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IPS Publishes Opinion Pieces Recognizing Efforts To Improve Nutrition, Agriculture On World Food Day

Inter Press Service: Food for Thoughtful Health
Doaa Abdel-Motaal, executive director of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health at the Oxford Martin School

“…Without good food it is hard to maintain good health; without good food growing practices it is difficult to maintain a healthy planet. … This World Food Day, we have to acknowledge the multiple problems that exist within our food systems and that nutritional problems are escalating. It is becoming increasingly clear that food systems, and diets, are not sustainable. What is urgently needed is a holistic approach to address food and health as well as sustainability along the entire food chain. Awareness raising on what a healthy diet means is also key. … Over the next 18 months, the Economic Council — made up of world leaders from government, international organizations, civil society, business, finance and academia — will bridge knowledge gaps on the links between economic development, natural systems and human health to compel collaboration across disciplines and coordinated action to address the complex challenges of the 21st century…” (10/13).

Inter Press Service: Hunger in Africa, Land of Plenty
Anis Chowdhury, former professor of economics at the University of Western Sydney and former senior U.N. official; and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former U.N. assistant secretary general for economic development

“…Observers typically blame higher population growth, natural calamities, and conflicts for hunger on the continent. And since Africa was transformed from a net food exporter into a net food importer in the 1980s despite its vast agricultural potential, international food price hikes have also contributed to African hunger. … Thus, African agricultural productivity has not only suffered, but also African agriculture remains less resilient to climate change and extreme weather conditions. … Despite its potential, vast tracts of arable land remain idle, due to decades of official neglect of agriculture. More recently, international financial institutions and many donors have been advocating large-scale foreign investment. … Land grabbing by foreign companies for commercial farming in Africa is threatening smallholder agricultural productivity, vital for reducing poverty and hunger on the continent. In the process, they have been marginalizing local communities, particularly ‘indigenous’ populations, and compromising food security” (10/14).

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