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Food Policy
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Viticulture: Fruity with a hint of drought - Goode (2012) - Nature

Viticulture: Fruity with a hint of drought - Goode (2012) - Nature | Food Policy | Scoop.it

For anyone who enjoys a glass of Sancerre, Puligny-Montrachet or indeed a bargain-basement European blend, 2012 is unlikely to be a 'good year'. Growers will remember it as one of the worst in recent history. The grapevine, Vitis vinifera L., is remarkable among crop plants in its sensitivity to deviations in climate — so much so that wine is proving to be a canary in the coalmine for climate change. Even small shifts in growing-season temperatures show up as marked differences in flavour or yields. And this year, unusual weather patterns in Europe — which accounts for more than 60% of global wine production — have played havoc with that vulnerability.

 

An extremely dry summer in southerly regions and exceptionally cold conditions in northern grape-growing areas battered yields disastrously. France suffered a 20% drop in wine production. Reports suggest that harvests in the Loire Valley, home of Pouilly Fumé, for example, were down by as much as 50%; and that Champagne and Burgundy saw declines of 40% and 30%, respectively. Meanwhile, estimates for Italy indicate a 7% drop on what was already, in 2011, a reduced crop. Some 2.5 million families in Europe depend on wine for their living, and this year could have dealt the killer blow to many small family-owned vineyards... 

 

Developing grape berries are sensitive to drastic changes in the weather. Too little light and warmth, and they struggle to reach 'sugar ripeness' (with potential alcohol levels of 12–14%), the point at which sugars rise and levels of organic acids decrease. Too much light and warmth, and they reach sugar ripeness before hitting physiological, or 'phenolic', ripeness. This means that polyphenolic compounds such as tannins and anthocyanins in the fruit's skin never undergo natural modifications to smooth out their astringency. Because grapes should be harvested only at phenolic ripeness, growers are then forced to correct problems in the winery — for low acidities, for instance, they might add tartaric acid — which can lead to lower-quality wines.


Today's ideal growing conditions are at the mercy of tomorrow's climate change, however. Records in Burgundy stretching back to the medieval era show that warm periods similar to that of the 1990s occurred in the 1380s, 1420s, 1520s and 1630s, each time followed by cooler periods. But as Jones and his team in Oregon found, the second half of the twentieth century witnessed a unique trend, with an average rise of 1.26 °C in growing-season temperatures across the world's wine regions. And there has been no sign of cooling since, with 2003 the hottest year since these records began...


But it is Jones' predictions for the coming decades that have winegrowers worried. These suggest an average increase in growing-season temperature of 2.04 °C between 2000 and 2049, with the largest predicted change in southern Portugal (2.85 °C) and the lowest in South Africa (0.88 °C). For many, this could be disastrous. Water availability for irrigation is also a concern.

 

Rising temperatures also bring an increased frequency of extreme weather events, and climate unpredictability. A vintage can be ruined by hail, frost or rain at the wrong time. In Victoria, Australia, shortly before harvest in early February 2009, three days of unprecedented high temperatures (43–45 °C) were followed by 'Black Saturday' on 7 February, when temperatures of 47 °C led to bush fires that killed 173 people. The damage to the region's wine industry caused by fires, smoke taint of grapes and loss of wine quality was estimated at some AU$368 million. 

 

In some cases, the careful matching of grape variety to vineyard site may have to be reconsidered. This is not a simple solution: grape vines take at least 3 years to produce a crop, and only begin producing peak-quality grapes after 10 or 15 years. And, in most European regions, growers are allowed to plant only authorized varieties... 


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Achieving Food Security - Truth About Trade & Technology (2012)

Achieving Food Security - Truth About Trade & Technology (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

With high commodity prices and droughts impacting crops in the U.S. and Russia in 2012, food importing countries are giving more consideration to food security.  The World Food Summit in 1996 defined the term, “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. If a country is to import part of its food supply, it must also export products of value to the rest of the world.

