News on Food Rights

Food, a right for all.

Welcome to the first roundup of world-wide news on Food-Rights and Food security.

1) Announcing the Community for Zero Hunger: Mobilizing a Multi-Sectoral Response to the UN Zero Hunger Challenge:

There are more than 870 million people who are hungry and malnourished around the world. As we look toward 2050, we will have a third more mouths to feed, which will further strain systems, the environment and communities. Building sustainable, specific and multi-sectoral responses to ending hunger, and creating a food- and nutrition-secure world are urgent. Read more

2) The Dangers of Agricultural Subsidies is they never reach the people for whom they were created.

3) Each year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations releases a report on the State of Food and Agriculture, covering important issues related to global food systems. Here is the 2013 report of the FAO which addresses the issue of food systems and malnutrition.


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Are these fruits chemical free, and safe for consumption!!!

safe for consumption?? Image by author

About a month ago, one our relatives brought some apples and oranges. Few of those were left out, and remained unattended on a corner of the dining place. We were about to throw those away, thought that by this time those fruits should be rotten. Surprisingly! noticed…. those looked so fresh..

Even one month after…look of those orange and apple was same as was at the time those were purchased..

Do they need any laboratory test to certify them safe for consumption?

Is there anybody to look after that we, the people consume safe food?

Should we continue having the expensive fruits those are not safe at all??


This post was written by Qamrunnisa Nazly

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June 27, 2013 · 11:38 pm

Analysis: The right to food in Bangladesh

Floating Guava market. Jhalokathi

Floating Guava market. Jhalokathi. Image by Emdadul Islam Bitu. Copyright Grow.

DHAKA, 22 January 2013 (IRIN) – NGOs in Bangladesh are pushing for a constitutional amendment to guarantee the legal right to access food, or a food security “framework law” that will hold the state liable for any scarcity.

Despite the government laying out its commitment in 2012 to food security “for all people of the country at all times” at least 31 percent of the population still lack nutritious life-sustaining food.

According to the most recently published National Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from 2011, 40 percent of children are too short for their age (known medically as “stunting”), a harbinger of lifelong development delays and one of the leading causes globally of brain damage. Some 36 percent of the surveyed children in Bangladesh under five were underweight for their age (showing signs of stunting, and/or “wasting” – weighing too little for their height). Continue reading

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Deforestation threatens food security in southeast of Bangladesh

Activists warn food insecurity in southeastern Bangladesh may worsen over the next decade as a result of unfettered deforestation. Abdul Mannan of local NGO Society for Health Extension & Development works with communities in Cox’s Bazar District where, by the group’s estimate, some 400,000 depend on the forest to survive.

Population pressure

“From this 10,000 hectare forest, people manage to extract as much as US$20 million income a year. But the extraction rate is far too high, and the population pressure is too great now,” said Mannan.

“It is not enough income, and it is disappearing fast. I have asked local woodcutters [loggers] how much they would have to walk to work in the past, and it was about 1-2km. Now it is 9-10km. So looking 10 years down the line, they will have to walk 20km, 30km to find wood. If things continue to go this way, then these people’s livelihoods will disappear.”

The $20 million figure sounds lucrative, but is still not enough to support the numbers depending on that cash, said Fariduddin Ahmed, the executive director of Arannayk Foundation, a conservation group based in the capital, Dhaka.

In 2010, the country had an estimated 1,442,000 hectares of forest, 52,000 hectares less than two decades earlier. While official data for forests in the country’s southeast are unavailable, NGOs and residents say forest loss here has been more dramatic.

Both Ahmed and local Rohingya estimate loggers earn less than $2 a day, which they use to feed often sizeable families. While population control has been successful in much of Bangladesh, the southeast remains an exception, said Ahmed.

“In the southeast part of Bangladesh you will see an interesting situation – here the local and tribal people have many children… And these people, to feed their families, most of them have no option but to go to the forest, cut the wood, and sell it,” said Ahmed.

Read more in IRIN Asia News

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Don’t eat the street food! – Food safety in Bangladesh

I’d been in Bangladesh for three months before the first of my tummy troubles arrived. I still don’t know what it was that I ate or why I hadn’t been sick before then – but once the problems started, they didn’t leave until I left Bangladesh.

Before arriving, I’d heard rumours about “Bangla Belly” and the “Dhaka Dash”. Those euphemisms are as famous as India’s “Delhi Belly” or Myanmar’s “Rangoon Runs”, and it breaks my heart that countries with such delicious and diverse cuisines often get remembered for their diarrhoea-inducing curries before anything else.

Street Snacks in Dhaka. Image from Flickr by John Pavelka. CC BY

The reason we foreigners make such a fuss about it is because in most developed countries, food poisoning is rare. It’s something you get once every few years after eating greasy chicken from the corner takeaway shop; it’s something you pretend to have to get out of work or school exams. But in Bangladesh it’s a very real problem. Every year, gastroenteritis and diarrhoeal diseases kill 110,000 children below the age of five. Continue reading

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Bangladesh: Low Dependency on Agricultural Products Prompts Food Security Fears

Bangladesh is predominantly an agricultural country. A large number of population are dependent on agriculture. Currently the net contribution to GDP in this sector is 19.1%.

Recent studies reveal [bn] a decreasing trend on the dependency on agriculture and agricultural products in the country. The employment in agriculture sector is also decreasing. The last four decades saw a tremendous rise in the industry and service sectors, which is the main cause.

Currently almost 48% of population are dependent on agriculture. Only five years ago it was 60%. The employment in agriculture sector has decreased by 20%. The number of landless people have risen to an alarming 9%, which interprets to about 15 million people.

Bangladesh is known to be an agricultural country, however the dependency on agriculture is decreasing day by day. Image from Wikipedia by Balaram Mahalder. CC: BY-NC

In recent years the price of agricultural products has risen. Manure, Water for irrigation, electricity and diesel all have become expensive and as a result the cost of produces has increased. But the farmers are not getting enough profit from the crops as the price of produces are not rising proportionately. Continue reading

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From One Table To Another: Eating in Bangladesh And Australia

There’s nothing quite like a plate of fuchka to satisfy a hungry appetite. Over the weekend, I found myself savouring those delicious explosions of coriander, chilli and chickpea flavours for the first time in months. But I wasn’t sitting on the shores of Dhanmondi Lake eating alongside a parade of rickshaw wallahs and vegetable markets. Instead, I was perched under the roof of a football stadium in south western Sydney among a sea of saris and rainbow flags at the Bangladesh Australia Friendship Fair.

A Plateful of Fuchka
A spicy snack-crunchy balls filled with salad, boiled chick peas, spices, potato & egg
Image from Flickr by OnchitaS. Used under CC BY-NC-ND License.

I returned to Australia a few months ago after spending a year in Bangladesh working with an NGO called Hunger Free World. Now I’m living in Sydney again, volunteering with Oxfam’s GROW campaign. It was because of this work with GROW that I found myself eating fuchka in Sydney on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Continue reading

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