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g8 2012

Agriculture for impact has been working on a number of ways in which to influence the G8 meetings which took place in May 2012.  A summary of their work throughout this crucial time is listed below.   

A call to Action - letter to G8 leaders

Now is the time to be ambitious and break the cycle of hunger and poverty, was the message Gordon Conway and other international experts conveyed in a letter to G8 leaders on 16th May. The full letter can be read here. 

The signatories, including Bob Geldof, Mary Robinson, Roger Thurow and Tom Arnold, called for the following four measures to be taken at the 2012 G8 Summit:

  • Decades of underinvestment in both smallholder agriculture and nutrition programmes must be overturned. The historic investments in the G8’s 2009 L’Aquila food security initiative must be urgently delivered before L’Aquila commitments expire at the end of this year. G8 leaders must commit to extend and renew these public financial commitments, beyond 2012, prioritising support for women smallholder producers, sustainable farming approaches, and proven solutions to reducing childhood malnutrition.
  • G8 leaders must set impact targets to pull 50 million people out of poverty through agriculture and save at least 15 million children from stunting. There are 30 low-income countries which are already fighting hunger through agriculture investment plans and 18 of them are committed to tackling malnutrition through their involvement in the groundbreaking Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. G8 leaders should set this target as an intermediary goal in reaching the World Health Organization’s target to reduce stunting globally by 40 percent over the next 10 years.
  • Public and private sector investments must clearly demonstrate how they will
    benefit smallholder farmers and be tied to development indicators.
  • Provide fast and flexible support to national governments such as through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) Public Sector Window that is focused on funding gaps in country agricultural development and food security investment plans.  

Camp David

The G8 pledged to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next decade at their annual summit at Camp David on 18-19 May. The Camp David Declaration contains four paragraphs on food security and nutrition, the centre-piece of which is the announcement of a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition ‘to accelerate the flow of private capital to African agriculture, take to scale new technologies and other innovations that can increase sustainable agricultural productivity, and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities.’

To show how the G8 want to achieve this, the introductory document on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition includes a number of specific initiatives on partnership, mobilising private capital, taking innovation to scale, reducing and managing risk, improving nutrition outcomes and ensuring accountability. Although the details on these initiatives are limited, it is worth taking time to look at what has been announced so far.

The New Alliance was launched at a Global Agriculture and Food Security Symposium hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in Washington DC on 18 May. In his speech to this symposium, US President Barack Obama said that food security was a moral imperative, an economic imperative and a security imperative. He pledged that food security would remain a priority as long as he was President.

The symposium was also attended by the leaders of the first three African countries to enter into New Alliance partnerships:  Prime Minister Meles President Mills, and President Kikwete.  The cooperation frameworks to support the New Alliance in their countries -EthiopiaGhana and Tanzania respectively, include information about their national policy commitments, donor funding intentions, and private sector investment intentions.

At the symposium, the UK Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell announced UK support to the New Alliance, including a new contribution of £75 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program.

As a member of the Advisory Council for the Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative, Gordon Conway, Agriculture for Impact, joined other global experts at the event.

Gordon said: “Now is the time to significantly improve food security for
millions of poor and hungry people in Africa.
Given certified seed, fertilizers and adequate water, farmers can readily produce high yields of staple crops, such as maize. But for this to be
resilient and sustainable we need to stimulate input and outputs markets, and other elements of an enabling environment for smallholders.

The Camp David proposals put us on the right track. When these meetings come to a close we need the G8, other donors, and African governments, as well as private sector partners and civil society actors to work together to deliver on this agenda. I hope the UK government - as
custodian of the G8 presidency in 2013 - will continue to champion this crucial work.”

For more on the G8 announcements on food security and nutrition
please see:

Campaigning for UK Action

Ag4Impact joined Save the ChildrenONE and Concern to deliver a petition to David Cameron the day before he arrived at the G8 summit in Camp David. The petition captured over 300,000 signatures urging David Cameron to take urgent action to tackle hunger and malnutrition.  Read more about this campaign in our recent blog article

For more information about Agriculture for Impact, visit our website

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