CFS43: PSM Side-events work to achieve World Food Security, and the SDGs

The 43rd plenary session of the UN Committee of World Food Security took place October 17 to 21, 2016 to discuss the issues and solutions on global food security and nutrition. This year’s session saw 56 side-events. The Private Sector Mechanism hosted 4 and a book launch, all discussing various issues and topics to advance the private sector’s engagement in reducing food insecurity, and achieving the sustainable development goals. These side-events included: 

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The role of standards to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities for food security and nutrition



A successful side event organized at the margins of the Committee on Commodity Problems

How often do we think about all the regulations that surround our food? Probably never. And yet, before we can enjoy any meal, a lot of standards have been playing their role in the background to make sure our food is safe for consumption. As the world population is growing fast, so are the technologies in food safety, improved standards and trade flows enabling the agriculture industry to keep up with the growing demand. This pace is necessary to be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and especially Goal 2.

Market access issues are some of the most important obstacles to achieving these goals and standards setting bodies like Codex Alimentarius are challenged to deliver at the same pace as the world demands. The Codex Alimentarius, managed jointly by the FAO and the WHO, plays a critical role as the most important international standard setting body in the area of food safety, quality and trade fairness. Thus, enabling trade in agricultural products to benefit producers, importers and consumers. 

With this perspective in mind, I helped organize a timely side-event on “The role of standards to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities for food security and nutrition” that was organized in the margins the Committee on Commodity Problems since a large portion of commodity problems has to do with market access issues.

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Let’s Recognise the Importance of Livestock in Achieving the SDG’s

Undeniably there are environmental impacts associated with livestock, as with everything, but with this same stroke there are irrefutable benefits of animal source proteins, especially in developing nations. The article, “Lets ‘meat’ in the middle on climate change”, discusses how eliminating meat consumption all together could have devastating effects on developing nations and proposes a solution where countries meet in the middle with a tailored approach to tackling the challenges associated with livestock and combating climate change. 

Currently, 800 million people go hungry every year and 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Introducing or increasing animal proteins in these people’s diets can combat this. Additionally, a billion people earning less than US$2 a day around the world depend on livestock for their livelihoods. The sector represents 40% of the agricultural GDP of developing nations and as much as 60% in some poor countries. These are just a few of the staggering statistics on the importance of livestock covered in this fascinating article. To combat climate change it is going to take everyone, but it should be done in a manner that does not compromise the livelihoods and the food security of millions. Check out Polly Ericksen’s captivating article here. 

 

Private Sector Delegation at the UN Committee on World Food Security

A delegation of over 170 business leaders were in Rome for the 43rd plenary session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) that took place at the FAO, October 17th-21st. The delegation was coordinated by the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM). Participation was met with excellent feedback from member states and the United Nations, and the PSM secretariat wishes to extend its thanks to all those who were present. The PSM is more active and engaged with the CFS than ever before, and we look forward to your continued support in ensuring that its stature in this forum continues to grow.

 Highlights:

Succesful meeting with FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva, including efforts to address regional engagement with FAOBilateral meetings with representatives from more than 60 member states and UN agencies21 interventions made from the floor by a full range of delegation members on a broad selection of topics in the CFS agenda, as well as several plenary panel slots for PSM membersThe PSM was able to organize 4 side events and a book launch this year, reaching over 230 attendeesHigh Level Dinner bringing together 190 ambassadors, representatives of CFS member states, UN agencies, NGOs, and companies, as well as the chair of the CFS, Her Excellency Ambassador Amira Gornass and Mastercard Vice-President Tara Nathan, to discuss the role of innovation in achieving the SDGs.The Partnership Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, co-hosted with Norway and the UN Global Compact attracted an audience of 80. Featuring a diverse selection of speakers, the discussion spoke to every goal of the 17 SDGs.Succesful endorsement of CFS recommendations on the role of livestock for sustainable agriculture and on connecting smallholders to markets.

