• Sunday, Mar 26, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

IFAD: Food systems that ignore needs of poor are doomed to fail

  • Published at 11:37 am July 23rd, 2021
ifad president
In this file photo taken on October 30, 2018 President of The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gilbert Houngbo poses at IFAD headquarters in Rome AFP

It urges leaders to acknowledge the inequity of food systems

Attempts to create more equitable and sustainable food systems are doomed to fail if they ignore the challenges and needs of rural people in the world’s poorest countries, says the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

“Rural people have long been sidelined in food value chains. While they toil to produce much of our food, too often they receive a pittance for their efforts and are left vulnerable to shocks,” said Gilbert F Houngbo, president of the UN agency which leads on tackling rural poverty and hunger.

His statement came on Friday ahead of the UN Food Systems pre-Summit (26-28 July) that begins in Rome on Monday. 

Gilbert said this is a critical moment to address the inequity of food systems.

Also Read - Higher food prices help fuel 40% jump in global hunger

“Without concrete actions that result in real changes for rural producers, hunger and poverty will only grow, and increased instability and migration will follow,” he added.

Rural small-scale farmers produce about a third of global food and supply up to 80% of food in parts of Africa and Asia.

Although they play a major role in keeping food systems functioning, they themselves often go hungry.

In 2020, this was exacerbated by climate change, conflict, and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a dramatic increase in global hunger, according to a report jointly released by five UN agencies including IFAD last week.

One in 10 now go hungry 

At the pre-Summit, IFAD will join thousands of governments, companies, development agencies, farmers and civil society organizations to discuss ways to transform how we grow, process, sell and consume food to make it more sustainable and equitable.

The pre-Summit aims to establish a common vision, launch commitments and mobilize partnerships for financing.

“If we want to fix food systems, listen to the people who work in them,” said Houngbo. “Rural small-scale producers are the ones who understand their own challenges and can guide what solutions are needed.”

To gather input from rural producers across the world, IFAD launched its Rural Voices platform this week, where Shirley Casachagua, from a remote area in Peru, is one of the contributors.

“No matter what continent, country or republic you live in, we are all children of the earth and we live off it,” she said. 

“I would like to ask world leaders to be a watchdog to large industries because they contribute more to climate change and this hurts all of us who live on the land.”

Also Read - UN: Covid triggered biggest increase in hunger in decades

IFAD has also collaborated with Farm Radio International to conduct surveys with remote rural people through radio programs, and it has supported the organization of over 40 independent dialogues led by farmers’ organizations and Indigenous Peoples’ groups which will feed into the Summit process.

IFAD is calling for a number of key changes to food systems, including to commit financing and political will to ensure rural people can access the inputs, markets, financial services, technology and information they need to grow their businesses, adapt to climate change, protect the environment and biodiversity, and be more resilient to economic, health and weather shocks and to make food systems fairer and more equitable. Food systems depend on people’s labour, and those who work in them must earn decent livelihoods.

IFAD is also leading an initiative to unlock the potential of public development banks across the world to finance food systems transformation and help shift investments to more environmentally sustainable and fairer systems, and is hosting the official session at the pre-Summit: Mobilizing trillions for food systems transformation — financing for impact, leveraging the pivotal role of public development banks.

Following the Food Systems Summit in September, countries will develop their own pathways to transform food systems, and IFAD will support its Member States to develop their strategies and put them into action.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail