Knowledge for better food systems

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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.

3 February 2016

This publication summarises the work of the FAO with the agricultural community to tackle climate change and its effects. The report begins by summarising four key underpinning principles of their work with food production systems:

30 October 2015

The journal Food and Nutrition Security has produced a special issue on the question: “can science and good governance deliver dinner?’  The guest editor Voster Muchenje provides this overview of its rationale and contents for the FCRN:

16 October 2015

The FAO argues in its latest version of the State of Food and Agriculture report SOFA that expanding social protection offers a faster track to ending hunger, when combined with broader agricultural and rural development measures. It argues that the vast majority of rural poor remain uncovered by social protection (only about a third of the world's poorest people are covered by any form of social protection).  Thus, expanding social protection programmes – including cash transfers, school feeding and public works - in rural areas and linking them to inclusive agricultural growth policies would rapidly reduce the number of poor people.

16 October 2015

2015 marks the tenth year of the Global Hunger Index (GHI), which measures the state of hunger at the global, regional, and national level.  This report states that even though tremendous progress has been made towards eliminating global hunger, there is still a long way to go.

16 October 2015

In advance of the World Food Day CARE, Food Tank, and CCAFS have released the report Cultivating Equality: Delivering Just and Sustainable Food Systems in a Changing Climate. The report focuses on the need to tackle inequity and gender inequality to end hunger and malnutrition in the face of climate change.

16 July 2015

The 2015 Global Sustainable Development Report was launched in the end of June 2015 and is intended to contribute to the 2015 session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.

18 June 2015

In 2007/8 world food prices spiked and global economic crisis set in, leaving hundreds of millions of people unable to access adequate food. The international reaction was swift. In a bid for leadership, the 123 member countries of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) adopted a series of reforms with the aim of becoming the foremost international, inclusive and intergovernmental platform for food security.

12 June 2015

In this publication FAO highlights the latest statistics on global food insecurity.

The latest available estimates indicate that about 795 million people in the world – just over one in nine – were undernourished in 2014–16. In relative terms, the share of undernourished people in the population, or the prevalence of undernourishment (PoU), has decreased from 18.6 percent in 1990–92 to 10.9 percent in 2014–16, reflecting fewer undernourished people in a growing global population.

12 June 2015

Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) has produced a new report, Feeding the Planet: Building on the Milan Charter, released to coincide with the Expo Milan 2015 which is organised around the theme: Feeding The Planet, Energy for Life.

The Milan Charter – produced by Italy - highlights the need to produce healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium. 

31 March 2015

Abstract: In the course of the ongoing discussions and negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, a consensus emerged that current and future social, environmental and economic challenges are interlinked and must be addressed through an integrated approach. 

26 March 2015

This short briefing for the Global Sustainable Development report 2015 by two researchers at IASS, Potsdam, discusses scientific findings on the sustainability of biomass production and their implications for Sustainability, Development Policy and the SDGs in particular.

26 March 2015

In this commentary in Independent Science News researchers at University Pierre and Marie Curie/CNRS -National Center for Scientific Research in France discuss the concept of food sovereignty and whether or not it potentially provides a feasible and sustainable solution to feed the rural poor.

26 March 2015

This new report from the Cocoa Barometer argues that a fundamental reform of the cacao sector is needed in order to tackle the challenges that cocoa farming is facing. The report states that current initiatives and programmes are not sufficient and that:

26 March 2015

Researchers involved in this 18-month study examined the traditional agriculture of specific Liberian communities where farmers do not use industrial farming practices or artificial fertilisers.  The study found that sacred forests and ancestral lands were valued more than short-term economic gain through increasing food production.

26 February 2015

Abstract

Our global food system is undergoing rapid change. Since the global food crisis of 2007-2008, a range of new issues have come to public attention, such as land grabbing, food prices volatility, agrofuels and climate change. Peasant social movements are trying to respond to these challenges by organizing from the local to the global to demand food sovereignty.

30 January 2015

FAO has launched a new online platform, which provides access to resources on developing sustainable food value chains (SFVC).

The goal is for SFVC development to provide a flexible framework to improve food systems, reducing poverty and hunger in a sustainable manner.  FAO’s platform will include:

3 December 2014

In her first report to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, said that a human-rights based approach to food security is necessary to provide access to affordable, nutritious food for all and to eliminate hunger.  The report describes renewed political commitment as essential to advance the right to adequate food.

2 October 2014

BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has released a report on sustainable intensification (SI) together with an invitation for interested parties to comment. Responses received will be taken into account in addressing the group’s recommendations.

5 September 2014

In this blog post for Global Food Security, former FAO agricultural economist Andrew MacMillan says the doctrine that food prices should be kept as low as possible to end hunger is wrong.

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