Award-Winning Agriculture/Nutrition Projects

Harvest Nutrition contest
Image courtesy of cgiar.org

Three projects were awarded as winners of the 2013 Harvesting Nutrition contest  organized by  SecureNutrition . The contest was organized to promote initiatives with a holistic approach linking nutrition, agriculture and food security. The award ceremony was held at The World Bank on February 19, 2015. According to SecureNutrition the contest attracted 50 submissions from projects around the world showcasing  a global effort to close the gap between agriculture, food security and nutrition. A panel of five judges from SecureNutrition, GAIN, and Save the Children took part in the decision process. The three winning projects were selected according to their potential for impact, innovation and scalability.

Below is the profile of the three winning projects and assessment of their unique approach provided by the decision panel ;

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  • Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition (RAIN): Potential Impact on Nutrition 

    Aiming to increase year-round availability of and access to high-quality foods at the household level, preliminary data from RAIN shows encouraging results, with increased production of various micronutrient rich crops, such as leafy green vegetables, and increased dietary diversity during both the hunger as the post-harvest seasons.  With rigorous data collection and analysis, conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), integrated into the program design and strong government coordination, the potential impact – and potential for demonstrating an impact – of RAIN on nutrition outcomes is likely to increase as the project unfolds. (Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition (RAIN)

  • Shamba Shape Up : Innovation 

    A “make-over”-style reality TV show targeting rural smallholder farmers, Shamba Shape Up was a clear standout as an innovative platform for presenting and disseminating a nutrition message. Shamba Shape Up reaches over 10 million farmers in East Africa with tools and information to improve productivity and income on their farms  (Shamba Shape Up)

  •  N2Africa: Scalability 

    A large-scale multi-country “development to research” project aimed at promoting new technologies for improving productivity of legumes such as groundnut, cowpea and common bean – commonly regarded as women’s crops – N2Africa works with a wide variety of stakeholders across the value chain from seed to fork and from field to market.  A strong evaluation system provides the basis for ongoing feedback and learning. (N2Africa)

Announcing the 2014 Global Hunger Index

GHI2014The 2014 Global Hunger Index, now available from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, shows a steady decrease in hunger in most developing countries.While great strides have been made to feed the world, hunger persists: some 805 million people go hungry every day because they don’t get enough to eat, and even those who eat enough calories can still suffer from “hidden hunger”– deficiencies in micronutrients that are often harder to detect but devastating in their impact.

Levels of hunger are still “alarming” in 14 countries, and “extremely alarming” in Burundi and Eritrea. In addition, a staggering 2 billion people globally suffer from “hidden hunger,” or micronutrient deficiency. Hidden hunger holds countries back in a cycle of poor nutrition, poor health, lost productivity, poverty, and reduced economic growth.

Sustainably tackling hidden hunger requires multisectoral action on all levels and a post-2015 framework that includes a universal goal to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms and clear mechanisms to ensure accountability. Alongside the multi-sectoral coordination, the report acknowledges the importance of  “behavioral change communication … to educate people about health services, sanitation and hygiene, and caring practices, as well as the need for greater empowerment of women at all levels.”

Read the full report here!

Findings for THP’s Program Countries

The following table presents a selection of findings from the 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report for The Hunger Project’s program countries.

