ONE solution to poverty, malnutrition: Agricultural investment

Bloated bellies are a sign of malnutrition. World leaders should agree on a new compact on food security and nutrition, says ONE. Photo by: Steve Evans / CC BY

Poverty. Food insecurity. Hunger. Malnutrition. Stunting. How can the international development community put an end to these challenges?

A number of solutions have been presented over time to address these chronic problems. Many have highlighted the need to boost agriculture research and investment, including Bill Gates. But progress remains slow. Why?

Because, according to ONE, the international development community lacks political will and sufficient funding.

ONE says world leaders should agree on a new compact on food security and nutrition, and they should do it now.

The advocacy group launched its latest campaign, Thrive, April 10 to encourage donor governments and leaders of developing countries to step up their support for agricultural investment. To mark the launch of the campaign, ONE unveiled its newest report, “Food. Farming. Future. Breaking the Cycle of Malnutrition and Poverty.”

The report notes that the proposed compact should include a new initiative at the coming G-8 summit that builds on, but is better than, the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative of 2009. World leaders should address food price volatility at the G-20 summit this year as well.

It is also important for African governments to engage with the private sector and renew their commitments under the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security. Under the declaration, members of the African Union promised to spend 10 percent of their national budget on agriculture and rural development.

The report says 30 low-income countries, mostly in Africa, already have internationally endorsed agriculture investment plans. If these plans were to be fully funded, about 50 million people could escape poverty and 15 million children under 5 could be saved from stunting.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.