This article focuses on understanding the question: what do recent studies on the modernization of Brazilian agriculture tell us about the changes in gender dynamics as a traditional family farm moves to alternative strategies for reproduction and how do these respective roles empower or disempower women? To understand this issue, this article determines what kinds of roles women occupy in traditional family farms, as well as the urban roles they take on after the phenomenon of pluriactivity manifests, and evaluates these roles in an empowerment index. The analysis shows that the family farm is the least empowering option of the strategies I identified (and urban migration the most empowering), and that we can seek to emulate the empowering qualities of urban employment within family farms to maximize their future empowerment. A possible pathway to empowering women on family farms includes feminist support for the institutionalization of programs that make gender dynamics more equal within family farms.
Family farms are exposed to severe economic, political, social and ecological changes. To enable intra-family succession and to safeguard the long-term survival of the farm, farming families are therefore increasingly forced to pursue market-driven, innovative and sustainable strategies. A multitude of different research areas has dedicated its research to the future of family farming and a synthesis of the existing literature on innovation, succession and sustainability in family farming seems timely and relevant. The purpose of this article is to systematically review and critically reflect on 53 articles addressing factors related to innovative, sustainable and succession-oriented strategies in family farming. As a theoretical framework, we apply the resource-based view. Findings indicate a strong fragmentation of approaches in all three topics making a cumulative progress of knowledge challenging. Furthermore, we notice a lack of theoretical references in the majority of articles reviewed. This implies the problem that the findings lack connectivity to each other which makes a scientific discourse between the different areas that contribute to research on family farms difficult. From a methodological point of view, research on family farms is rigorous. However, there is room for improvement when it comes to the development of theoretically grounded and empirically approved measurement scales. Furthermore, to stimulate multidisciplinary exchanges, we highlight recent developments in family business research with regard to innovation, sustainability and succession in family businesses and discuss their possible implications for research on family farms.
The private sector is playing an important role in developing technologies to raise productivity in agriculture. This paper presents new estimates of private agricultural and food R&D spending trends over the past 25 years. Global private spending on agricultural R&D (excluding R&D by food industries) rose from $5.1billion in 1990 to $15.6billion by 2014. Private R&D investment accelerated as agricultural commodity prices began to rise in 2003. Although the companies that account for most agricultural R&D spending are based in developed countries, their technologies have considerable and growing importance for developing countries. Some implications of these trends for public R&D policy are discussed.
This article is concerned with the characteristics of technological capabilities for agricultural innovation in indigenous public research organisations in developing economies. This issue is examined in the context of the Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research (Embrapa), in relation to the soybean industry. EMBRAPA's technological capabilities for innovation are diverse in terms of their levels of novelty and complexity, they are varied across different technologies and they are inter-organisationally distributed. Considering the evidence and in view of the developing world's unprecedented demand for food and the increased interdependency of the innovative activities, the article suggests that indigenous public research organizations, such as EMBRAPA, need to re-invent the way in which they manage their technological capabilities to play an even more active and complementary role in agricultural innovation and productivity growth in developing economies.
La región de América Latina y el Caribe ha mostrado una trayectoria exitosa en el proceso de erradicación del hambre y es la única región del mundo que redujo a la mitad tanto la proporción de personas que padecen hambre (meta establecida en los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio) como el número absoluto de personas afectadas por el hambre (meta establecida en la Cumbre Mundial sobre la Alimentación, de 1996).
El propósito de esta publicación es suministrar a los países de la región información actualizada y oportuna sobre el estado de la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional, el papel que tienen distintas áreas como la agricultura, el comercio agroalimentario y la gestión de recursos naturales en la erradicación del hambre y la posibilidad de enfrentar con éxito la doble carga de la malnutrición, en un contexto en que los efectos del cambio climático pueden amenazar los avances observados hasta el momento en América Latina y el Caribe.
El Plan para la Seguridad Alimentaria, Nutrición y Erradicación del Hambre de la CELAC 2025 es una herramienta trascendental para el logro de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible y, por ello, alienta a los países de América Latina y el Caribe a redoblar los esfuerzos para identificar las áreas clave de política que permitan acelerar y consolidar el proceso de erradicación del hambre y hacer frente a la doble carga de la malnutrición en la región, donde el sobrepeso y la obesidad se suman cada vez más a ese flagelo.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established by the United Nations (UN) in an attempt to mitigate environmental and economic distortions that exist worldwide. To identify opportunities to meet the aspirations of the MDGs, a few indicators (as Human Development-HDI-and the Gini indexes) were used in order to demonstrate existing inequalities among populations. This approach is also present in studies of such nature, in which electric energy intensity has been proposed as a way of overcoming the limitations of energy use assessment and its relationship with economic growth by means of the gross domestic product, seeking to impart evidence that can explain the environmental indexes more substantially. This article uses the factor analysis, a multivariate statistical analysis, to indicate the most closely correlated characteristics to the paths of human dignity and sustainable energy use. The aim of such analysis is to characterize regions and their clusters of typically urban cities to subsidize decision-makers in the changes for the present and future populations of these cities. The chosen cities for this study are located in the Metropolitan Region of Paraiba Valley and Northern Coast (MRPV), at an economic hub represented by the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with historic features often associated with their economic development. However, social choices, the cultural background in the region and geographical limitations represented by the Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Mar have defined peculiar characteristics to the region. The contribution of using electric energy to the development of positive actions towards the MDGs when coupled with the provision of benefits to less favored populations, as well as the autonomy suggested by the results to women, a reduction of the proliferation of diseases and extreme poverty, among other aspects, were achieved with the proposed analysis.
