“How We Count Hunger Matters” (Free access available for a limited time)

“How We Count Hunger Matters”

JULY 9, 2013

Research and Policy Director Timothy A. Wise recently coauthored “How We Count Hunger Matters”, published in the journal Ethics & International Affairs and available for free download and viewing for a limited time. Written with Frances Moore Lappé, Jennifer Clapp, Molly Anderson, Robin Broad, Ellen Messer, and Thomas Pogge, the article is based on “Framing Hunger: A Response to ‘The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012′”, recently published by the Small Planet Institute. The Institute also has new material, including a Q&A with lead author Frances Moore Lappé.

In “How We Count Hunger Matters,” the authors take issue with the FAO’s presentation of its revised global hunger estimates:
“Setting aside any question about the specific merits of the agency’s new methodology, the FAO’s primary measure does not capture the full extent of hunger. Additionally, SOFI 12’s overriding messages may obscure important policy lessons. We suggest that a wide range of specific government policies that were either underemphasized or completely omitted in SOFI 12 have proven successful in reducing hunger—especially those that promote more equitable access to productive resources, the right to food, a more supportive international economic and trade system, and ecological approaches to production.”
Read “How We Count Hunger Matters
Source: Global Development And Environment Institute

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  • Brad Wilson (@FarmJustice)
    Posted at 09:44h, 20 August Reply

    In general, this supports a definition of “food sovereignty” that includes the macro issues, and then among those macro issues, help with higher (not lower) farm prices to be paid to the food producers who have made up the majority of the “undernourished.” Each of these has been part of the dominant paradigm inside the US. It’s been common to omit the need for macro policies such as Price Floors and Ceilings, backed up by Supply Management (supply cuts to prevent overproduction and dumping, reserve supplies to moderate price spikes during times of shortage,) in discussions of the global “food crisis.” And then, of these two sides of the macro policy issue, it’s been common to call for a return to export dumping on poor farming countries, (ie. cheap farm prices for LDCs, like we’ve had, increasingly, 1953-1972, 1977-2006) as a solution to the higher, more “fair trade” prices of recent years, which poor people can’t afford, but which the rural poor need for wealth and jobs creation.
    My view is that the decades of dumping (ie. if you define dumping as farm prices below fair trade standards, rather than merely as sub zero returns on investments, then it extends back much farther in time,) created savage dilemmas, as the fair prices global farmers have so desperately needed have also been damaging.

  • foodgovernance
    Posted at 09:32h, 06 September Reply

    Dear Brad,
    I have been away from the blog but really appreciate your thoughtful comment. I completely agree with your call for supply management systems so long as quota remains demonetised to avoid concentration. The paradox you raise is a tricky one that I have no answers to.

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