December 11, 2009


FAO organized a session on the Impact of Climate Change on Food security on 10th December 2009. It was heartening to see that the chairwoman of FAO considers poor farmers as part of the solution and that subsistence farming is a saving grace. She also emphasized on the urgency of the need of technology transfer for sustainable agriculture. FAO’s lack of position on GM food was disappointing and scary; on the one hand they promote organic agriculture and on the other GM foods.
Brazil came across as better prepared strategy to deal with impact on climate change; the strategy is more focused yet comprehensive; supported with research; they have fourfold strategy – reduce deforestation, expand technology transfer, increased use of bio-fuels and global land information systems.
The IFAD presentation came across as expected as it was farmer-oriented. IFAD raised the issues like – threat to bio diversity, requiring larger resources for pest management, not just physical but socio economic impacts of climate change to be taken into consideration, need of incentives for sustainable agriculture, arrangements to enable small producers, avail carbon credits, involving industry, government and farmers in risk management and not acting in crisis management mode etc. He also raised issues of IPR that developing countries need flexibility in adopting indigenous species;
The US presentation was not very convincing as it accounts for world wide food insecurity. The US agriculture ministry representative said that US is food surplus but how and whether they care to fill the food gap for 1 billion hungry was left ambiguous. Their programme titled “Know your Food” explains the consumers as to where their food is coming from. Hence it seemed more centered towards the consumers rather than the farmers.
(By Seemantanee Khot)


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