ORU Fogar at a FAO expert consultation

On 21 and 22 November, ORU Fogar was invited by FAO to an expert consultation entitled "International Consultation on the Urban Food Agenda" which raised the need for more effective coordination between local and national levels in the pursuit of SDG 2 of Agenda 2030, Zero Hunger. 

FAO started from the recognition of the essential role of local governments in the development of resilient and sustainable food systems. It noted, however, the weakness of many local governments in providing key services and unclear governance-articulation between different levels of administration. FAO also noted the dispersion of responsibilities for these policies among many ministries at central government level and very weak decentralization processes. Thereafter, 50 experts from around the world contributed their expertise, shared ideas on how to close gaps in national and local food policies, and exchanged good practices.

In this consultation, with broad participation from the local level, the secretary general of ORU Fogar, Carles Llorens, was invited to answer the question: What strategy should we adopt to close the gaps between national and local food policy? Llorens gave a quick answer: "the gap will close with strong regional governments, with competences, capacities and budgets". And he completed his explanation by saying that SDG 2 Hunger Zero is not progressing because of armed conflicts, climate change, economic crises, but also because of obsolete governance in many countries. “With centralized countries and a slow centralist bureaucracy," he said, "it is not possible to be efficient".

The most practical counterpoint was provided by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries of Kisumu, Gilchrist F. Owuor Okuom, who explained the urban-rural food exchange system of this Kenyan county. Since Kisumu is one of the most populated territories in the country and has 50% unemployment, this regional project, supported by FAO and financed by Italian cooperation, has allowed the fluent exchange of fish, fruits, vegetables and meat between different municipalities in the county.

 

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