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.

10 June 2013

This report was published on behalf of UK MPs who sit on the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development.  It was launched to coincide with the international event organised by the UK government as part of its presidency of the G8. The event was held for members of the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and focused on: ‘Nutrition for Growth: Beating hunger through nutrition and science.’

10 June 2013

Maternal and child undernutrition was the subject of a Series of papers in The Lancet in 2008. Five years after the initial series, the Lancet re-evaluates the problems of maternal and child undernutrition and also examines the growing problems of overweight and obesity for women and children, and their consequences in low-income and middle-income countries.

15 April 2013

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has released a podcast and power point presentation following a seminar held last week on the theme of "Food as a Commodity, Human Right or Common Good? Implications for Hunger Eradication".

25 March 2013

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has published its 2012 Food policy report. Its main arguments are as follows: In 2012, world food security remained vulnerable. Progress in the fight against hunger and malnutrition has been piecemeal, at best, and levels remain unacceptably high, with 870 million people hungry and 2 billion suffering from micronutrient deficiencies.

11 February 2013

There has been an exchange of views between the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and GAIN, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition following the World Health Organisation’s statement that it will defer a decision as to whether GAIN should be accredited to the World Health Assembly.

6 February 2013

Golub A A, Henderson B B, Hertel T W, Gerber P J, Rose S K and Sohngen B (2013).  Global climate policy impacts on livestock, land use, livelihoods, and food security, PNAS

This is a really interesting, but complex paper, so I have taken some time to try and summarise it.  I’m very grateful for help and clarification from the authors themselves.

19 November 2012

Scientists at Technische Universität München (TUM) have come up with a new land development concept tailored to medium-sized farms in South America that sees farmers transitioning from large-scale monoculture to more diverse crop mixtures spread over smaller plots interspersed with wooded areas. Their study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, evaluated the economic viability of this model, based on a typical medium-sized agricultural holding, and found that although costs are higher in the beginning as a result of reforestation, the combination of woodland management and smaller plots of land pays off in the long term.

19 November 2012

This policy note by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calls for governments to prioritize policies and actions and invest substantially in efforts to address the needs of their malnourished populations. Despite the importance of adequate nutrition for economic and social development, few countries have given nutrition issues high priority in national policy-making processes and resultant policies. This policy note reviews individual developing countries’ nutrition policies, highlights examples of countries that have successfully included nutrition in their development agendas, and concludes by outlining the rationale for making malnutrition reduction a policy priority, together with policy recommendations. 

14 October 2012

Organic Agriculture For Sustainable Livelihoods, edited by Niels Halberg and Adrian Muller, provides an analysis and assessment of the potential of organic agriculture for rural development and the improvement of livelihoods.

14 October 2012

In One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?, Sir Gordon Conway explains the many interrelated issues critical to our global food supply from the science of agricultural advances to the politics of food security.

14 October 2012

The Hershey Company recently announced it will source 100 percent certified cocoa for its global chocolate product lines by 2020 and accelerate its programs to help eliminate child labor in the cocoa regions of West Africa.

11 July 2012

There’s an interesting article in The Guardian about Sam Dryden, head of agriculture at the Gates Foundation.

21 May 2012

A new book written for the International Food Policy Research Institute about foreign aid allocation, governance, and economic growth.

15 May 2012

This World Health Organisation ppt provides an overview of the causes, trends and impacts of chronic diseases worldwide, and points out very strongly that it’s increasingly a problem affecting poor people in the developing world. You can download the presentation here.

15 May 2012

The Royal Society has published a new report arguing that the most developed and the emerging economies must stabilise consumption levels, then reduce them, to help the poorest 1.3 billion people to escape absolute poverty through increased consumption. Alongside this, education and voluntary family planning programmes must be supported internationally to stabilise global population. 

9 March 2012

This article in Science Daily is based on materials prepared by the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)  It argues that Brazil’s reliance on agricultural exports to drive economic growth is environmentally unsustainable and highlights the link between deforestation for cattle grazing, soy production on cleared land which pushes cattle further into the forest, and the sale of high-value timber.  The article states that government controls introduced from the year 2000 have scaled down deforestation from around 20,000 to 6,000 km² per year, but the threat of an increase in world demand is always just over the horizon, with implications for further deforestation.

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