Food policy report states “middle economy families” are revolving points for global food and nutrition security


According to a new report released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), on Monday March 30, smallholder farmers play a significant role in the efforts to achieve  global food security and nutrition targets;nevertheless, they constitute a sizable part of  the world’s poorest and most food-insecure groups in the worl
The 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) states that more than 60 percent of cultivated land in Africa is cultivated by small family farms averaging 1–2 hectares in size.  Even though small scale farming is good, it is big scale farming  that will transform economies according to the opinions of experts.
“Small is still beautiful in agriculture-based economies, but bigger is better in transforming and transformed economies. Small family farmers can prosper either through a ‘move up’ or a ‘move out’ strategy. While some small farmers have the potential to undertake profitable commercial activities in the agricultural sector and operation, others should be supported in exiting agriculture and seeking non-farm employment opportunities,” IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan said.
IFPRI’s report looks at several food policies that were legislated in developing and middle income countries in 2014-2015, and focuses on helping smallholder farmers succeed in farming or find other economic opportunities; mitigating risk to vulnerable populations with well-designed and targeted social protection programs; and integrating efforts to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene into nutrition-supporting policy priorities.
It also stresses on the role of water, sanitation, and hygiene in shaping nutrition outcomes such as child height, one of the most important measures of a population’s well-being. It states that efforts to improve sanitation should be integrated into nutrition-supporting policy priorities to achieve greater progress in improving nutrition in Africa.
“It has become clear that the factors that influence people’s nutrition go well beyond food and agriculture to include drinking water and sanitation, the role of women, the quality of care giving, among others. We made some important strides towards global food and nutrition security in 2014. For example, nutrition shot up to the top of the global agenda and the concept of climate-smart agriculture has gained a foothold,” Fan said.
The report also reflects on  the role of middle income countries in achieving global zero hunger and malnutrition; food safety and preventing food-borne disease; building resilience and food security in conflict-affected countries; and how smallholder fisheries can contribute to food security. According to Fan, these and other food policy issues need to be kept high on the global development agenda to ewnsure that hunger and malnutrition is eliminated worldwide.