2010/2100(INI)

EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges

Procedure completed

2010/2100(INI) EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Opinion AGRI TARABELLA Marc (S&D)
Lead DEVE ZIMMER Gabriele (GUE/NGL)
Opinion ENVI
Lead committee dossier: DEVE/7/03319
Legal Basis RoP 048
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2011/09/27 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0410/2011 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2011/09/26 Debate in Parliament
  • 2011/07/19 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/07/19 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/07/13 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/06/20 Deadline Amendments
  • 2011/05/11 Committee draft report
  • 2010/07/08 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2010/07/01 EP officialisation
  • 2010/03/31 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2010)0127 summary
  • 2010/03/31 Date
  • 2010/03/31 Non-legislative basic document
    • COM(2010)0127 summary
    • DG Development, PIEBALGS Andris

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
266 2010/2100(INI) EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges
2010/10/15 AGRI 95 amendments...
source: PE-450.640
2011/06/23 DEVE 171 amendments...
source: PE-467.250

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2010-03-31
    docs
    • url
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2010&nu_doc=0127
      text
      • PURPOSE: to propose an EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges.

        BACKGROUND: in 2010, over 1 billion people are considered to be food insecure. Soaring food prices on global markets in 2007-08 sparked a rethink of global food security. The European Union (EU) reacted to the growing food security challenges with an additional €1 billion 'Food Facility' as a temporary measure to support those developing countries worst affected. The EU and its Member States are, and have been for many years, the most important and reliable players in world food security, both financially and politically.

        However, recent developments and future challenges require a new common food security policy, further strengthening EU leadership in the global food security agenda, and improving the effectiveness of EU assistance, in line with the Lisbon Treaty, the EU2020 initiative and the European Consensus on Development . Future food security challenges include population growth, pressures on natural resources and ecosystem services, and adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture, affecting growing conditions and making adaptation measures necessary. Moreover, key issues in the current food security agenda, such as nutrition, price volatility, social protection and safety nets, biofuels, food safety, research and innovation, large-scale land acquisition, and the "Right to Food" concept need integration into an overall policy framework.

        The objective of this Communication is, therefore, to provide a common policy framework for the EU and its Member States in the fight against world hunger and malnutrition, thereby contributing towards achieving MDG 1. It is coherent with other thematic papers (on education, health, gender and tax governance) and the 2010 Spring Development package, which together set out an EU position for the UN High Level Event on MDGs in September 2010. This Communication is complemented by a Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance , which focuses on emergency and post-emergency contexts

        CONTENT : the objective of this Communication is to provide a common policy framework for the EU and its Member States in the fight against world hunger and malnutrition, thereby contributing towards achieving MDG 1.

        The proposed policy framework addresses food security challenges in developing countries in both rural and urban contexts across the internationally recognised four pillars by:

        a) increasing availability of food;

        b) improving access to food;

        c) improving nutritional adequacy of food intake; and

        d) enhancing crisis prevention and management.

        EU action needs to give priority to those food insecure countries most off-track in reaching MDG1, in particular in Africa, but also South Asia and elsewhere (e.g. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Nepal, Timor Leste). Given the nature of related MDGs that are also off-track, a specific investment in women will be required. Evidence shows that investments in the smallholder sector yield the best returns in terms of poverty reduction and growth.

        This new EU framework therefore concentrates on enhancing incomes of smallholder farmers and the resilience of vulnerable communities, supporting the resolve of countries that prioritise agriculture and food security in their development efforts.

        Increasing availability of food: world population is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050 and demand for food is likely to grow by 70%. This requires accelerated agricultural production growth. Most of the poor and hungry in the world live in rural areas, where agriculture - including crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry - forms the main economic activity. Small-scale farming is dominant: about 85% of farmers in developing countries produce on less than 2 hectares of land. Therefore, sustainable small-scale food production should be the focus of EU assistance to increase availability of food in developing countries. The Communication also stresses secure access to land and secure land tenure and use rights are prerequisites for higher productivity of small holder farmers.

        Improving access to food: access to food should be enhanced primarily by improving employment and income-earning opportunities in both rural and urban areas, including through diversification and trade, thus making food more affordable for a larger number of people. This should be complemented by social transfer mechanisms. The EU and its Member States should assist partner countries in establishing and operating social mechanisms in support of vulnerable population groups, especially women. In general, access to food can be improved by applying the "Right-to-Food" approach, and the EU should support its further application in developing countries, including "right-to-food" based political and legal frameworks.

