Category Archives: Blog

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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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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