10 steps to end world hunger
10 STEPS TO END WORLD HUNGER
Hazel Healy plans a food system where everyone can eat.
1 MAKE FOOD MORE IMPORTANT THAN BUSINESS
Trade rules create the unequal food system, which uses a lot of natural resources. We need to look at and change our laws and rules to make new ones that make food security more important than trade and end the global chains that do not work. We could start by ending the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture and allowing civil society to negotiate.
2 BREAK UP VERY LARGE BUSINESSES – AND END PROTECTION FROM PUNISHMENT
The very large agriculture industries have too much control over production, distribution and trade policy. We need to break up these huge companies (they are worth more money than the GDP of many countries in Africa) with new laws. Cut government funding to intensive agriculture and industrial fishing, bring in new tax agreements and stop investors controlling trade deals. Make famine, malnutrition and hunger (which are basically political choices) into crimes that the International Criminal Court punishes.
3 SHARE THE WEALTH
There are now 2,700 billionaires in the world – together they have $13 trillion. The International Monetary Fund says we need $300 - $400 billion each year to be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (including No 2, Zero Hunger). We could do that if we tax and share the wealth fairly. The Global South urgently needs a new agreement to repay debts from the past and meet the needs of its population now.
4 RIGHTS TO LAND, SEAS – AND BETTER PAY
If we accept the rights of indigenous and local people to land, forests and seas, that will create more inclusive societies for billions of rural poor; two-thirds of these are hungry. And women are extremely important in preventing hunger; when women’s rights improve, productivity and family nutrition also improve. Food workers must get better pay – they are among the worst paid in the world; and informal workers, eg. fish processors in Senegal, must have employment status and benefits.
5 SMALLER, FAIRER, SLOWER TRADE
We have seen how well local markets with short supply chains work in Covid lockdowns. Governments can use these, for example in Brazil’s National School Feeding Programme. This buys a percentage of food from family farmers and indigenous and traditional communities. Urban farming already produces 15-20 per cent of food and it can make communities more self-sufficient; fair-trade co-operatives can connect consumers to growers from cities to the countryside and across international borders.
6 FREE LUNCH – OR MONEY TO BUY IT
We need to support more people in society – by right, not charity – and not only when there is a crisis. Soon after Covid-19 started, about 160 countries gave food to the poor – money for food, food boxes or cooked meals. This shows what countries can do, and shows their responsibility. We must help in disasters while we are moving to our world without hunger.
7 BALANCE WITH NATURE
We need to cut carbon emissions a lot to do something about climate change, which is destroying the ecosystems that all producers need to produce the food. Agriculture produces 30 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions; we could cut most of this with agroecology, and we would then have healthy soils, a nutritious variety of crops and animals that resist disease. We need to get money to develop alternatives to industrial agriculture, and promote these; we need to look again at wild food and traditional knowledge and add this to scientific knowledge.
8 MAKE PEOPLE EAT GOOD FOOD
Some solutions to hunger only increase obesity and bad health. Governments should increase the price of unhealthy drink and food with tax and subsidize the price of healthy diets. Also, we should bring back lots of traditional food with the help of chefs, social movements and cheap community eating places.
9 EAT ETHICAL
Michael Pollan said: ‘Eat food, not too much’. In richer countries, many people are eating more ethical, organic and vegetarian (or ‘flexitarian’) diets, which is good. But we need to check how sustainable all this food is, and see how much it costs the environment and growers, not just the price in the shop.
People will need to fight for points 1-9 above and be ready for ‘change and disruption’. In the next 25 years, food movements will have to organize across many groups, including trade and climate – and link together consumers, workers and producers. With helpful governments, UN secretariats and policymakers, we can create more democratic food politics all around the world.
NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: https://newint.org/features/2021/08/09/10-steps-end-world-hunger-fjf