EDITORIAL- Sustainable food systems
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2013 - 12:00am

World Food Day is marked today as the Philippines’ rice bowl in Central Luzon is under a state of calamity due to recent typhoons and floods. The extensive crop damage has raised questions on whether the country can stop importing rice by 2014 – a prospect that was supposed to have been achieved this year.

The Philippines is no longer being blamed for pushing up rice prices in the world market in a bid to build up a comfortable buffer stock. But reports of hoarding and price manipulation continue to bedevil the supply of the nation’s staple, with rice prices rising in recent months and refusing to go down. Becoming a rice exporter like several of its Asian neighbors also remains a dream for the Philippines.

Apart from problems in the rice supply, millions of Filipinos suffer from malnourishment and undernourishment. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 870 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished. The FAO pins much of the blame on unsustainable models of development. The organization said these models are degrading the natural environment and threatening ecosystems and biodiversity that sustain the global food supply. Overpopulation has also worsened hunger and malnutrition among the poor.

For this year’s World Food Day, the UN is urging policy-makers to promote sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition. The FAO says integrated action and interventions are needed in agriculture and the food system, in natural resource management, and in public health and education. The key word is sustainability, with efficient management of resources ensuring a nation’s food security.

 

AGRICULTURE CENTRAL LUZON FAO FOOD MANAGEMENT MODELS RICE SUPPLY UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION WORLD FOOD DAY
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