between marine mammals and fisheries : < 1% of all food consumed
by marine mammals comes from areas that overlap with fisheries, so you
cannot use the argument that whales compete with fisheries and therefore
must be reduced in numbers. The International
Whaling Commission placed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.
It has been divided ever since, with Japan, Norway and Iceland leading
the pro-whaling contingent. Anti-whaling nations have accused Japan of
buying the votes of developing countries, in part by persuading them that
full-scale commercial whaling should be resumed to keep whales from swallowing
up the stocks of commercial fisheries. The most common type of conflict
is likely to be one where fisheries have an adverse effect on a species
of marine mammal, rather than the other way around. For example, in the
Bering Sea, fisheries could have a negative impact on the endangered western
population of Steller sea lions.
recreational fishing at sea has risen 20% in the last 2 decades,
and the species people like to catch tend to be big, tasty, and overexploited.
Recreational anglers catch 2% of all fish hauled out of the sea. Overall,
4% of fish are caught recreationally and 96% are caught commercially. But
if you focus on species that are, or have been, overfished, then the recreational
catch climbs to 23%. For species such as the red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus),
which, when buttered, properly seasoned and fried, becomes the Cajun dish
'blackened redfish', recreational anglers catch as much as 93% of the total.
At present, a species like cod has a catch quota that applies to the entire
fishery. So, when a certain number of cod are caught, all fishing stops.
But on the recreational side each individual fisherman is given a quota.
When they find that the species is being overfished, they simply knock
down the bag limit of the individual. So with millions of new recreational
anglers taking to the sea, the total catch may still increase. Some states
do not even require salt-water fishing licences. The answer may be to limit
the number of anglers by awarding licences by lottery, as they do with
some species on land. Some think that if state and government authorities
took better care of more species, sporting anglers would have a wider range
of options, and could catch whatever fish happened to be plentiful. What
we really need is a fish stock full of thriving speciesref
The Millennium Project [HN1] was commissioned by the United Nations Secretary-General
to recommend the best strategies for meeting the Millennium Development
In October 2002, the Hunger Task Force was established to determine how
to meet the hunger MDG--to reduce the proportion of hungry people in half
from 1990 to 2015. Task Force members came from diverse backgrounds in
science, policy, the private sector, civil society, U.N. agencies, and
government, with broad representation from developed and developing countriesref.
After analysis, stakeholder consultations, and observation, the Task Force
has just produced its reportref,
which is summarized here. There are 854 million people in the world (about
14% of our population) who are chronically or acutely malnourished. Most
are in Asia, but sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where hunger prevalence
is over 30%, and the absolute numbers of malnourished people are increasingref.
> 90% are chronically malnourished (a child is underweight if his/her weight
is more than two standard deviations below the median of the international
reference population used for analysis by the World Health Organization,
the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention), with a constant or recurrent lack of access to
sufficient quality and quantity of food, good health care, and adequate
maternal caring practices. Acute hunger (the wasting and starvation resulting
from famines, war, and natural disaster) represents 10% of the hungry yet
receives most of the media coverage and attention. In addition, hidden
hunger from micronutrient deficiencies affects > 2 billion people worldwide.
Chronic and hidden hunger deserve much more global attention and support.
Roughly 50% of the hungry are in smallholder farming households; 20% are
the landless rural; 10% are pastoralists, fishers, and forest dwellers;
and 20% are the urban hungry. The Task Force has identified hunger hot
spots, defined as the subnational units where the prevalence of underweight
children < 5 years of age is at least 20%. The 313 hunger hot spots
identified indicate priority regions, as they cover 79% of the hungry.
The importance of different causes of hunger varies among regions.
Low agricultural productivity is likely to be the primary reason in tropical
Africa and remote parts of Asia and Latin America, whereas poverty and
unemployment are the main causes in most of South and East Asia, Latin
America, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Economically, hunger results
in annual losses of 6 to 10% in foregone Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due
to losses in labor productivity. Economic growth alone is insufficient
for eliminating hunger, because so many hungry people live in deep poverty
traps, beyond the reach of marketsref.
People affected by HIV/AIDS become unable to grow food or work for a living.
Malnourishment weakens their immunity and strength, making them succumb
more quickly to diseaseref.
Similarly, nearly 57% of malaria deaths are attributable to malnutritionref.
