Ghana’s groundnuts

Breaking the cycle of contamination

Fungus-contaminated maize and groundnuts have been identified as the culprit for more than 40 percent of the disease burden in developing countries. Serious health concerns such as hepatitis and liver cancer have been linked to chronic exposure to aflatoxins, which are carcinogens produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus. Beyond the associated health risks, the contaminated crops also carry a high price tag, as they cannot be sold for export, costing African countries approximately US$ 670 million each year in lost sales to the European Union alone.

Producing more with less?

Experts highlight policy options for achieving food security in Africa amidst rising rural populations and shrinking farm sizes

Africa south of the Sahara is the only region in the world where rural populations are expected to continue to grow rapidly, with an estimated 48 percent increase in rural population density in the next 35 years. At the same time, smallholder farm sizes are shrinking and rural incomes are declining, posing significant development challenges in the region.

A recent IFPRI policy seminar brought together a panel of researchers who contributed to a special issue of the journal Food Policy that examined how rising pressure to produce more food on less land affects other development outcomes—such as crop yields and farmer incomes as well as employment opportunities for rural youth. The panel, which included Derek Headey from IFPRI and Thomas Jayne and Milu Muyanga from Michigan State University, underscored the need for a better understanding of these under-acknowledged trends.

The latest from Insights magazine

Feature article: What is the future of family farming?

The latest edition of Insights, IFPRI’s print and online magazine, is now available. The August 2014 issue—coming in the midst of the UN’s International Year of Family Farming—looks at the challenging future of family and smallholder farming in developing countries. Other IFPRI research highlighted in the issue includes an analysis of the economic impacts of fertilizer subsidies and new studies on the “double burden of malnutrition”—the coexistence of adult obesity and child undernutrition in the same household.

Moving into poverty?

The economic impact of migration in Nepal

As the impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and conflict continue to grow and intensify, so too will migration. However, what impact this increasing scale of migration has on the workforce in host communities is largely unknown.

Aug 27, 2014
by IFPRI

Climate-smart agriculture: scientists show agricultural progress in responding to climate change

The following story was originally published on the BioMed Central blog. The piece highlights research findings from a recent Open Access article that was coauthored by IFPRI senior research fellow Siwa Msangi.

Aug 25, 2014

New online resource highlights tools for value chain analysis

Ensuring that small-scale farmers and producers enjoy a bigger piece of the financial pie is the aim of a new web resource on agricultural development.

The Value Chains Knowledge Clearinghouse, led by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, is based on the concept of Value Chains Development (VCD). The approach seeks to build new or strengthen existing commercial ties between two or more actors, such as businesses and consumers. Several NGOs, donors, and governments have adopted VCD as a key element of their rural poverty reduction strategies.

Dollars and sense

Ghana’s post-L’Aquila aid effectiveness

At the L’Aquila G-8 summit in 2009, governments and organizations committed more than $20 billion to agriculture and rural development as a means of promoting food and nutrition security.

Within the overarching frameworks of the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI), the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the Accra Agenda for Action, Ghana also committed to improving aid accountability and development effectiveness via “demand-driven development cooperation” and a “donor-coordinated approach.”

Leaving their mark on agricultural economics

IFPRI researcher and coauthor receive prestigious award for their 2001 article

Why are most of the world’s poorest people located in tropical countries? When historical climate data became widely available in the late 1990s, IFPRI senior research fellow Margaret McMillan and coauthor William Masters of Tufts University were among the first to use it for the study of economic development.