Proportion of undernourished in the population (%) Prevalence of underweight in children under five years (%) Under-five mortality rate (%) Global Hunger Index (GHI)
Year ’04–’06             ’11–’13 ’03–’07            ’09–’13 2005          2012 2005         2014
Bangladesh 15.3                    16.3 37.3                  36.8 6.8              4.1 19.8            19.1
Benin 13.8                     6.1 20.2                 18.4 * 12.0             9.0 15.3            11.2
Bolivia 29.9                    21.3 5.9                   4.4 * 5.8               4.1 13.9             9.9
Burkina Faso 25.8                   25.0 37.6                 24.4 16.0              10.2 26.5             19.9
Ethiopia 46.8                   37.1 34.6                 29.2 11.0              6.8 30.8             24.4
Ghana 11.2                   2.9 * 13.9                 13.4 8.8                7.2 11.3             7.8
India 21.5                    17.0 43.5                 30.7 7.5                5.6 24.2             17.8
Malawi 26.4                   20.0 18.4                 13.8 12.0               7.1 18.9             13.6
Mexico 0.1 *                   0.7 * 3.4                   2.8 2.0                 1.6 <5               <5
Mozambique 39.9                    36.8 21.2                15.6 13.2               9.0 24.8             20.5
Uganda 27.8                    30.1 16.4                14.1 10.9                6.9 18.4             17.0
Peru 21.9                    11.8 5.4                   3.4 2.8                  1.8 10.0              5.7
Senegal 18.4                    21.6 14.5                 15.7 9.9                  6.0 14.3             14.4

* IFPRI estimates

Bipartisan Legislation for Feed the Future Introduced in Congress

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Image courtesy of USAID

Members of the House and Senate introduced legislation to authorize the US Government’s Feed the Future Initiative on September 19, 2014. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) introduced the Feed the Future Global Food Security Act of 2014 to the House, while Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the Senate’s Global Food Security Act of 2014. The bills were cosponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). Both bills “seeks to improve maternal and child nutrition during the critical 1,000-day window between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday,” aligning with USAID’s new approach to combat global poverty and malnutrition through a multi sectoral nutrition strategy.

Currently 805 million people are suffering from hunger globally, malnutrition being the main cause of mortality in children under five. Inarguably, hunger and malnutrition have been the major obstacles for progress in the developing world. The Feed the Future Initiative aims to end hunger by 2030 by increasing agricultural productivity and creating opportunities for economic growth and trade in developing countries. The initiative also aims to boost harvest and income of rural smallholder farmers, and improve agricultural research while giving more access to more people to existing technologies. Lastly, it will work to increase resilience to prevent recurrent environmental crises and help communities better cope.

The Hunger Project, as an active member of the Food Security and Agriculture Working Group at Interaction, is excited by the legislation garnering bipartisan support. We acknowledge that it is not only an indication of a unified global fight against hunger, but also the prioritization of assistance to small-scale farmers, especially women.

The bills are expected to go to the floor for possibly ratification when Congress returns from recess after the November midterm election. The Hunger Project expects that bipartisan support will continue throughout the deliberation process.

805 Million Still Suffering from Hunger: The 2014 State of Food Insecurity in the World

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Image courtesy of FAO

United Nations2014 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) Report confirmed that there are still 805 million people – more than half of whom are in Asia – suffering from chronic malnourishment.This report is published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). According to the report, one in nine people are severely undernourished; in Sub Saharan Africa the ratio is higher at more than one in four.

However, the report notes that there has been a decrease in the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment by 200 million since 1992. Most progress has been made in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, whereas Oceania has made only modest improvement. Overall, this indicates a positive trend in the fight against hunger.

This year’s report consists of case studies on the following seven countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen. The case studies explain trends of food security based on internal efforts and external economic, political and environmental events.

The report states, “to date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDGs target for hunger, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015.” Halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 might be possible if measures are fueled up.

The complex nature of food insecurity requires a multi sectoral approach that engages CSOs, and public and private organizations. The report recommends an “enabling environment and an integrated approach.” Specifically, the following should leverage combined public and private investments:

  • agricultural productivity
  • access to land, services, technologies and markets
  • measures to promote rural development
  • social protection for the most vulnerable
  • strengthening resilience for conflicts and natural disasters.

Lastly, the report also stresses the fundamental importance of nutrition programs to address micronutrient deficiencies of mothers and children under five.

Further discussion will be held on the findings of the report by governments, civil society, and private sector representatives at the 13-18 October meetings of the Committee on World Food Security at FAO headquarters in Rome. The Hunger Project is among the organizations taking part in the meetings.

Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

srfood.org
srfood.org

Olivier De Schutter, a United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, has recently presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council. The Rapporteur called for the world’s food system to be radically and democratically redesigned. (SRFOOD.ORG, 2014). In the final report, Olivier De Schutter presents his main conclusions and a summary of recommendations issued over the course of his mandate as Special Rapporteur (2008-2014).

According to the Special Rapporteur, “the right to food is the right of every individual, alone or in community with others, to have physical and economic access at all times to sufficient, adequate and culturally acceptable food that is produced and consumed sustainably, preserving access to food for future generations.1 Individuals can secure access to food (a) by earning incomes from employment or self-employment; (b) through social transfers; or (c) by producing their own food, for those who have access to land and other productive resources.”

To download and read the final report, click here.

To download and read the final report in Spanish, click here and for French, click here.

The following is a summary from the final Report on the right to food/ (Adopted from Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter).

The eradication of hunger and malnutrition is an achievable goal. Reaching it requires, however, that we move away from business as usual and improve coordination across sectors, across time and across levels of governance. Empowering communities at the local level, in order for them to identify the obstacles that they face and the solutions that suit them best, is a first step. This must be complemented by supportive policies at the national level that ensure the right sequencing between the various policy reforms that are needed, across all relevant sectors, including agriculture, rural development, health, education and social protection. In turn, local-level and national-level policies should benefit from an enabling international environment, in which policies that affect the ability of countries to guarantee the right to food – in the areas of trade, food aid, foreign debt alleviation and development cooperation – are realigned with the imperative of achieving food security and ensuring adequate nutrition. Understood as a requirement for democracy in the food systems, which would imply the possibility for communities to choose which food systems to depend on and how to reshape those systems, food sovereignty is a condition for the full realization of the right to food. But it is the paradox of an increasingly interdependent world that this requires deepening the cooperation between States.

srfood.org
srfood.org

 The following are few excerpts from the key recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur in past thematic reports, from 2008 to 2013, to the Human Rights Council:

A. Ensuring access to resources

1. Access to land

 In a context in which commercial pressures on land are increasing, it is crucial that States strengthen the protection of land users (A/65/281) and implement the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources. In particular, States should:

(a) Ensure security of tenure, by adopting anti-eviction laws and improving the regulatory framework concerning expropriation;

(b) Conduct decentralized mapping of various users’ land rights and strengthen customary systems of tenure;

(c) Adopt tenancy laws to protect tenants from eviction and from excessive levels of rent;

(d) Respect the rights of special groups, such as indigenous peoples, fisherfolk, herders and pastoralists, for whom the protection of commons is vital;

(e) Prioritize development models that do not lead to evictions, disruptive shifts in land rights and increased land concentration, and ensure that all land investment projects are consistent with relevant obligations under international human rights law (A/HRC/13/33/Add.2);

(f) Refrain from criminalizing the non-violent occupation of land by movements of landless people;

(g) Implement redistributive land reform where a high degree of land ownership concentration is combined with a significant level of rural poverty attributable to landlessness or to the cultivation of excessively small plots of land by smallholders, and supporting beneficiaries of land redistribution to ensure that they can make a productive use of their land; and

(h) Regulate land markets to prevent the impacts of speculation on land concentration and distress sales by indebted farmers.

2. Seeds

Guaranteeing food security in the future requires that we support crop genetic diversity, including agro-biodiversity (A/64/170). This is particularly important for small-scale farmers in developing countries, who still overwhelmingly rely on seeds which they save from their own crops and which they donate, exchange or sell. In order to ensure that the A/HRC/25/57 22 development of the intellectual property rights regime and the implementation of seed policies at the national level are compatible with the right to food, States should:

(a) Make swift progress towards the implementation of farmers’ rights, as defined in article 9 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture;

(b) Not allow patents on plants and establish research exemptions in legislation protecting plant breeders’ rights;

(c) Ensure that their seed regulations (seed certification schemes) do not lead to an exclusion of farmers’ varieties; and