The challenge of halving hunger is, therefore, closely linked with that
of achieving other MDGs. The Task Force calls for simultaneous action at
global (recommendation 1), national (recommendation 2), and local levels
(recommendations 3 to 7).
1. Move from political commitment to action. A commitment to halving world
hunger was made by all member countries of the United Nations at the World
Food Summits of 1996 and 2001, the Millennium Summit of 2000, the 2002
World Summit on Sustainable Development, and the 2002 Monterrey Summit
on Development Finance. The message for political leaders is that halving
hunger is within our means; what has been lacking is action to implement
and scale up known solutions. The Secretary-General of the United Nations
reinforced this message when he called for a "uniquely African green revolution
for the 21st century"ref.
2. Reform policy and create an enabling environment for hunger reduction.
Government policies in poor countries can make or break efforts to end
hunger. Good governance, including the rule of law, low levels of corruption,
and respect for human rights, is essential for achieving food security.
Policies conducive to ending hunger and poverty need to be put in place
at all levels, from the local to the national. The Task Force proposes
that poor countries integrate hunger reduction action plans into their
Poverty Reduction Strategies or equivalent national planning process. Poor
countries need to adopt a multisectoral approach to hunger reduction. African
governments should invest at least 10% of their national budgets specifically
in agriculture and nutrition, in addition to making investments in rural
energy, infrastructure, health, education, and other sectors. Building
capacity at all levels should be the central goal of national government
and donor-funded activities. Linking nutritional and agricultural interventions,
which are so often implemented separately, would be a powerful means of
creating more effective hunger reduction programs. Clearly assigned and
enforceable rights for women to own, inherit, and trade land must be guaranteed.
Women and girls need better access to services such as credit, health care,
and education, as well as to technologies that will ease the workload of
rural women, such as rooftop water harvesting and growing trees for firewood
close to home. Agricultural research has been a major driver of hunger
reduction. The Task Force recommends doubling investments in national research
to at least 2% of agricultural GDP by 2010. It also recommends that donors
increase funding to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research to US$1 billion by 2010.
3. Increase agricultural productivity of food-insecure farmers. Small-scale
farming families represent about half the hungry worldwide and probably
three-quarters of the hungry in Africa. Raising the productivity of their
crops, livestock, fish, and trees is a major priority. Restoring soil health
is often the first entry point for increasing agricultural productivity,
because soil nutrient depletion is extreme in most areas where farmers
have small holdings, as in Africaref.
Applying appropriate combinations of mineral and organic fertilizers, using
leguminous green manures and agroforestry fertilizer trees, returning crop
residues to the soil, and using improved methods of soil conservation can
restore soil health and double or triple yields of the cereal staple crop.
Making mineral fertilizers available at affordable prices and using them
efficiently remain major challenges. As an emergency short-term measure,
targeted subsidy programs should be designed to supply mineral and organic
fertilizers (as seeds) to farmers. Tamper-proof "smart cards" redeemable
at private agrodealers are one promising way of administering targeted
subsidies, avoiding many of the pitfalls of past fertilizer subsidy schemes.
When combined with similar vouchers for farmers to sell their products
to school and community feeding programs, the demand side can be also addressed,
avoiding price crashes when production increases. In subhumid and semiarid
areas, improving water management can be at least as important as improving
soil fertility. Various water harvesting and small-scale irrigation techniques
can be used to transform crop and livestock production in these regions.
Investments in small-scale water management can also be financed with targeted
subsidies. The provision of genetically superior crop, pasture, tree, livestock,
and fish germ plasm can greatly increase the productivity of small-scale
farms. The Task Force supports both conventional breeding and transgenic
research with appropriate biosafety measures. The traits that will benefit
poor farmers in more marginal areas are tolerance to stresses (drought,
salinity, poor soil fertility, pests, and diseases) and improved nutritional
value. After farmers attain food security, they can begin to diversify
their farming systems to produce high-value products. Livestock, farm trees,
aquaculture, and vegetables are attractive options for diversifying their
diets and sources of income. Increases in milk production, for example,
can reduce malnutrition in rural and urban settings. In South Asia and
Africa, farming systems integrating crops and livestock are very important
in strengthening household nutrition and income. Small-scale farmers could
emerge as major timber suppliers of the 21st century in many tropical regions.
