Increased Investments to Combat Food Insecurity

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By Supriya Kumar

At a recent meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), experts called for greater investment from both public and private sectors to increase smallholder productivity. To combat soaring food prices, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Senior Economist Jamie Morrison said that, “Particular attention is needed to increase smallholder productivity growth and to their increased integration into markets.”

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A call for increased investments for small-scale farmers (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack).

David Nabarro, coordinator of the High Level Task Force on Global Food Security presented four challenges of food security at the meeting: under-investment, weather-related disasters due to climate change like droughts and floods, soaring prices and political instability.

Fortunately, innovations that address those food security challenges already exist and are highlighted in State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet. Andrew Rice, author of Investing in Africa’s Land: Crisis and Opportunity, featured in the publication, discusses the advantages of increased investment in African agriculture and improved governance of land ownership in overcoming global hunger and poverty. Other essays and chapters featured in the State of the World include An Agnostic Approach to Climate Adaptation and The Climate Crisis on Our Plates, describing innovations which are helping mitigate the impacts of climate change on agriculture, while Chapter 9, Post-Harvest Losses: A Neglected Field, discusses the importance of investing in preventing food waste.

To read more about public and private investment in developing countries, see: Treating the Cause, Not the Symptoms, of Global Hunger, Halving Hunger Through “Business as Unusual”, Forum Asserts Africa’s Willingness to Act and Need for Support to Address Climate Change and Innovation of the Week: Funding a Blue Revolution.

Supriya Kumar is a research intern for the Nourishing the Planet project.

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