        Improving nutritional adequacy of food intake: the EU should support the formulation of nutrition policies and strategies, nutrition-training, education, and the setting up of coordination mechanisms between agriculture, health, education, and social protection sectors. Future agriculture programmes should include a nutritional dimension. This could mean strengthening diversification of smallholder agriculture, promoting production of micronutrient-rich food, especially local varieties, monitoring of nutrition related outcomes, and/or supporting agricultural research conducted from a nutrition perspective.

        Improving crisis prevention and management: the EU should step up efforts in supporting regional integration in developing countries, as closer regional integration forms another means of preventing economic, political and food security crises, and of mitigating their effects. Furthermore, to mitigate volatility, the stock-to-use ratio of food products needs to be improved by creating conditions for production increases and for adequate stock levels to be kept, mainly by private traders. Moreover, export restrictions of basic food products should be discouraged. The EU and its Member States should contribute to improved food market functioning at global, regional and national levels.

        Priorities: the EU's priority should be to support food security in fragile countries. This is a particular priority in Africa, where nearly 80% of malnourished people live in fragile countries, and in parts of South Asia. While all four pillars should be addressed, the EU should prioritise four broad and related dimensions: smallholder agricultural development, governance, regional integration, and assistance mechanisms for vulnerable populations. In these areas, the EU and its Member States should:

        Improve smallholder resilience and rural livelihoods

        • focus on ecologically efficient agricultural intensification for smallholder farmers, and in particular women, by providing support for sustainable national policies, and for equitable access to resources, including land, water, (micro) credit and other agricultural inputs;
        • increase substantially support to demand-led agricultural research for development, extension and innovation, aiming to reach 50% by 2015. Research in the public domain should rely on traditional knowledge and on new technologies. It should not promote technologies that are not sustainable or that are incompatible with national capacities to regulate and manage risks;
        • actively support greater participation of civil society and farmer organisations in policy making and research programmes and increase their involvement in the implementation and evaluation of government programmes;
        • improve the regulatory and institutional conditions for responsible private investments in all stages of the agricultural value chain and stimulate public-private investments.

        Support effective governance

        • substantially increase support to CAADP applying effective division of labour in all agriculture-based Sub-Saharan African countries by 2015;
        • launch a joint initiative with the AU to accelerate the implementation of the African Land Policy Guidelines, including a roadmap to implement the principles for sustainable large scale investments in farm land;
        • support national and international initiatives for the definition of principles and codes of conduct governing sustainable large scale domestic and foreign investments in farm land, focusing on the protection of land rights, secure access to land and other natural resources for smallholder farmers and pastoral communities and on sustainable management of these resources;
        • support the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to become the pivotal institution to coordinate global food security initiatives;
        • support closer coordination between the Rome-based UN agencies.

        Support regional agriculture and food security policies

        • support the development and implementation of regional level agricultural policies and strategies, including on livestock management and food safety, to step up integration of regional food and agricultural markets. Enhance policy dialogue with regional organisations on agriculture, food security and nutrition;
        • reinforce the regional and national information systems in support of agriculture, food security and nutrition policies, and those for early warning purposes.

        Strengthen assistance mechanisms for vulnerable population groups

        • support countries to establish and operate targeted and flexible social transfer policies adapted to local contexts. Where feasible, social assistance should provide opportunities for recipients to graduate into an income earning situation securing sustainable access to food;
        • promote better integration of nutrition in development policies, including in education and health and related capacity building;
        • provide specific support to countries in transition and fragility using LRRD principles.
      title
      COM(2010)0127
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      Non-legislative basic document published
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      text
      • PURPOSE: to propose an EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges.

        BACKGROUND: in 2010, over 1 billion people are considered to be food insecure. Soaring food prices on global markets in 2007-08 sparked a rethink of global food security. The European Union (EU) reacted to the growing food security challenges with an additional €1 billion 'Food Facility' as a temporary measure to support those developing countries worst affected. The EU and its Member States are, and have been for many years, the most important and reliable players in world food security, both financially and politically.

        However, recent developments and future challenges require a new common food security policy, further strengthening EU leadership in the global food security agenda, and improving the effectiveness of EU assistance, in line with the Lisbon Treaty, the EU2020 initiative and the European Consensus on Development . Future food security challenges include population growth, pressures on natural resources and ecosystem services, and adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture, affecting growing conditions and making adaptation measures necessary. Moreover, key issues in the current food security agenda, such as nutrition, price volatility, social protection and safety nets, biofuels, food safety, research and innovation, large-scale land acquisition, and the "Right to Food" concept need integration into an overall policy framework.