 

The concept of food security is often confused with food self-sufficiency, the belief that all of a country’s food supply should be produced within its borders.  Since few countries have the range of climates, soil types and worker skills to produce all types of food efficiently, that is not a practical public policy goal. The relevant economic approach to food security is comparative advantage in which a country ‘produces what it does best and trades for the rest’... 

 

Brazil could produce more wheat, but its climate and soil types are not conducive to high wheat yields. Argentina has areas that are drier and cooler and more appropriate for wheat production. If Brazil devoted more land to wheat, it would be less well-off economically as would the rest of the world, especially importers of corn and soybeans. Comparative advantage has driven the increases in productivity that are at the heart of increasing international trade and food security... 

 

Food is produced using physical resources that are in short supply globally. Land, water, fertilizer, machinery, labor and management all have costs and must be used efficiently. For most people in the world food security is about income, not about the supply of food. As Timothy Groser, Trade Minister for New Zealand, has noted, Singapore has no farms and no people starving... 

 

The biggest challenge for all countries is to have agricultural policies that encourage farmers to produce commodities for which they have a comparative advantage and are in demand by consumers. Farmers want to continue to grow crops and livestock they have traditionally grown. They then lobby their government leaders for policies to support growing those products even though they may be economically inefficient and do not enhance food security... Farmers have to accept change and public policy institutions have to promote change or they will make inefficient use of valuable domestic resources that could add to food security... 

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150 million people benefitted from EU Food Facility, new report shows - EU (2012)

150 million people benefitted from EU Food Facility, new report shows - EU (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it
A new report on the EU's Food Facility, set up in 2008 to counter the negative effects of the food crisis, show that in three years, the EU has improved the lives of over 59 million people in 49 countries, and provided indirect support for 93 million others (by for instance enabling people to benefit from increased opportunities for trade in the area, and to learn improved skills from neighbouring farmers).

The evaluation report, unveiled today by Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, also shows that the €1 billion facility has led to the vaccination of over 44.6 million livestock, and helped to train 1.5 million people in agricultural production.

Welcoming the report, Commissioner Piebalgs said: 'Figures like this speak for themselves and today, I am very proud to be able to announce just what an incredible difference our Food Facility has made to the lives of millions of people in just three years. Only a donor the size of the EU would be able to achieve something on this scale, and the results of this project show that the we continue to be uniquely placed to provide a rapid, strategic and far reaching response on the ground when it is most needed' ...

The EU Food Facility was set up in 2008 in order to provide a rapid EU response to soaring food prices in developing countries, and was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in December 2008. The instrument provided for €1 billion funding, to be spent over three years (nearly half of which was spent in 2009).

60% of Food Facility funds were channelled through UN agencies, while 20% went through NGOs and Member States Agencies, 12% via Budget Support and 6% through Regional Organisations. 425 Non-State Actors, or NGOs, helped to implement the projects – mainly in the countryside or hard to reach areas, contributing with 20% of the funding allocated for the Calls for Proposals.
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Five reasons malnutrition still kills in Nepal - IRIN (2012)

Five reasons malnutrition still kills in Nepal - IRIN (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it
The number of children in Nepal with acute malnutrition hovers near emergency levels, something that has not changed even after 15 years of efforts and millions of dollars invested... The prevalence was the same in 1996. If we look at the number of children affected, the situation has even deteriorated due to the population increase...

Five reasons experts have identified as the main culprits behind Nepal’s stubbornly high malnutrition rates: Poor health... Poor sanitation... Poor early childcare practices... Poor agriculture investments... Poor priority-setting...

But agencies and the health workers are still hopeful. The government launched its first inter-ministerial national nutrition plan on 20 September. Donors have pledged close to 60 percent of the plan’s US$150 million 2014-2017 budget...

Department of Health's nutrition team anticipates this will translate into improved nutrition... “We have, however, yet to see how things will shape up,” said Pokharel, referring to the ongoing political deadlock.
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Perception of Global Food Security Issues in the German Public - Klümper &al (2012) - Univ Göttingen

This article presents results from an opinion survey carried out in Germany on the topic of global food security. The survey was implemented online with a sample of 1200 individuals.

 

Global food security is not a major topic for most Germans. Hunger is seen as a problem, but primarily related to acute crisis situations that the mass media report about. Responses on the perceived causes of hunger and the suitability of strategies to improve the situation demonstrate that issues of food distribution are considered more important than issues of production. Efforts to increase productivity in agriculture are not considered very important.

 

Germans rank environmental protection higher than food security objectives. It appears that some blanket judgments are simply transferred: what is considered good (bad) for the environment is also judged positively (negatively) for food security. This affects perceptions of the role of organic farming, agrochemicals, and genetically modified crops.

 

Creating higher awareness of food security issues and challenges and overcoming widely held prejudices will require better public communication... 

 

[Figure 1, p. 11: About 2/3 of respondents prioritise environmental protection over addressing hunger and starvation, about 1/5 is indifferent, and about 1/8 thinks global hunger should have priority over environmental protection if there is a conflict between both.]  

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Food safety issues in fresh produce: bacterial pathogens, viruses and pesticide residues indicated as major concerns by stakeholders in the fresh produce chain - Van Boxstael (2012) - Food Ctrl

In January 2011, a workshop was organized by the EU FP7 Veg-i-Trade project to capture opinions of stakeholders on food safety issues in the global fresh produce supply chain. Food safety experts from various stakeholder types in the farm-to-fork chain were represented: farmer related organizations, fresh produce processing and trading companies, retail, consumer organizations, competent authorities and lastly research institutes and universities...

 

Although some differences were noted between opinions of the different stakeholders, there was in general an agreement on the main priorities in food safety of fresh produce. Bacterial pathogens were overall considered to be the most important food safety issue for fresh produce, followed by foodborne viruses, pesticide residues and mycotoxins.

 

Alert systems such as the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) were considered as the most important source of information of food safety issues, followed by reports of international organizations (e.g. WHO, EFSA), legislative documents (e.g. EU legislation), national reports (e.g. on monitoring hazards, foodborne outbreaks) and exchange of information between people (informal contacts).

 

Concerning the control measures, the application of good agricultural practices (GAP) was identified to be the most important control measure to assure the safety of fresh produce, followed by the application of good hygienic practices (GHP) and the certification of food safety management systems (FSMS).

 

Increasing international trade and globalization were overall expected to have a large impact on food safety in fresh produce. Other contextual factors perceived to be important were the food safety policies by governments and the (lack of) food safety knowledge by consumers and other stakeholders of the fresh produce supply chain... 

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The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and development - te Velde &al (2012) ODI

The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and development - te Velde &al (2012) ODI | Food Policy | Scoop.it

The European Commission (EC) published its proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2013 in October 2011. These are now being discussed with the European Parliament and the European Council, with the aim of having them approved before the end of 2013. The context in which the current CAP reform is taking place differs from that of previous reforms. High and volatile food prices and growing environmental problems are calling old measures into question. Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) requires the process to take account of European Union (EU) development cooperation policy objectives...

 

A research programme (2010-2012) led by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has asked three broad questions:
1. How do the present CAP and the proposed reforms affect development: are they coherent with the EU's development objectives?
2. How can we ensure that the effects of the CAP on developing countries and, therefore, on development are monitored over time?
3. Is the CAP a good instrument for achieving its main objectives of supporting and stabilising rural income and protecting the environment? Is there a better alternative? ...

 

The project makes two main policy suggestions. The first policy suggestion is that the impact of the CAP on development, recognising the heterogeneity of impacts, needs to be monitored to inform both discussion of reform and the EU’s development policies... The second policy suggestion is a re-examination of how the EU’s objectives for agriculture can best be achieved, to establish not only more developmentally-friendly options but also more efficient and effective solutions for EU citizens...

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Global food prices stable but still high: World Bank - Reuters (2012)

Global food prices stable but still high: World Bank - Reuters (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

Global food prices remained stable, though close to 2008 record levels, the World Bank said on Thursday, as it warned that a "new norm" of costlier food was setting in and threatening to increase hunger and malnutrition in the world's poorer regions... 

 

The World Bank urged governments to strengthen safety nets for the poorest and ensure that nutrition was factored into the help given to poor households. 

 

"More resources, better data and sound policy choices continue to be needed to end hunger for the world's 870 million hungry people," the Bank said. Otaviano Canuto, World Bank vice president for poverty reduction and economic management, also urged countries to boost investment in agriculture to increase food production, which would help reduce prices.

 

The World Bank and other development lenders have increased financing for agriculture in developing countries, a sector that had long suffered from under investment. The 2008 food price and energy crisis, however, highlighted the need for more investment in food production...

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Foresight studies: shaping the future for food security - SciDev.Net (2012)

Foresight studies: shaping the future for food security - SciDev.Net (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

The world's food security depends on the quality of the forward-looking agricultural studies we are carrying out today... Climate change, population growth and competing demands for land and resources are putting great pressure on the world's food systems. Smallholder farmers in the developing world, who produce much of the food for the poorest people, are threatened by devastating droughts and floods, food price spikes, and persistent poverty.

 

Scientific advances have greatly alleviated hunger and poverty. The introduction of higher yield crop varieties and better agricultural management practices have saved and improved millions of lives. But the pace of change is accelerating — demanding greater, more urgent responses. Our population is set to reach nine billion by 2050. To feed them we will need to produce 70 per cent more food, and do so without destroying our environment.

 

We cannot respond only when crisis is upon us. Our actions must be forward-looking, reaching beyond short-term demands to longer-term impacts. What kind of a world might we see in coming decades? And what kind of a world do we want to see in the next 20, 40, or 60 years? ... 

 

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Africa: AU to Establish Food Safety Body - allAfrica (2012)

Africa: AU to Establish Food Safety Body - allAfrica (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

The African Union (AU) aims to institute a food safety authority as well as a Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), so as to boost trade competence and avert food-borne diseases. This was announced at the opening of a two-day workshop in Kigali yesterday... the establishment of the authority would boost trade and uplift the living standards of Africans, especially those in rural areas... the continent ought to have the food safety body based on the European model but tailor-made for Africa. "In other parts of the world, such as European Union, there exists the "European Food Safety Authority and a Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed" (RASFF). Our body could be along similar lines but taking into consideration the several food safety, cultural, social, economical, political and even scientific peculiarities of our continent," he suggested. Kanimba noted that Africa incurs huge losses in international trade due to food safety issues. The minister pointed out that African food exports are at times destroyed or refused entry into developed markets thus leading to losses... 

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Regional Trade Key to African Food Security, World Bank Says - IPS (2012)

Regional Trade Key to African Food Security, World Bank Says - IPS (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

The World Bank is urging African countries to strengthen regional food trade, suggesting that food security could be greatly enhanced simply by allowing farmers to trade more easily across the continent. Currently, despite massive food insecurity, just five percent of Africa’s imported cereals come from other African countries. Depending instead on far-flung imports from countries in Europe or Southeast Asia, or on emergency food provisions from international donors, results in both increased prices and trade imbalances, impacting particularly on the poorest. With international prices for staple foods again at near-record highs following a drought in the United States this summer and amidst continued international demand for biofuels, many African countries have been forced to step up the levels of imported foods. Yet concretising and harmonising food trade regulations across African blocs, the Washington-based World Bank suggests, could boost smallholder incomes and lead farmers both to increase the cultivation of available arable land and significantly boost yields...

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South Asia nips on agricultural research funding - SciDev.Net (2012)

South Asia nips on agricultural research funding - SciDev.Net (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

South Asian countries significantly increased funding for agricultural research and development (R&D) in the last decade but the numbers fell short of set targets, says a new report. South Asia as a whole more than doubled agricultural R&D spending between 1996 and 2009, riding largely on increased research allocation in India, the largest economy in the region. But, in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, growth has been stymied during the same period...

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Food vs. fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy? - ScienceDaily (2012)

Food vs. fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy? - ScienceDaily (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from Europe and the USA have discussed the concept of utilizing so called surplus land for the production of feedstock for bioenergy. They identified environmental, economic and social constraints but also options for efficient use of surplus land for bioenergy. The study provides a scientific background in support of a reassessment of land available for bioenergy feedstock production... Increasing demand for bioenergy feedstock is generating land-use conflicts which are currently discussed in the food vs. fuel controversy and the debate about indirect land-use change. Concepts for solving those conflicts suggest a spatial segregation of food/feed and bioenergy producing areas. It is suggested to continue producing food/feed on established agricultural land while growing dedicated energy crops on so called "surplus" land... 

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Environmental Impact of the Production of Mealworms as a Protein Source for Humans: A Life Cycle Assessment - Oonincx & Boer (2012) - PLOS1

Environmental Impact of the Production of Mealworms as a Protein Source for Humans: A Life Cycle Assessment - Oonincx & Boer (2012) - PLOS1 | Food Policy | Scoop.it

The demand for animal protein is expected to rise by 70–80% between 2012 and 2050, while the current animal production sector already causes major environmental degradation. Edible insects are suggested as a more sustainable source of animal protein.


However, few experimental data regarding environmental impact of insect production are available. Therefore, a lifecycle assessment for mealworm production was conducted, in which greenhouse gas production, energy use and land use were quantified and compared to conventional sources of animal protein.


Production of one kg of edible protein from milk, chicken, pork or beef result in higher greenhouse gas emissions, require similar amounts of energy and require much more land. This study demonstrates that mealworms should be considered a more sustainable source of edible protein.

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Agricultural research 'key to easing climate-change impacts' - SciDev.Net (2012)

Agricultural research 'key to easing climate-change impacts' - SciDev.Net (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it
Agricultural research should be a strategic priority of the UN's efforts to lessen the impacts of climate change, according to a report launched at a UN climate change conference in Doha, Qatar.

The report, released by a group of leading international experts in climate change and agriculture last month (30 November), is intended to inform policymakers and agricultural planners about the risks climate change poses to dry areas. It offers practical solutions to reduce these threats and boost the productivity of this type of land...

In the report, Thomas Rosswall, chairman of the CGIAR independent science panel for CCAFS, explains that small-scale farmers have so far had little opportunity to adapt. He warns that climate change adaptation will be costly for agriculture. "It is absolutely essential that the agriculture sector receives a share of funding available," he says.
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Time to Scale-Up Access to Biofortified Foods - HarvestPlus (2012)

Time to Scale-Up Access to Biofortified Foods - HarvestPlus (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it
To turn the tide on hunger, agricultural science must provide more than increased yield and grain production. Trends in global health and nutrition suggest that improved crop science can reduce health risks and improve public health. Experts acknowledge the strong link between agriculture and nutrition in reducing malnutrition.

In a recent presentation at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Dr. Raj Shah, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), spoke about biofortified foods and their transformative impact on people in developing countries... He said biofortified foods have the potential to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, in rural, poor populations... the science of biofortification has been proven after several years of testing of biofortified crops in rural settings.

Not only scientists but even farming communities acknowledge the benefits of biofortified crops. HarvestPlus is scaling-up OFSP [orange fleshed sweet potato] to reach another 225,000 households in Uganda by 2016. The International Potato Center (CIP) plans to scale-up OFSP to reach more than 600,000 households in 10 countries by 2015, including 120,000 households in Mozambique...
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How to feed the future - IRIN (2012)

How to feed the future - IRIN (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it
Scientists anticipate there will be nine billion people in the world to feed by 2050. As this number rises, so will the earth’s temperature, which is expected to increase four degrees Celsius by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on the world’s food production.

Agriculturalists, scientists, businessmen, lobbyists and policymakers convened in London’s Chatham House this week to debate how to feed the planet’s growing population without degrading the earth’s resources - if such a thing is even possible.

Some attendees argued that current levels of food production - if better managed - could accommodate everyone. They acknowledge that many people around the world are already going hungry, but contend this is not an issue of food shortage. Instead, they point out that vast quantities of edible produce are used for animal feed or biofuel production, or are allowed to spoil in storage or otherwise go to waste...

In many ways, food availability and access depends on consumption patterns. Diets containing a lot of meat are notoriously demanding of resources, with large amounts of grains and farmlands dedicated to raising livestock rather than growing food crops... Yet when communities grow richer, they tend to eat more meat...

One could, in theory, persuade people to become vegetarians, eliminate food loss and waste, or redistribute existing foods, but each of these options faces significant obstacles. In the real world, other speakers argued, sustainable intensification of agriculture would be more effective and easier to achieve.

Advocates of sustainably intensifying agriculture want to tackle the problem through the application of science - for example, by breeding livestock that are more efficient at converting resources into meat or dairy...

Agricultural specialists are also working on producing better plant varieties, including those that are more drought-resistant, salt-tolerant or nutritious. Although some of these varieties are coming out of big agribusinesses and are being developed for profit, others are the work of public research institutions, both in the developed and the developing worlds.

Some of these improvements can be achieved through conventional breeding, without genetic modification, although admittedly not all.

Gordon Conway of Imperial College London told IRIN genetic modification would be necessary for what he views as the most important improvement of all: crops designed to use less fertilizer.

“Inorganic fertilizer is increasingly expensive. It also produces greenhouse gases. But manure also produces greenhouse gases. So if we are going to produce more food into the future, we have to find ways of taking nitrogen from the atmosphere by the plants themselves, and for them to ‘fix’ the nitrogen and use what they need, and that’s the holy grail,” he said...

The overall message was that there is no silver bullet, no one solution to the problem of feeding the world in the future. Rather, it will take a mix of ideas - some traditional, some futuristic, some large-scale, some small-scale - as well as research, the dissemination of knowledge, and the development of the supply chains and financing institutions to allow all farmers to run their businesses as profitably and productively as possible.
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World Bank Warns Against Complacency Amid High Food Prices and Hunger - World Bank (2012)

The world cannot afford for high and volatile food prices to be the “new normal,” while millions of people continue to suffer from hunger and to die from malnutrition, the World Bank Group warned today. 

 

“A new norm of high prices seems to be consolidating,” said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank Group’s Vice President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. “The world cannot afford to be complacent to this trend while 870 million people still live in hunger and millions of children die every year from preventable diseases caused by malnutrition.” ... 

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EU predicts up to 4 percent rise in wheat yields by 2022 - Reuters (2012)

Common or milling wheat yields in the European Union are forecast to grow by a maximum of 4 percent in the coming decade, with a similar increase in harvested area, the European Commission's agriculture department said on Friday. Despite strong demand and relatively high cereals prices, land constraints and slow yield growth will limit any increase in EU wheat output, the Commission said in a preview of its medium-term forecast for agricultural markets...  

 

The EU produces more wheat annually than any other crop, with plantings currently accounting for about a third of all arable land in the bloc. The EU's combined output of common and durum wheat is seen at 131 million tonnes this year, according to the Commission's latest forecast.

 

A decline of 12 percent is predicted in the harvested area for barley between now and 2022. Barley is currently the second most widely grown grain in Europe, occupying about a fifth of all cropland.

However, the likely overall decline in barley production will be partly offset by a projected 8 percent rise in yields in the coming decade, the forecast showed... 

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Policy Coherence for Food Security in Developing Countries - Gurría (2012) - OECD

Policy Coherence for Food Security in Developing Countries - Gurría (2012) - OECD | Food Policy | Scoop.it

... At this very moment, 870 million people suffer from hunger and undernourishment. 2.6 million children die of malnutrition every year, while the FAO recently reported that nearly 40% - 50% of root crops, fruits and vegetables are wasted. The world produces enough food to feed everyone. Still, more than one person in seven goes hungry. This is one of the greatest follies of our times.

 

The greatest challenge: access to food. Most of the world’s hungry suffer because they are too poor to afford sufficient nutritious food. In 2005, when real prices were lower than ever before, we still counted over 800 million people that did not have enough to eat! This means that there is a systemic challenge to address food security... 

 

To achieve greater food security, it is crucial that we promote greater policy coherence. How can we achieve this? Let me table 5 key policy recommendations... 

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The world in 2060: The OECD's forecasts

The world in 2060: The OECD's forecasts | Food Policy | Scoop.it

OECD’s projections for 2060... show the impact of fast catch-up growth in underdeveloped countries with big populations. Economic power will tilt even more decisively away from the rich world than many realise. In 2011 the current membership of the OECD made up 65% of global output, compared with a combined 24% for China and India. By 2060 the two Asian giants will have a 46% share of world GDP, the OECD members a shrunken 42%. India’s economy will be a bit bigger than America’s, China’s a lot...

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graziano ceddia's comment, November 18, 2012 3:06 PM
mmmh...yet OECD record for predictions is not immaculate..."The current economic situation is in many ways better than what we have experienced in years. Against that background, we have stuck to the rebalancing scenario. Our central forecast remains indeed quite benign: a soft landing in the United States, a strong and sustained recovery in Europe, a solid trajectory in Japan and buoyant activity in China and India. In line with recent trends, sustained growth in OECD economies would be underpinned by strong job creation and falling unemployment." OECD Economic Outlook 2007
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The post-2015 development agenda explained - Guardian (2012)

The post-2015 development agenda explained - Guardian (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

In May, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, named UK prime minister David Cameron, Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, of Indonesia, as co-chairs of a high-level panel to advise him on the global development agenda after 2015, the expiry date for the millennium development goals (MDGs). That was followed by the naming of a 26-member panel that will work on a report, setting out a "bold yet practical vision", to be submitted to Ban in May. Homi Kharas, a former World Bank economist, now at the Brookings Institution thinktank in Washington, is the lead author of the report. The first draft is expected in March. The co-chairs and panellists are holding their first substantive meetings this week in London. What is the theme of this week's meetings?... What is Britain's thinking on development?... What has been the reaction to the golden thread? ... How does the high-level panel's work fit in with Rio+20?... What about the unmet MDG goals?... What should be in the next set of goals?...

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One-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture - Nature News (2012)

One-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture - Nature News (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

The global food system, from fertilizer manufacture to food storage and packaging, is responsible for up to one-third of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the latest figures from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a partnership of 15 research centres around the world. In two reports published today, the CGIAR says that reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint is central to limiting climate change. And to help to ensure food security, farmers across the globe will probably have to switch to cultivating more climate-hardy crops and farming practices...

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Food through the ages - Ending Hunger (2012)

Food through the ages - Ending Hunger (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

Did you know that agriculture was born around 9500 BC? Did you know that we have evidence that human populations suffered famine as early as 1315? An interactive timeline that chronicles “the human struggle to put food on the table, from the birth of agriculture to the birth of the 9 billionth human,” has been created by the Food for 9 Billion Project. Visit this timeline to see more milestones in our history with food. You might be surprised to learn that the hunger strike as an attention-grabbing technique was pioneered by the women’s rights movement in England in the early 1900s. You will also see the year 1948 as a key date in modern human diets with the birth of McDonald’s fast food outlets. In 1962 FAO member countries established the World Food Programme. And in 2009, you’ll see the launch of The 1billionhungry project – which has since evolved to become the EndingHunger movement. Play around with the timeline and think of how far we’ve come, and of the challenge still ahead of us: feeding a global population that will soon hit 9 billion, while protecting precious natural resources.

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The Face of Food Security Is Female - IPS (2012)

The Face of Food Security Is Female - IPS (2012) | Food Policy | Scoop.it

In a major endorsement for investment in women – the bulk of food growers in the developing world – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said food security could not be achieved without women, and that the world’s hungry also needed leaders to prioritise actions. “Girls and women are society’s best chance to overcome hunger,” Ban told a gathering of world leaders, researchers, farmers and policy-makers at the presentation of the 2012 World Food Prize. Global leaders meeting in the midwest U.S. state of Iowa to discuss strategies to boost food production worldwide say the particularly challenging food security situation in Africa will require mobilising the continent’s best scientific minds, including those of African women...

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