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Author: admin, 18.08.2015. Category: Organic Fertilizer

Dominique Ristori, director general of the JRC, said that in order to tackle the crisis, food production must assume a much higher priority in political agendas. His comments were endorsed by Sir John Beddington, chief scientific advisor to the UK government. An amount of food equivalent to about a quarter of today’s annual production could be saved by 2050, he argued, if the current estimate of global food waste was halved.
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The Maplecroft index [represented on the map], reviewed last year by the World Food Programme, uses 12 types of data to derive a measure of food risk that is based on the UN FAO’s concept.
Instead, I would like to quickly raise some questions about this index and the map that results. Now, you can argue that the Maplecroft map is aimed at a different goal than the FEWS-NET maps, as Maplecroft is trying to create a risk-assessment picture of food security in the region.  However, Maplecroft’s timescale is unclear (does it cover the next 6 months?
Here’s a specific example to illustrate the fallacy of making generalizations at the national scale.
ES: Certainly, war has contributed to poverty in eastern Congo, but local markets are intact, and average people rely on them as both sources on income and sources of food. ES: The people of the Kivu provinces have certainly suffered, but to say that their societies have collapsed is a gross exaggeration.
ES: This has certainly happened, but the peak of the refugee crisis in eastern Congo has passed. In short, food insecurity is certainly an issue in eastern Congo, but I would certainly hope that any outside intervention to help improve the situation there would be based on a more nuanced understanding of local factors. Fantastic response – while I cannot claim expertise in the DRC, I certainly could offer similar comments about parts of Ghana and Malawi (well, minus the conflict bits). Laura attended the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change, held in South Africa in December 2013. The three day high-level event took place in Johannesburg, organised in conjunction with the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the World Bank, the FAO, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa. Under the auspices of the motto ‘Grow Smart 2gether 2day,’ the order of the day was implementing a Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) agenda for steering the global food system towards a more sustainable path that produces more food and mitigates climate change whilst also adapting to its impacts through building resilience. The conference opened with remarks from the Honorable Ms Joemat-Peterson, South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Overcoming the challenges of inequality in the agricultural system whilst bearing in mind the adverse impacts of climate change and a need to secure food for a world population by 2050 became central tenets of the conference discussions. Being hosted in an African country, there was a particular focus on African agriculture and overcoming food security problems on the continent. Another point that was highlighted was the role of partnerships and cross-sectoral collaboration.


Dr Lindiwe Sisulu of FANRPAN brought up the importance of gender that was underscored by subsequent speakers although the precise means for emphasising the role of women in agriculture and food security and dealing with the power dynamics inherent in male-female relations was not fully developed over the coming days. However, with climate smart agriculture being the focus, a few success stories were shared, mainly in the break-out groups where practitioners were able to talk more directly to constraints and enablers to climate smart agriculture based on their international experiences. Success Stories of CSA during his presentation on how we actually may be able to climb the mountain that is looming in front of us of feeding 9 billion in a world of climatic change. The most inspiring speaker for me was Prof Madivamba Rukuni who emphasised the notion of co-creation; that innovation in the agricultural space, especially on the African continent needs to include not only scientific knowledge, but also local and indigenous knowledges. The conference ended with a push to establish a Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance, which is expected to be launched at the UN General Leaders’ Summit in September 2014. That covers the availability, access and stability of food supplies, as well as the nutritional and health status of populations. As a food security and livelihoods program manager on the eastern shores of Lake Kivu in eastern DRC for nine months in 2010-11, I became well versed in the contributing factors to recurring food insecurity there.
But I never saw anything to make me think that most people of eastern Congo ever had access to infrastructure that would increase agricultural production significantly. I saw numerous examples of small communities that independently responded to an outside threat (such as an agricultural disease) quite effectively.
As a result, the topic now returns to the political arena, as shown by various statements that bring up, or structure their thinking around, this key concept. She reminded us that 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the Land Act that forced black farmers off their land- and that despite the end of apartheid that black smallholder farmers were still marginalised, but that for the first time, smallholders have exported beans and maize to Lesotho through the World Food Programme.
Although there were representatives present, the private sector did not have much of a voice in the proceedings- and yet were identified as key stakeholders.
Likewise, the looming presence of land tenure in Africa was raised by a member of the audience, but not explicitly dealt with elsewhere.
She has just finished a post-doctoral position at the Harvard Kennedy School and is now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town. In his article, Carrington states that the Congo (which, incidentally, is the size of America east of the Mississippi River, with an incredibly varied geography) is at as much risk for food crisis as is Somalia.
My sense is that such infrastructure (terraces, irrigation systems, etc.) only ever existed on foreign-owned plantations. In addition, extreme weather is rarely an issue in eastern Congo, where nine months of fairly reliable rain allow for two growing seasons. Among such pronouncements, we note the most recent report by Olivier de Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food, the resolution by European Parliament Member Mairead McGuinness adopted on January 13, 2009, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s address on the future of agriculture delivered on February 19, 2009 in Daumeray, in Western France. The important role of engaging with farmers themselves was a strong message that we kept on coming back to during the discussions and although there were a few representatives of farmers unions, it was emphasised that it was critical to bring more farmers on board- both to learn from them, but also to equip them for future challenges.
The need to engage more widely- with farmers, with the private sector, with the youth- was a recurring point.
Despite the conference’s title, there was little on more systemic issues of food security outside of the agricultural arena; although nutrition was mentioned, very little was discussed about how to tackle the combined effects of under- and overnutrition confronting the world today.


