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Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
Emerson's pp food security in the americas  1800 14 jan2013
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Emerson's pp food security in the americas 1800 14 jan2013

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  • 1. Food Security in the AmericasIssues, Visions and How to Achieve It“Food Security in the Americas” 1/ “Issues, Visions, and . . . . How to Achieve It.” by Bill Emerson1/ Often more narrowly defined as Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Slide 1
  • 2. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It VISSION A prosperous agricultural economy producing nutritious and profitable foods so that the rural economy expands such that food security and malnutrition are no longer a problems and not health issues. GOALS1. Prosperous Farmers, using More Advanced, yet Sustainable, Technology (often working together via producer groups for economies of scale),2. Rural Poverty Reduced Dramatically,3. Well-Fed Population,4. Maternal and Childhood Malnutrition is eliminated, or no longer a problem. Slide 2
  • 3. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Background on Food Security Human Rights: Although the concept of food security is generally agreed to have originated from, or was derived from, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, made largely in the aftermath of the genocide and holocaust of World War II. However, many international (int‟l) recognized authorities place the food security concept as formally coming into being in 2001, when the FAO was behind the generally accepted definition stated below. FAO Defines Food Security: Often a version of the FAO definition for “food security” is used, which states “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Slide 3
  • 4. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Necessary and Sufficient Condition for Food SecurityFood Security Conditions: Many experts in the field believe that the foodsecurity concept rests upon presence of four (4) interrelated conditions, ordimensions:  1) the “availability” or existence of sufficient quantities, or amounts, of food of an appropriate or suitable quality for all inhabitants (in a defined geographical region, country, or area);  2) “access” to the food resources, or the rights required to acquire foods that are nutritious and culturally appropriate;  3) the conditions that are necessary, or must exist, to ensure the organic “use” or consumption of the food to reach a state of nutritional well- being, where all physiological, or normal biological, needs are met; and  4) physical, political, and economic “stability” exists to a sufficient degree so to ensure both the availability and access to food at all times. Slide 4
  • 5. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItProducer Groups – Ag. Cooperatives – Vision as Business Development Food Security via Local Farmer Coops/Producer Associations – “How to Achieve It” Rural Business ApproachFor farmer producer groups andSME agri-business to work well, VISION - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTthey should integrate strategic THIS IS A OFTEN A NECESSARY START FOR AN AGRIC ’L COOP BUSINESSbusiness planning concepts alongtheir targeted business valuechains that will maximizerevenues, reduce losses andimprove profitability. Unfortunately, • ORGANIZATION • CAPITALmany of the producer groups and Assets: Money,SME agribusiness only have a Business Plan Land,minimal understanding of business Knowledgeconcepts. In order to acquireneeded resources and workingcapital, cooperatives and BUSINESSagribusinesses often need tounderstand the inter-linkages for AGREEMENTtaking their vision and delivering itinto reality. These linkages includeunderstanding: 1) organization Business Legal IDaspects, 2) capital, 3) experience, Experienceand a 4) formal legal businessIdentity. This should be connected • EXPERIENCE • FORMAL BUSINESSby a solid business agreement ENTITYamongst associates on how toshare profits and losses. Slide 5
  • 6. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It How to Achieve Food Security Boost & Diversify Local Farm Food Production Necessary/Favorable Conditions - Enabling Environment for Agric‟l Growth1. Peaceful Rural Conditions – Crime, narcotics funded violence minimized, (warfare & conflicts are often the cause of the world‟s worst cases of famine),2. National Gov‟ts Support Int‟l Biz. Std.‟s – Gov‟ts in Americas follow and support World Trade Org. (WTO) & Regional Free Trade Area‟s biz. std.‟s,3. “Rule of Law” Guarantees Ag. Investments – Minimize gov‟t disruptions of ag. markets, investors dislike market disruptions (unless justified for public safety),4. Strengthen Ag. Ministry Extension Service – tie into Univ.‟s (& FAO/NGOs),5. Improve Ag. Univ. „s – Boost Ag. Univ. facilities, include student leaders,6. Expand use of improved agric‟l genetics – Ag. Min. & Univ. support (do not need to change gov‟t‟s GMO‟s standards),7. Improve Food Storage Facilities & Reduce Post Harvest Losses – May use Public Private Partnerships (e.g., support building silos, food processing, etc.),8. Promote Producer Groups – Strengthen farmer groups on local & nat‟l levels,9. Improve Market Access for Small Farmers – via producer groups, agri- businesses, gov‟t enabling environmental supports, and technical assistance. Slide 6