(d) Support and scale up local seed exchange systems such as community seed banks and seed fairs, and community registers of peasant varieties. Donors and international institutions should assist States in implementing the above recommendations, and, in particular:

(a) Support efforts by developing countries to establish a sui generis regime for the protection of intellectual property rights which suits their development needs and is based on human rights;

(b) Fund breeding projects on a large diversity of crops, including orphan crops, as well as on varieties for complex agro-environments such as dry regions, and encourage participatory plant breeding;

(c) Channel an adequate proportion of funds towards research programmes and projects that aim at improving the whole agricultural system and not only the plant (agroforestry, better soil management techniques, composting, water management, good agronomic practices).

3. Fisheries

It is urgent that States move towards sustainable resource use while ensuring that the rights and livelihoods of small-scale fishers and coastal communities are respected and that the food security of all groups depending on fish is improved (A/67/268).

B. Supporting local food systems

1. Reinvestment in agriculture

Reinvestment in agriculture and rural development should effectively contribute to the realization of the right to food (A/HRC/12/31). In order to achieve this important goal, the international community should:

(a) Channel adequate support to sustainable farming approaches that benefit the most vulnerable groups and that are resilient to climate change;

(b) Prioritize the provision of public goods, such as storage facilities, extension services, means of communications, access to credit and insurance and agricultural research;

(c) In countries facing important levels of rural poverty and in the absence of employment opportunities in other sectors, establish and promote farming systems that are sufficiently labor-intensive to contribute to employment creation (A/HRC/13/33/Add.2); and

(d) Ensure that investment agreements contribute to reinforcing local livelihood options and to environmentally sustainable modes of agricultural production.

2. Agro-ecology: Moving towards sustainable modes of agricultural production is vital for future food security and an essential component of the right to food. Agro-ecology has enormous potential in that regard (A/HRC/13/33/Add.2).

3. Support small-holder farmers: The realization of the right to food for all will require proactively engaging in public policies aimed at expanding the choices of smallholders to sell their products at a decent price (A/HRC/13/33). To achieve this, States should:

(a) Strengthen local and national markets and support continued diversification of channels of trading and distribution;

(b) Support the establishment of farmers’ cooperatives and other producer organizations (A/66/262); A/HRC/25/57 24

(c) Establish or defend flexible and efficient producer marketing boards under government authority but with the strong participation of producers in their governance;

(d) Encourage preferential sourcing from small-scale farmers through fiscal incentives or by making access to public procurement schemes conditional on the bidders’ compliance with certain sourcing requirements.

4. Contract Farming: To ensure that contract farming and other business models support the right to food (A/66/262), Governments should ensure that regulatory oversight keeps pace with the level of the expansion and the complexity of business models.

5. Agricultural workers: To guarantee that those working on farms can be guaranteed a living wage, adequate health and safe conditions of employment (A/HRC/13/33)

C. Deploying national strategies

1. National Strategies: States should build national strategies for the realization of the right to adequate food, which should include mapping of the food- insecure, adoption of relevant legislation and policies with a right-to-food framework, establishment of mechanisms to ensure accountability, and the establishment of mechanisms and processes which ensure real participation of rights-holders, particularly the most vulnerable, in designing and monitoring such legislation and policies (A/68/268).

2. Human Rights Impact Assessments: To ensure consistency between domestic policies aimed at the full realization of the right to food and external policies in the areas of trade, investment, development and humanitarian aid, States should establish mechanisms that ensure that the right to food is fully taken into account in those policies. The Special Rapporteur has presented Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments, based on a range of consultations with governmental and non-governmental actors, which provide guidance as to how to conduct such assessments, both ex-ante and ex-post (A/HRC/19/59/Add.5).