In addition, despite the poor roads, distributions of emergency food are quite common throughout eastern Congo; I often witnessed them when I was out in the field, and as a program manager I organized seven of them, often in quite remote locations. This is why, if most of these terms relate to food security at the international level, they can also easily be used at national levels. It has greatly evolved since its introduction in the 1970’s: over 30 definitions were recorded between 1975 and 1991, which shows the diversity of approaches. It seems it evolved from very economic and quantitative considerations to more humanistic and qualitative considerations. Food security thus passed from a purely quantitative dimension to a value that is also qualitative: One considers that food security is assured if micro-nutrient contents as well as food sanitary and hygienic conditions are as secured as the quantity and nutritional balance (proteins, lipids and glucose) of food rations.
Today, it is understood as a sine qua non condition for man’s well-balanced and fair development and access to complete and adequate food is naturally and increasingly considered as a universal and inalienable right.
As indicated by Oliver de Schutter3, United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food, this requirement does not only entail the rejection of measures that are contrary to human rights, but it also imposes the adoption of a proactive approach to defend them.
Food self-sufficiency Food self-sufficiency is the ability to meet the food requirements of a population by the sole national production. Food sovereignty Food sovereignty is a concept that was developed and first introduced by “Via Campesina” at the FAO Food Summit held in Rome in 1996. According to anti-globalization circles, this approach grants greater economic, social and environmental efficiency than agribusinesses and large field crops.
Indeed, the FAO keeps using as a matter of priority the seven indicators developed by the 1975 World Food Summit. The basis of these indicators were used by the organization to evaluate consequences of food security of the Uruguay Round, which, just like the Doha Round, anticipated trade liberalization6. For instance, the latest indicator added by the CFS––the percentage of adults whose body mass index (BMI) is inferior to 18.5––had to be discarded for lack of data. The issue of data availability and quality is all the more problematic since food insecurity is very often the privilege of developing countries that do not benefit from a governmental statistical system as advanced as that of wealthy nations. It might be interesting to define some consolidated indicators, from which it would be possible to assess the impact of any national or international policy on food security. That is the task that momagri is intending to achieve in the framework of its project to launch a rating agency devoted to agriculture: Provide clear and precise indicators that serve as a guide to political decision-making and prevent political choices with disastrous consequences for international food security, and the current Doha Round is the most distinctive example of such consequences. Developed in his first work, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (1981), this concept will be the foundation of Amartya Sen’s key theory––capabilities, that is to say the means available to man to realize his potential. 2 Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, 2004, Implementing a Human Rights Approach to Food Security, April 2, 2004, IFPRI’s Africa by 2020 Conference, Policy Brief 13 3 See report by Olivier de Schutter, “Building Resilience: A Human Rights Framework for World Food and Nutrition Security”, United Nations General Assembly, September 8, 2008, p.



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