Can giving full land ownership to small holder farmers double world food production?

Around the world, small holder farmers are being forced off their land to make way for corporate agriculture, and it’s justified by the need to ‘feed the world’. But it’s the small farmers that are the most productive, and the more their land is grabbed, the more global hunger increases.

2014 was declared as the International Year of Family Farming, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released its annual ‘State of Food and Agriculture‘ dedicated to family farming. In the report, FAO says family farmers manage 70-80% of the world’s farmland and produce 80% of the world’s food. On the ground in Kenya, Brazil, China or Spain – rural people are being marginalised, threatened, displaced, beaten and even killed by a variety of powerful actors who want their land.

A recent comprehensive survey by GRAIN, examining data from around the world, finds that while small farmers feed the world, they are doing so with just 24% of the world’s farmland – or 17% , and this meagre share is shrinking fast.

In its report, FAO claims family farms occupy 70 to 80% of the world’s farmland? In the same report, it claims that only 1% of all farms in the world are larger than 50 hectares, and that these few farms control 65% of the world’s farmland, a figure much more in line with GRAIN’s findings.

What then is a ‘family farm’

Confusion seems to stem from the way FAO deal with the concept of family farming, roughly defined as any farm managed by an individual or a household. (They admit there is no precise definition. Various countries, like Mali, have their own.) Does a huge industrial soya bean farm in rural Argentina, whose family owners live in Buenos Aires, count as a ‘family farm’?. What about sprawling Hacienda Luisita, owned by the powerful Cojuanco family in the Philippines and epicentre of the country’s battle for agrarian reform since decades. Is that a family farm?

Taking ownership to determine what is and is not a family farm masks all the inequities, injustices and struggles that peasants and other small scale food producers across the world are mired in. This way, FAO conveniently ignores perhaps the most crucial factor affecting the capacity of small holder farmers to produce food; lack of access to land, and instead focuses its message on how family farmers should innovate and be more productive.

Small farmers are ever more squeezed in

Access to land is shrinking due a range of forces; population pressure, farms are getting divided up amongst family members, and vertiginous expansion of monoculture plantations. In the last 50 years, a staggering 140 million hectares – the size of almost all the farmland in India – has been taken over by four industrial crops: soya bean, oil palm, rapeseed and sugar cane. And this trend is accelerating. In the next few decades, experts predict that the global area planted to oil palm will double, while the soybean area will grow by a third. These crops don’t feed people. They are grown to feed the agro-industrial complex.

Other pressures pushing small food producers off their land include the runaway plague of large-scale land grabs by corporate interests. In the last few years alone, according to the World Bank, some 60 million hectares of fertile farmland have been leased, on a long-term basis, to foreign investors and local elites, mostly in the global South. While some of this is for energy production, a big part of it is to produce food commodities for the global market, instead of family farming.

Small is beautiful – and productive

The paradox, however, and one of the reasons why despite having so little land, small producers are feeding the planet, is that small farms are often more productive than large ones. If the yields achieved by Kenya’s small farmers were matched by the country’s large-scale operations, the country’s agricultural output would double. In Central America, the region’s food production would triple. If Russia’s big farms were as productive as its small ones, output would increase by a factor of six.

Another reason why small farms are the feeding the planet is because they prioritise food production. They tend to focus on local and national markets and their own families. In fact, much of what they produce doesn’t enter into trade statistics – but it does reach those who need it most: the rural and urban poor.

Should current processes of land concentration continue, then no matter how hard-working, efficient and productive they are, small farmers will simply not be able to carry on. The data show that the concentration of farmland in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to the increasing number of people going hungry every day.

According to one UN study, active policies supporting small producers and agro-ecological farming methods could double global food production in a decade and enable small farmers to continue to produce and utilise biodiversity, maintain ecosystems and local economies, while multiplying and strengthening meaningful work opportunities and social cohesion in rural areas.