        The objective of this Communication is, therefore, to provide a common policy framework for the EU and its Member States in the fight against world hunger and malnutrition, thereby contributing towards achieving MDG 1. It is coherent with other thematic papers (on education, health, gender and tax governance) and the 2010 Spring Development package, which together set out an EU position for the UN High Level Event on MDGs in September 2010. This Communication is complemented by a Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance , which focuses on emergency and post-emergency contexts

        CONTENT : the objective of this Communication is to provide a common policy framework for the EU and its Member States in the fight against world hunger and malnutrition, thereby contributing towards achieving MDG 1.

        The proposed policy framework addresses food security challenges in developing countries in both rural and urban contexts across the internationally recognised four pillars by:

        a) increasing availability of food;

        b) improving access to food;

        c) improving nutritional adequacy of food intake; and

        d) enhancing crisis prevention and management.

        EU action needs to give priority to those food insecure countries most off-track in reaching MDG1, in particular in Africa, but also South Asia and elsewhere (e.g. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Nepal, Timor Leste). Given the nature of related MDGs that are also off-track, a specific investment in women will be required. Evidence shows that investments in the smallholder sector yield the best returns in terms of poverty reduction and growth.

        This new EU framework therefore concentrates on enhancing incomes of smallholder farmers and the resilience of vulnerable communities, supporting the resolve of countries that prioritise agriculture and food security in their development efforts.

        Increasing availability of food: world population is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050 and demand for food is likely to grow by 70%. This requires accelerated agricultural production growth. Most of the poor and hungry in the world live in rural areas, where agriculture - including crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry - forms the main economic activity. Small-scale farming is dominant: about 85% of farmers in developing countries produce on less than 2 hectares of land. Therefore, sustainable small-scale food production should be the focus of EU assistance to increase availability of food in developing countries. The Communication also stresses secure access to land and secure land tenure and use rights are prerequisites for higher productivity of small holder farmers.

        Improving access to food: access to food should be enhanced primarily by improving employment and income-earning opportunities in both rural and urban areas, including through diversification and trade, thus making food more affordable for a larger number of people. This should be complemented by social transfer mechanisms. The EU and its Member States should assist partner countries in establishing and operating social mechanisms in support of vulnerable population groups, especially women. In general, access to food can be improved by applying the "Right-to-Food" approach, and the EU should support its further application in developing countries, including "right-to-food" based political and legal frameworks.

        Improving nutritional adequacy of food intake: the EU should support the formulation of nutrition policies and strategies, nutrition-training, education, and the setting up of coordination mechanisms between agriculture, health, education, and social protection sectors. Future agriculture programmes should include a nutritional dimension. This could mean strengthening diversification of smallholder agriculture, promoting production of micronutrient-rich food, especially local varieties, monitoring of nutrition related outcomes, and/or supporting agricultural research conducted from a nutrition perspective.

        Improving crisis prevention and management: the EU should step up efforts in supporting regional integration in developing countries, as closer regional integration forms another means of preventing economic, political and food security crises, and of mitigating their effects. Furthermore, to mitigate volatility, the stock-to-use ratio of food products needs to be improved by creating conditions for production increases and for adequate stock levels to be kept, mainly by private traders. Moreover, export restrictions of basic food products should be discouraged. The EU and its Member States should contribute to improved food market functioning at global, regional and national levels.

        Priorities: the EU's priority should be to support food security in fragile countries. This is a particular priority in Africa, where nearly 80% of malnourished people live in fragile countries, and in parts of South Asia. While all four pillars should be addressed, the EU should prioritise four broad and related dimensions: smallholder agricultural development, governance, regional integration, and assistance mechanisms for vulnerable populations. In these areas, the EU and its Member States should:

        Improve smallholder resilience and rural livelihoods

        • focus on ecologically efficient agricultural intensification for smallholder farmers, and in particular women, by providing support for sustainable national policies, and for equitable access to resources, including land, water, (micro) credit and other agricultural inputs;
        • increase substantially support to demand-led agricultural research for development, extension and innovation, aiming to reach 50% by 2015. Research in the public domain should rely on traditional knowledge and on new technologies. It should not promote technologies that are not sustainable or that are incompatible with national capacities to regulate and manage risks;
        • actively support greater participation of civil society and farmer organisations in policy making and research programmes and increase their involvement in the implementation and evaluation of government programmes;
        • improve the regulatory and institutional conditions for responsible private investments in all stages of the agricultural value chain and stimulate public-private investments.

