A little seed goes a long way

This story was originally published on the Research for Ethiopia’s Agriculture Policy (REAP) website.

Tef, the world’s smallest grain, plays no small role in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector— 65 percent of Ethiopia’s 85 million people get their “daily bread and livelihood” from it. In Ethiopia, farmers dedicate more land to this crop than other grains, such as maize and wheat, yet, tef yields lag behind.

Aug 8, 2013

A Gathering of Scholars and PowerPoints

Annual meeting showcases, debates latest agricultural economic research and ideas

Dena Leibman is Head of Outreach at IFPRI

Helping smallholders hedge their bets

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.

A slowdown in the growth of the Dragon?

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.

Transforming smallholder farms

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.

Jul 31, 2013

The future of US Food Aid

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?

Jul 30, 2013

Insights from Indonesia

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.

Beyond Coffee and Chocolate

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.

Jul 24, 2013

Recent EU committee vote forecasts change for Europe’s biofuel policy

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.

Jul 23, 2013

ReSAKSS-Africa website gets a facelift

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.