I attended CFS45 Global Food Security conference at the FAO headquarters in Rome this October as part of the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) delegation. It was an opportunity organised by Nuffield Farming International who arranged for Nuffield Farming Scholars from different disciplines across the world to attend this event.
It was 5 days out of my working week very well spent.
Being busy, working hard in your sector in your own country is not the only way to achieve progress. It also is a good idea to step away from the day to day, look at the global food security issues, the impact they have on your country and speak with the people and the policy makers who can effect change.
I met a commercial fisher from Canada, Tiare who told me that “the future is in the hands of those who show up”.
The week of talks on Global Food Security showed me how true this is. Policy makers, non-governmental organisations, private sector, academics and many more groups are present and continue an on-going relationship throughout the year.
From the opening of the conference, attending the World Food Day and a high level dinner to presenting at a side event hosted by PSM, it was a formative experience.
The key take home messages about global food security and nutrition summarised by the PSM are:
State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) Report:
- World hunger is estimated to have risen further to reach 821 million in 2017 – roughly 1 in 9 people around the world – an increase from the 2016 figure of 815 million people.
- PSM recognises that the world’s farmers are on the front lines of climate change, rural development, and also, disturbingly, are disproportionately affected by poverty and hunger.
- Farming on all scales, in all regions, contributes to food security and nutrition.
- The development of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food System and Nutrition should be supported by scientific evidence on Food Security and Nutrition.
- Over- and under-nutrition co-exist in virtually every country in the world. Nutrition policies must address the dual burden of malnutrition.
- PSM supports in particular the importance of capacity building and data collection in developing the Voluntary guidelines.
- PSM believes that youth in agriculture is a key issue that needs to be included in the CFS workstreams
For me, it was clear to see that the benefit of using multi stakeholder partnerships is that the agreed changes are sustainable and effective in the long term. Throughout the research for my Nuffield Farming Scholarship I have seen that where collaboration is present in the food system, the outcome is beneficial for all parties.
I recommend that for anyone wanting to facilitate change in the food system, the CFS45 is a good place to start