By Cecilia Schubert
Ignoring the gender gap in agriculture has huge economic dimensions. If we want the situation to improve for female farmers we have to make it all about economics! This was the advice given by Ann Tutwiler (FAO) in the learning event ‘How can agricultural innovation better empower women and their key roles in food and nutrition security?’ held during Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research.
Policy makers would be much more engaged if they knew how much revenues the country looses by excluding women from decision-making processes, denied ownership to land, access to markets and credits, as well as receiving knowledge about new fertilizers and crops. Already women produce less per land, as they lack inputs och resources. Helping women contribute more efficiently can create significantly gains for both the society and in the family unit. Women are key resources in agriculture seeing as they comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries, Ann emphasized, adding that “the stereotype of a farmer is that he is a man, but in reality she is a woman”. Read more »
By Denise Martínez Breto
No other accounts on the reality of growing crops, harvesting and selling food could ever be as genuine as those coming from the farmers themselves. In a two-hour dedicated Learning event on food losses and waste during the Agriculture and Rural Development Day farmers from Uganda, FAO members and private sector organizations zoomed in on food thrown out or squandered in both developed and developing countries.
One-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is either lost or thrown away, together with the natural resources used for its production. Although food losses occur at all stages of the food supply chain the causes and their impact around the world differ. In developing countries, food losses hit small farmers the hardest. Almost 65 percent of these food losses happen at the production, post harvest, and processing stages. In industrialized countries, food waste often occurs at the retail and consumer level due to a “throw-away” mindset.
By Cecilia Schubert
Biofuel is hot commodity, and the private sector is looking at small-scale farms in developing countries to help produce crops to feed the industry. Understandably, this is causing controversy, with accusations of land-grabbing by private companies, and fears that farmers may swop food crops for more profitable biofuel crops, increasing their risk of hunger. But what is actually happening behind the headlines? Can farmers really benefit from the investments or will they only jeopardize food security and degrade the environment? Is it really a fair deal for everyone involved?
By Cecilia Schubert
Food is essential for every living being. Without it, there won’t be any future at all. To achieve a world without hunger, we need to establish a new way of thinking about food and strengthen policy convergence and partnerships. These are some of the many important words given by Kanayo Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in his introduction speech at the event ‘Aiming for a Food Secure Future: Think Global, Act Local’, which took place on 19 June alongside the UN Sustainable Development negotiations in Rio.
The event, which was jointly organized by the Rome-based agricultural agencies including IFAD, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and Bioversity International, aimed to engage key stakeholders in a discussion about the actions required to help communities and countries create a food-secure tomorrow, and to ensure that the Rio+20 negotiations view food as a core priority for achieving sustainable development. Read more »
By Cecilia Schubert
Mary Robinson’s message at this year’s Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) was clear. Farmers have the right to live free and equal in dignity and respect. “There is no dignity in seeing your child die prematurely due to malnutrition,” she said. Research on climate change and agriculture must be linked to questions of rights and justice; science must respond to the true needs of farmers. A climate justice approach, which is based on science and grounded in human rights, can ensure that the science carried out serves the needs of the people.
At Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) at COP 17 in Durban, IFAD teamed up with Cafédirect and Fairtrade Africa to offer a learning event on “Getting Climate-Smart Smallholder Products to Market.” The case study was based on an IFAD public private partnership in São Tomé and Principe with the Government, communities, Cafédirect and other private sector companies. Read more about the project, the objectives of the event, the moderator and speakers. The two main questions posed by moderator extraordinaire Matthew Wyatt of DFID, were simple. Can smallholders offer climate-smart products? Will consumers pay for them? He led a lively and focused discussion – thanks Matthew! Read more »
Speech by Dr. Mary Robinson, President, The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today – over lunch I had the opportunity to hear about the discussions you had in the working sessions this morning and I look forward to learning more from you all this afternoon.
COP17 is a vital test of the international community’s willingness to tackle the issues that result from the impact of climate change, including the most fundamental issue of food security. We are having these discussions on the continent of Africa – where hunger and under nutrition are ever present threats. The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 925 million people in the world go hungry every day. And every year 3.5 million children die from under nutrition, while 11% of the total disease burden is attributable to maternal and child under nutrition.As we meet today, over 13 million people in the Horn of Africa continue to be in desperate need of assistance. The region has had eight of the hottest years ever in succession, resulting in devastating drought. Since the food price crisis of 2008, food security has again been high on the agenda of donors, NGOs and multilateral aid agencies as they recognised the central role that agriculture plays in helping people to escape from dire poverty and famine. The more recent scenes from the Horn of Africa brought home the terrible vulnerability of the people living there to weather and climate shocks. It reinforced the imperative of sustaining efforts and attention on food and nutrition security, and the urgency of tackling the problem. Read more »
Before the closing session of Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Durban, South Africa, a high-Level Panel of experts charted the way forward with climate-smart agriculture. Summarized below are their main conclusions from a discussion facilitated by Laurie Goering, editor of the Thomas Reuters Foundation’s AlertNet Climate, which acted as media sponsor for the day. Read more »
Adapt or die is a resonating reality that is coming out of Agriculture and Rural Development Day and many of the COP17 side events. Farmers, especially subsistence farmers in Africa, have already started adapting. A coordinated effort on adaptation initiatives is needed. The challenge then is figuring out what information is needed to make adaptation decisions. This inevitably provokes the questions of whose knowledge in included and whose perspectives are predominant. Read more »
Over 500 farmers representatives, scientists and development practitioners were out in force today at the third Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) in Durban. They are determined to put agriculture on the COP 17 agenda.
Their arguments are clear:
Any serious effort to reduce green house gasses must include agriculture. And COP 17 is the chance for Africa to shape the agenda and establish an agriculture work program that is informed by science and covers adaptation and mitigation. And even for some `No agriculture, No deal’.
And today these voices are being heard. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)