Securing Food Resources in the Federated States of Micronesia

Name: Che John

ID# : 814000198

Food security as described by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) , involves the key factors of food availability, access, utilization and stability. For a nation to be described as having a high level of food security, all these criteria must be substantially met with the ultimate outcome being, that the citizens have access to a healthy, stable supply of adequate food. However, although this is the ultimate goal for developing countries, many issues such as climate change, population change and land use, affect the progression to a food secure state.

In the Federal States of Micronesia (FSM), climate change is a major deterrent to the achievement of food security and so in the article reviewed, we see that various policies and strategies have been implemented to curb the negative effects of the climate. The major strategy we see that was implemented was the incorporation of climate resilient crops. This method in my opinion, was ideal for the particular climatic circumstances that FSM is subjected to. These changes include:

  • more frequently intense hot days
  • rise in sea levels
  • salt water intrusion
  • storm surges

The use of climate resilient crops would ensure that even in the face of an ever changing climate, these agricultural crops would still be able to thrive in the increasingly harsh conditions. From the article, we see that crops particularly sweet potato and taro, capable of growing in drought-prone areas and salty soils were being made more available to local farmers. In addition to this educational campaigns were done to make citizens aware of the various drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant crops and how to identify them. These use of these educational campaigns would surely see more people made aware of the climate resilient crops and thus an increase of the numbers of these crops would occur. With the thriving of these crops, more food would thus be made available to the various Micronesian states, therefore making this particular strategy a very feasible one aimed at the progression to food security.

Although the article highlighted a major method in coping with the issues affecting food security in FSM, this one method, albeit an effective one, may not be the best approach to combat the issue at hand. In my opinion, incorporating more of a diverse strategy that confronts not just climate change but the other factors that oppose food security, would in fact be more effective. For instance, in the article it highlighted that more than 50% of the land in FSM is used for subsistence farming but still they struggle to attain food security probably as a result of an increasing population. One method that would circumvent these issues and help in the availability of food would be to implement roof-top farming as seen in Singapore (AVA, 2016). In this method, the availability of land in conjunction with increased urbanization, would be of little effect as like the name suggests, farming would be done on the rooftops of homes and buildings. This would increase the amount and variability of food crops made available to FSM as well as avoid the issues of salt-intrusion in soils.

References

  • Singapore’s Food Farms: A Story Of ‘Then And Now'”.gov.sg. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.
  • Khan, Shahbaz, Xiaoyi Ma, and Yinhong Kang. “Climate change impacts on crop yield, crop water productivity and food security – A review.” Climate change impacts on crop yield, crop water productivity and food security – A review. Accessed April 11, 2017. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1002007109002810.

One step towards a food secure nation

Name: Nisa Ramrattan        ID # : 815005931

As the world struggles to adapt to continuous change, in terms of climate change, population growth and decrease in resources. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has based their efforts on implementing a policy to combat climate change impacts on food security on their island and I agree with their method of implementation. Food insecurity is a major issue and needs to be addressed in a timely manner, ensuring that a state can produce sufficient food for their population. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has developed a plan and has structured it in a very logical but practical way. The various authorities have identified the problems and how climate change has impacted food production in a number of ways such as sea level rise contributing to salt water intrusion into farm land. The article then explained a variety of methods used to work around the problem with the assistance of the local people.

One adaptive strategy used was the identification of climate resilient foods which was very practical and supports the pillar of availability on the basis of food security. Another initiative being incorporating everyone in the need to adapt new methods of production to sustain the population. The community based projects whereby awareness of climate change impacts on food production and the importance of finding solutions were rationale. Lastly the integration of NGO’s, organizations, international bodies and researchers to determine solutions in the counteracting of climate change impacts. Of the many suggestions, conducting further research on how climate change impacts on food systems is primarily the foundation to being food secure as well as conserving the natural environment as a factor to prevent any further impacts. I believe all the pillars of food security including availability, accessibility, usability and stability can all be achieved in the execution of this policy into action, once done properly in a consistent manner.

Although there seems to be limitations hampering the achievement of food security on the island due to urbanisation and lack of government intervention. Therefore, the government needs to act and play a very critical role in the execution of an excellent policy. The policy has a lot of potential but needs a backbone to function which is the government. The worsened situation of food security in FSM requires further advancement of this policy as well as implementation in order for the desired results. Governance has a major role in the food system and needs to be high priority in the decline of food prices, hunger and poverty due to high levels of importation of food. Contrary to this local food needs to be produced at a mass level in conjunction with the adaptation strategies of this policy in FSM. Food security can be achieved with the involvement of international agencies to assist in this endeavour.

Too sophisticated for food security..

While 925 million people lack nutrition and stay hungry in our world because  of food insecurity, we clearly  understand  that agriculture and food is no priority,  but humans believe the way to the future is through industrialization and technology.

However there is a genuine change  by the FSM(Federated States of Micronesia)  as this oceanic nation of over 600 islands  in the western tropical pacific try to implement policies of food and water security, climate change risk management and adaptive strategies.Firstly, I applaud the  FSM for making some kind of progress into the implementations of these plans, but i disagree with some of the approaches. As  it stands food security is defined by four pillars; availability,accessibility,usability and stability.

Currently the governing body has focused its attention into urbanization plans in the main states  (Kosrae,Pohnpei,Yap and Chuuk), however these states are also suffering from climate change . If you want to put more emphasis on being food secure, then rapid urbanization is weak governance policy to earn quick cash to bring revenue to the economy.

As food security has worsened in the past 50 years in the pacific islands, The FSM should use every optimal chance to invest in agriculture not only for today but as a sustainable way of living for the Federated states of Micronesia trying to put an imported food bill extinct. As the saying goes use what u have  and the FSM have  a lot of coastal life and should use it to the maximum potential to earn most of its food. Instead of trying to be so focused on studying climate change,  we know that climate change will always be in the environment and therefore FSM needs to work around it. The government of these states priority is in the wrong place and needs to influence people of all age groups and implementing plans of  agriculture innovation in a way so that it is suitable to support these 600 states and  turn it into a island food chain.

You wanna be food secure in the FSM, then maximize the full potential of the food system.100 states dedicated to agriculture production, a couple states dedicated to processing,a couple states dedicated to distribution, a few to waste disposal and recycling and everybody shall consume happily ever after.This proposal is easier said than done but  the Federated states of Micronesia need to be less focused on urbanization and needs to be more influenced on sustaining their population with food.

MATTHEW EDWIN

811002654 Group 4