Farming First Newsletter July 2013 Issue
Raising awareness of the impacts of food insecurity and malnutrition around the world is central to the aim of the Farming First coalition. We are pleased to see that government leaders are waking up to the devastating impact food insecurity and malnutrition has on developing countries, particularly on children.
Global Food and Nutrition Security
In 2011, globally 165 million children under the age of five had stunted growth, limiting their future potential due to the impacts on their health and cognitive ability - further entrenching the cycle of poverty. Within that same year two billion people were estimated anemic, including every second pregnant woman and an estimated 40% of school-aged children. On Saturday 8th June at the UK Hunger Summit, world leaders, donors, businesses, scientists, and civil society organisations joined forces to build on the momentum at the G8 to fight food security, by launching a new series of financial and political commitments to ensure proper nutrition for millions of men, women and children around the world.

Hosted by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, a pledge of £2.7bn was made to save 20 million children from chronic malnutrition, via the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact. This commitment made by countries and organisations seeks by 2020 to:
  • improve the nutrition of 500 million pregnant women and young children;
  • reduce the number of children under five who are stunted by an additional 20 million;
  • save the lives of at least 1.7 million children by preventing stunting, increasing breastfeeding and better treatment of severe and acute malnutrition.
Importantly these pledges recognise the call to action by Farming First for holistic solutions in eradicating food insecurity - both agricultural growth and a direct focus on nutrition are needed. In a recent Farming First interview with David Nabarro, the United Nations Security General Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition, explains the role of agriculture in finding a solution to alleviate hunger and malnutrition, stating: “we have to concentrate on the right kind of farming practices that enable people to grow and then access and finally consume the food they need." This focus was echoed by Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), with Ameringen saying: “we are not just looking about how do you grow more, and grow it sustainably, but how do you make sure it is addressing some of the key nutritional challenges.”

A unique resource: Farming First Food & Nutrition Initiatives Online Map
Ahead of the G8 meetings, Farming First launched a new online guide to global and regional food and nutrition security initiatives. The guide offers the first comprehensive analysis of 35 leading initiatives and demonstrates the impact they are having on the ground, whilst serving as a call to action to governments and other stakeholders to carry through their commitments. It provides farmers’ organisations, businesses in the agricultural sector, donors, foundations, and those working on food security and rural development, with a one-stop source of information.

Farming First and the post-2015 development process
In the March newsletter we promised that Farming First would bring the voices of farmers, scientists and businesses working in agriculture to the forefront of the post-2015 dialogue. At the third session of the UN Open Working Group in New York in May, which focused on food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and land degradation, the coalition’s position was delivered by Farming First members: Stephanie Hanson, Director of Policy and Outreach, One Acre Fund and Natalia Federighi, Director of Public Affairs and Institutional Relations, Yara.

Natalie and Stephanie met with a number of the government delegations, relating the experiences of their organisations on the ground working with farmers and rural communities on the formation of the global Sustainable Development Goals on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture. Their perspectives and desire to feed practical examples of what works into the process was well received.

Having a diverse membership base allows Farming First to bring broad, grounded inputs to the UN and indeed global dialogues on the future modalities for sustainable development post-2015. We encourage you to read the recent live blog from Stephanie Hanson, which offers the reflection of an NGO on the SDG meetings in New York. Through the Farming First founding principles and our proposition for SDGs on food security and sustainable agriculture, the Coalition will continue to promote the fundamental role of agriculture, within the key dialogues and consultations related to the Post-2015 development agenda.

New Supporters
Farming First is pleased to welcome a new supporter: Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG) association. RDFG is a non-profit association, working on cross-cutting issues such as human rights, environmental protection, gender equality, peace building and disaster risk reduction.

The organisation works with different societal groups including children and young people, to improve their socio-economic conditions through vocational training, economic development and social projects. RDFG facilitates events and activities to raise awareness of health and hygiene issues and works with the local communities to increase their resilience to natural disasters.

Recently, RDFG helped women who had lost their homes and livelihoods in the Russian-Georgian war, training them to use modern agricultural technologies and better maintain their home gardens and orchards.
LinkedIn Group
In June, Farming First launched a LinkedIn group, which in tandem with the recently updated Farming First website, will promote opportunities for ongoing dialogue on the future of sustainable agriculture. LinkedIn has over 225 million members worldwide and is one of the fastest growing social networking platforms. To join the LinkedIn discussion please click here.
Farming First Website Refreshed
On 3rd June we launched a new Farming First website, which in addition to the updated Food and Nutrition Security Initiatives map, seeks to make all of our creative content and policy pieces even more accessible.

The feedback from supporters was central to the reconstruction of the new website and we aim to continue to provide the latest news, blogs, interviews and policy documents through five key topic portals – Food & Nutrition Security, Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, Gender and Water.

Now Farming First’s hundreds of videos, case studies and opinion pieces by thought leaders are even more accessible.

Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback so far, we welcome all your comments. If you ever want to use our infographics, videos, case studies and other content in your events, or have ideas on new content Farming First should feature, let us know!

We would like to remind all our members that you can support Farming First in our efforts by following us on Twitter (with 19,000 + followers), contributing blogs and case studies, and alerting us of any events or reports on food security and sustainable agriculture that you would like Farming First to highlight or attend.
Post-2015 & the SDGs
Read Farming First’s position on the post-2015 development agenda process and the Sustainable Development Goals here.

The High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda released its final report on May 30th. The report, entitled A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty And Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development, provides recommendations on the goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.

Read Farming First’s response to the report here.
Farming First TV
Video: The Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

Farming First has produced a compilation video in which key spokespeople give their views on the role that agriculture should play in the post-2015 development agenda.

The video features comments from Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO, FANRPAN, John Parker, Globalisation Editor, The Economist and Dybron Chibonga, CEO, National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM).

Farming First TV has also continued to expand its collection of expert video interviews. These include:

Improving Global Nutrition
With Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, Switzerland at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

The Importance of Nutrition in Development Talks
With John Parker, Globalisation Editor of The Economist.
Farming First in the news
New Agriculturist
Online guide charts progress on food and nutrition security

Global Food for Thought
The Farming First Coalition has launched a new online guide to 35 global and regional food and nutrition security initiatives

Food Security
Farming First collated food security initiatives
Farming First Twitter Update
Thanks to everyone who has supported and shared the new Farming First website and Food and Nutrition Security Map, we reached over one million people in the first weeks of the launch with interactions with influential organisations such as the FAO, ifpri, the Food Tank, UNDP and Oxfam International.

Farming First were also listed in the top 10 Twitter users discussing food security online, alongside Oxfam, FAO and USAID by a Twitter analytics site.

And finally, thanks again to Natalie and Stephanie for live tweeting from the UN at the Open Working Group, helping us reach over 100,000 Twitter users. Follow Farming First on Twitter: @farmingfirst.
Upcoming and recent events
Plant Nutrition for Nutrient and Food Securitya
Istanbul, 19-22 August

UNGA Meetings on Post-2015
New York, September

A full list of events can be found on the Farming First events calendar