  • 7. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Rural Food Insecurity – How to Break Poverty Based Hunger Cycle Int’l Donor & Farmers NGO Support Form Producer Groups 1/ Agric’l Agri-Biz’s Consumers Univ. & Support With Jobs & Income to T.A. via Farmers Edu Instit. Buy Food Gov’t Support, Int’l Donor &1/ Producergroups are not always necessary, esp. Ag. NGO Supportbut often make development TA easier, andcan benefit from economies of large scale. Extension Slide 7
  • 8. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItFood Insecurity & Bad Farm Support Networks – Poverty All Around Farmers Issue No Input, Working No Ag. Univ. Tech. Storage or Alone - in Asst. Sales Support Age OldNo Real No Ag. Agri- Ways Little Consumer EduBusiness Demand, Org.’s Poor MarketsAgri-Biz’s No Gov’t Agric’l ConsumersSupport Enabling Univ. & Environ Without Jobs &Farmers Support No Gov’t Little Money to Edu Instit. Support to Buy Food Farmers No Gov’t Government Support for is often not Pro- Gov’t Ag. Edu. & Farmer, has little Vice Versa Int’l Donor Support, support, nor esp. Ag. Food Aid Extension Slide 8
  • 9. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Food AID Donations & Food Security - Issues Food Aid/Donations: Unfortunately, food donations often lead to donor dependency, where many inhabitants of an area suffering from chronic food shortages come to feel that they are entitled to free food donations. As populations become accustomed to receiving food donations, all sorts of other problems arise, such as donor dependency, donated food sold in local markets, food spoilage, food donations being stolen, et cetera, etc. Farmers Competing with Donated Food: In some of the worst cases of food aid programs I have seen, food donations arrive late during the local farm harvest season. Although Bellmon Analysis and other legal requirements and policies are in-place for USDA/USAID and WFP to avoid having food donations compete with local harvests, the practical problems of funding, bureaucratic paperwork, and poor logistics often lead to food aid depressing farmer prices. Slide 9
  • 10. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Food Security/Insecurity Issues Poverty is a key Factor: Food Insecurity exists when there is not stable access to foods at all times, without the risk of running out of food as a result of (A) man-made (e.g., warfare) and/or (B) natural causes (bad weather); these unexpected political, economic or climatic crises or cyclical events (seasonal food insecurity) are usually brought about both by a lack of food itself or money or resources to have access to food. Warfare, Conflict & Physical Insecurity: The worse cases of famine, chronic hunger and food insecurity are often in areas suffering from years of warfare, inter-ethnic conflict, and lack of law and order so that armed gangs/paramilitary units steal food from vulnerable women & children who most need good nutrition. Poverty, Corruption, and Poor Host Gov‟t Support: Even in areas with relatively good soils, abundant water, and usually favorable weather, young people often abandon farming, farmers have little good seed, little infrastructure, poor roads, and poor market access. Slide 10
  • 11. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Farm Production AssistanceAgricultural Assistance Programs: After warfare, economic disruption,and other rural economic disruptions, int‟l donors often rush into assistfarmers to boost food output. However, often these programs are just part ofan overall economic development strategy (e.g., in former Yugoslavia [seegreenhouse photo at right]), rather than designed as a long-term solution tochronic food shortages.World Food Program (WFP): After some 25 years of warfare in Sudan (andGuatemala), the WFP in 2012 announced to the Gov‟t of South Sudan that itwas “shifting from „food aid‟ to „food assistance.‟” The WFP representativescited this as a world-wide WFP policy, but it may vary according to theagricultural resources. The WFP officials I have recently talked too about itsee it as a major shift in thinking in the WFP so to get away from donordependence, boost rural economies, and get fresh nutritious foods to peopleon a regular and timely basis. Slide 11
  • 12. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Agricultural Resources: Fertile Land, Water, Favorable Climate, & Rural Infrastructure (“How to Achieve It”)1. Security: Without physical security, one cannot do much in way of any developmentor trade activities. Often, even food donations often are impossible in some countrieswhere lawlessness prevails.2. Other Necessary But Not Sufficient Conditions: (a) fertile land, (b) timely watersupplies [i.e., not too much, and not too little], (c) favorable weather with amplesunshine and favorable temperatures, and (d) rural roads and other infra-structure.3. Enabling Environment:Gov’ts should favor theirfarmers, but often put ruralfarm problems on a lowerpriority.4. Favorable Market Prices:Food prices compared with thecost of production andtransport, are usually the key toany favorable farm economy. Slide 12
  • 13. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Good Old Farm Practices One Low Cost SolutionWith breakdown of traditionalfamily structures, as men go offsearching for better jobs, manysingle mother’s are unable tofeed children, lacking familyassistance. Forming producergroups, as Juan Po’s MayanFarmer Groups that have raisedcrop yields, diversified crops,improved soil conservation, useorganic fertilizer leaching viaclay pots, & use plants that areinsect repellents. His farmersoften sell foods at higher priceslabeled as organic or naturalfoods. Slide 13
  • 14. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItTraditional “Milpa” cropping culture lost in much of So. Mexico & Ctr. Am. Possible Option – Low Cost – Achieve Food Security via Producer GroupsUntrained farmers often over-planting, not thinning corn seedlings, not plantingin rows, nor rotating crops. They often burn crop stubble, and loose soil fertility. After some 25 years of highland Guatemala warfare/conflict, the local farmers have lost much of the traditional soil conservation practices used by their elders. Not thinning corn seedlings hills, Often corn is planted year-after- year in a monoculture, without improved seed, and having few corn husks, and declining crop yields. Slide 14
  • 15. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItAgricultural Universities and Extension Work – A Good Example (“How to Achieve It”)Here a CatholicUniversity Campusprofessor hasassisted her studentto grow BrusselsSprouts for the firsttime, workingbackwards from anexport contract.Everyone else in thehighlands of SanMartin Department ofGuatemala seemed tobe growing corn. Thisis a risky first timevegetable crop. Slide 15
  • 16. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItIrrigation Water, Favorable Temperatures, Greenhouse-like Virus Bug Vector ControlsAlmost all farmers will state that water, either too much, or too little, is by far theirbiggest problem. Since irrigation equipment is usually expensive to purchase andmaintain, some farmers have adopted the recent advances in Tyvek plastic-likewoven hoses that slowly and uniformly “sweat” water to irrigate crops; this isreplacing many of the older drip irrigation systems. Even though these Tyvekirrigation hoses do not require much in way of pressure (2 meters in height) to cover50 meters of hose, it still is an investment for poor farm families. SME/Micro-financing may be the answer, but already Tyvek sweating hoses are replacing Israelilike drip irrigation system in Brazilian coffee plantations, Kenyan flower farms, andother higher value fruit and vegetable farms. Slide 16
  • 17. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItWatering Key to Uniform Sized Fruits and Vegetables for Key Markets (Food Security: “How to achieve it?”) Slide 17
  • 18. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve ItOK to Test Plant Varieties & Teach Students at Valle U., But too Costly for Most Farmers Unfortunately, Large Donor Projects Often Appear Not Useful For Small Farmers Slide 18
  • 19. Food Security in the Americas Issues, Visions and How to Achieve It Summary1. Unfortunately, often donor projects often lead to donor dependence.2. Most farm problems are because of economies of large scale make small scalefarming uneconomical. Hence, getting together in producer groups often works best,especially with good leadership. Groups get crop yields up and improve market sales.3. Progressive farm groups can introduce technology for neighboring farmers, whoare usually risk adverse. Often village based farm cooperatives, or informal producergroups, take the lead in introducing new agricultural technology.4. Food security is often a result of warfare, physical security problems, and politicaland economic shocks making investment into farming too risky even for farmersalready working the soil.5. Nutrition often can best be derived from fresh fruits, vegetables and other locallygrown wholesome crops, particularly since food donations and imports shipments areoften undependable. Slide 19

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