Food security policy brief: domestic versus export markets


10 October 2012

KIT is launching a series of policy briefs that reflect on recent developments in government policy on international development cooperation. The first series focuses on food security.

Since the publication of the report by the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and under the cabinet led by Prime Minister Rutte, drastic changes have been made to the government’s development cooperation policy. That policy is now focused on countries and themes in which the Netherlands enjoys an international reputation, such as food security, water and sexual and reproductive health. The Dutch business community has also been encouraged to become more involved and interventions are increasingly appearing in the form of partnerships between public and private parties.

The new government policy aims at a greater level of enduring impact, but it also raises questions about the assumptions and the evidence upon which this policy is based. How does the policy actually work on the ground? What is so different about the projects now being financed that they can guarantee a greater level of impact?

Critical reflection on assumptions and evidence

KIT is a knowledge centre that specializes in practical solutions for complex development issues. The institute has extensive expertise in developing countries and in applied research. In the policy briefs, KIT critically examines several aspects of the government’s new policy with the objective of sharing its insights with policy-makers and practitioners.

Policy briefs on food security

Four policy briefs will treat various aspects of food security. Policy brief 1: Domestic versus export markets: challenging the holy grail examines the question of why the new government policy places so much emphasis on promoting export-oriented, international food chains. What and where is the evidence that this approach can make a substantial contribution to food security? Should we not be paying more attention to food production at the domestic level?

The subsequent three briefs deal with other aspects of food security, including the food supply in African cities, the influence of culture on nutritional patterns and how the effect of new interventions in food security matters are measured.

With these briefs, KIT hopes to stimulate public debate on effective development cooperation.