‘Food system needs urgent reform’

In an interview with viEUws at the Forum on the Future of Agriculture 2014, Olivier De Schutter – UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food – talks about the flaws of the current food system and discusses a number of measures to reduce hunger and malnutrition.

De Schutter underlines that the shift in focus from large-scale efficient producers to small-scale farmers has already taken place. “In the past we thought by trusting the most efficient regions to feed the others we would succeed in reducing hunger and undernutrition, but now we have realised that instead we must support each country and each region, which means investing in producers who might not be the most efficient and competitive”, claims the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

The key challenge now is not about increasing production but ensuring adequate distribution of food, strengthening the purchasing power of the poor and developing the diversity of farms, the Belgian academic states. A firm advocate of agro-ecology, the UN food expert also outlines the main elements of this approach to agriculture that seeks to better understand how nature works.

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