Direct seeding mulch-based cropping (DMC) systems are often considered as an efficient way of combining ecological sustainability and economic viability while maintaining or increasing agricultural productivity. This paper describes a modelling analysis of the functioning of family farms in rural settlements of the agrarian reform in theCerrados of Brazil. The aim was to assess the impact of the introduction of DMC systems with and without cover crops on crop-livestock management and net household income. A bio-economic farm model based on optimization of a utility function under multiple constraints was developed, capturing the interactions between livestock activities and the introduction of DMC systems. The model was run for six farms representing three farm types in the study area: 1) subsistence-oriented mixed crop-livestock farms; 2) market-oriented dairy farms; and 3) mixed crop-livestock farms, oriented to meat marketing. The following maize-based DMC systems were evaluated: a DMC system with mulch from residues of the previous maize crop and no cover crop, and two DMC systems with a fodder species, Brachiaria brizanta or Cajanus cajan, as cover crop. The simulated adoptability of DMC systems by farmers of the assentamentos depended to a large extent on the yields and feed quality of the fodder species. The modelling results suggested that DMC with C. cajan as cover crop was the best suitable option for all simulated farm types. This was mainly explained by its high feed value (expressed in crude protein content). Furthermore, in the process of intensification and specialization in dairy production, farmers were likely to shift from using maize for pig husbandry to feeding it to the dairy cows. The introduction of cover crops in the farm systems was a source of additional animal feed during the dry season that was cheaper than the purchase of feed concentrates, when the size of the dairy herd did not exceed a certain threshold.
Although Mexico aims to be self-sufficient in milk, domestic prices for milk are low due to trade liberalization, which resulted in imports of large amounts of milk powder, mainly from the United States. This situation threatens the livelihoods of smallholder dairy farmers. With varying success, farmers have tried to increase revenues by intensifying production through increased purchase of concentrates and production per cow, but this also resulted in substantial environmental problems. In this paper we combine a whole-farm model with data from representative pilot farms to explore alternative intensification options that more adequately can support the multi-objective setting of smallholders. Pilot dairy farms were defined in two categories: family-based (FB) and semi-specialized (SS), each at three levels of intensification: extensive (E, < 0.8 LU ha− 1), medium-intensive (M, > 0.8 and < 1.2 LU ha− 1), and intensive (I, > 1.2 LU ha− 1). We aimed to explore management alternatives that enhance farm economic performance, while improving resource use efficiency and reducing negative environmental impacts. For each of the six pilot farms a large set of Pareto-optimal farm configurations was generated using the whole farm model in combination with an evolutionary algorithm. Applying a multivariate analysis, the sets of alternatives were classified in three functional groups that respectively aimed to: a) maximize profitability (‘economic’), b) maximize organic matter (OM) balance (‘environmental’), and c) minimize labor used, N balance and feeding costs (‘integrated’). Intensive (FBI, SSI) and large (SSM) farms had the widest ranges of opportunities for change, mainly to maximize profitability and/or OM balance, and to minimize N balance. Synergies were found between maximizing profitability and minimizing feed costs, and for minimizing both feed costs and N balance; trade-offs occurred for OM balance with feed costs and N balance. When comparing the current farm performance with the sets of alternatives, farms performed already well in terms of N and labor balances, whereas the largest scope for improvement was found for increasing OM balances. The results showed that just re-allocating the current resources might by itself lead to economic, social and/or environmental improvements for smallholder dairy farms.
