September 4th, 2017

Forestry for food security and nutrition

Published by International Agri-Food Network,

This position paper (PDF) by the International Agri-Food Network provides policy recommendations to safeguard and improve the contributions of the forestry sector to food security and nutrition. Despite the value of forests for food security and nutrition, the relative neglect of the forestry sector compared with other forms of agriculture by policymakers, means that the potential for the sector to play a greater role in securing the food security of a growing population remains great. One of the first challenges the sector must overcome to realize that potential is therefore to raise awareness of it among policymakers. There is a need to invest in forestry research. Establishing and promoting best practices with regards to forestry and agroforestry will depend upon the availability of a solid knowledge base. The next recommendation is to improve provision of technical support and training. It is important that science-based technical support and extension services are available to those working in this sector, particularly smallholders and other vulnerable groups. Moreover, financial support and access to markets for forestry products should be improved. Additionally, tensions and trade-offs with regards to resource use, including land and water use, should be addressed. This could for example be achieved by providing training on agro-forestry and crop-livestock-forestry integration. Lastly, forestry sustainability programs could be integrated into food security and nutrition frameworks.

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