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.

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. 

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.

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