Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Agricultural innovation

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

Aquaculture is an issue that rarely attracts the attention it deserves.  These short filmed interviews made by the  International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI feature researchers and practitioners in livestock and fish ‘value chains’ in Uganda who came together during a conference on AgriFood Chain Toolkit Conference-Livestock and Fish Value Chains in East Africa, in September Sep 2013.

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.

7 October 2013

A new centre has been set up in the UK, which aims to reduce the energy used across food production, taking a whole system approach. The RCUK Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains (CSEF) will examine where and how to make savings in food production:  its research outputs are intended to support energy efficiency policy and contribute to cutting carbon use and GHG emissions. One of its primary research themes is the simulation of energy and resource flows in the food chain, from manufacture and transport of food through to the energetic requirements of refrigeration in supermarkets.

17 September 2013

This video introduces the themes and goals of the Global Landscapes Forum which will take place in Warsaw 16-17 November this year, during COP 19. The forum will focus on issues such as how we can feed a growing population without clearing the world’s remaining forests to make way for new farmland and how we can stem the tide of climate change. The overall aim is to discuss how a “landscapes approach” can help us address these issues.

Click here to see the video.

17 September 2013

This paper is the outcome of the Global Food Security Programme’s six-month project to identify priority research questions for the UK food system. It details the rationale, process and outcomes of Global Food Security project.

The identified priority research questions are aimed at improving the UK food system’s efficiency and effectiveness and complement other studies that have been framed from a more productionist viewpoint. The authors also try to adopt a wider understanding of “food security” – one that incorporates nutritional content, food safety, preferences and affordability in addition to availability of supply.

5 September 2013

Global food availability could be boosted by 70% if croplands were used exclusively to grow food for humans rather than for animal feed and biofuels, according to a new paper by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.  By decreasing the land used for animal feed and biofuels an additional 4 billion people could be fed. 

24 July 2013

The UK Government has invested £160 million in a new Agricultural Technologies Strategy.  This Strategy is intended to boost agricultural science and technology and it is aimed at delivering sustainable, healthy and affordable food for future generations. Described by some as new “green revolution,” investments will be focused on developing cutting edge technologies and taking innovative products such as cancer-fighting broccoli from the field to the shopping aisle. The strategy includes £30m for four agri-science research and innovation campuses set up by the Biotechnolocy and Biological Sciences Research Council.

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.

2 July 2013

A paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology finds that grassland plots planted with a mixture of several agricultural plant species produced a greater yield than plots planted with a single species. The EU-funded study explored whether different combinations and proportions of agricultural plants can lead to higher yields with lower input of fertilisers and more efficient use of land. Intensively managed agricultural grasslands, cultivated to provide food for livestock, have the potential to support, or damage, a range of ecosystem services, depending on how they are managed.

 Flickr: Creative commons licence 2.0, littleyiye "workshop"
2 July 2013

Following the release last year of the report on ‘Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture’ by the FCRN and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, around 30 experts in this field, from academic, governmental, NGO and industrial organisations, were asked to give their comments on the report.

18 June 2013

This paper focuses on how countries can take practical steps to adapt their agriculture to climate change even in the face of considerable uncertainties in the climate models as to how change will play out on the ground for farmers. Amid fears of wasted investments and imprecise science (which themselves become politically motivated excuses for inaction), it shows how countries can adopt a  ‘regret-free’ approach to adapting agriculture to climate change – actions that will benefit farmers and society regardless of specifically how and when climate change plays out on the ground. The paper notes that this very uncertainty often becomes an excuse for inaction.

15 April 2013

Louise Fresco provides an overview of historical and future food security trends in her speech at the 200th commemorative meeting of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry entitled Food, scarcity and abundance.

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