To double global food production, we must support the small farmers

Experts and development agencies are constantly saying that we need to double food production in the coming decades. To achieve that, they usually recommend a combination of trade and investment liberalization plus new technologies. This ,however only empowers corporate interests and fuels inequality. The real solution is to turn control and resources over to small producers themselves and enact agricultural policies to support them. We need to urgently put land back in the hands of small farmers and make the struggle for genuine and comprehensive agrarian reform central to the fight for better food systems worldwide.

for over 30 years, my family has been farming on this piece of land, producing mainly for household consumption. As our family decreased in size, we now sell of the surplus from bananas, milk, and most recently manure from the cows This year, we will transition the cows to zero grazing to grow more food for sell
for over 30 years, my family has been farming on this piece of land, producing mainly for household consumption. As our family decreased in size, we now sell of the surplus from bananas, milk, and most recently manure from the cows
This year, we will transition the cows to zero grazing to grow more food for sell
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Organizations that celebrate community by standing for justice in agriculture and food access

The year 2014 was dedicated to celebrating ”International Year of Family Farming (IYFF)” commitment of “Feeding the world, caring for the earth.” As it came to an end, Food Tank selected a group of international, national, and regional organizations, representing a range of voices in the global food system, that stand for people worldwide ending hunger, enabling social justice, and empowering community action.

1. The Institute for Sustainable Development

Dr. Tewolde Gebre Berhan Egziabher and Sue Edwards established the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) in 1996. ISD’s work is concentrated in Ethiopia, where the best of traditional agricultural practices and modern techniques are combined to enable communities to craft sustainable development solutions. Starting in 2005, in a district of 160,000 in North West Ethiopia, ISD team member and Ethiopian Fassil Gebeyahu facilitated compost-making workshops benefitting almost 25,000 households; helped implement water capture which increased clean water coverage from 0 to over 40 percent; and aided in the revival of beekeeping “as a traditional livelihood option,” nearly tripling the number of hives in the region from 2344 to 6893 by 2007.

2. More and Better

More and Better is “an international network for support of food, agriculture and rural development to eradicate hunger and poverty.” Established in 2003, More and Better unites members of developing countries to play a leading role in defining what “more and better” support looks like within each national context. These members increase the level and quality of support for agriculture and rural development from the national governments. At the international level, More and Better exchanges information on these campaigns, and provides a platform for sharing progress.

3. La Via Campesina

La Via Campesina (LVC) is an international movement comprised of small farmers and indigenous people whose way of life has been disrupted by the impact of large-scale agriculture. LVC is made up of over 160 local and national organizations in 73 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, representing about 200 million farmers worldwide. The movement was founded by a group of farmers’ representatives in 1993 and is a recognized actor in agricultural debates, heard by institutions such as the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the U.N. Human Rights Council. The coalition strives to enable food sovereignty, or “the right of the peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through sustainable methods; and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” As a member of the IYFF International Steering Committee, it defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity while feeding the world.

4. Fight Hunger Foundation, India

The Fight Hunger Foundation (FHF) conducts field action, educational programs, and research in three states across India—Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan—to prevent, detect, and treat malnutrition in a country where, according to UNICEF, approximately 47 percent of children are underweight. This year, FHF partnered with ACF India and the Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultant Society to extend their Integrated Nutrition Treatment project to 50 new villages in Madhya Pradesh. The project goal is to address the immediate causes of underlying malnutrition, specifically among children under five years and pregnant or lactating mothers. FHF aims to reach 310,000 beneficiaries in 2014-2015.

5. World Rural Forum Association

A sponsor of the IYFF International Steering Committee, the World Rural Forum (WRF) arose out of the First International Congress on Trade and Rural Development in 1988, where one notable outcome was the unofficial Vitoria-Gasteiz Declaration to stand for “a globalization which is compatible with rural development.” The self-described WRF “network of networks” spans five continents, and partners with universities, centers for research, farmers’ associations, and NGOs to assess the challenges confronted by the farmers—and all citizens—of rural areas. WRF is invested in crafting solutions to the problems faced by rural regions. On an international level, it serves as a lobby and advocate to articulate the needs of rural areas to political authorities.

6. World Farmers’ Organization

The World Farmers’ Organization (WFO) is an international alliance “of Farmers for Farmers,” comprised of over 65 member organizations and 15 partnering groups—including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the FAO—united by their commitment to encourage economic, social, and environmental vitality amongst rural populations. A member of the International Steering Committee of IYFF, WFO represents rural farmers in global policy forums such that their rights, needs, and issues can be addressed. WFO conducts research, publishes case studies, and releases policy documents and recommendations on climate change, contract farming, food security, value chain, trade, and women in agriculture. At the October 28th Global Dialogue on Family Farming, a WFO delegation met with José Graziano de Silva, Director-General of the FAO, to recognize the accomplishments thus far of the IYFF and continue championing family farming in 2015.

