Empowered women raise healthier children
This blog story by IFPRI senior researcher Lawrence Haddad was originally posted on The Guardian’s Global Development Professionals Network.
IFPRI-hosted panel suggests concrete actions for food security in era of global climate change
In less than two weeks, heads of state from around the world will gather in New York for the UN Climate Change Summit. As a mounting body of evidence—including clear examples from Bangladesh and Fiji—makes clear, climate change is putting global food security at risk. How can these leaders make real progress in helping build a more resilient global food system in an era of climate change and weather shocks?
A panel of experts on development and climate change policy gathered at IFPRI last week to discuss what’s working now, what might work in the future, and what steps the world’s leaders should take.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following story, by IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan, was originally published on the Development Policy Centre’s blog. The piece is based on Shenggen’s keynote address at the Crawford Fund’s Annual Parliamentary Conference on Ethics, Efficiency and Food Security.
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.