The year 2013 saw record high numbers for agricultural production and more stable commodity prices than the previous several years, but findings from the International Food Policy Research Institute’s 2013 Global Food Policy Report suggest that the state of global nutrition and food security is still fragile. The report focuses on major food policy developments and trends, while outlining challenges and opportunities for moving forward. Notably, while the price of cereals decreased in 2013, the price of nutritionally rich fruits and vegetables increased. Thus, malnutrition and undernutrition are still major concerns, with overall declines in global crop diversity adding to this predicament.
These shortcomings occurred despite unprecedented global support and investment in nutrition that came from all sectors and all levels of governance. Integrated approaches to capacity building and creating an enabling environment for nutritional concerns in the future – both at the governance level and on the ground – were major takeaways in the report’s in-depth case studies. Rather than focus solely on government and policy, the report also argues for a focus on the people and communities impacted by and living within these changing and challenging landscapes.
Despite many Millenium Development Goal successes, global cooperation in eradicating hunger has fallen short of its goal. A post 2015-agenda needs to address this challenge, which is rooted in the political nature of agriculture and the complexity of hunger.
The need for integrated approaches and proactive policies at the international, national and local level are important for achieving successes in the battle against hunger and food insecurity. Nutritional diversity relies on diverse, healthy landscapes. How can IFPRI’s 2013 findings be utilized to encourage policies and research that promote a landscape-based approach to increasing diversified diets and the nutritional considerations of agriculture?Photo: EcoAgriculture Partners