3. Women’s Rights:

 In order to strengthen the protection of the right to food of women (A/HRC/22/50), States should:

 (a) Remove all discriminatory provisions in the law, combat discrimination that has its source in social and cultural norms, and use temporary special measures to accelerate the achievement of gender equality;

(b) Recognize the need to accommodate the specific time and mobility constraints on women as a result of the existing gender roles, while at the same time redistributing the gender roles by a transformative approach to employment and social protection;

(c) Mainstream a concern for gender in all laws, policies and programs, where appropriate, by developing incentives that reward public administrations which make progress in setting and reaching targets in this regard;

(d) Adopt multi-sector and multi-year strategies that move towards full equality for women, under the supervision of an independent body to monitor progress, relying on gender-disaggregated data in all areas relating to the achievement of food security.

4. Social Protection:

 The provision of social protection can substantially contribute to the realization of the right to food (A/68/268, A/HRC/12/31).

5. Nutrition: To reshape food systems for the promotion of sustainable diets and effectively combat the different faces of malnutrition (A/HRC/19/59), States should:

(a) Adopt statutory regulation on the marketing of food products, as the most effective way to reduce marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sodium and sugar (HFSS foods) to children, and restrict marketing of these foods to other groups;

(b) Impose taxes on soft drinks (sodas), and on HFSS foods, in order to subsidize access to fruits and vegetables and educational campaigns on healthy diets;

(c) Adopt a plan for the complete replacement of trans-fatty acids with polyunsaturated fats;

(d) Review the existing systems of agricultural subsidies, in order to take into account the public health impacts of current allocations, and use public procurement schemes for school-feeding programmes and for other public institutions to support the provision of locally sourced, nutritious foods; and

(e) Transpose into domestic legislation the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the WHO recommendations on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, and ensure their effective enforcement.

The private sector should:

(a) Comply fully with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, and comply with the WHO recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, even where local enforcement is weak or non-existent;

(b) Abstain from imposing nutrition-based interventions where local ecosystems and resources are able to support sustainable diets, and systematically ensure that such interventions prioritize local solutions;

(c) Shift away from the supply of HFSS foods and towards healthier foods and phase out the use of trans-fatty acids in food processing.

D. Shaping an enabling international

1. Food price volatility: The international community should find ways to better manage the risks associated with international trade and ensure that least-developed and net food-importing developing countries are better protected from the volatility of international market prices.

2. A new framework for trade and investment in agriculture

The realization of the right to food requires designing trade rules that support the transition toward more sustainable agricultural practices. The multilateral trade regime as well as regional and bilateral trade agreements must allow countries to develop and implement ambitious food security policies including public food reserves, temporary import restrictions, active marketing boards, and safety net insurance schemes, in support of the progressive realization of the right to food (A/HRC/10/5/Add.2).

3. Regulating agribusiness

States should take steps towards the establishment of a multilateral framework regulating the activities of commodity buyers, processors, and retailers in the global food supply chain, including the setting of standards by these actors and their buying policies (A/HRC/13/33). In particular, States should use competition law in order to combat excessive concentration in the agribusiness sector. This requires having in place competition regimes sensitive to excessive buyer power in the agri-food sector, and devising competition authorities with mechanisms that allow for affected suppliers to bring complaints without fear of reprisal by dominant buyers.

4. Agro-fuels

The international community should reach a consensus on agro-fuels, based not only on the need to avoid the negative impact of the development of agro-fuels on the international price of staple food commodities, but also on the need to ensure that the production of agro-fuels respects the full range of human rights and does not result in distorted development in producer countries. Public incentives for the production of crop-based bio-fuels must be reduced and eventually removed, while only those advanced bio-fuels that do not compete with food production for land or other resources should be incentivized.

5. Food aid and development cooperation:

 International aid remains an important component of the right to food (A/HRC/10/5). Donor States should:

(a) Maintain and increase levels of aid calculated as Official Development Assistance as a percentage of GDP;

(b) Provide food aid on the basis of an objective assessment of the identified needs in developing countries;

(c) Fully respect the principle of ownership in their development cooperation policies by aligning these policies with national strategies for the realization of the right to food;

(d) Promote the right to food as a priority for development cooperation

To watch a related YouTube Video on Food Sovereignty Dialogue, click here.

Web Source : http://www.srfood.org/en

The Importance of Multi-sectoral and Integrated Nutrition Strategies

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credit:ncdhild.org

Those who wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world are helping to make ending world hunger a major priority… Together we can end hunger.  Robert Alan Silverstein

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 870 million people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing countries, and there are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries (FAO, 2012). An outcome of malnutrition, stunting alone affects 165 million children under 5 years of age around the world. (UNICEF, 2013). Malnutrition is the largest single contributor to disease, according to the UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN), and under-nutrition among others, affects school performance, leads to a lower income as an adult, depletes immunity to diseases and causes women to give birth to low birth-weight babies. (WFP, 2014). The multidimensional effects of malnutrition makes nutrition interventions imperative to incorporate a multi-sectoral and integrated development approach . The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) , WHO, World Food Programme (WFP), FAO, and projects by several bilateral and multilateral organizations have helped reduce child and maternal mortality, extreme hunger, malnutrition and poverty over the past decade. Despite the achievements, there still a long way to go to end malnutrition problems. The causes, effects and relationships between malnutrition and other development challenges makes it important to  have a multi-sectoral approach as it enables planning and programming nutritional programs efficient and sustainable. ¨The determinants of malnutrition are multifaceted; stemming from individual health status to household food access, to social, economic, political, and environmental factors at national and global levels¨ (USAID, 2013).

USAID Nutrition Strategy 2014- 2015 Draft and The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Targets 2025

In response to the challenges of malnutrition , the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has released the USAID Nutrition Strategy 2014- 2015 draft in late 2013,  and the agency’s  nutrition strategy draft calls for public comment before its final draft. The aim of the nutrition strategy( NS) 2014- 2025 is to improve nutrition to save lives, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance development. As to interventions and approaches, the NS 2014 -2025, advances two types of interventions : a timely nutrition-specific interventions at critical points in the lifecycle that can have  a dramatic impact on reducing malnutrition globally if taken to scale in high burden countries; and nutrition-sensitive interventions which have more potential to enhance the effectiveness of nutrition investments worldwide.(USAID, 2013). According to the ND 2014 – 2025 draft there are opportunities for nutrition impact with a number of nutrition-sensitive interventions including :

  • Family planning,

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH),

  • Nutrition-sensitive agriculture,

  • Food safety, food processing, and dietary diversity in partnership with industry,

  • Early childhood care, development and education and

  • Economic strengthening and livelihoods and recovery

To download and read USAID’s Nutrition Strategy 2014-2025 draft, click here.

Many of the current development interventions in the above listed areas of are being approached in separation from each other. The one-sector approach lacks synergy and fails to integrate nutrition intervention with other projects . Today, there are far more governmental, non-governmental, bilateral and multilateral, for profit and nonprofit organizations  working in the development arena, and many of them follow a one-sector approach while the challenges of the poor_especially malnutrition and poverty are interrelated and interdependent. For instance, provisions of nutritious foods in schools and de-worming at health centers will only capture a few percentage of population with access to the two services. But, an alternative intervention of the above would reach far more people if coupled/integrated with robust agricultural and rural development programs projects. An excerpt from NS 2014- 2025 draft notes the following about nutrition intervention strategies.

Although economic growth has been linked to improvements in under-nutrition (Shekar & Elder, 2013; Webb & Black, 2011), investments in agriculture have demonstrated even greater impact on both poverty alleviation and malnutrition since most of the poor are working in agriculture (Headey, 2011; Webb & Black, 2011).

