The race to feed the world’s population has started, Preeti Ahuja, Sector Manager for the World Bank, told those gathered at a Side Event of the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The topic of the event, “Policies for Effective Rural Transformation, Agricultural and Food System Transition” is based on this indisputable fact.
If you educate a woman, you educate society. Imagine a world where farmers, especially rural African women, learn how to produce high yielding and nutritious food. Imagine the positive impacts that would have on nutrition, health and especially the farmer’s income. Women play a key role in food security; they are the backbone of the rural economy especially in the developing world.
Developing and agreeing on policies for food security is just the beginning. During this first day of the Committee on World Food Security, numerous members of the plenary addressed the following question: “what is the next step?”
Investing in agriculture is not enough to reduce poverty because the rural poor are often engaged in multiple economic activities. While pro-poor growth starts with agriculture, reducing rural poverty requires increasing the productivity of small-scale agriculture, creating jobs, fostering economic diversification and investing in people.
For the first time in 40 years, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) hosted a side event on the issues concerning indigenous peoples and food. Their traditional knowledge and practices are known to be resilient to climate change, and they respect and protect natural resources.
Can we be more innovative in how we approach rural transformation? That was the key question in my mind after attending a Side Event on the topic, part of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) held in Rome this week.