Norwegian professors criticize Norway's nutrition and agriculture development policies
Norwegian professors at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) want Norwegian ODA initiatives to be more focused on food, nutrition, and agriculture. Professor Ruth Haug and Associate Professor Ola Westengen highlighted in a recent op-ed three ways for Norway to contribute to addressing food and agricultural challenges in Africa.
- Access to food, not production, is the principle reason for why under- and malnutrition is a widespread problem: Many African farmers could produce larger quantities of food, but the population lacks purchasing power. Lifting people out of poverty leads to increased purchasing power and is more efficient at combating undernutrition than increasing national production.
- Focusing on regulatory frameworks will create institutions needed for developing countries to pass agricultural policies, facilitating farmers' survival and success.
- Knowledge transfer programs, such as Oil for Development, should be initiated in the agricultural sector, in order to show how strong farmers' associations, cooperatives, and public research and public management institutions are essential for building an agricultural sector that is not undermined by international free trade.