For more information on the Private Sector Mechanism: www.agrifood.net 

USAID BIFAD 2016 Award for Scientific Excellence goes to a Cornell development economist and his partners

An international award for developing a form of livestock insurance has been awarded to a Cornell development economist and his partners in the USAID-funded BASIS Assets and Market Access Innovation Lab. The insurance could help hundreds of thousands of African herders stave off poverty in times of drought. Index based insurance aids pastoralists affected by drought by giving them the resources to buy feed and needed supplies before they acquire losses in both wealth and productive assets. 

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) has given its 2016 Award for Scientific Excellence to Chris Barrett, the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Andrew Mude, PhD 2006, principal economist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); and Michael Carter, professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). The award was presented 12 Oct 2016 at the 2016 World Food Prize international symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.

We are proud to work with ILRI to increase awareness of the vital role livestock plays in agriculture and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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High Level Panel on Water issues Action Plan

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the World Bank Group Dr. Jim Yong Kim have convened a High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), consisting of 11 sitting Heads of State and Government and one Special Adviser, to provide the leadership required to champion a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative way of developing and managing water resources, and improving water and sanitation related services. 

This powerhouse group issued an Action Plan for a new approach to water management that will help the world to achieve the 2030 agenda, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the Panel focused on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, as well as contributing to the achievement of the other SDGs that rely on the development and management of water resources. 

These Heads of States committed to taking action on water, and called upon Heads of State and Government, and all people, to do the same. For more information and to read the action plan, please visit the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

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WHO Election

The race for the Secretary General of the UN is still looking complex, and now the new race to be head of the World Health Organisation has opened up.  Please see a blog on the candidates by my friend Felix Dodds, a keen commentator on the UN:

http://blog.felixdodds.net/2016/09/its-been-busy-week-in-new-york-with.html 

 

#IamAg



What could be more exciting than recruiting young people to agriculture?  Farming First is launching a great campaign called #IamAg campaign, to encourage more young people to take up agricultural careers.  Between now and 21st October, farmingfirst.org will be sharing the stories of ag professionals from across the globe, across the whole value chain.

Our first blog post is from 29 year old Judy Nyawira, Production Manager at Shamba Shape Up - share the story of how she became involved in the hit TV show!  I am thrilled to be adding my voice in the weeks ahead.  Here’s how you can get involved too…

Sign up to our Thunderclap that will send a timed tweet out, declaring what great opportunities exist in agriculture, especially for youth Share or embed our infographic "Working in Agriculture" that showcases the many careers young people can pursue Tweet out our individual career illustrations - we may have illustrated your career! (attached)Add a badge to your Twitter or Facebook profile to declare "I am Ag"Share blogs, videos, case studies, advice and insights using #IamAg - and you could be turned into an illustration or feature in our wrap up video at the end of the campaign!Retweet our content - there will be plenty to choose from!

 

Oat Grower Overcomes Harvest Challenges to Support African Schools





Prairie Oat Growers Association President, and a good friend, Art Enns, sowed a 35-acre crop this spring with the generous intention of donating the revenues of the harvest to the Manyinga Project. With a wet and rainy start to the harvest season, Art was in store for an adventurous day in the field. 

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MANITOBA – When Manitoba oat grower and Prairie Oat Growers Association President, Art Enns, sowed a 35-acre crop this spring with the intention of donating the revenues of the harvest to the Manyinga Project, he had no idea what an adventure that harvest would be.

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World Food Day: Building the Zero Hunger Generation

On October 16 the world will celebrate World Food Day, a global movement to end hunger. This year’s theme is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. The FAO wants to give an opportunity to university students to join global efforts to achieve Zero Hunger.

In September 2015, 193 countries adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in doing so, committed to end hunger by 2030. The next step is to unite efforts and work together towards this goal - governments, international organizations, the private sector, academia, farmers, and also the general public all have a role to play.

Without addressing climate change, this important goal cannot be reached. Climate change is affecting the health of our planet and changing our world. It is causing more natural disasters and environmental problems, which make it harder for us to grow food.  In order to feed a growing population set to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050, we will have to learn to grow what we need in a sustainable way.

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