Breathing new life into the moribund extension services of many poor countries
is vital if the benefits of new knowledge and improved technology are to
reach farmers. The Task Force recommends that every village in a hunger
hot spot have paraprofessional extension workers trained in agriculture
and nutrition, with counterparts in health and energy. They should be supported
by professional services and enhanced research institutions.
4. Improve nutrition for chronically hungry and vulnerable groups. Adequate
nutrition lies at the heart of the fight against hunger. As the primary
care providers for children and families, women are particularly important
in improving nutrition for vulnerable groups. Particular attention should
be focused on children under the age of two and on supplemental feeding
for pregnant and lactating mothers. The Task Force recommends that, where
possible, locally produced foods be used, rather than imported food aid.
To break the intergenerational cycle of undernutrition, the Task Force
recommends supplemental feeding for underweight pregnant women and nursing
mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age is the best way
of ensuring optimum nutrition for babies, although the decision may be
complicated by the risk of transmitting HIV through breast milk. To reduce
malnutrition in children under five, the Task Force recommends providing
fortified or blended supplementary foods, clean drinking water, and therapeutic
care for all seriously malnourished children and women, especially in remote
rural areas. Community extension workers should take the lead in raising
awareness and implementation. The Task Force recommends that malnutrition
be reduced among school-age children and adolescents by providing free,
nutritionally balanced school meals from locally produced foods for all
poor children. This will improve learning, attract the 40% of primary school
age children who are currently out of school in Africa (mostly girls),
empower girls with good nutrition and knowledge before they become mothers,
and create a steady demand for local foods. We estimate that if this is
practiced in half of the primary schools in Africa, the local demand for
maize alone could increase by as much as 25%. Systematic deworming; micronutrient
supplementation; education about HIV/AIDS, health, nutrition, and hygiene;
and provision of safe drinking water and take-home rations should be part
of the program. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be reduced by increasing
consumption of micronutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables;
improving food fortification; and increasing micronutrient supplementation
when necessary. Village extension workers should promote these mutually
reinforcing actions. Parallel health measures are also needed to eliminate
the diseases that rob people of nutrients. All children should be fully
immunized and receive prompt treatment for common infections such as diarrhea,
pneumonia, malaria, and helminthes, as well as appropriate nutritional
care provided for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
5. Reduce vulnerability of the acutely hungry through productive safety
nets. While investing in agriculture, education, and health remains critical
to long-term food security, past gains can be threatened if people's vulnerability
to short-term disasters and shocks are not addressed. To address acute
hunger, the Task Force recommends strengthening
national and local early warning systems to take advantage of advances
in climate prediction
the capacity to respond to emergencies
investments in productive safety nets (food for work; cash for work).
The Task Force recommends, whenever possible, the substitution of cash
for program food aid, so that governments can invest more flexibly in reducing
hunger. The additional resources needed to reduce vulnerability to shocks
must not draw funds away from long-term development. Safety nets should
be both an effective protector of last resort during shocks and economically
productive in years without crisis. This involves investing in community
activities that reduce vulnerability while increasing productive potential.
Large injections of cash or food aid can distort the local economy unless
they are targeted toward development objectives.
6. Increase incomes and make markets work for the poor. Properly functioning
markets are critical in ensuring that farmers are able to earn a decent
income, obtain the inputs they need to raise crop yields, and sell their
produce at fair prices. The Task Force proposes that major investments
be made in developing and maintaining market infrastructure. Markets will
not develop without public investment in transport and communications.
A major effort is needed to increase road building, including paved roads
and all-weather feeder roads, in large parts of Africa where there is high
prevalence of malnutrition. Every village should have a vehicle for transporting
products to markets and health emergencies. Effective grain storage capacity
at the local level would enable farmers to obtain fairer prices for their
crop surpluses and would reduce postharvest losses to pests. Investments
in small-scale processing should quickly yield benefits in terms of increased
employment opportunities. Networks of trained rural agrodealers are needed
to allow essential agricultural inputs to reach remote areas, especially
in Africa. Access to credit and other financial services is particularly
problematic for food-insecure farmers. Community groups established to
take on loans on behalf of their members could mitigate risk and make lending
more attractive to financial institutions. Lack of market information negatively
affects the terms of trade for poor farmers. Governments and donors should
continue investing in information technology, including combinations of
mobile phones, radio, and the Internet to bring information to producers.
