Did you know how to achieve food security ?

Carolina Palma in her chapter “Multilevel Governance in Food Security Regulation: With the Example of Costa Rican Rice” in the book “The Reform of International Economic Governance” addresses the topic of food security from the perspective of regulatory regimes. Different regulatory and policy approaches attempting to address this issue often overlap, sometimes supplement each other and more than rarely run contrary to each other and unintendedly undermine each other’s objectives. The way to hell is often paved by good intentions and the noble aspirations associated with the creation of international regimes to regulate and solve the issue of food security might easily get lost in meaningless declarations and formalistic approaches. This might undermine the trust in the international regulatory regimes and this lack of trust may consequently evolve in the counter-movements attempting to achieve the idea of food security from the bottom, at the level of communities. An example of such movement represents the Via Campesina model based on community gatherings of farmers and peasants. Palma does not advocate this radical approach as the solution, she sees it rather as a symptom and incentive to reform the international regime addressing the issue of food security. She demonstrates also the deteriorating effect of subsidies in the field of agriculture on the example of Costa Rican rice, impact of which is largely detrimental on the farmers in the developing countries, while giving (maybe unnecessary) advantage to the farmers in developed ones. The issues of food security and agriculture might be in this way easily perceived through the lens of global North and South divide. The authors who are aware of local realities, such as Carolina Palma, are able to offer an intriguing perspective on these matters.