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A farmers’ perspective on food system transformation


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Introduction and outcomes of the WBA Farmer Roundtable in Kathmandu, Nepal (7-8 November 2019

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A farmers’ perspective on food system transformation

  1. 1. WBA Farmer Roundtables 2019 A farmers’ perspective on food system transformation Kathmandu, Nepal 7-8 November 2019
  2. 2. In 2015, all countries of the United Nations have agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030
  3. 3. The World Benchmarking Alliance encourages companies to contribute to sustainable development through benchmarking
  4. 4. The Access to Seeds Index encourages the seed industry to improve access to quality seeds for smallholder farmers SEN Sedab Tropicasem MLI Agriplus Faso Kaba SOPROSA NER Ainoma BFA Nankosem NAFASO CIV BILOHF GHA Heritage Seeds NGA Maslaha Seeds DA-Allgreen Seeds Premier Seed Value Seed ZAF Capstone Seeds Hygrotech Starke Ayres Klein Karoo Africa Seed Co ZAM Zamseed KEN Kenya Highland Seed East African Seed Kenya Seed Company UGA Equator Seed NASECO FICA Seeds Victoria Seeds SOM Darusalam Seed Company ETH Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation UAE Advanta IND Acsen Hyveg Namdhari Seeds Bioseed Kalash Seed Mahyco National Seeds Corporation Nuziveedu Seeds Metahelix Life Sciences BGD BRAC Seed and Agro Enterprise Lal Teer Seed THA East-West Seed Charoen Pokphand VNM Vinaseed TWN Known-You Seed KOR Nongwoo Bio CN GAWAL PAK Punjab Seed JPN Sakata Takii CMR Semagri Eastern and Southern Africa South and Southeast Asia Access to Seeds Index Western and Central Africa The 62 companies in scope of the Access to Seeds Index 2019 Global companies from other regions: NLD Bejo Enza Zaden Rijk Zwaan Pop Vriend Seeds DEU KWS Bayer FRA Limagrain Technisem CHE Syngenta USA Corteva Agriscience Monsanto 1 East-West Seed (THA-Private) 2 Bayer (DEU-Listed) 3 Syngenta (CHE-Private) 4 Advanta (ARE-Listed) 5 Corteva Agriscience (USA - Listed) 6 Acsen HyVeg (IND-Private) 7 Namdhari Seeds (IND-Private) 8 Limagrain (FRA-Cooperative/Listed) 9 Nuziveedu Seeds (IND-Private) 10 Monsanto (USA-Listed) 11 BRAC Seed & Agro Enterprise (BGD-Social Enterprise) 12 Metahelix Life Sciences Ltd (IND-Listed) 13 Lal Teer Seed (BGD-Listed) 14 Kalash Seed (IND-Private) 15 Known-You Seed (TWN-Private) 16 Vinaseed (VNM-Listed) Access to Seeds Index 2019 South and Southeast Asia 62 companies in scope of the Access to Seeds Index
  5. 5. WBA Farmer Roundtables Consulting farmers on tackling food and nutrition security Eastern & Southern Africa Latin America Western & Central Africa South & Southeast Asia 3 8 4 2 9 5 1 7 6 1. Addis Ababa September 2013 2. Goma July 2016 3. Hanoi August 2016 4. Ouagadougou October 2016 5. Johannesburg November 2016 6. Aurangabad March 2019 7. Dakar April 2019 8. Kathmandu November 2019 9. Nairobi November 2019 Western & Central Africa Eastern & Southern Africa South & Southeast Asia Access to Seeds Food System Transformation
  6. 6. Why do we need to transform the global food system? Global hunger 800 million people go to bed hungry every day Malnutrition 2 billion people are unhealthy because of malnourishment Climate change Agriculture is source of 25% of emissions; yields are expected to drop by 30% Rural povery 75% of global poor are farmers; female farmers earn 30% less than male farmers Food loss and waste 30% of all food produced is lost or wasted Population growth Food production needs to increase by 70%
  7. 7. Food system transformation Nutrition Grow more healthy food Environment Reduce environmental impact Social Improve lives farmers and their communities
  8. 8. Three dimensions of food system transformation • Promote diverse diets • Promote plant based protein (legumes) over animals • Increase intake fruit and vegetables • Reduce fats and sugars in food • Healthy alternatives • Responsible marketing • Reduce emissions • Reduce land use • Reduce water use • Reduce fertilizer use • Prevent biodiversity loss • Protect soil health • Promote agrobiodiversity • Reduce food loss and waste • Reduce packaging pollution • Fair price for farmers • Include smallholders in value chains • Protect rights of communities (land rights, water rights) • Eradicate child labor, forced labor • Promote gender equality • Invest in rural infrastructure Nutrition Grow more healthy food Environment Reduce environmental impact Social Improve lives farmers, communities
  9. 9. What do you need from companies to contribute to food system transformation? • Seeds • Agrichemicals • Fertilizer • Food traders • Food processors • Retailers • Restaurants Companies that sell inputs Companies that buy produce • Machinery
  10. 10. Pesticide use • High fertilizer and pesticide use is bad for health of farmers, consumers, environment • How to reduce pesticide use when pressure of pests and insects is increasing? (Indonesia) Water availability • Less rainfall and ground water levels are going down (India) • Poor water management limit availability of land for agriculture (Bangladesh) Consumer preferences • Learn customers that eating nutritious food is better than just filling your stomach • ‘Toxic products’ are cheaper than organic crops Who grows food in the future? • Young people do not chose a career in agriculture Challenges mentioned by farmers Farmer education • A lot of farmers lack education and training • Farmers have learned bad agricultural practices in the past Nutrition vs productivity • Crops like mung bean and green bean are highly nutritious but less productive • More nutritious products do not automatically result in higher income International competition • Difficult to compete with cheaper imported crops from countries with higher productivity Access to seeds • Not enough seed production for local needs High input costs • Costs of seed, fertilizer and labor limit possibilities to increase production