7. International Fund for Agricultural Development

A specialized agency of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was founded in 1977 as a result of the 1974 World Food Conference—an event organized in response to the food crises then plaguing the belt of Sahelian countries in Africa. Since then, IFAD has financed agricultural development projects worldwide, and recent projects include a program in Djibouti to reduce vulnerability to climate change and poverty in coastal rural communities; a food and nutrition security and market linkage program in Southern Laos; and the Inclusive Rural Economic and Climate Resilience Programme in the Republic of Moldova. IFAD believes that “smallholder and family farmers can and should be at the forefront of the transformation of world agriculture,” and this year has called upon national and global policymakers to render family farming a more economically secure livelihood and incentivize farmers’ sustainable use of natural resources.

8. World Food Programme

The world’s largest humanitarian agency devoted to fighting hunger, the World Food Programme (WFP) was founded in 1961 as a part of the United Nations system. It pursues “a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life,” and delivers food during and following emergency situations to over 80 million people in 75 countries—with the goal of ultimately increasing food security such that the need for food aid is eliminated. Along with FAO and IFAD, WFP is based in Rome, and for the past year has served on the IYFF International Steering Committee. Currently, WFP is coordinating responses to five large-scale emergencies in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and the regions of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone affected by Ebola. WFP is committed to providing food to those with the least access to food due to emergency situations, whether due to humanitarian crises, disease, or natural disasters.

9. International Co-operative Alliance

Established in 1895 in London, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is one of the sole international organizations to survive both the First and Second World Wars, and today continues to play a leading role in raising awareness about cooperatives and their economic and social value. The Alliance shares practices, provides technical assistance, and promotes capacity building within the global cooperative movement, while also aiding its members to lobby for policies that allow the cooperative model to thrive. The ICA is a member of the International Steering Committee of the IYFF; it asserts that co-operative enterprises allow family farmers to “develop social infrastructures based on ethical principles such as democracy, gender equality, and concern for the community and the environment,” and has formed a partnership with FAO on these issues for the advancement of co-ops. In 2011, the ICA launched the Global Development Co-operative to support co-ops in developing countries by raising US$50 million to be made available as low-interest loans.

10. Bioversity International

Bioversity International is dedicated : to realize a vision where “agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.” This past June, Bioversity International celebrated its 40th year and reflected on the evolution, from its beginnings as a coordinator of crop gene preservation in genebanks, to its current role as an international leader in delivering “scientific evidence, management practices, and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural biodiversity.” Also a member of the International Steering Committee of the IYFF, Bioversity is committed to the preservation of agricultural biodiversity as an avenue to achieving sustainable global food and nutrition security. Their research acknowledges the role of gender in agriculture, and specifically women’s contribution to household nutrition through participation in household decision-making. This year it published theBioversity International 10-year strategy 2014-2024.

Olivia is a Food Tank intern. An aspiring physician, she currently serves as an editorial assistant and assists clinical research on cooking and nutrition at the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. She is committed to honoring food systems and social justice as accesses to health.


6 incredible plants you might not have heard of

Tasty, nutritious crops that are clearly missing from your diet!

eggplant grown by Embaraga women's cooperative in Musanze, Rwanda
eggplant grown by Embaraga women’s cooperative in Musanze, Rwanda

All over the world local varieties of fruit, vegetables and grain are grown. Many are seemingly forgotten or are underutilized despite having outstanding nutritional or taste qualities. Some have good commercial potential and could be an excellent cash crop for a small scale or family farmers, aimed at the local, regional or international market.

Here are six traditional crops and six facts about them which might amaze you:

Amaranth leaves are usually picked fresh for use as greens in salads or blanched, steamed, boiled, fried in oil, and mixed with meat, fish, cucurbit seeds, groundnut or palm oil. It is gluten free and good for cardiovascular diseases, stomach ache and anaemia. It is a native species to the Andean region of South America, including Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. The leaves of the plant are frequently used in countries throughout Africa, the Caribbean, India and China

Moringa leaves are rich in protein, vitamins A, B and C, and minerals – highly recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers as well as young children.

Moringa is a genus of shrubs and trees with multi-purpose uses: its leaves, roots and immature pods are consumed as a vegetable. All parts of the moringa tree – bark, pods, leaves, nuts, seeds, tubers, roots, and flowers – are edible. The leaves are used fresh or dried and ground into powder. The seed pods are picked while still green and eaten fresh or cooked. Moringa seed oil is sweet, non-sticking, non-drying and resists rancidity, while the cake from seed is used to purify drinking water. The seeds are also be eaten green, roasted, powdered and steeped for tea or used in curries. Moringa is an important crop in India, Ethiopia, the Philippines and the Sudan, and is being grown in West, East and South Africa, tropical Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific Islands.

Moringa oleifera is the economically most valuable species and is native to South Asia, where it grows in the Himalayan foothills but is widely cultivated across the tropics. Nine species occur in eastern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and Somalia, of which eight are endemic to Africa.

Teff grains are white, mixed or red, with the white fetching the highest and red the lowest price. Teff accounts for about two-third of the daily protein intake in the Ethiopian diet and is mainly used for making different kinds of enjera (pancake-like flat bread), porridge and feed.

Teff is a staple food crop of Ethiopia and Eritrea, having originated and diversified there. It has been introduced to South Africa where it is cultivated as a cover and forage crop while it is cultivated as a cereal crop in Northern Kenya.

Cultivated finger millet was domesticated about 5 000 years ago from the wild subspecies in the highlands that range from Ethiopia to Uganda. It can be stored for up to two years without harmful pesticides, acting as a food reserve during the lean season. Cultivated finger millet was domesticated about 5 000 years ago from the wild subspecies in the highlands that range from Ethiopia to Uganda. Domesticated finger millet was then also farmed in the lowlands of Africa. This was introduced into India around 3 000 years ago, with the result that India is now a secondary centre of diversity for finger millet.

Bambara groundnut is known as a “complete food” as the seeds contain on average 63% carbohydrate, 19% protein and 6.5% fat, making it a very important source of dietary protein. It is a grain legume grown mainly by subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Bambara groundnut is a grain legume grown mainly by subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. It is cultivated for its subterranean pods, is extremely hardy and produces reasonable yields even under conditions of drought and low soil fertility. The pods are approximately 1.5 cm long, and may be wrinkled and slightly oval or round, containing one to two seeds. The colour of the seeds varies from black, dark-brown, red, white, cream or a combination of these colours. At harvest, i.e. when the pods ripen, the plant is extracted from the soil, exposing the subterranean nuts.

The nuts may be eaten fresh (i.e. boiled or roasted before they are dried) as snacks but the majority of the nuts are consumed after they are dried. The dried nuts, with very hard seed coats, are milled and sieved to yield very fine flour that is used to prepare a variety of dishes including dumplings, cakes and biscuits. Bambara groundnut is indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa where it is widely cultivated. The centre of origin is most likely North-Eastern Nigeria and Northern Cameroon, in West Africa. The species is also grown to a lesser extent in some Asian countries such as India, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

In different parts of Africa, the roots and fruits of the African garden eggplant are used as a sedative, and to treat colic and high blood pressure while the juice obtained by macerating the leaves is used to treat uterine complaints. Also, the extract of the leaves is used as a sedative and anti-emetic and to treat tetanus associated with miscarriages.

©West Africa Plants/Annette Gockele

If you’re ever in the mood to try something new, the good news is that there is certainly food you haven’t tasted before (and the list is growing)

Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems

Although accurate estimates of losses and waste in the food system are unavailable, the best evidence to date indicates that globally around one -third of the food produced is lost or wasted along the food chain, from production to consumption.
The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition(HLPE) , presents a synthesis of existing evidence about the causes of food losses and waste and suggests action to reduce them in order to improve food and nutrition security and the sustainability of food systems. The report, given the diversity of contexts, is to help all concerned actors to reduce food losses and waste by identifying the causes and potential solutions that may be implemented, alone or in a coordinated way, by the relevant actors in the food system, including the public and private sectors, civil society, individual producers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers. Successful reduction of food losses and waste will save resources and has the potential to improve food security and nutrition, goals shared with the Zero Hunger Challenge and the post- 2015 sustainable development agenda.
The issue of global food losses and waste has recently received much attention and has been given
high visibility. According to FAO, almost one-third of food produced for human consumption–approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year–is either lost or wasted globally: their reduction is now presented as essential to improve food security and to reduce the environmental footprint of food systems.
The very extent of food losses and waste invites to consider them not as an accident but as an integral
part of food systems. Food losses and waste are consequences of the way food systems function,
technically, culturally and economically. The report analyses food losses and waste in a triple perspective: a systemic perspective, a sustainability perspective, including the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability, and a food security and nutrition perspective, looking at how food losses and waste relate to the various dimensions of food security and nutrition.
Main findings – Scope and extent of food losses and waste
1. Food losses and waste have been approached by two different angles: either from a waste
perspective, with the associated environmental concerns, or from a food perspective, with the associated food security concerns. This duality of approaches has often led to confusions on the definition and scope of food losses and waste, contributing to unreliability and lack of clarity of data.
2. The report adopts a food security and nutrition lens and defines food losses and waste (FLW) as
“a decrease, at all stages of the food chain from harvest to consumption,in mass, of food that was originally intended for human consumption, regardless of the cause”.
For the purpose of terminology, the report makes the distinction between food losses,occurring before
consumption level regardless of the cause , and food waste, occurring at consumption level regardless of the cause. It further proposes to define food quality loss or waste (FQLW) which refers to the decrease of a quality attribute of food (nutrition, aspect, etc.), linked to the degradation of the product, at all stages of the food chain from harvest to consumption.
3. There are numerous studies on FLW with diverse scopes and methodologies, making them difficult to compare. At the global level, recent studies use the data compiled for the FAO report published in 2011, which estimated global FLW at one third of food produced for human consumption in mass (equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes per year), or one quarter as measured in calories.
4. The distribution of FLW along the food chain varies greatly by region and product. In middle and
high- income countries, most of the FLW occur at distribution and consumption; in low income
countries , FLW are concentrated at production and post-harvest. Per-capita FLW peaks at 280–
300 kg/cap/year in Europe and North America and amounts to 120–170 kg/cap/year in sub- Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia.
5. Different definitions, different metrics, different measurement protocols and the lack of standards
for data collectionadapted to different countries and products, makes it difficult – and sometimes impossible–
to compare studies, systems and countries. There is also no agreed method to evaluate the quality of data, method and numbers produced. This situation is a huge barrier to understanding and identifying the causes and extent of FLW, the potential for solutions, the priorities for action and the monitoring of progress in reducing FLW. This is why there are currently strong calls for the development of global protocols to measure FLW, taking into account the large number of variables and country specificities, towards a harmonization of definitions and measurement methods, with a view to improve the reliability, comparability and transparency of data
The full report can be found here: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3901e.pdf
Consumers will have to play a great role in the reduction of FLW. Household waste results from a complex set of drivers and factors such as income level, household size, urbanization,infrastructure,the structure of the food supply chain, food cultures,trust in businesses and institutions(including infood safety regulations), and awareness levels, etc.Reduction of consumer waste will result from more sustainable buying, cooking and eating behaviour. Different type of interventions can support this, such as awareness – raising campaigns, experimental interventions, social community approaches,education of young urban and rural people, and women empowerment. Attempts to restore the true value of food,and to restore consumers’ recognition of how food is produced and valued in the supply chain,will also lead to reduced consumer waste, as rural–urban movements such as the Slow Food presidiums can show, or as “pick and pay” self-picking initiatives demonstrate.
Food waste and loss

Feeding the world: insurmountable obstacles or a prospect of plenty?

science cafe

Happening tonight in Wageningen, The Netherlands

Feeding the world: insurmountable obstacles or a prospect of plenty?

Cafe Loburg, November 27th

19:45 Live music

20:15 Speakers

Join us Thursday November 27th when we will have our next Science Cafe! This Science Cafe prof. dr. Rudy Rabbinge and prof. dr. Michiel Keyer will discuss with us the problems of providing food safety to the world.