For example, fishermen in India are now using mobile phones to seek the
best price from dealers before deciding where to land their catch. There
are opportunities for increasing on-farm and off-farm income by encouraging
farmers to switch part of their farms from staple food crops into higher
value livestock, vegetable, and tree products and to add value through
processing. Farmers can grow crops for large-scale producers. Supermarkets
are becoming dominant buyers in much of the developing world. Governments
should encourage them to pursue socially responsible policies and to stimulate
7. Restore and conserve natural resources essential for food security.
Degradation of natural resources directly threatens the food security and
incomes of poor people. Reversing degradation requires both community-
and national-level interventions. Local ownership, access, and management
rights should be secured for forests, fisheries, and rangelands. Natural
resource-based "green enterprises" should be developed. Poor farmers should
be paid for environmental services they provide, including biodiversity
protection, watershed stability, and carbon sequestration. Community nutrition
programs, homegrown school feeding programs, and investments in soils and
water are local initiatives that can serve as "entry points" in the battle
against hunger. A combination may constitute an attractive new integrated
program in rural areas facing the dual challenge of high chronic malnutrition
and low agricultural productivity. The increased local production will
have a ready market in the homegrown feeding programs, and the joint facilitation
by community extension workers will create a virtuous cycle. The resulting
synergies will open the way for other interventions. The Millennium Project
estimates that hunger reduction interventions to increase agricultural
productivity and address chronic malnutrition will cost about 6 to 10%
of the additional development assistance envisioned for attaining all the
That amounts to about $8 billion a year for 2005, between $10 and $11 billion
a year for 2010-15, or an average of 60 U.S. cents per month for every
person living in a developed country. The Task Force concludes that the
hunger MDG can be achieved by 2015 and hunger can eventually be eliminated.
This will require focused and unprecedented levels of effort that are well
within our financial and technological capability. Currently, more than
5.5 million children are dying of malnutrition-related causes each year.
The actions outlined here, taken up by a broad coalition of stakeholders
and applied in every poor country, can change that.
The Economic Research Service of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes available a 2003
report by B. Meade et al. titled "Food security assessment"
and a 2003 report
by K. Wiebe titled "Linking land quality, agricultural productivity, and
The May 2003 issue of the UN's Africa Recovery offered a special
feature titled "Africa beyond famine" that included an article
by E. Harsch titled "New strategies needed to combat hunger, disease and
The Millennium Project of the United Nations.
Project of the United Nations provides background
information about the project and links
to core documents and related Web sites. The Millennium
Declaration, adopted by 189 UN member nations on 18 September 2000,
outlines the signatory countries' commitment to achieving the Millennium
Improving rural infrastructure. The September
2003 issue of the IFPRI Forum had an article
by A. Lewis titled "Revitalizing the drive for rural infrastructure." The
Web site offers a presentation
titled "On the moveŚNew approaches to improving rural transport." The World
Transport Web site makes available in PDF format the 2002
technical paper titled "Improving rural mobility: Options for developing
motorized and nonmotorized transport in rural areas."
The Hormel Company, in Austin, Minnesota, USA, developed America's 1st
canned ham in 1926. After the hams were cut, the company was left with
thousands of pounds of nearly worthless pork shoulder. Jay C. Hormel, son
of Hormel founder George A. Hormel, developed the ideas of using the pork
shoulder in a new product called "Hormel Spiced Ham." Since the name was
rather uninspiring, a contest was held at a New Year's Eve party for a
new name with a $100 prize to the winner. The winning name was the name
it goes by today: Spam. Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a
Hormel vice president Ralph Daigneau, won the contest. During World War
II, sales of Spam soared. In part because it requires no refrigeration
[while canned - Mod.LL], Spam was perfect for the military and became a
standard K-ration for U.S. soldiers. Military personnel introduced it in
Hawaii and elsewhere. A favorite Hawaiian way to eat Spam is in the form
of a musubi (pronounced moo-soo-bee). It is a fried slice of Spam on rice
pressed together to form a small block, then wrapped with a strip of seaweed.
A special kitchen gadget, known as the Spam Musubi Maker, is responsible
for the proliferation of this treat. It is a special plexiglas mold with
the outline of a single Spam slice. The Spam musubi is eaten as a sandwich,
and it is perhaps the Island's favorite "to go" or snack food. Spam musubi
is literally everywhere in Hawaii, including local convenience stores,
grocery stores, school cafeterias, and even at the zoo. Eating a Spam musubi
seems to serve as a rite of passage for newcomers anxious to attain "local"