Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Development policies

18 June 2013

On June 8 2013, the UK government granted £30 million to HarvestPlus to develop and deliver six biofortified crops to several million farming households in Africa and Asia.

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

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.’

30 May 2013

In this book Michael S. Carolan argues that the goal of any food system should not simply be to provide the cheapest calories possible. Rather, a secure food system is one that affords people and nations – in both the present and future – the capabilities to prosper and lead long, happy, and healthy lives. For a variety of reasons, food security has come to be synonymous with cheap calorie security. 

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.

6 February 2013

Fairtrade International (FLO) has published ‘Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade 2012’, a compendium of data and summaries of key research exploring the impacts of Fairtrade. The report highlights the importance of small farmer organisations in the Fairtrade system. This year’s report also provides the results of recent research studies containing evidence about the longer-term impacts of Fairtrade. Some key findings include:

24 January 2013

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has released their annual flagship publication on the theme “Investing in agriculture for a better future”. The report says that farmers are the largest investors in developing country agriculture and argues, therefore, that farmers and their investment decisions must be central to any strategy aimed at improving agricultural investment.  However, they need a favourable climate for agricultural investment based on economic incentives and an enabling environment. 

15 January 2013

The journal Animal Frontiers is running a two-part series on livestock and food security. The first installment (second installment to run in July) covers a range of issues, including: the role of animal (including fish) production in food security in developing countries,  trade in livestock products; the links between animal product consumption and chronic diseases; pastoralism; and livestock breeding.

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.

2 November 2012

In One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed The World?, 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. He emphasises the essential combination of increased food production, environmental stability, and poverty reduction necessary to end endemic hunger on our planet.

2 November 2012

In August 2012, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), responding to a request from the United Nations’ Committee on Food Security, asked experts from CGIAR’s 15 research centers to summarize the effects of climate change on 22 of the most important agricultural commodities and 3 critical natural resources in the developing world.

25 October 2012

India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation recently released the report Children in India 2012, which found that child malnutrition is so severe in India that 48% of children under five are stunted. Moreover, 19.8% of children in the same age group suffer from acute malnutrition, as evidenced by wasting.

The full report can be found here.

25 October 2012

The 2012 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the seventh in an annual series prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)—presents a multidimensional measure of global, regional, and national hunger.

11 July 2012

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

19 June 2012

The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) comprising the world’s 105 science academies, have issued a statement highlighting the relevance of population and consumption to the future of both developed and developing countries and reminds policy-makers preparing for Rio+20 of the need to consider a number of issues.

21 May 2012

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

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.