DEVELOPMENT OF FAMILY FARMING PRODUCTION AS THE GUARANTY OF STABLE FOOD SECURITY: REVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE AND SOME COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD
In this study we introduce a comparative analysis of the current situation in the sector of small yield agriculture in Ukraine and some countries belonging to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, such as Portugal, Brazil, and Cape Verde, in the context of the international policies for the Strategy of Nutritional and Food Security (Estratégia de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional). We used materials from the United Nations on Food Security, secondary sources from Ukrainian, Portuguese, Brazilian, and Cape Verdean researchers on the characteristics of the sector, as well as, the results from personal experience and research during the stay in those countries.
Portugal and Ukraine are both European countries, Portugal is a member European Union and Ukraine is on its way to joining. Portugal, Brazil and Cape Verde are characterized by their common history, dating back to the days of colonialism, and belong to The Community of Countries of Portuguese Language. All these countries are located in different economic-geographical zones and because of their levels of development they belong to different worlds in economy.
It is noticeable, in any of them, that small rural agricultural businesses have an important role in ensuring sustainable food security. Also shared by all three is the fact that small agricultural producers suffer from being invisible to public policy, in comparison with larger industrial agriculture, taking into account the different factors from each country in particular.
As such, one of the main goals of the present study is to reflect on the importance of small agriculture, or family agriculture, on providing for society and ensuring nutritional and food security in those countries.
According to Ukrainian researchers, the per capita consumption of food products has significantly decreased over the past two decades, which is reflected in a steady decrease in the amount of milk and meat in the daily consumption of dietary products. This is a very important factor for the food safety of the entire population and, above all, the preservation of the health of the most vulnerable groups, including children.
The Community of Countries of Portuguese Language (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, CPLP), to which Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal belong to, has approximately 250 million of inhabitants. It is predicted that that number will increase up to 323 million in 2050. Today, in absolute terms, and considering the CPLP as a whole, around 28 million people are malnourished.
In general, from all the countries in the CPLP, Portugal is the only country free from problems having to do with food security, but the level of dependence from imports has risen in the last decade, especially of cereals (from 55.6% to 82.8%). Brazil reduced the prevalence of malnutrition to less than half, in comparison with the levels from 1990 and the dependence on imports of cereals in this country remains the lowest compared to other countries and stands at 14.2%. Cape Verde maintains a high level of dependence on imports of food products, including cereals (94.3%).
It turns out that in all the countries studied it is common ground that, despite their importance for sustainable food security, small family farms do not receive the necessary support from the state authorities for their technical and technological progress, in order to produce and sell on equal conditions with large enterprises its products in competitive markets.
The lack of competitiveness from national food products, which is also seen in all countries, is one of the first factors that cause the objective necessity of an innovative transformation of the field of small agricultural production.
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