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.

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.

5 September 2013

This publication by FAO examines how fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) could be used as livestock feed. The demand for livestock products is rapidly increasing in most developing countries but in many cases there are severe feed deficits. The sustainability of feed production systems is being challenged due to biophysical factors such as land, soil and water scarcity, food-fuel-feed competition, ongoing global warming and frequent and drastic weather events, along with increased competition for arable land and non-renewable resources such as fossil carbon-sources, water and phosphorus.

24 July 2013

In this video USAID Agrilinks interviews Charlotte Dufour of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the issue of integrating nutrition into agricultural development. The discussion revolves around agriculture's role in improving nutrition and the opportunities that are emerging from partnerships in this area.

24 July 2013

This policy brief from World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) addresses the major challenges of and opportunities for financing climate change mitigation and adaptation pathways for smallholder farmers in developing nations. It underlines the need for an innovative and integrated approach to climate finance that can connect rural farmers to public and private finance at the global level. It also provides recommendations for future actions that can meet adaptation, development and mitigation aims.

18 June 2013

This article in the Guardian highlights the potential of ICT (e.g. mobile phones, videos, radio) in providing agricultural knowledge and advice to farmers in low income countries.  The article concludes by saying:

10 June 2013

IFPRI has published an infographic showing the relationship between GDP and childhood stunting on the one hand; and between economic growth and overweight/obesity on the other. 

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