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Targets 2025

At the global level, the World Health Organization (WHO) member states have endorsed the Global Targets 2025 for improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition following the sixty-fifth World Health Assembly that took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 21-26 May 2012. The assembly approved a comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition. WHO’s Global Targets 2025 include the following:

1. 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted

2. 50% reduction of anaemia in women reproductive age

3. 30 % reduction in low birth weight

4. no increase in childhood overweight

5. increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%

6. reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%

To read more WHO’s Global Targets 2025, click here

Both the USAID’s Nutrition Strategy and Global Targets 2025  call for comprehensive and all inclusive implementation plan on malnutrition. Though the former stresses the importance integration of nutritional programs and advancing a multi-sectoral approach to solving the global nutrition challenges, the resolutions and decisions annexes of the Global Targets 2025 falls short of calling upon member states to adopt an integrated and multi-sectoral nutrition intervention strategy. The following is an excerpt from USAID’s NS 2014- 2025 draft.

Effective interventions must reach across disciplines to address the multi-sectoral nature of malnutrition. In the past, many nutrition initiatives have been vertical programs implemented through isolated delivery systems: however, there has been a recent recognition that multi-factorial causation is best addresses with multi-sectoral interventions. (Lartey, 2008).

Multi-sectoral  and Integrated Approach to Nutrition Intervention

¨A successful strategy for alleviating poverty and hunger in developing countries must begin by recognizing that they are mainly rural phenomena and that agriculture is at the heart of the livelihoods of rural people.¨ (FAO, 2014).

To ensure sustainability of the nutrition programs and to bring about a lasting solutions to malnutrition and poverty in developing world,  development players at level should keep in mind the role of agriculture in the livelihood of the majority global poor and the advantages of multi-sectoral and integrated nutrition intervention approaches.  Nutrition interventions should be part of agricultural and rural development policies as 75% of the poor live in rural areas, and governments and decision makers at level should integrate nutritional interventions in their policies. (FAO, 2012).  “Economic and agricultural growth should be ¨nutrition-sensitive” and growth needs to result in better nutritional outcomes through enhanced opportunities for the poor to diversify their diets; improved access to safe drinking water, and sanitation; improved access to health services; better consumer awareness regarding adequate nutrition and child care practices…” (FAO, 2012)

To download and read FAO’s State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, click here.

References:

FAO. (2012). The State of Food Insecurity in the World: The multiple dimensions of food security. Retrieved on 19 February 2014 from http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e.pdf

USAID. (2013). Nutrition Strategy: 2014-2025 Draft. Retrieved on 19 February 2014 from http://agrilinks.org/sites/default/files/resource/files/Nutrition%20Strategy%20Draft%20for%20Public%20Comment-12.20.13.pdf

Making Agricultural Policies Nutrition Enhancing

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Photo Credit: The Guardain

An important article on the importance of making agricultural policies nutrition-enhancing was published recently on The Guardian under a title Agriculture and Nutrition: you are what you saw. Policies that foster agricultural investments and increase food production are important to ending hunger, ensuring food security, increase export earnings and rural income. The alarming climate change, increasing food prices, increasing global population and environmental degradation is getting the attention global leaders. Agreement has been reached among leaders to revamp the agriculture sector and boost production, but always neglected is  the importance of making agricultural policies are nutrition-enhancing.

Read more about agricultural policies and nutrition on: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jan/22/agriculture-nutrition-improving-policy

Timeline to Zero Hunger Challenge and Post- 2015

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Photo Credit: un.org

The World Food Summit took place on November 1996 in Rome, Italy at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters. Representatives from 185 countries and the European Community vowed to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, and to achieve sustainable food security for all people_biggest challenges of the new millennium. The summit culminated with the adoption of Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action by 112 Heads or Deputy Heads of State and Government, and by over 70 high-level representatives from other countries. Among others, the representatives pledged their political will and commitment to achieving food security, eradicate hunger in all countries and reduce the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015.

For more on Rome Declaration, click here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w3613e/w3613e00.HTM

Eighteen years later, again world leaders met in Davos, Switzerland on January 23, 2014 for annual World Economic Forum, and one of the major developments from the forum were the signing of Zero Hunger Declaration. Signatories  of the declaration  included the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma and many others. Zero Hunger Declaration is the outcome of Zero Hunger Challenge, a comprehensive initiative for “commitment to ensure that every man, woman and child enjoy their Right to Adequate Food; women are empowered; priority is given to family farming; and food systems everywhere are sustainable and resilient.” (UN.org, 2014).

