Food security issues need action


THERE has been a lot of talk about food security but nothing seems to have been done to get the plans out to address this concern.
The talks will soon become meaningless unless action is taken.
Meetings after meetings, forums after forums, speakers voice their worry about food security, calling on authorities to act.
There seems to be a lot brainstorming but what matters more are execution and implementation.
Earlier this year, the Policy Partnership on Food Security forum was held in Port Moresby with calls for the Apec economies to continue their efforts and work as a team to achieve long-lasting food security.
Many said the forum and many others were important because they provided a platform for the Apec economies to interact and set policy directions to enhance and sustain food security.
The aim of attending such events is basically to share and create boundaries in the idea-generation process.
Problems and achievements are shared with the end result typically being a much broader range of ideas that one can tap on.
Look at the PNG National Food Security Policy 2018-2027.
A primary aim of the policy is to foster strong public-private partnerships to leverage agriculture’s potential to promote enhanced nutrition and health by bringing profitable smallholder farming, efficient food value chains, women’s income and child nutrition together.
The Minister for Agriculture and Livestock says the successful implementation of the policy will contribute to advancing the nation towards the goals of Vision 2050 of being a smart, wise, fair and happy society, and achieving the global Sustainable Development Goal 2 to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
While we may think our problems have been highlighted and broken down in the policy, decision-makers should take ownership of the hardships and make it their own.
It is time for those at Waigani and Konedobu to get down in the trenches and observe the individuals who are affected by the problem, and who would also be affected by the solutions.
The goal is to make it as real as possible to the people who will be driving the policies and those that will be impacted by it.
We cannot solve or achieve anything if we work in isolation.
Let us use the expertise from other Apec economies and make the connections.
It will not be a walk in the park for PNG.
Food security is becoming difficult to achieve in many parts of the world because of demand and supply issues brought about by increasing populations, dwindling resources like land and water and climate change.
It is time to ensure that effective and efficient food value chains are developed to supply sufficient nutritious, safe and affordable food at all times to everyone.
Using real life experiences from other economies, Papua New Guinea can fine-tune its policies and plans to move forward towards impact.
Papua New Guinea needs to get this food security policy right and that means ensuring we have a reliable and sustainable supply of nutrition which many experts say will gradually deliver economic growth.
Enough of talking and let us get down to business to achieve justifiable food security.

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