EATx Post 2015: Minister Brende emphasizes on making food supplies sufficient for the world population
Sept 28, New York: Foreign Minister Børge Brende at an event initiated by EAT in New York stated that it is important to make sure that food supplies should be sufficient and world should be prepared to meet food demands in the future.
"As I speak, more than 800 million people are suffering from hunger.Three million children die needlessly from undernutrition, every year.
And in just 35 years' time, in 2050, the world's population is expected to reach nine billion – that means another two billion people to be fed.
This represents a four-pronged challenge: Food supplies must be sufficient, Food must be nutritious and healthy, Food must be accessible to all, and food production must be sustainable," he said.
According to him, all this is possible as the technology is available and arable land is plentiful. "We know how to increase productivity and reduce the amount of water used.But it will be demanding – and it will require the world to join hands in a global effort to fight hunger and malnutrition," he added.
While speaking at the event titled: “Achieving Sustainable Nutrition Security for All” he stated that it was important to recognize the problem.
"First we must recognize that people are starving for multiple reasons -- including poverty, discrimination, conflicts, natural disasters, climate change and food wastage. "Hunger is both a symptom of and a reason for poverty.This means that we must address the drivers of poverty.
Households, villages and countries need to become resilient to shocks and stresses. Increased food production is important, but not enough to eradicate hunger," he said.
Minister Brende also emphasized on the fact that the food produced must also be "nutritious, and it must be accessible to all"."The daunting task of ending hunger challenges us to take a coherent approach to poverty, nutrition, education, employment, health and the environment,"he added.
In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also stated that the solution is not to be found in our agricultural policies alone before proposing five plans of action.
The Five Plans of Action:
Allow me to present five ideas for action that could have substantial impact.
First: Investment in food production must generate local jobs.In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia 70 % of young people live in rural communities.Half of them work in agriculture.With smarter investments, these young women and men will be able to provide healthy food for their families at the same time as they contribute to increased food production, economic growth and social stability.
Second: Well-functioning markets for both small and large food producers are crucial.A successful outcome of the trade negotiations in the WTO will be a major contribution to food security.Equally important is ensuring that growth is inclusive and reaches those most in need.
Third: I strongly believe in gender equality and investing in girls' education.Women, along with other marginalised groups, have less access to land and resources.They are faced with formal and informal obstacles.According to the World Bank, eliminating discrimination against women will increase global agricultural output substantially.
Fourth: We need to invest more in climate smart agriculture. Commercial agriculture is a key driver of global deforestation. We cannot continue to eat the world's forests.There is a need for new, innovative 'food production, forest protection' compacts between governments, the private sector and local communities.I am excited about recent developments in this field, where we are deeply engaged through the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative.
Fifth: We must produce, distribute and consume food smarter.In rich countries, one third of all food is thrown away.In poor countries, food is often spoilt due to poor infrastructure.The world simply cannot afford this level of waste.
According to Minister Brende, hunger is probably the greatest challenge of our time that we can solve. "This is not just a moral question.Ending hunger is a key to ensuring a more secure, stable and sustainable world.It is in everybody's interests.To make it happen, we need all partners at the table - governments, farmers, scientists, civil society and the food industry," he said.
The Oslo Times