MORE MUST BE DONE TO REFORM GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM TO FIGHT CRISIS (UNNews / WFP / W. VAN COTTHEM)

Read at : UNNews

MORE MUST BE DONE TO REFORM GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM TO FIGHT CRISIS, SAYS UN EXPERT

New York, Sep 18 2009 10:05AM

Investing in agriculture alone will not solve the food crisis, a United Nations independent expert said today, calling for stepped-up political will to address structural flaws in global food production, which is at the crux of the current emergency.

“The right to food is not the right to be fed,” Olivier De Schutter told reporters today in Geneva after briefing the Human Rights Council. “It is the right to access the means to produce food or to obtain an income that enables the purchase of adequate food.”

World leaders pledged $20 billion in agriculture in poor countries in July at the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized countries in L’Aquila, Italy, but he called for a more ambitious policy.

“For one billion hungry people to escape poverty, the initiative announced at L’Aquila can only be a first step,” said Mr. De Schutter, who serves as the Special Rapporteur on the right to food. “It cannot be the last.”

Increased investment in agriculture is only a slice of the solution, he noted, calling for action to stabilize international food markets, which could face further disruption due to climate change.

Small farmers, he said, need access to land, credit, storage sites and support for cooperatives, among others, with measures necessary to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and boost the resilience of the most vulnerable people.

“As in the case of the financial system, it is the responsibility of policy-makers to take the decisions needed to ensure real change,” the expert stressed. “Political will is needed to tackle structural flaws in the global food system.”

Earlier this week, the head of the UN World Food Programme issued an urgent plea to ensure that those hardest hit by the financial crisis – considered by many to have started one year ago this week – are not forgotten.

There are more hungry people in the world and less food aid than ever before, while the flow of food aid is at its lowest in two decades, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

“For the world’s most vulnerable, the perfect storm is hitting with a vengeance,” she said.
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For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

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SUGGESTION : Willem VAN COTTHEM

“The right to food is the right to access means to produce food in a small family garden (kitchen garden)”, like the ones below :

2007 : Smara refguee camp (S.W. Algeria) : small family garden with different vegetables and even a small plastic greenhouse
2007 : Smara refguee camp (S.W. Algeria) : small family garden with different vegetables and even a small primitive plastic greenhouse
2007 : Smara : juicy young carrots in the desert
2007 : Smara : juicy young carrots in the desert
2007 : Smara - An excellent initiative : lay-out of a kitchen garden around the tent
2007 : Smara - An excellent initiative : lay-out of a kitchen garden around the tent with fresh food within hand reach
2007 : Smara : Even in the Sahara desert the combat of hunger can be won with a minimal investment.
2007 : Smara : Even in the Sahara desert the combat of hunger and the lack of vitamins can be won with a minimal investment.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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