Dec 16, 2014

Fueling the fire

Patents and innovation in China

Ideas can fuel economic development, which is why legal protection for these ideas—in the form of patents—is an essential building block of a healthy economy. China, once the manufacturing hub of the world, faces rising labor costs due to rising worker wages. As a result, demand for new technologies to replace these workers has skyrocketed. Patents are crucial to encouraging the development of new technologies and innovations, and China has become the world’s largest recipient of patent filings in the world.

Dec 10, 2014

Mind the gap

Gender differences in agriculture

Gender disparities are a pervasive challenge in many lines of work, including farming. Even as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was producing The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11, evidence on the importance of closing the gender gap in agriculture was mounting. More recently, IFPRI and FAO partnered on Gender in Agriculture: Closing the Knowledge Gap, a compilation of the growing knowledge base on the gender gaps in agriculture and why we should work to close them.

Dec 9, 2014

Explore and create with Open Data

Highlighting data applications from the latest Global Hunger Index

For the past three years, the Global Hunger Index (GHI), a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger by region and country, has been published as Linked Open Data (LOD). The GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger, as well as food and nutrition insecurity. It does so by combining three equally weighted indicators—undernourishment, child underweight, and child mortality—into a single comprehensive index.

Dec 4, 2014

Risky business

Adaptive strategies for coping with drought

In the drought-prone regions of East Africa and parts of South Asia, a lack of water can be the most damaging factor to a farmer’s bottom line. Agriculture is a particularly high-risk occupation in these regions, and climate shocks such as drought can make the job even more risky, engendering cycles of poverty. Moreover, the high risks associated with farming often discourage investment, which in turn reduces agricultural output and farmers’ income. And risk may worsen with climate change, if the change leads to more frequent droughts.

Nov 26, 2014

Doubling down on a good investment

Food security and R&D spending

As the world’s population continues to expand, ensuring that food production can meet the growing demand is an ever-mounting challenge. Climate change, soil degradation, and volatile food prices further threaten food security at a time when increasing agricultural output is paramount.

Nov 24, 2014

12 killer facts from the Global Nutrition Report

This blog story by IFPRI senior researcher Lawrence Haddad was originally posted on his Development Horizons blog.

I have described the Global Nutrition Report as an evidence based treasure trove for influencing.

You will have your own favorite stats, but here are some of mine:

Nov 20, 2014

Compact2025: New partnership for ending global hunger and undernutrition

IFPRI Director General's statement from Second International Conference on Nutrition

Nov 17, 2014

First-ever Global Nutrition Report calls for greater accountability and action for combatting global malnutrition

Malnutrition affects one in two people on the planet. 165 million children under the age of five suffer from stunting, while two billion people are deficient in one or more essential micronutrients, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron. Meanwhile, 1.5 billion people are classified as overweight or obese. The costs of failing to address malnutrition are tragically high: premature death, stressed health systems, and a severe drag on economic progress.

Nov 10, 2014

Raising their voices to improve nutrition in Rwanda

Top musicians unite to promote biofortified beans via new music video

Nearly 40 percent of children in Rwanda do not consume enough iron, which can have long-term consequences, including lower learning capacities, resistance to disease, and diminished energy levels. However, a new biofortified bean variety containing 15 percent more iron than traditional beans is offering hope for addressing the problem. More than 700,000 Rwandan farmers have already started growing the new iron beans since they were introduced in 2011.