The FSPG formed after the 1996 World Summit on Food Security, bringing together Canadian international development and humanitarian agencies, farmers’ organizations and human rights groups who have worked for decades in sectors related to enhancing sustainable agriculture and food security in developing countries and Canada. It has 23 members (including CCIC). In the early days, the coalition focused largely on two streams of work: ensuring the WTO's Agreement on Agriculture did not negatively affect food security in developing countries where agriculture is crucial for the livelihoods of poor people; and on untying food aid and encouraging Canada to use its aid dollars to support smallholder farms and promote sustainable agriculture and rural livelihoods.
The FSPG has been successful in influencing CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), which is now part of DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development), especially in adopting and shaping the Food Security Strategy, which is a priority theme of Canada’s aid program. The FSPG has also engaged with Agriculture Canada, especially on the impact of Canada’s agricultural trade policies on international development.
More recently, the FSPG has looked at the nexus between climate change adaptation, agriculture and sustainable livelihoods, the issue of resilience in the context of smallholder agriculture and the growing pandemic of global land grabs.
“The Canadian Food Security Policy Group has formulated recommendations by which Canada can demonstrate global leadership in food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience. Our recommendations are based on our understanding that food insecurity is caused by many factors.”
The Food Security Policy Group (a coalition of CCIC and other development organizations) assessed CIDA’s work in food and agriculture since the Food Security Strategy began in 2009. The report is available in both languages. The Fertile Ground report is based on four background studies: country studies in Ethiopia and Honduras, a report on statistics and a report on international dimensions. All four are summarized in the synthesis paper.
Pathways to Resilience: A Food Security Policy Group Discussion Paper – This document is the result of our efforts to collectively examine how the work of our partners in the South might inform Canada's response to the Global Food Crisis in a way that acknowledges the central role of smallholder agriculture and its long-term sustainability and resilience. A series of seven case studies is now available to accompany this discussion paper. (November 2008) (PDF 282 Kb)
The accompanying case studies have been prepared by individual members of the FSPG:
Honduras – Growing Resilience: Seeds, Knowledge and Diversity in Honduras (USC Canada)
India – Deccan Development Society: Alternative Public Distribution System (Inter Pares)
Zambia – Integrated Food Security in Zambia: building paths towards resilience (CARE Canada)
Malawi – Nurturing Soils, Crops and Communities (Canadian Foodgrains Bank)
Kenya – Sand Dams in Kenya (Mennonite Central Committee)
Nigeria – Climate Change Adaptation Goes Soap (Farm Radio International)
Effective Aid for Small Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Southern Civil Society Perspectives.
In mid-2006, the Canadian Food Security Policy Group sponsored a series of independent research studies of priorities for aid to agriculture and the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) bilateral supported initiatives in agriculture and rural development in three Sub-Saharan African countries -- Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique. The purpose of this research was to inform a dialogue in Canada on increasing the amount and effectiveness of CIDA's aid for agriculture in reducing poverty.
Combined Report of the case studies in Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique (January 2007) (PDF 166 Kb)
Summary Report of the case studies in Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique (January 2007) (PDF 48 Kb)
Taking the Heat: African Farmers and Climate Change
What is the human face of climate change in Africa? How are small scale farmers adapting to changes in the climate? What solutions can Africans offer? How might Canadians learn from and assist these communities? The "Taking the Heat" videos address these questions.
The videos come out of a series of events with Southern partners, elected officials, policy-makers and the Canadian public. The "Taking the Heat" videos were produced by the Canadian Coalition for Climate Change and Development and the Canadian Food Security Policy Group.