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.

5 December 2013

New research by the United Nations Environment programme UNEP, United Nations Development programme UNDP, World Resources Institute WRI and the World Bank presents solutions to meet the world's growing food needs, while advancing economic development and environmental sustainability.

21 November 2013

This IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) policy note summarises the results of a study that compares the effects that different technologies have on crop yields and resource use, in particular arable land, water and nutrient inputs. It models technology-induced changes in crop yields and considers how the mix of technology uptake can influence the global food market through changes in food prices and trade flows, as well as calorie availability, in particular for developing countries.

21 November 2013

This review article, Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health, discusses the results from a University College London & Leverhulme Trust Population Footprints Symposium on the linkages between population, development, climate change and health. The review, published in The Lancet, shows that while population growth is an important factor, consumers rather than people per se, drive climate change, and therefore reducing consumption represents the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. It says that family planning (when implemented with other social and economic improvements) is one of the most effective ways of managing increases in population growth and of delivering extensive health benefits in both high and low-income countries. However when it comes to addressing climate change, demographic trends with respect to ageing, urbanisation and consumption are more significant than total population numbers. The authors conclude that reducing consumption and creating sustainable lifestyles in rich countries represent the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and ultimately delivering health benefits.

6 November 2013

A video recording of Al Gore's public lecture for the Oxford Martin School is now available on the Oxford Martin School website here.

In his lecture Gore outlined the challenges presented in his latest book, ‘The Future’, ranging from climate change and wealth inequality to biotechnology and the loss of jobs to automation.

Additional events arranges by the Oxford Martin School can be found here

1 November 2013

This video features some of the young researchers who took part in the networking conference on interdisciplinary research into future food systems in April 2013. Behind the initiative was Future Earth a new global 10-year interdisciplinary research programme and the three partners ICSU, ISSC and the DFG.  

1 November 2013

In this personally written Nuffield Farming Scholarship report, Robert Craig describes his research journey to explore both the production systems and the consumer values of rapidly developing countries. He set out with the intention to travel far and wide during the study to gain a global perspective of the food production systems and core food values of less developed countries, comparing them with the UK situation. He visited China, India and South America and compared them with two regions/countries that are today very dependent on, and efficient at, producing food from the land: California in the USA and New Zealand.

21 October 2013

This briefing paper was produced by Sir Gordon Conway together with colleagues from the Agriculture for Impact program at Imperial College London and researchers from Harvard Kennedy School and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The briefing paper argues that African food production remains well below its potential and that innovation for sustainable intensification can help smallholder farmers produce more food with less impact on the environment while also improving agriculture’s sustainability.

15 October 2013

Resilience is currently at the centre of the development agenda and many states say they have resilience policies. But SIANI stresses that initiatives are often criticised for being too vague and lacking in real understanding of what resilience is and how to act to ensure it in crisis situations. This SIANI Policy brief outlines some key concepts of socio-ecological resilience and illustrates them using three case study examples from Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya.  It concludes with some key recommendations for policy makers and practitioners on how to build resilient systems.

7 October 2013

This Oxfam report highlights the risks of land grabs or conflicts over land that could be taking place within the supply chains of some of the largest food and beverage companies. Oxfam argues that poor communities across the globe are in dispute or even being kicked off their land, without consultation or compensation, to make way for huge sugar plantations.

17 September 2013

This book focuses on the food security in India, arguing that the challenges India faces have particular significance worldwide. It says that India’s chronic food security problem is a function of a distinctive interaction of economic, political and environmental processes. It says that a well-rounded appreciation of the problem is required, informed by the FAO’s conception of food security as encompassing availability (production), access (distribution) and utilisation (nutritional content), as well as by Amartya Sen’s notions of entitlements and capabilities.

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