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Since the hungry billion in the world community believe that we can all eat if we set our common house in order, they believe also that it is unjust that some men die because it is too much trouble to arrange for them to live.
Stringfellow Barr Citizens of the World (1954)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) aims by 2030 to “Double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets , and non-farm resources.”

There is a consensus that radical measurs are needed to deal with world-wide growing food neeeds. These measures must be taken in a whoistic and coordinated way with actions going from the local level of the individual farmer to the national level with new government policies to the world level with better coordinated activities through the United Nations System.

A central theme which citizens of the world have long stressed is that there needs to be a world food policy and that a world food policy is more than the sum of national food security programs. Food security has too often been treated as a collection of national food security initiatives. While the adoption of a national strategy to ensure food and nutrition security for all is essential, a focus on the formulation of national plans is clearly inadequate. There is a need for a world plan of action with focused attention to the role which the United Nations system must play if hunger is to be sharply reduced.

The FAO did encourage governments to develop national food security policies, but the lack of policies at the world level has led to the increasing control of agricultural processes by a small number of private firms driven by the desire to make money. Thus today, three firms —Monsanto, DuPont, and Syngenta — control about half of the commercial seed market worldwide. Power over soil, seeds and food sales is ever more tightly held.

There needs to be detailed analysis of the role of speculation in the rise of commodity prices. There has been a merger of the former Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade to become the CME Group Market which deals in some 25 agricultural commodities. Banks and hedge funds, having lost money in the real estate mortgage packages of 2008 are now looking for ways to get money back. For the moment, there is no international regulation of this speculation. There needs to be an analysis of these financial flows and their impact on the price of grains. The word needs a market shaped by shared human values structured to ensure fairness and co-responsibility.

There is likewise a need for a serious analysis of the growing practice of buying or renting potential farm land, especially in Africa and South America, by foreign countries, especially China and the Arab Gulf states. While putting new land under cultivation is not a bad policy in itself, we need to look at the impact of this policy on local farmers as well as on world food prices.

There is a need to keep in mind local issues of food production, distribution, and food security. Attention needs to be given to cultural factors, the division of labour between women and men in agriculture and rural development, in marketing local food products, to the role of small farmers, to the role of landless agricultural labour and to land-holding patterns.

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness that an integrated, wholistic approach is needed. World Citizens stress that solutions to poverty, hunger and climate change crisis require an agriculture that promotes producers’ livelihoods, knowledge, resiliency, health and equitable gender relations, while enriching the natural environment and helping balance the carbon cycle. Such an integrated approach is a fundamental aspect of the world citizen approach to a solid world food policy.


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

One Comment

  1. Sally Dugman says:

    Please look at Cuba for a model. It is considered by some as the best organic food model in the world. It was forced upon the Cubans due to USA trade embargo and they DID figure out about what to do and impressively so!

    If you’d like video versions of the Cuban model, please put these words in your search bar: Cuba organic farming youtube. Meanwhile, here are articles:

    What Cuba can teach America about organic farming | PBS NewsHour
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/cuba-can-teach-america-farming

    Jun 19, 2015 – Tonight, Jeffrey Brown reports about an industry where Cuba has been a leader, organic farming. Its growth was born out of necessity. But now …

    A Rush of Americans, Seeking Gold in Cuban Soil – The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/22/dining/cuba-us-organic-farming.html

    Jun 21, 2016 – Two camps jockey to shape the future of food in an oasis of organic agriculture.

    Cuban Organic Farming and Its Future Outlook | myFarmLife.com
    https://myfarmlife.com/life-on-the-land/cuba-now-and-its-future/

    As relations warm between Cuba and the U.S., Cuban organic agriculture continues to evolve, for a few surprising reasons. By Leo Nieter | Photos By Leo Nieter.

    Agriculture in Cuba – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Cuba

    Agriculture in Cuba has played an important part in the economy for several hundred years. … Cuba had to rely on sustainable farming methods. Agricultural …

    A Visit to Cuba – Organic Farming in a Country That Values Human …
    https://www.organicconsumers.org/…/visit-cuba-–-organic-farming-country-values-hu…

    Jul 10, 2017 – Jack and I traveled to Cuba with Peter House and Michael Hannen, long-time friends in Rochester and members of Peacework CSA. Cultural …

    Sustainable Farming & Food Sovereignty in Cuba : Food First
    https://foodfirst.org/sustainable-farming-food-sovereignty-in-cuba/

    Feb 28, 2018 – With no parts or oil for agricultural machines, the only other alternative for the Cuban people to get fed were diversified organic farming …

    What Cuba can teach America about organic farming | PBS NewsHour
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/cuba-can-teach-america-farming

    Jun 19, 2015 – Tonight, Jeffrey Brown reports about an industry where Cuba has been a leader, organic farming. Its growth was born out of necessity. But now …

    A Rush of Americans, Seeking Gold in Cuban Soil – The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/22/dining/cuba-us-organic-farming.html

    Jun 21, 2016 – Two camps jockey to shape the future of food in an oasis of organic agriculture.

    Cuban Organic Farming and Its Future Outlook | myFarmLife.com
    https://myfarmlife.com/life-on-the-land/cuba-now-and-its-future/

    As relations warm between Cuba and the U.S., Cuban organic agriculture continues to evolve, for a few surprising reasons. By Leo Nieter | Photos By Leo Nieter.

    Agriculture in Cuba – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Cuba

    Agriculture in Cuba has played an important part in the economy for several hundred years. … Cuba had to rely on sustainable farming methods. Agricultural …

    A Visit to Cuba – Organic Farming in a Country That Values Human …
    https://www.organicconsumers.org/…/visit-cuba-–-organic-farming-country-values-hu…

    Jul 10, 2017 – Jack and I traveled to Cuba with Peter House and Michael Hannen, long-time friends in Rochester and members of Peacework CSA. Cultural …

    Sustainable Farming & Food Sovereignty in Cuba : Food First
    https://foodfirst.org/sustainable-farming-food-sovereignty-in-cuba/

    Feb 28, 2018 – With no parts or oil for agricultural machines, the only other alternative for the Cuban people to get fed were diversified organic farming …

    What Cuba can teach America about organic farming | PBS NewsHour
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/cuba-can-teach-america-farming

    Jun 19, 2015 – Tonight, Jeffrey Brown reports about an industry where Cuba has been a leader, organic farming. Its growth was born out of necessity. But now …

    A Rush of Americans, Seeking Gold in Cuban Soil – The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/22/dining/cuba-us-organic-farming.html

    Jun 21, 2016 – Two camps jockey to shape the future of food in an oasis of organic agriculture.

    Cuban Organic Farming and Its Future Outlook | myFarmLife.com
    https://myfarmlife.com/life-on-the-land/cuba-now-and-its-future/

    As relations warm between Cuba and the U.S., Cuban organic agriculture continues to evolve, for a few surprising reasons. By Leo Nieter | Photos By Leo Nieter.

    Agriculture in Cuba – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Cuba

    Agriculture in Cuba has played an important part in the economy for several hundred years. … Cuba had to rely on sustainable farming methods. Agricultural …

    A Visit to Cuba – Organic Farming in a Country That Values Human …
    https://www.organicconsumers.org/…/visit-cuba-–-organic-farming-country-values-hu…

    Jul 10, 2017 – Jack and I traveled to Cuba with Peter House and Michael Hannen, long-time friends in Rochester and members of Peacework CSA. Cultural …

    Sustainable Farming & Food Sovereignty in Cuba : Food First
    https://foodfirst.org/sustainable-farming-food-sovereignty-in-cuba/

    Feb 28, 2018 – With no parts or oil for agricultural machines, the only other alternative for the Cuban people to get fed were diversified organic farming …