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European Parliament conference : Action needed on global food security

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Friday, 07 October 2011

European Parliament conference : Action needed on global food security

“We have the means to tackle food insecurity, let us start putting them into action” – that was the general message coming from a conference on food security which the European Parliament’s development committee organised in Brussels on 4 October.

In four different panel sessions, Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos and Development Commissioner Piebalgs, but also speakers from the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, but also farmers’ representatives from Western Africa shed light on the problems related to availability of nutritious food, access to land and water, food speculation and the impact of climate change on food production.

Hans Herren, co-chair of the IAASTD which produced the influential IAASTD report on agriculture in 2008, highlighted that it is time to act upon the information that is known today. “Instead of spending money on conferences, we should spend this money on national assessments. The states have to know which particular policies they can put in place, targeted towards their market structure.”

Herren also stressed that science needed to be strengthened further: “We have to catch up with 50 years of agricultural research to produce better,” he said, pointing for example to research on soil conservation.

The conference came one week after the European Parliament had passed a report by Gabriele Zimmer on EU support for developing countries in food security. Zimmer announced further initiatives of the development committee in the area of nutrition security as well as access to water and energy. The committee is also in favour of making agriculture an individual item at the Rio+20 conference in June 2012.

Source: CTA