Knowledge for better food systems

2017 Global Food Policy Report by IFPRI

This report from the International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI provides a comprehensive overview of major food policy developments and events. Leading researchers, policy makers, and practitioners review what happened in food policy, and why, in 2016 and look forward to 2017. This year’s report has a special focus on the challenges and opportunities created by rapid urbanization, especially in low- and middle-income countries, for food security and nutrition.

The IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan notes that as the world must move forward with its commitments on the SDGs in 2017, working to improve food systems and strengthening the ties between rural and urban areas offer great promise for meeting those goals and ending hunger and malnutrition.

It includes the following chapters:

        Chapter 1: Food Security and Nutrition in an Urbanizing World

        Chapter 2: Smallholders and Urbanization

        Chapter 3: Growing Cities, New Challenges

        Chapter 4: Urbanization and the Nutrition Transition

        Chapter 5: How Cities Reshape Food Systems

        Chapter 6: Informal Food Markets in Africa’s Cities

And discusses the following questions in detail:

  • What do we know about the impacts of urbanization on hunger and nutrition?
  • What are our greatest research and data needs for better policy making that will ensure food security and improve diets for growing urban populations?
  • How can we better connect rural smallholders to urban food consumers to ensure that smallholders and urban residents benefit from expanding urban food markets?
  • What role do informal markets play in feeding cities, and how can they be better governed to increase urban food security?

You can read the (online) report here and see a recording of the launch event here

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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