        Support effective governance

        • substantially increase support to CAADP applying effective division of labour in all agriculture-based Sub-Saharan African countries by 2015;
        • launch a joint initiative with the AU to accelerate the implementation of the African Land Policy Guidelines, including a roadmap to implement the principles for sustainable large scale investments in farm land;
        • support national and international initiatives for the definition of principles and codes of conduct governing sustainable large scale domestic and foreign investments in farm land, focusing on the protection of land rights, secure access to land and other natural resources for smallholder farmers and pastoral communities and on sustainable management of these resources;
        • support the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to become the pivotal institution to coordinate global food security initiatives;
        • support closer coordination between the Rome-based UN agencies.

        Support regional agriculture and food security policies

        • support the development and implementation of regional level agricultural policies and strategies, including on livestock management and food safety, to step up integration of regional food and agricultural markets. Enhance policy dialogue with regional organisations on agriculture, food security and nutrition;
        • reinforce the regional and national information systems in support of agriculture, food security and nutrition policies, and those for early warning purposes.

        Strengthen assistance mechanisms for vulnerable population groups

        • support countries to establish and operate targeted and flexible social transfer policies adapted to local contexts. Where feasible, social assistance should provide opportunities for recipients to graduate into an income earning situation securing sustainable access to food;
        • promote better integration of nutrition in development policies, including in education and health and related capacity building;
        • provide specific support to countries in transition and fragility using LRRD principles.
      title
      COM(2010)0127
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    text
    • The Committee on Development adopted the own-initiative report drafted by Gabriele ZIMMER (GUE/NGL, DE) on an EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges, in response to the Commission communication on the same subject.

      Members recall that the number of people suffering from hunger amounted to 925 million in 2010 according to the FAO and that hunger and malnutrition are the main causes of human mortality. The report notes that there has been a rise in food prices since August 2010, following a trend over the last ten years, with levels now higher than during the food price peak of 2008. The volatility of commodity prices is impacting greatly on low income countries and the poorest and most vulnerable and marginalised segments of the populations of developing countries.

      Against this background, an EU policy framework on food and nutrition security is necessary.

      Members welcome the Commission communication on an EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges. However, the EU and the Member States must, as a matter of urgency, make new investments in agriculture and rural development. The report states that the Commission should take greater account of the question of food security in some countries when calculating development aid.

      Members express deep concerns about the negative effects of such mechanisms, especially on local economies. They emphasise that a sustainable development policy should be based on long-term and cooperation approaches. The report calls for more resources to be deployed in order to ensure the continuity of aid and for the debate to focus on the flexibility and complementarity of existing financial instruments.

      Other more detailed actions are as follows:

      • increase support in favour of sustainable smallholders;
      • increase public investments in research for sustainable agro-ecological production systems that also improve the productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural and rural sector;
      • the need for a partnership approach with the whole range of development stakeholders on food security, in particular local and regional authorities and civil society organisations;
      • the Commission, the Member States and other development aid donors, including NGOs, to target their investment more closely on the agricultural sector in order to provide local people with a reason not to move elsewhere;
      • prioritise agriculture in its development aid, including assistance to farmers in accessing markets;
      • involve local agricultural organisations and strengthen local associations, so as to ensure that the interests of local communities are protected.

      Members agree that EU assistance programmes should focus on sustainable, primarily small- and medium- scale food production and on  approaches that strengthen biodiversity, prevent the degradation of fertile land and promote low-external-input (LEI) practices while increasing agricultural output in developing countries.

      The EU should contribute to promoting the use of seeds from local varieties which are adapted to climatic conditions in developing countries and which can be easily stored, traded and supplied to farmers, as they are free of intellectual property rights.

      More sustainable production: Members consider, in view of the growing global population and increasing pressure on natural resources, that it is essential to establish more sustainable, energy-saving and efficient forms of production at world level. They demand that the allocation of aid by the EU and Member States be tied to the development of sustainable and energy self-sufficient agricultural production systems, and that a part of this aid contribute to the setting up of facilities for generating renewable energy (for example based on wind and sun) and good water management. The report stresses the need to give small farmers in developing countries greater access to property rights, allowing small land owners to prove ownership and as such posses collateral for the loans required to elevate their production.

