APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development seeks to bring together UK Parliamentarians concerned with agriculture, nutrition and wider food security in the developing world. This cross-party group aims to engender progressive and informed debate within Westminster and beyond by bridging the gap between policy makers and practitioners in the field whilst also giving a voice to the 700 million smallholder farmers worldwide.

The APPG was established by Parliamentarians in October 2008 in response to growing concerns over the heightening food crisis and a steady decline in the funding of agricultural research for international development at both bilateral and multilateral levels.TAA played an important role in initiating the APPG through its membership of the UK Forum on Agricultural Research for Development. The TAA is an official 'Supporter' of the APPG.

Chaired by Lord Cameron of Dillington, it is a cross-party initiative drawing members from both Houses of the UK Parliament which aims to bring together Parliamentarians concerned with both the technical, and social science, of agriculture. It seeks to use its cross- party membership to:

  • improve support from the British Government for farmers and other stakeholders in developing countries whilst recognising the pivotal role that increased levels of agricultural research, and their outputs, can have in eliminating global poverty.
  • support for the developmental needs of the 450 million smallholder farmers who feed 2 billion people worldwide.
  • engender progressive and informed debate within Westminster and beyond by bridging the gap between policy makers, agricultural development specialists and practitioners in the field.

Click here for further information. 

Click here for location map of House of Commons area.

Click here for summaries of presentations and Q&A discussion.

Lis Wallace is co-ordinator for the APPG. Lis is Researcher to Lord Cameron of Dillington, House of Lords (Tel: 020 7219 6079; Mob: 078 9133 2880).

Terry Wiles is the TAA liaison person for this APPG. Please contact him if you need further advice or have suggestions for future APPG meeting topics.

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APPG 'Missing Food' Report (July 2014)

Parliamentarians call for urgent scale-up of efforts to reduce food waste in the Parliamentary Report entitled, ‘Missing Food’.  Parliamentarians of the APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development are calling on all governments and donors to urgently scale up and better coordinate efforts to reduce post-harvest losses and food waste.

"Food losses along the postharvest chain have an impact on food and nutritional security, farmer livelihoods, natural resource consumption and agricultural sustainability. It is abundantly clear that measures must be taken at all levels and by all actors if the amount of food lost between field and fork is to be reduced.”

A third of food produced for human consumption globally is lost. At the same time the world will need about 50% more food by 2030. In Africa smallholder farmers produce more than 80% of food, but at the same time account for 50% of the food insecure. In developing countries losses of weight and quality accumulate along the postharvest chain, due in part to poor infrastructure. It is estimated that 14% of grains and a considerably higher percentage of fruit and vegetables are lost. Grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone translate into over $4 billion lost per year. Developed countries have much higher losses at the consumption level, where retailers and consumers waste food.

Through a series of seminars, the APPG heard that a multipronged approach is essential to reduce postharvest losses. The report stresses the crucial importance of building the capacity of smallholder farmers in postharvest management so that crops are collected at the appropriate time, produce is not contaminated with soil, crops are dried correctly to reduce moisture for safe storage and measures are taken to reduce susceptibility to pests.

The report’s recommendations come at a time when governments are considering the Sustainable Development Goals and the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals. The ‘Missing Food’ Report highlights that scale of the problem requires more effective global political leadership and commitment. Equally, strengthening the data and means of measuring progress will be critical for understanding the tangible impact of any goals on reducing losses or waste of food.

Lord Cameron of Dillington, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development, stated that, "The amount of hunger and malnutrition in Sub Saharan Africa could be seriously reduced if politicians and all involved in the food chain focused equally on wasting less as much as on growing more.”

The Department for International Development has a number of agricultural research programmes, which have components or sub-projects looking at postharvest losses. However, the APPG emphasises that the scale of the problem demands a more substantial and coherent approach from all donors and governments.

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APPG REPORT ON VISIT TO BIHAR, INDIA

October 2013

The report of a visit by APPG members to Bihar included consideration of DFID’s change in relationship with India, from grant aid to technical assistance. It was suggested by Indian Ministers, both at State and Federal levels, that this was a sensible approach to take. There are already many subsidies that state governments provide but there is a lack of expertise and capacity – an area in which DFID can provide significant support. DFID has a £10 million technical assistance programme prepared to support the "Bihar Agricultural Roadmap”, it will be crucial to ensure that this support focuses on market access, marketing of produce and capacity building – topics were told repeatedly emphasised.Click to read the full report

APPG PRESS RELEASE

 16/05/13

Parliamentarians urge government to increase investment in agriculture to end global hunger

"It is abundantly clear that sustained long-term investment in agriculture for development is crucial to rural livelihoods. It can have truly transformational impacts both in terms of the rural economy and in terms of poverty and hunger alleviation.”

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development

Parliamentarians of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development* are calling on the UK Government, and specifically the Department for International Development, to invest in agriculture to combat the hunger that 925 million people around the world are undernourished face every day - in a Parliamentary Report, on "Home Grown Nutrition”.

The report’s recommendations come ahead of a high level meeting that will be co-hosted by the UK government on 8 June. ‘The Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science’ meeting will be held in the build-up tothe G8 summit in Northern Ireland and bring together business leaders, scientists, governments and civil society to make the ambitious commitments needed to tackle nutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Building on the issues raised by the Hunger Summit held in London last summer, which highlighted the devastating consequences of undernutrition on children, it is expected that as a result of this next meeting the UK will make financial pledges to support work on nutrition.

Lord Cameron of Dillington, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development, stated that, "Agriculture is the basis of many, if not all, pathways to improved nutrition. All development goals and interventions are strengthened by a productive agricultural sector.”

Agriculture as a development theme has been chronically underfunded by the Department of International Development in the past and the APPG of Agriculture and Food for Development urge the government to make sure agriculture is no longer overlooked. Investments in agriculture must be seen as a long term project, putting smallholder farmers at the centre of such programmes.

Professor Andrew Westby said, "The Natural Resources Institute** welcomes this timely report, we believe that smallholder farmers are crucial to addressing the challenges of global hunger, and more sustained support for them would be a positive step towards greater food and nutrition security worldwide.”

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Lord Ewen Cameron of Dillington, the Group’s Co-Chair, is available for comment and interview.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Dominic Foster.
Tel: 07881827796
Email: fosterdj@parliament.uk

*The All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development(APPG) was established by Parliamentarians in October 2008 in response to growing concerns over the heightening food crisis. Co-Chaired by Heidi Alexander MP and Lord Cameron of Dillington, the APPG seeks to bring together Parliamentarians concerned with agriculture, nutrition and wider food security in the developing world. This cross-party group aims to engender progressive and informed debate within Westminster and beyond by bridging the gap between policy makers and practitioners in the field whilst also giving a voice to the 700 million smallholder farmers worldwide. The Group’s website can be found at:www.appg-agdev.co.uk

**The Natural Resources Instituteis a specialized Institute and School of the University of Greenwich. The Institute currently has about 70 scientific, academic and technical staff, working in a wide range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences. NRI staff work on bringing interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches to bear on issues of natural-resource management, especially to improve the quality of life of the rural and urban poor.

"Home Grown Nutrition” Reportcan be found by clicking here.