A food-secure world is a world in which all people have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food. Global food availability is higher than ever before, yet millions of people still live in fear of hunger and starvation. The United Nations (UN) estimates that about 842 million people – approximately one in eight – are undernourished today. And although significant progress has been made in many countries where hunger persistently declined since the 1960s, undernourishment remains a significant problem in for instance sub-Saharan Africa and western Asia.

A large increase in population growth (9.6 billion people by 2050 according to UN estimates) emphasizes the challenge of feeding everyone even more, especially since the most extensive population growth is likely to occur in the least developed countries.

In this session of Science Café, we would like to address the questions of whether we have the knowledge, tools and resources to finally refer food insecurity to the past. What can scientific research contribute to food security? Which economic and cultural principles are of influence? What is the role of entrepreneurship? Which results are to be expected from governmental interventions? Can synergy be achieved?

Our guests for this Science Café are:

prof. Dr. Rudy Rabbinge, Emeritus Research Professor of Sustainable Development and Food Security at Wageningen UR and member of the High Level Panel of Experts Steering Committee of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, will provide examples of important scientific developments. He will also address the responsibility to make better use of existing technologies and to create sustainable innovations so that everyone in the world has access to ample and healthy food.

prof. Dr. Michiel Keyzer, Emeritus Professor of Economics at VU University (Amsterdam), former Director of the Centre for World Food Studies (SOW-VU) and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, will elaborate on how scientific research contributed to the progress made in fighting hunger. In particular, the role of mathematical economics in this domain will be discussed.

Music will Be performed by Basement 4 In an old and forgotten basement somewhere below this city, 4 people found each other in their shared passion for new jazz. Listen at Science Cafe to a new and original musical project. Their second appearance on stage and they already play their own pieces! They build with jazzy chords, melodic lines and subtle rhythms to construct their own jazzy compositions.

ICN2 – We need a new food paradigm

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), 19-21 November 2014

Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF), IFAD, IFPRI, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, WFP and the WTO, will be held at FAO Headquarters, in Rome, 19-21 November 2014. It will be a high-level ministerial conference which will propose a flexible policy framework to address today’s major nutrition challenges and identify priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.

ICN2 will bring together senior national policymakers from agriculture, health and other relevant ministries and agencies, with leaders of United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, researchers, the private sector and consumers.
The conference will review progress made towards improving nutrition since 1992, reflect on nutrition problems that remain, as well as on the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition presented by changes in the global economy, in food systems, by advances in science and technology, and identify policy options for improving nutrition. The key objectives of the ICN2 will be to:

  1. review progress made since the 1992 ICN including country-level achievements in scaling up nutrition through direct nutrition interventions and nutrition-enhancing policies and programmes;
  2. review relevant policies and institutions on agriculture, fisheries, health, trade, consumption and social protection to improve nutrition;
  3. strengthen institutional policy coherence and coordination to improve nutrition, and mobilize resources needed to improve nutrition;
  4. strengthen international, including inter-governmental cooperation, to enhance nutrition everywhere, especially in developing countries.

The scope of the conference will:

  • be global in perspective, but focus particularly on nutrition challenges in developing countries;
  • address all forms of malnutrition, recognizing the nutrition transition and its consequences;
  • seek to improve nutrition throughout the life cycle, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable households, and on women, infants and young children in deprived, vulnerable and emergency contexts.

ICN2 will build on ongoing global political processes and initiatives to contribute to the post-2015 UN development agenda including identifying priority areas, nutrition development goals as well as the policies that are required to achieve, measure and account for them. The outcome of the ICN2 will contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s call for a high degree of policy coherence at global, regional, national and sub-national levels and a global partnership for development at all levels. The ICN2 will also enlarge on the Secretary-General’s call to leaders gathered at the Rio+20 Summit to take up the “Zero Hunger Challenge”.

Why an ICN2?

More than half the world’s population is adversely affected by malnutrition, ICN2 will keep nutrition high on the international and national development agendas

ICN2 will be the first global intergovernmental conference to address the world’s nutrition problems in the 2lst century

ICN2 goal is to improve nutrition through national policies and effective international cooperation

Global economy, food systems and the nutritional status of populations have changed markedly since the first ICN in 1992. A new policy framework and more appropriate responses are needed

Global problems require global solutions, only an intergovernmental conference can legitimately identify the commitments of stakeholders to act decisively to address malnutrition

The conference is being streamed live here: ICN2 Live

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