Oxfam seeks implementation of progressive taxation measures to address food crisis
Worried by the long-standing global food crisis, Oxfam has appealed to countries, including Nigeria to urgently implement progressive taxation measures and use them to invest in powerful and proven measures that reduce inequality.
This recommendation is part of the position paper of the organisation made available to Journalists, where it noted that social protection mechanisms and food access must be reinforced in all countries.
While saying it is time to build a more equal, sustainable global food system for the long term in which no one goes hungry, the organisation said governments, donors and food companies must rebalance the power in food supply chains, and ensure that the rights of the farmers and workers producing food are respected.
“More support should be directed to farmers and agricultural workers to expand sustainable domestic and local food production. This would reduce dependence on international markets, which exposes countries to supply disruptions and price fluctuations.
“It is essential that small-scale farmers in low-income countries are supported in having more access to funding, infrastructure, inputs and markets, and that their land rights are protected.”
While noting that there is no shortage of food in the world, but a problem of unequal distribution of affordable food, Oxfam revealed that the increasing agricultural production is not the solution.
“Instead, we must address the unsustainable use of farmland, for example for biofuel production. Rich countries must revise their unsustainable biofuel policies. Subsidies and tax exemptions, which incentivise the diversion of agricultural production to fuel production, should be dismantled.
“International trade rules often negotiated to benefit and protect farmers in rich countries – must be reshaped, with greater space for low-income food-deficit countries to adjust their levels of food imports and exports, and invest in domestic food production.
“There should be tighter regulation of food commodity markets and their transparency must be increased, including by improving data on food stock levels. The development of strategic food reserves should be supported, given the role that stocks can play in buffering the impacts of food crises.
“New rules should also be implemented to prevent excessive financial speculation from fuelling food price volatility. These are all essential structural reforms in the interest of a sustainable and resilient food system.”
The organisation said there would be no sustainable end to hunger without gender justice. “Real and radical action must be taken on women’s rights if we are to end hunger and the inequality that underlies it.
“There is still too little concrete action to ensure that the rights and interests of women are prioritised. Public policies that facilitate women’s access to inputs, resources and services, and guarantee their land rights. Must be enacted”