by Barbara Adolph and Laura Silici, IIED
To mark World Food Day, IIED, ODI and IDS have launched the first seven of 12 new papers addressing agricultural and rural development debates in sub-Saharan Africa.
World Food Day celebrates the anniversary of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's creation on 16 October 1945, and is a good occasion to reflect on the challenges of achieving food security worldwide. This year’s theme, 'Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth', was chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers.
There is general agreement that family farming plays important roles in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development. However, the debates around the specific policies and investments needed for this are as heated as ever.
In sub-Saharan Africa in particular, the challenges of feeding a growing and increasingly urbanised population, while increasing household incomes for rural producers, have given rise to fierce debate and contested recommendations.