      Food as a human right: Members recall that agricultural development must be grounded in the right to food and the right to produce food. They stress in parallel the need for ensuring equal access of local populations to food in these countries. Current production capacities in some developing countries may not cover needs and that achieving long-term food security requires a reduction in import dependencies by building up these domestic capacities.

      The Commission is called upon to: (i) draw up a specific Communication on the nutritional dimension into EU programmes; (ii) recognise the fundamental role of women, as smallholder farmers, in food and nutrition security; (iii) focus on the implementation of actions to ensure that the most vulnerable, especially in rural areas, can benefit from agriculture training opportunities, education on nutrition, good health and work conditions and a safety net if it is needed; (iv) continue their ongoing consultation processes with global civil society and non-state actors, in particular with farmers', fishermen's and breeders' organisations; (v) focus on under-nutrition, particularly maternal and infant under-nutrition, and to integrate sound and multi-sectoral nutrition strategies into its development policy; (vi) promote and work towards the implementation of innovative financial instruments, such as an international tax on financial transactions.

      Members take the view that, in the light of FAO population projections indicating that, by 2025, more than half of the developing world's population (some 3.5 thousand million people) will be living in urban areas, a policy of support for urban horticulture could offer a pathway out of poverty, given the low start-up costs, short production cycles and high yields per unit of time, land and water, and could make the new cities greener.

      Effective measures against food price volatility and uncontrolled land acquisition: Members draw attention to the structural causes of price volatility and strongly emphasise that speculation on derivatives of essential food commodities has significantly worsened price volatility. Regulatory mechanisms are needed to ensure a degree of market stability.

      In this context, the report proposes the following measures:

      • fair remuneration for farmers;
      • concrete action to effectively tackle financial speculation on grain and food;
      • steps to restore world food stocks;
      • better management and storage of physical grain and food reserves at national and regional level and a strengthening of international coordination and monitoring, thereby countering food price volatility and enabling a better and faster response to food crises;
      • encourage governments of developing countries to commit to land reform in order to secure the land titles of indigenous farmers and small and medium farmers, especially women, and to prevent land-grabbing practices by corporations;
      • adoption of the FAO voluntary guidelines on land acquisitions and ensuring their participatory implementation, but also calls for strict binding national and international regulations on land acquisitions;
      • drawing up a code of conduct to urge investors to focus their efforts on raising agricultural productivity and improving the livelihoods of local communities;
      • establishment of mechanisms which prevent the 'pricing out' of local farmers and their ability to produce food for local populations;
      • maintaining effective conditions for agricultural production, including soil quality, water access and the prevention of environmental pollution.

      Policy Coherence for Development: Members call for the freezing of EU energy strategy targets until further impact assessments have been undertaken. They believe that food security should not be jeopardised by the development of agrofuels.  They call therefore for a balanced approach that gives priority to the new generation of agrofuels using farm and forestry waste (straw and other crop waste, animal manure, biogas, etc.) instead of food crops, to avoid a situation of competition between food and energy production. They urge the adoption of a more global perspective in the design of the CAP post-2013 which should adhere to the principle of 'do no harm' to food markets in developing countries.

      Lastly, the Commission is called upon to:

      • investigate the problem of food waste inside the EU, as up to 40 % of the available food, including food produced in developing countries and exported to the EU, is thought to be thrown in the dustbin, and to propose effective measures to tackle the problem and improve consumption patterns;
      • phase-out export subsidies as well as for the removal of all other incentives in the CAP which result in trade-distorting measures;
      • ensure that the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries is being respected in countries where the EU has Fisheries Partnership Agreements, especially regarding the recommendation to grant preferential access for local artisanal fishers to resources;
      • bring about reforms that will expand market access opportunities for developing countries and allow them to perform competitively in their own national and regional markets;
      • focus on development concerns in the ongoing EPA negotiations, broaden developing countries' room for manoeuvre with regard to trade rules and, in particular, apply safeguard clauses in order to achieve endogenous, sustainable development of economic capacity in developing countries;
      • take a strong pro-development position in WTO negotiations;
      • apply a human rights-based approach to international trade negotiations and to apply human rights impact assessments to agreements with third countries;
      • support a needs-based convention in which the level of donors' food assistance commitments are linked to people's needs and guaranteed local purchase volumes in recipient countries.
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EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges
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© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament