Debates about biofuels tend to focus separately on estimates of adverse effects on food security, poverty, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions driven by land-use change (LUC) (1–4). These estimates often rely on global agriculture and land-use models. Because models differ substantially in their estimates of each of these adverse effects (2, 3, 5), some argue that each individual effect is too uncertain to influence policy (6, 7). Yet these arguments fail to recognize the trade-offs; much of the uncertainty is only about which adverse effects predominate, not whether adverse effects occur at all. Our analysis of the three major models used to set government policies in the United States and Europe suggests that ethanol policies in effect are relying on decreases in food consumption to generate GHG savings (1).
"The present document reviews and assesses the recent and ongoing initiatives dedicated to monitoring and analysing Public Expenditure in support of Agriculture (PEA) in Africa. This document fills a gap and responds to the need of policy-makers and policy analysts in Africa for a detailed and analytical review of what exists in terms of PEA monitoring and analysis in Africa. The objective of the present review is thus to: (i) shed light on PEA monitoring and analysis initiatives in Africa: not only their method and definition of agriculture, but also their nature, objectives, scope, current status, and most importantly their relevance for African policy-makers and policy analysts; and (ii) inform policy-makers and development stakeholders on the various tools that exist to monitor and analyse PEA in Africa.:
As part of IFPRI's mission to provide information to help decisionmakers gauge the impact of policy changes and the progress made on specific aspects of development, this widget provides a variety of datasets generated by IFPRI researchers, including data on investments in agricultural research, public spending in agriculture, food policy research capacity, and agricultural total factor productivity, as well as a hunger index at the country level.
You can also use the widget to visit the IFPRI Food Policy e-Atlas, where you can drill down to the country level and compare performance across multiple indicators. You can download the data into Excel. You can also share the widget and embed it in other websites.
Luz Marina Alvare's insight:
Opening new ways to visualize, share and access IFPRI research data.
The One Health concept of combined veterinary and human health continues to gain momentum, but the supporting literature is sparse. In this book, the origins of the concept are examined and practical content on methodological tools, data gathering, monitoring techniques, study designs, and mathematical models is included. Zoonotic diseases, with discussions of diseases of wildlife, farm animals, domestic pets and humans, and real-world issues such as sanitation, economics, food security and evaluating the success of vaccination programmes are covered in detail. Discussing how to put policy into practice, and with case studies throughout, this book combines research and practice in one broad-ranging volume.
Africa Food Price Volatility is a joint project of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre - The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) and Knoema. The aim of the project is to explore the possibility and challenges of crowd-sourced food price data collection in Africa using modern web-based tools and technologies. Agricultural commodity prices were collected on a weekly basis in African countries by a network of people on the field; reviewed and submitted into centralized data repository using web-based crowd sourced data platform. As a result, high-frequency food price database has been built.
Evidence has been mounting for some time that intensive row-crop agriculture as practiced in developed countries may not be environmentally sustainable, with concerns increasingly being raised about climate change, implications for water quantity and quality, and soil degradation. This volume synthesizes two decades of research on the sustainability of temperate, row-crop ecosystems of the Midwestern United States. The overarching hypothesis guiding this work has been that more biologically based management practices could greatly reduce negative impacts while maintaining sufficient productivity to meet demands for food, fiber and fuel, but that roadblocks to their adoption persist because we lack a comprehensive understanding of their benefits and drawbacks. The research behind this book, based at the Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) and conducted under the aegis of the Long-term Ecological Research network, is structured on a foundation of large-scale field experiments that explore alternatives to conventional, chemical-intensive agriculture. Studies have explored the biophysical underpinnings of crop productivity, the interactions of crop ecosystems with the hydrology and biodiversity of the broader landscapes in which they lie, farmers' views about alternative practices, economic valuation of ecosystem services, and global impacts such as greenhouse gas exchanges with the atmosphere. In contrast to most research projects, the long-term design of this research enables identification of slow or delayed processes of change in response to management regimes, and allows examination of responses across a broader range of climatic variability. This volume synthesizes this comprehensive inquiry into the ecology of alternative cropping systems, identifying future steps needed on the path to sustainability.
The new global cropland map is more accurate, by virtue of increased agreement between different datasets on cropland cover. The researchers used a likelihood method to quantify the level of uncertainty, using agreement between maps to assign a likelihood to each area. See explains, "Where all maps agree there is cropland, there is a higher likelihood that cropland is present." The map improves an earlier hybrid map first released in 2011 by IIASA.
This multi-disciplinary book provides a comprehensive analysis of the EU–India relationship from 1950 to the present day, as a way of assessing whether a meaningful and sustainable relationship is emerging and whether it will play a role in the future of international diplomacy and business.
The World Bank is facing what I think of as a March of Dimes moment. The well-known March of Dimes charity was founded in 1938 with a focus on fighting polio. But after the Salk vaccine was licensed for use in 1955 and polio declined rapidly, the charity did not close up shop. Instead, it shifted its focus first to birth defects, and then to issues of healthy pregnancies and premature births.
A combination of growth in lower-income and middle-income countries around the world and change in their economic development challenges is leading to a similar crisis in the mission of the World Bank.
" Identifies 48 different domestic subsidies to support the leading causes of deforestation - palm oil and timber industries in Indonesia and beef and soy industries in Brazil. Although these subsidies may come with good intentions, such as supporting smallholder farmers and encouraging rural development, such subsidies also influence private investment decisions, leading to additional deforestation."
The report, Analysis of Public Policies that Unintentionally Encourage and Subsidize Sprawl—written for the New Climate Economy by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, in partnership with LSE Cities—details planning and market distortions that foster sprawl, and smart growth policies that can help correct these distortions.
Fish provides more than 4.5 billion people with at least 15 % of their average per capita intake of animal protein. Fish’s unique nutritional properties make it also essential to the health of billions of consumers in both developed and developing countries. Fish is one of the most efficient converters of feed into high quality food and its carbon footprint is lower compared to other animal production systems. Through fish-related activities (fisheries and aquaculture but also processing and trading), fish contribute substantially to the income and therefore to the indirect food security of more than 10 % of the world population, essentially in developing and emergent countries. Yet, limited attention has been given so far to fish as a key element in food security and nutrition strategies at national level and in wider development discussions and interventions. As a result, the tremendous potential for improving food security and nutrition embodied in the strengthening of the fishery and aquaculture sectors is missed. The purpose of this paper is to make a case for a closer integration of fish into the overall debate and future policy about food security and nutrition. For this, we review the evidence from the contemporary and emerging debates and controversies around fisheries and aquaculture and we discuss them in the light of the issues debated in the wider agriculture/farming literature. The overarching question that underlies this paper is: how and to what extent will fish be able to contribute to feeding 9 billion people in 2050 and beyond?
This book is an interdisciplinary primer on critical thinking and effective action for the future of our global agrifood system, based on an understanding of the system's biological and sociocultural roots. Key components of the book are a thorough analysis of the assumptions underlying different perspectives on problems related to food and agriculture around the world and a discussion of alternative solutions.
How will governments respond to the next food price crisis? What types of information do governments need in order to make smart policy decisions? You can watch the webinar recording here, or peruse the presenters' project resources.
Luz Marina Alvare's insight:
Per Pinstrup-Andersen presented an in-depth case studies of 14 different countries that were highly affected by the food price crisis providing a global perspective.
Danielle Resnick, provided a theoretical framework of drivers of agriculture and nutrition policy change. See the Kaleidoskope Model to illustrate Ghana's fertilizer subsidy program.
During El Niño episodes the normal patterns of tropical precipitation and atmospheric circulation become disrupted triggering extreme climate events around the globe: droughts, floods and affecting the intensity and frequency of hurricanes. Disasters create poverty traps that increase the prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition. Agriculture is one of the main sectors of the economy that could be severely affected by El Niño event. FAO monitors the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, among other weather related hazards, with a special focus on the potential impacts on the agricultural sector. The objective of this study is to enhance our understanding the El Niño phenomenon using FAO’s Agricultural Stress Index System (ASIS).
The tenderer is to deliver a paper on the four subjects described below:
Report 1: Best practices and opportunities in mobile applications for enhancing agri-value chain finance, Report 2: Smallholder-inclusive finance for non-traditional value chains, Report 3: value chain finance for climate change resilience, Report 4: global best practices in Central Bank support programmes for agricultural value chain finance (including warehouse receipt finance).
Mapping Research and Innovation in the Republic of Malawi reveals an intriguing paradox: despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi devotes 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to research and development (R&D), one of the highest ratios in Africa. Although R&D spending remains low in real terms, Malawian scientists publish more in mainstream journals –relative to GDP – than researchers in any other country with a similar population size
This Policy Guide is targeted to policymakers in middle- and lower-income Countries (MICs and LICs) who would like to be inspired and learn lessons from the countries that have reduced chronic poverty as part of their efforts to accelerate structural transformation and achieve a higher growth path. The Guide provides recommendations on how countries can replicate this achievement using lessons learnt from ten selected MICs with greatest poverty reduction record since 1990 (Cape Verde, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, Viet Nam, Brazil, China, Thailand and Tunisia). Evidence is analysed to identify the policies, strategies and political trajectories that have characterised their route out of extreme poverty.
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