriculture?
1. People have benefited unevenly from the very significant yield increases across regions • inequity, poverty • health / nutrition • uneven trade 2. this productivity increase has come at costs: • environmental sustainability • soils • water • biodiversity • climate change 6

7 Uneven production across regions
7

8 Critical Challenges: Climate change
Relation between temperature and impacts: The risks intensify as temperature rises. A BAU scenario implies a rise of 4-5 degrees-equivalent to the change in average temperatures from the last ice age to today. Source: Stern Review 8

9 Agriculture’s challenge: what is the right course to food and nutrition security?
To meet the IAASTD (=MDG) sustainability and development goals and respond to the new priorities and changing needs means: “a fundamental shift in AKST and the linked agri-food system policies, institutions, capacity development and investments” …..an organic revolution….. i.e., addressing the multifunctionality of agriculture and the needs of the small-scale and family farms with an emphasis on the social, environmental and economic aspects aspects 9

10 Agriculture’s critical challenges: Multifunctionality
Changing the R&D paradigm and focus MULTIFUNCTIONALITY Agriculture is complex It is multifunctional in its nature. It is a multi-output activity producing: commodities (i.e. food, feed, fiber, etc.) But also – non commodities (i.e. environmental services, landscape amenities, cultural heritage) Therefore – generation and delivery of AKST needs strengthening and redirection so that persistent socioeconomic inequities are addressed 10

11 Understand complexity of agriculture
Global Warming Energy Sector Human Population Food Production Fresh Water Migration Health Catastrophes Land Loss & Flooding

12 A major challenge for food security: The small scale / family farmer
Pro-poor progress requires: creating opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship Increased public research and extension investment Small scale/family farm sustainability poses challenging policy choices: payment for ecological services decentralized governance systems and technology choices 12

13 A major opportunity for food security: The small scale / family farmer
Small scale/family farmers: Produce the bulk of global food Are the largest number of stewards for the environmental services and biodiversity Higher and sustainable productivity increase at their level will have a major impact on all the development goals (organic/ecological) • Critical need: suite of policy approaches that address small-scale / family producers, including AKST designed to improve profitability of the sector 13

14 Options for action : Sustainability Goals
1. Poverty and livelihoods • Access to land and economic resources • Access to urban and export markets • Empower farmers with innovative tools, skills and knowledge to manage soils, water, biological resources, pests, etc…. • Combine farmers’ with external knowledge (new partnerships) Business as usual is not an option

15 Options for action : Sustainability Goals
2. Food security • AKST approaches for development of food stock management, market intelligences, early warning, distribution systems, ICT • Local production (food sovereignty), access and adequate nutritional information / education • AKST policies geared towards high value and underutilized crops, organic and fair trade, strengthening of local markets, food safety nets Business as usual is not an option

16 Options for action : Sustainability Goals
3. Environmental sustainability • AKST to enhance sustainability while maintaining productivity (protecting the natural resource base and ecological provisioning) • improving nutrient, energy, water and land use efficiency • better understanding of crop – environment interactions (realize yield potential), farm diversification, promotion of agro-ecological and conservation agriculture (CA) systems • Policies include ending perverse subsidies, payment for ecosystem services, promotion of IPM, organic agriculture, agro-ecology….. Business as usual is not an option

17 Options for action : Sustainability Goals
4. Human Health and nutrition The IAASTD recognizes the inter-linkages between health, nutrition, agriculture and the ability to meet the sustainability goals • AKSTs for an integrated approach • increase food security and safety • Additional investments to maintain / improve current systems Business as usual is not an option

18 Options for action : Sustainability Goals
5. Equity • Reform of the governance of AKST and related organizations (research, extension), integration of traditional / local knowledge • Equitable access to production resources (land / water) • Reward for multifunctionality and ecosystem services • Multistakeholder participation in decision making • Preferential investments in literacy, education and training Business as usual is not an option

