IFPRI Global Food Policy Report Urges Increased Action to Fight Hunger
March 2013: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released the 2012 Global Food Policy Report, which projects that the international community will fall short of meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.
The report presents concrete steps regarding investment in agricultural research, the generation of green economy and sustainable development commitments, the development of policies and projects to encourage gender equity, and policy reform in developed countries to reduce negative impacts on farmers in developing countries. The report reviews food policy trends and developments related to: agricultural productivity; a food-secure green economy; women in agriculture; employment in agriculture; US and European Union (EU) farm policies; and regional policy choices.
With respect to the green economy, IFPRI notes a lack of specifics and commitments emerging from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The report describes the concept of bioeconomy, which relies on the use of renewable bio-based resources to produce food, health, industrial products and energy. It looks at "triple-win" situations related to agriculture, nutrition and health, and environmental sustainability, noting a series of forthcoming integrated meetings and policy discussions on the topics. The report also notes a series of entry points on agriculture and food security in the post-2015 development process.
On climate change, the publication underscores the importance of international policy choices during 2013 and the need to improve models simulating crop productivity under changing climatic conditions. IFPRI outlines opportunities to further integrate green growth and climate change policy, and calls for the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative to focus on the land-water-energy nexus.
Of key policy actions achieved over the course of 2012, the report stresses the importance of the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines for Land Tenure by the Committee on World Food Security. It outlines the issue of land degradation as moving from drylands to the humid subtropics, noting that the trend of land grabbing in these areas is a sign of weak governance and management of land. As a solution, IFPRI calls for a focus on securing land-use rights, particularly for women and youth.