  11. 11. How can farmers contribute to these three dimensions of food system transformation? 1. Increase the production and consumption of traditional crops 2. Better price for organic and nutritious crops compared to unhealthy processed foods 3. Make it attractive for farmers to move into the production of nutritious food 4. Better standards for nutritious food (like fair trade) that farmers can follow and result in a better price 1. Train farmers on better agricultural practices 2. More R&D on quality seeds that can reduce environmental impact and grow resilience 3. Reduce the costs, improve price, better markets for organic products 4. Improve markets for fresh products like vegetables to prevent food loss and waste 1. More respect for farmers as producers for nutritious food for all 2. Work with farmers’ organizations to make agriculture attractive for youth 3. Agree on fair minimum price / price system with the industry for agricultural products 4. Improve gender equality Nutrition Grow more healthy food Environment Reduce environmental impact Social Improve lives farmers, communities
  12. 12. Main outcomes of yesterday: how can farmers and companies work together on this? • Farmers can produce more nutritious food but it has to be profitable • Good price • Good markets • Change consumer choice • Farmer can reduce the environmental impact but they need • Eco-friendly inputs • Suitable machinery • More training • Food system transformation only happens when farming is attractive as a business • Respect farmers as partner • Interest youth • Transparent & fair pricing Nutrition Grow more healthy food Environment Reduce environmental impact Social Improve lives farmers, communities
  13. 13. This week bought together over 1200 delegates and 70 nationalities from governments, academia, civil society, private sector and others to Kathmandu for the SUN Global Gathering. This flagship event, titled “Nourishing people and planet together”, gave members and stakeholders the opportunity to take stock, share innovations and map progress on the fight against malnutrition worldwide. The World Benchmarking Alliance, along with our local partners Agriterra and NACCFL, were extremely proud to hold our own event alongside the gathering, focusing on the broad issue of food system transformation – producing more, and more nutritious, food while reducing environmental impact and enhancing rural prosperity for farmers and their communities. Our farmers roundtable bought together 14 farmers from six different countries (Nepal, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh) to give their perspective on this global agenda and the challenges they face. Leading problems include the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides and their impact on farmers, consumers and the environment; water scarcity and poor water management; trade offs between yields and productivity when cultivating more nutritious food; declining youth interest and participation in agriculture; and access to a higher variety of quality seeds and other agricultural inputs. The farmers concluded that they need a number of actions from the private (and public) sector in order for them to contribute to the change we need. To produce more nutritious food, companies need to offer those who produce it a fair price and better access to markers, in addition to marketing these foods more effectively to consumers. Similarly, to reduce their environmental impact farmers need eco-friendly inputs, suitable and affordable machinery, and more training on good agricultural practices. Crucially, food system transformation can only be achieved when farming is presented as a viable and attractive livelihood opportunity, particularly for young people. Respect for the farmer and greater cooperation between farmer cooperatives and the private sector is key to this. The second day of our event saw our 14 farmers joined by representatives from the SUN Business Network, multinational companies and regional and global small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to discuss how they can work together to tackle the challenges and issues raised on day 1. The most popular solutions included greater need for female empowerment and gender equality through capacity building – not just practical training but also soft skills to allow them to negotiate with buyers, with the need for education and training again linked to overall greater respect for farmers. Nutrtionally, improved technology to avoid nutrient loss during processing and greater availability of biofortified seed were highlighted. Environmentally, the most important answers were more R&D for climate resilient seed varieties, integrated agriculture and livestock farming to improve the circularity of the ecosystem, and increased usage of alternative sources of energy. The outcomes of this event will be invaluable for the development of WBA’s methologies and benchmarks in food and agriculture. We would like to thank all of the farmers, partners, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders for attending this very successful event and we hope to see you again in the future. Concluding statement