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Brussels Briefing n. 57: Nora McKeon " Small farmers and global food governance "


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The Brussels Development Briefing n. 57 on “Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security and nutrition” organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid and the ACP Secretariat was held on Wednesday 11th September 2019, 9h00-13h00 at the ACP Secretariat, Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels, Room C. The Briefing discussed smallholder agriculture and its key role in delivering food security/nutrition, and sustainable food systems, as recognised in SDG 2.

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Brussels Briefing n. 57: Nora McKeon " Small farmers and global food governance "

  1. 1. Brussels Policy Briefing n. 57: Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security and nutrition ‘Smallholders and global food governance’ Nora McKeon
  2. 2. Who decides? What role for smallholders? The price of exploiting Africa’s “comparative advantage” of exporting commodities and importing “cheap food”…
  3. 3. Past policies contributed to the crisis… Structural adjustment dismantled the system of public agencies that provided farmers with access to land, credit, insurance, and inputs. It was expected that removing the state would free the market for private actors to take over these functions. Too often, that didn’t happen. Even where the private sector emerged, it mainly served commercial farmers, leaving smallholders exposed.
  4. 4. National, regional, continental, up to the global : the World Food Summits and civil society forums - 1996 & 2002
  5. 5. ‘Beyond NEPAD’s goals of making agriculture more competitive and productive, the FOs’ vision of modernity gives priority to the continent’s food sovereignty and respects the dignity of African producers and African values and culture….Not subject to the fluctuations of global markets and institutions… Regional agricultural policies and markets built around family farming…’ Pretoria - 2004
  6. 6. Food price crisis 2007/2008…
  7. 7. ‘The majority of agricultural production will continue to come from larger farms but there is an opportunity to increase smallholder productivity and production.’ Comprehensive Framework for Action - 2008 ‘The agenda for Sub-Saharan Africa is to enhance growth by improving smallholder competitiveness in medium and higher potential areas, where returns on invest- ment are highest, while ensuring food security of subsistence farmers. Getting agriculture moving requires developing modern market chains.’ WDR 2008
  8. 8. EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges - 2010 - sustainable small-scale food production, with its multiple benefits, should be the focus of EU assistance. - secure land tenure and use rights are prerequisites. - improve regulatory and institutional conditions for responsible private investment. - demand-driven research attentive to traditional knowledge. - promote regional agriculture and food security policies; integration of food markets making use of trade policy space including through border measures. - Right-to-Food approach, tackling the root causes of hunger and empowering marginalized groups in the design, implementation and monitoring of national programmes and ensuring redress mechanisms. - Support the reform of the Committee on World Food Security.
  9. 9. The food price crisis obliged the international community to react: High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF): better coordination G8 “Global Partnership on Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition” (GPAFSN): more investment Reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS): more inclusively determined policies 9
  10. 10. 10 The 2009 reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Foremost inclusive global forum promoting policy convergence and coherence. Human rights-based - defending the right to food. Civil society actors – small-scale food producers especially – are full participants. Autonomous civil society and private sector mechanisms. Year-round process: deciding agenda and rules of the game, framing draft decisions and discussion documents… Inclusive and transparent decision-making by governments, unlike multistakeholder platforms High Level Panel of Experts provides evidence base for policies; acknowledges expertise of farmers and practioners. Aspires to links between multistakeholder policy spaces at global, regional, national levels.
  11. 11. The private sector can help you break the subsistence cycle and become commercial entrepreneurs. The G8 New Alliance is giving you a hand by increasing your access to new technologies, seeds and modern value chains. We don’t want to become commercial entrepreneurs. We’re family farmers! We want public policy support for our technologies, our seeds and our markets. We’re the ones who are feeding the world and cooling the planet.
  12. 12. 12 Who decides? «Agriculture is often left to undergo great transformations that are adverse for smallholders and food security. These transformations are not inevitable but are the result of explicit or implicit political choices. Appropriate choices and policies can only result from transparently determined political processes that involve smallholder organizations.» HLPE 2013, p. 14
  13. 13.
  14. 14. 14 Smallholder narrative in the CFS Smallholders are responsible for most food produced world-wide + most investment in agriculture. …so….need to: - prioritize public policies that defend + support their investments; - promote markets that benefit smallholders and local food systems; (Committee on World Food Security 2013)
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Legitimates the contribution that pastoralism makes to the sustainable use of ecosystems and to FSN and urges governments to protect and support pastoral systems and enable pastoralists’ mobility.
  17. 17. Making global norms and narratives work for smallholders on the ground
  18. 18. ECOWAS regional/national agricultural and food security/nutrition investment programmes
  19. 19. CEDAW Recommendation No. 34 – Rights of rural women UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants