Q&A: Emmy Simmons, author of ‘Recurring Storms’ report, on food insecurity and political instability

Q: Looking back at the “Harvesting Peace” report and now the “Recurring Storm” report, what would you say has been the most surprising elements in your findings?

Emmy Simmons:

The most surprising element has been that we in the international community — particularly in the development and humanitarian communities — think that if we really do a good job and we develop markets for these smallholders then we can improve their food security. But my understanding from the findings is that food security is never achieved because there are so many factors that lead to food security and food insecurity. These factors are changing and evolving all time. And I cited many of them: climate change, demographic change, political change, the actual outbreak of conflict. All of those things are happening all the time. So food security is a moving goal and it needs to be responded to as an emerging issue and needs to have creative ways of dealing with it.