Shenggen Fan on risk management
How can agriculture innovate to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding global population, projected to reach 9 billion by 2050? In December 2012, Oxfam sought to answer that question by inviting 23 experts from 16 countries to participate in the Future of Agriculture global online policy discussion forum, presenting diverse view points and inspired ideas via a range of online essays.
Slowing economic growth in China has global repercussions for poverty
Antoine Bouet is an IFPRI Senior Research Fellow.
After decades of strong growth, is China’s economy starting to show signs of a slowdown? And, if so, what would this mean for the country’s national poverty reduction campaign and for the global economy as a whole? These questions took center stage in the opening plenary session of the 16th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, which took place from June 12-14 in Shanghai.
Policy options to help potentially profitable smallholders
Small farms play an indispensable role in global food security, particularly in developing countries. In fact, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), four-fifths of the developing world’s food is a product of small-sized farms. That said, not all smallholder farms are cut from the same cloth and strategies that help shift small farms from subsistence to profit should be considered alongside interventions, like non-farm employment, for those whose farms lack profit-earning potential.
Expert panel debates US role in shaping global food security
USAID’s Food for Peace program, which plays a major role in ensuring global food security, is undergoing a vigorous review in order to make it more nimble, efficient, and effective. Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to providing food aid where excess government food stocks are shipped to countries in need. But what should take its place?
How education investment affects a growing population
Yanyan Liu is a research fellow in IFPRI’s Markets, Trade and Institutions Division.
The world’s population is both rapidly expanding and becoming increasingly urbanized. But while population growth poses significant challenges to food security and sustainable resource use, particularly in developing countries, a study I conducted with Futoshi Yamauchi of the World Bank suggests that for more educated households, the news may not be all bad.
Niche markets and Africa’s competitiveness
Can Africa’s agricultural sector compete in the global marketplace? Consumable “niche” goods in the form of luxury coffee and teas from Africa are already on the shelves of such major US and UK retailers as Starbucks, Fortnum and Mason, and Costco. And Ghanaian chocolate has infiltrated the connoisseur’s market, featured at the famed Parisian chocolate house, la Maison du Chocolat.
In a move that potentially pleases both food security experts and environmentalists, the EU’s Environment Committee voted on July 11 to set a cap on the amount of energy produced from food and energy crops while encouraging the use of advanced biofuels and electric vehicles.
User experience is enhanced with new content and greater interactivity
ReSAKSS-Africa (Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System) website is now ready with enhanced features to track progress in implementing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), including the target of allocating 10 percent of national budgets to agriculture.
Every year, 1 in 10 child deaths—approximately 800,000—are the direct result of diarrhea. Of these deaths, 88 percent are preventable by guaranteeing access to safe drinking water and sanitation supplies.
The situation is particularly dire in Africa south of the Sahara. Almost two-fifths (39 percent) of people living in the region are without safe drinking water. The region is home to 15 percent of the world’s population but accounts for more than half of child deaths.
This is why identifying policies that can improve water management is critically important.