For Immediate Release
G8 Commitment on Hunger Must Support Smallholder Farmers and Sustainable Practices
L'AQUILA, Italy - G8 discussions on the food crisis must include more than additional
money, and prioritize agriculture and food policies that improve the
position of small producers, in particular women.
CIDSE, an international
alliance of Catholic development agencies, and U.S.-based Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) welcome the proposed increase
in the share of development funding devoted to agriculture. "We call
on the G8 to break away from past practice by shelving agriculture policies
that reward short-term private profits over essential public priorities
like food security, jobs and proper management of scarce natural resources,"
said IATP's Alexandra Spieldoch.
CIDSE and IATP welcome
the focus on smallholder farmers and vulnerable groups by G8 governments,
as well as their interest in exploring the feasibility of establishing
a system of food reserves. We also call for coordinated action to discipline
speculation on food prices.
"One billion people
suffering from hunger should be enough to trigger serious action. G8
countries need to coordinate their support to developing countries to
achieve food security. Agricultural policies designed in close collaboration
with representative farmers organizations are needed to balance economic
profitability and socio-ecological justice," said Bernd Nilles, CIDSE
In a recent paper,
Global food responsibility, CIDSE and IATP identify the role of
major G8 members in creating the food crisis, and make the following
recommendations for reforms:
- Global responses to the
food crisis need to be inclusive, reinforce the U.N.'s role, and create
binding commitments to end hunger;
- The right to food should
guide policy-making around agriculture, food, and rural development;
- Support should reinforce
agriculture's role in ecological and social sustainability, land and
water access for small scale producers and women farmers, as well as
greater use of local seed varieties;
- Emphasis should be put on
the development of infrastructure for local and regional markets. Investment
is needed to overcome bottlenecks in agricultural value chains related
to processing, transport, storage, and marketing;
- Develop rules to address
price volatility, including food reserves and tougher regulation on
Read the report:
Global Food Responsibility
- The European Union and the United States Must Chart a New Path, a CIDSE-IATP policy paper, May 2009
The G8 Summit in l'Aquila
comes on the heels of the announcement by the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) that one sixth of humanity is undernourished in 2009,
and that food prices have started rising again since January.
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is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Its members
share a common strategy in their efforts to eradicate poverty and establish
global justice. CIDSE's advocacy work covers global governance; resources
for development; climate change; food, agriculture & sustainable
trade; EU development policy and business & human rights. www.cidse.org.
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. www.iatp.org.