19 Options for action : AKST Themes
1. Bio-energy • Suggest caution……and consideration for the local context • Different forms of agro-fuels and uses • Weigh the full social, economic and environmental costs Business as usual is not an option

20 Options for action : AKST Themes
3. Climate change • Relationship is two ways: agriculture is part of the problem and now needs to be part of the solution i.e., win-win solutions: • lower rates of ag expansion into forests, natural habitats (preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services) • carbon sequestration measures • reduction of external production inputs, increase resilience (fertilizers, pesticides, use organic ag principles and CA) Business as usual is not an option

21 Options for action : AKST Themes
4. Human Health • Complex links between health, nutrition, agriculture and AKST not always recognized as policy issue • Ill health in the farming community affects the production potential (treadmill). Solution lie in increased income, education, utilization of wider range of food crops • Consumption patterns: Need to focus consumers on quality, diversity rather than price and quantity • Provide incentives for health promoting foods • Joint research projects with nutritionists Business as usual is not an option

22 Options for action : AKST Themes
5. Natural Resource Management • NRs are the bases of food production • Efficient management and utilization of NR to assure long term productivity of the agro- ecosystem • More investment in research, training and education. Evaluate the value of the ecosystem services • Develop new practitioners networks for long term NR management for the collective good • Judicious use of the natural capital to ensure quality of life for future generations Business as usual is not an option

23 Options for action : AKST Themes
6. Trade and Markets • Key elements in assuring food security and sovereignty • needed to protect small scale / family farms • Ag trade offers opportunities to the small scale farm sector, but only within a new economic order that removes resource –use and market distorting subsidies • Environmental externalities need to be fully accounted for • Ecosystem services and Carbon trade: new mechanisms to assist the small-scale farm sector Business as usual is not an option

24 Options for action: Trade
making agricultural trade work for developing countries- i.e., level the playing field to support small-scale producers by increasing focus on national production for domestic and regional food security; Opening national agricultural markets to international competition can offer economic benefits, but can lead to long term negative effects on poverty alleviation, food security and the environment without basic national institutions and infrastructure being in place Business as usual is not an option 24

25 Options for action : AKST Themes
7. Traditional and local knowledge and community based innovation • Traditional / local knowledge key in agriculture and food systems • importance of local knowledge in traditional foods • maintenance of crop diversity builds on local knowledge and depends largely small-scale farmers • traditional knowledge is dynamic and need to be integrated through participative working methods into modern AST • issues with farmers rights to their knowledge and innovations Business as usual is not an option

26 Options for action Biotechnology
• Issue of definition (conventional, modern)

27 Options for action : AKST Themes
8. Women in agriculture Current trends in agricultural market liberalization and reorganization of farm work, sustainability and health concerns are redefining links between gender and development • 20 to 70 % women in ag production and postharvest activities (export crops) • women face deteriorating health and work conditions, limited access to education and control over production resources, low income • AKST to be directed towards women’s need • investments in value chain (processing), safe practices, remove drudgery Business as usual is not an option

28 Options for action New Policies for food and nutrition security
Invest in long term gains versus short term quick fixes (i.e., deal with the cause not the symptoms by understanding the system)

29 You cannot solve the problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem
Albert Einstein Thank you

30 Options for action : Sustainability Goals
6. Investments • More public investments in regional, national and local public goods; food security and safety; climate change and sustainability • More public investments in agricultural knowledge systems/ knowledge networks; improved access to information (ICT); ecological, food, nutrition, social and complex systems’ science; life long learning along the food system. • Public – private partnership to fund AKST • Investment in rural infrastructure

31 Options for action Biotechnology
• So far little impact on IAASTD Development and Sustainability Goals • Methodological limitations in efficacy and safety testing • Problem oriented R&D to continue, but not at the expense of other agricultural research, education and training • Patent issue (increased costs for farmers, restricted experimentation, research and seed exchange; undermining local practices that would assure food security and economic sustainability) • Exposure of farmers to liabilities, etc.

32 Business as usual is not an option
Options for action: consumption patterns and sustainable development Business as usual is not an option


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