Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Development/poverty

Around 70 percent of the world's poor live in rural areas and have agriculture as their main source of income and employment. Agricultural and rural development policies (infrastructure, access to markets, diversification, technology transfer) can be important ways for (smallholder) farmers to escape the poverty trap. Many developing and emerging economies are dependent on commodity exports and are heavily affected both as producers and as consumers by fluctuations in global commodity prices. They are normally also the most vulnerable to climate variations.

27 August 2020

On July 16, 2020, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Foresight4Food co-hosted the first of a series of eDialogues on the future of small-scale farming. The first session gave an overview of the challenges smallholders face and opportunities for improvement in yields and standards of living. A video recording and written summary (PDF link) of the event are now available online.

27 August 2020

This report, published by a group of African and German nonprofits, critically assesses the work of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). AGRA was founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and has received nearly $1 billion in funding. 

9 June 2020

This paper by FCRN member Roger Leakey proposes a three-stage process to improve smallholder incomes, yields, nutrition and environmental performance in tropical agriculture, focusing on Africa. Leakey argues that food policies developed in industrialised nations do not always recognise that farming systems are very different across the world.

7 April 2020

This book explores the history of government food programmes in Britain over the past two centuries, including workhouses, school meals and the post-war welfare state. The book discusses how these programmes treated people differently, e.g. because of gender or race.

24 March 2020

This book provides technical information on food safety and quality in developing countries, using case studies of various types of food including spices, cassava, fruits and vegetables and beverages.

10 March 2020

This briefing from UK NGO Sustain argues that the UK government should extend universal free school meals beyond the first three years of primary school. After the first three years, only children whose families receive certain benefits qualify for free school meals. Currently, many children who live in poverty are not eligible to receive free school meals, e.g. because their families are not allowed to access public funds due to their immigration status or because of 2018 changes to the earnings threshold that determines eligibility.

10 February 2020

This book sets out an accessible framework for understanding the role of agriculture in sustainable development, focusing on agriculture as a complex system with many tradeoffs and synergies.

29 October 2019

This report explains how the Barilla Centre for Food & Nutrition, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment, and the Santa Chiara Lab of the University of Siena have helped the food industry move towards alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

22 October 2019

Taylor & Francis have launched Sustainable Development Goals Online (SDGO), a curated library to support the United Nations' call to action to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the planet. This interdisciplinary collection of digital content includes more than 12,000 selected articles and chapters, including the Zero Hunger collection with nearly 1000 items relating to SDG 2 to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

22 July 2019

This Business Forum Report from the Food Ethics Council explores the ethical implications of the food industry’s involvement with food charity projects such as school breakfast clubs or donations of food and money by supermarkets. 

22 July 2019

The FAO’s 2019 edition of its “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report finds that the number of hungry people is increasing, with around 820 million people worldwide experiencing undernourishment. This year’s report also finds that around 2 billion people experience either severe or moderate food insecurity, with the phenomenon found in low, middle and high income countries.

8 May 2019

In this comment piece for Foodservice Footprint, Dan Crossley of the UK-based charity Food Ethics Council argues that the current model of charitable food assistance can give an excuse for businesses and policymakers to avoid addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity.

8 May 2019

One in five adults in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland experienced some level of food insecurity in 2016, according to this paper, with people who are younger, non-white, less educated, disabled, unemployed or low-income being more likely to experience food insecurity. Low-income adults had a 28% probability of being food-insecure in 2004, which by 2016 had risen to 46%.

8 May 2019

The impacts of palm oil plantations on human wellbeing depend on context and are neither uniformly negative nor positive, finds this study of villages in Indonesia. Oil palm plantations are more likely to lead to improved basic, physical and financial well-being in villages with relatively low existing forest cover and where most people make a living by producing goods for market, compared to villages with higher forest cover and where most people have subsistence-based livelihoods.

29 April 2019

This film from the RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission explores issues in low income rural Britain. Interviewees include a farmer who has considered using a food bank, a student nurse who waited many years to be able to afford a house in her home village, and a cook who lives in a rural estate with poor access to services such as public transport.

17 April 2019

This Food Talk podcast by US think-tank Food Tank interviews Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, to find out how governments, NGOs and businesses can work to improve the availability of nutritious food.

8 April 2019

In this Food Talk podcast by US think-tank Food Tank, Dr. Mariame Maiga (Regional Gender and Social Development Advisor for the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development) discusses the role that gender plays in agricultural and sustainable development.

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