The challenge of Zero Hunger means:

  • Zero stunted children less than 2 years

  • 100% access to adequate food all year round

  • All food systems are sustainable

  • 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income

  • Zero loss or waste of food

For more on the Zero Hunger Challenge, click here: http://www.un.org/en/zerohunger/challenge.shtml

(Source: UN)

References:

FAO. (1996). World Food Summit: Rome Declaration on World Food Security. Retrieved on January 31, 2014  from  http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w3613e/w3613e00.HTM

Progress on Millennium Development Goal #1 (Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger)

UN MDG

Photo Credit: UN.ORG

In 2000, leaders from 189 nations setup the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to eradicate extreme  poverty and hunger, to achieve universal primary education, to promote gender equality and empower women, to reduce child mortality, to improve maternal health, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development. (UN Millennium Project, 2014).

Millennium Development Goal # 1 Targets and Progress (Adopted from the UN.ORG/MDGs)

GOAL 1: ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY & HUNGER

Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day

  • The target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

  • The global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. 700 million fewer people lived in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. However, at the global level 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty.

Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

  • Globally, 384 million workers lived below the $1.25 a day poverty line in 2011—a reduction of 294 million since 2001.

  • The gender gap in employment persists, with a 24.8 percentage point difference between men and women in the employment-to-population ratio in 2012.

Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

  • The hunger reduction target is within reach by 2015.

  • Globally, about 870 million people are estimated to be undernourished.

  • More than 100 million children under age five are still undernourished and underweight.

For more on 2013 MDGs Report Click here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml

According to FAO (2013), 38 countries met anti-hunger targets for 2015. The 38 countries were honored on June 16, 2013 during the FAO Conference in Italy. According to FAO report, 20 countries have achieved MDG number 1. These were:  Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Togo and Uruguay. An additional 18 countries reached both MDG 1 and the WFS goals. These countries were: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Viet Nam. (FAO, 2013).

Countries who achieved MDG number # 1 in Green and Countries who achieved both MDG#1 and WFS goals in Yellow

AlgeriaAzerbaijanArmeniaAngolaBangladeshBeninBrazilCambodiaChileCameroonCubaDjiboutiDominican RepublicFijiGeorgiaGhanaGuyanaHondurasIndonesiaJordanKyrgyzstanKuwaitMalawiMaldivesNigerNigeriaNicaraguaPeruPanamaThailandTogoSao Tome and PrincipeTurkmenistanUruguaySaint Vincent and the GrenadinesVenezuelaVietnamSamoa

For more on the 2013 FAO Report click here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e00.htm

References:

FAO. (2013). The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013. Retrieved on Feb 3, 2014 from http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e00.htm

World Bank. (2014). Global Monitoring Report 2013: Sub-Saharan Africa

Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1327948020811/8401693-1355753354515/8980448-1366122085455/SSA_RegionalBrief_GMR2013_Eng.pdf

World Bank. (2014). Report Card: The Millennium Development Goals, 2013. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1327948020811/8401693-1355753354515/8980448-1366123749799/GMR_2013_Report_Card.pdf

UN. (2014). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/report-2013/mdg-report-2013-english.pdf

2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security

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A midst the 22nd AU Summit on Agriculture and Food Security, there is a growing wary that the so called ‘2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security’ will remain a wish as the continent is already dealing with conflicts in Central Africa Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. According to the German radio Deutsche Welle,  current crises overshadow African Union summit. With four days in to the meeting that lasts up to 31st January 2014 nothing has been said about agriculture and food security. It is imperative that Africans with that leaders discuss and design a road map to transform the continents rain-fed and small scale farming which employs majority of the total working labor force and major contributor of to the continents GDP to a sustainable and climate resilient agriculture. For more info click http://www.dw.de/current-crises-overshadow-african-union-summit/a-17383802 and http://summits.au.int/en/22ndsummit

Source: Deutsche Welle