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Food security in mountains


A current analysis of hunger in mountainous areas

About 39 percent of the mountain population in developing countries, or 329 million people, is estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity: that means one of every three mountain dwellers says a recent FAO/Mountain Partnership Secretariat study. When only rural areas are considered, this figure increases to one out of every two. During the period 2000-2012 despite food insecurity had decreased at global level, it has increased in mountain areas.

These alarming statistics give voice to the plight of mountain peoples. They send a clear message to policy-makers on the importance of including mountains in their development agendas that should focus on alleviating the harsh living conditions of mountain communities and reducing the outmigration from mountain areas.

The study revealed a 30 percent increase in the number of mountain people vulnerable to food insecurity from 2000 to 2012, while the mountain population increased by only 16 percent.

The FAO 2015 Mountain Vulnerability Model

The model estimates the availability of calories in rural mountain regions, considering the production rate of agricultural areas as an average of the yields of six main mountain crops (beans, cassava, maize, potatoes, rice and wheat). It also includes information on food quality by estimating the availability of proteins from beef meat, cow milk, sheep meat, sheep milk, goat meat, goat milk, pig meat, chicken meat and eggs. People having access to less than 1 370 kcal and 14 g of animal protein per day are considered to be at risk of food insecurity as those thresholds are taken as survival requirements in the event that other foods are not available. 

Household surveys: another tool to measure hunger

Household surveys allow for a more integrated assessment of vulnerability to food insecurity as they encompass a wide range of factors like water quality, sanitation facilities and road networks, in addition to crop and livestock availability. Thanks to the information on the vital statistics of the sample, it is possible to estimate the vulnerability to food insecurity by gender, age, education and much more. Household surveys allow also the precise localization of vulnerability hot spots, which, in turn, can facilitate the targeting of policy interventions.

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

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The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) was to take place 21-22 October 2016 in Mbale, Uganda, but has been postponed to 2017. The new date and venue are to be determined.

This Global Meeting will provide members with an opportunity to discuss delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals,...

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World Food Day

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) encourages celebrations of World Food Day each year on 16 October. Events are organized in over 150 countries to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and...

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Alysh Dan: a mountain apricot community

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The Farmer Cooperative ‘Alysh Dan’ was established in 2008 and is currently comprised of 1 200 members, including 63 households of bio-farmers. The cooperative produces organic products for domestic and export markets. Alysh Dan is located in the mountain village Kara-Bak, in the Batken region in southern Kyrgyzstan....

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Examining food justice in the Rocky Mountains

Examining food justice in the Rocky Mountains

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This summer the University of Denver - Western Colorado Master Social Work (DU MSW) is focusing on sustainable food systems in the Western Slope and Central Rocky Mountain Region in rural Colorado, United States. The concept of food justice is being explored through a community dialogue and panel...

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Central Asia Climate Smart Agriculture Workshop

Central Asia Climate Smart Agriculture Workshop

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The Central Asia Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Workshop addresses the interlinked challenges of food security, climate change, disaster risk reduction and energy through an integrated climate smart agriculture approach.

CSA, though relatively new, is attracting increasing interest and attention in various parts of the world including in Central...

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IPROMO 2016 Summer School: Managing mountain resources and diversities - the role of protected areas

IPROMO 2016 Summer School: Managing mountain resources and diversities - the role of protected areas

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The ninth International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO), organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat and the University of Turin, will focus on “Managing mountain resources and diversities: the role of protected areas”. It will focus on several aspects that contribute to the productive...

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