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2023-07-17 17:43:50
Monday 18:15:51
July 17 2023

Food policy. The Regional Forum of African Cities of the Milan Urban food policy pact returns to Dakar until July 19th

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The Milan Urban food policy pact (MUFFP) is organizing its fifth Regional Forum in Africa, which will take place in Dakar from July 19th to July 19th. The event will address a timely theme: "Providing Cities with the Tools for the Development of Food Policy in Africa."

The Forum is organized by the Secretariat of the MUFFP in collaboration with the ACRA Foundation and the NGO Mani tese, with the support of the European project Food wave and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

During the Forum, officials from African cities that have joined the MUFFP will participate in three days of training on tools for the development of food policies and will have the opportunity to interact with young climate activists from Europe and Africa.

Participants will receive training on implementing actions to improve the food policies of cities using the tools developed with the scientific support of the Polytechnic University of Milan as part of the Food Trails project, led by the Municipality of Milan. The Forum will also be an important opportunity for the exchange of good practices and ideas among participating cities, development agencies, and international organizations.

The MUFFP began its commitment in Africa precisely in Dakar with the first Regional Forum in 2016. Since then, meetings and exchanges have been organized in various African cities, such as Brazzaville in Congo in 2018, Niamey in Niger in 2019, and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in 2021. These seven years of experience have made the MUFFP community stronger and more resilient in the field of urban food policies. The Forum is another demonstration of Milan's commitment to promoting dialogue and the exchange of knowledge necessary to transform the food systems of cities.

The ACRA Foundation emphasizes the importance of food security and sovereignty as key areas of action. ACRA has been collaborating with the Municipality of Milan from the beginning to promote the MUFFP in all the countries involved, ensuring synergies and partnerships among stakeholders and facilitating the participation of civil society in the process of defining and implementing inclusive and sustainable urban food policies, especially in Africa.

AICS recognizes the importance of urban food policies in sustainable development and the key role that cities play in strengthening food security in Africa and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The Agency highlights the importance of urban and peri-urban agriculture for conserving and integrating biodiversity into food systems and human well-being. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation signed a convention with the Municipality of Milan in 2022 to further strengthen the Milan Urban food policy pact and support the involvement of active African cities in urban food policies.

The contribution of African cities to the development of urban food policies is evident from the 90 good practices presented in the six editions of the Milan Pact Award, which has recognized six African cities. These projects demonstrate the commitment and leadership of African cities in addressing global challenges such as climate change, sustainable development, poverty, and social inclusion.

Important initiatives include the European project #AfriFOODlink, which brings together 26 partners from around the world, including the MUFFP, to improve food security and urban sustainability in over 20 African and European cities. Another relevant project is Food wave, which engages youth in cities to promote awareness of personal and community choices, starting with a sustainable approach to food consumption and production habits in 17 countries worldwide. The Food wave project also contributes to the realization of the Forum, allowing 35 young activists to participate in the three-day event.

Themes addressed:

  1. Food policy and urban food policies.
  2. Sustainable development and international cooperation.
  3. Food security and sovereignty.
  4. Initiatives for biodiversity conservation.
  5. Youth involvement in food transformation.
  6. Reduction of food waste and promotion of local agriculture.
  7. Role of African cities in addressing climate change and poverty.

What is Food policy

The "Food policy" is a term referring to the set of strategies, norms, and decisions adopted by governments, international organizations, local authorities, and other institutions to regulate and manage the food system of a community or country. This policy covers various aspects of the food system, including production, distribution, marketing, consumption, food security, sustainability, and access to resources, and it may focus on various objectives.

The goals of a Food policy may include:

  1. Food Security: Ensuring adequate and stable access to food for the entire population, minimizing food insufficiency and malnutrition.

  2. Sustainability: Promoting environmentally sustainable agricultural and food production practices, reducing the negative impact on the environment, and preserving natural resources.

  3. Public Health: Encouraging a healthy and balanced diet, promoting the consumption of nutritious foods, and reducing the consumption of harmful or unhealthy foods.

  4. Promotion of Local Agriculture: Supporting local producers and sustainable agriculture, encouraging the consumption of locally produced goods, and reducing dependence on food imports.

  5. Reduction of Food Waste: Implementing policies to reduce food waste throughout the food chain, from production to consumption.

  6. Social Justice: Ensuring equity and fair access to food for all members of society, addressing inequalities in access to food resources.

  7. Supporting Innovation: Encouraging the adoption of innovative technologies and practices in the food sector to improve efficiency and sustainability of production.

Food policy can vary significantly from one country to another, as it is influenced by factors such as culture, economy, geography, and available resources. Its formulation requires close collaboration among various actors in the food sector, involvement of civil society, and careful analysis of local needs and challenges.

Source by Redazione

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