Access to electric power supply has always had a significant role in promoting improvements in all the society sectors, nevertheless nowadays 1.3 billion of people still do not have electricity access. Moreover, most of them live in rural areas of developing countries which are often isolated, scattered populated and characterized by poor infrastructure and services. In this situation, the growing consideration towards the target of universal access to energy has emphasized the role of rural electrification, and off-grid small-scale generation represents one of the most appropriate options. As a consequence, the scientific literature has devoted attention to this topic with a large number of papers. In this frame, the present analysis focuses on off-grid systems for rural electrification and provides a general framework to this topic and an analytical review of the literature. The work is based on the review of more than 350 papers mainly published from 2000 to 2014 within selected journals, and it is organized in two sections. In the first one we describe the role of small-scale generation systems throughout the process of electrification, the main features of rural areas and their typical energy uses, and we propose a new comprehensive taxonomy for off-grid systems for rural electrification. In the second one we develop an extensive review of the selected literature according to the proposed classification and to five main research areas: Technology: layout and components; Models and methods for simulation and sizing; Techno-economic feasibility analyses and sustainability analyses; Case studies analyses; Policy analyses. The work results in a comprehensive review which organizes and capitalizes the main fundamentals of the addressed topic and provides elements to get acquainted with the literature.
A reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from productive activities can contribute to climate change mitigation by diminishing the future impacts on natural and socioeconomic systems. Nitrous oxide is one of the most important GHGs and agriculture represents its main anthropogenic source. Using a standardized life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, this study aims to identify and quantify the GHG emissions associated with the different stages of wheat production using local information to develop localized climate change mitigation strategies in one of the most intensive agricultural areas in the world. A set of mitigation scenarios created based on inputs and information obtained directly from producer’s associations and farmers were evaluated. These scenarios range from the traditional approaches to the more innovative strategies currently being applied. They are considered to maintain the same yields considering changes mainly in fertilization, tillage and machinery efficiency. We found that the main source of GHGs in wheat production in the Yaqui Valley is fertilizing, with an average of 83% of the life cycle emissions in all the production scenarios proposed. The second contributing activity is tillage, accounting for 13% of Global Warming Potential (GWP) in conventional systems and 1% with ‘no tillage’ strategies. Results show that the manufacture of fertilizers accounted for 42% of the fertilizing emissions and 35% of the total life cycle emissions of wheat. In addition, by using more efficient tractors that decreased diesel inputs, emissions from conventional tillage can be reduced by 33% and emissions from no tillage can be reduced by 24%. The application of the LCA methodology allowed providing a more detailed quantification of the GHG and environmental impacts of different wheat production processes. Compared to other studies, the mitigation strategies developed from this work have a better chance of being adopted by producers because there were developed based on the actual practices proposed by the farmers and consider existing approaches currently being promoted by producer’s associations for cost reduction purposes. In this sense, the results of this LCA suggest that implementation of innovation strategies in fertilizing, tillage, and machinery efficiency can both reduce costs and mitigate GHG emissions in intensive wheat production systems all over the world.
During the past three decades, the Pisque watershed in Ecuador's Northern Andes has become the country's principal export-roses producing area. Recently, a new boom of local smallholders have established small rose greenhouses and joined the flower-export business. This has intensified water scarcity and material/discursive conflicts over water use priorities: water to defend local-national food sovereignty or production for export. This paper examines how including peasant flower farms in the capitalist dream – driven by a ‘mimetic desire’ and copying large-scale capitalist flower-farm practices and technologies – generates new intra-community conflicts over collective water rights, extending traditional class-based water conflicts. New allocation principles in Ecuador's progressive 2008 Constitution and 2014 Water Law prioritising food production over flowers' industrial water use are unlikely to benefit smallholder communities. Instead, decision-making power for peasant communities and their water users' associations on water use priority would enable water user prioritization according to smallholders' own preferences.
Family farms play an important role in the European countryside, yet their number is steadily declining. This raises the question of what conveys resilience to family farms, i.e. the ability to persist over the long-term through buffering shocks and adapting to change. Within the current approaches to farm resilience, we distinguish between two perspectives: the first focuses on material structures and highlights the role of farm types and ecological dynamics. The second focuses on actors and highlights that farmer agency and wider social forces also play important roles. We argue that a third perspective, one focusing on relations, has the potential to overcome both the structure/agency and the ecological/social dichotomies. Indeed, a relational approach enables a closer analysis of how ecological and social processes interact to undermine or strengthen resilience. The approach also allows to identify the different relationalities that are enacted within a specific context, foregrounding diversity in farming. Furthermore, it highlights that relations are continuously made and remade, putting the emphasis on change, and on the wider patterns that enable or constrain change. A relational approach would thus contribute to overcoming a one-sided focus on states and stability, shifting attention to the patterns of relations that enable transformational change.
Several studies have recognized that the agriculture sector is one of the major contributor to climate change, as well as largely affected adversely by climate change. Agricultural productivity is known to be sensitive to climate change induced effects and it has impact on livelihood of families linked with farming. Thus it is important to understand what are the existing coping strategies that farmer deploy in case of climate shocks like flood and drought and who is involved in making decision relating to these coping strategies. This paper uses the household level data of 641 households from 12 randomly selected villages in Vaishali district of Bihar to understand the household coping mechanisms with emphasis on role of gender. This study has moved away from the conventional division of households by male and female-headed households and thus capturing the intra-household gender dynamics by understanding the role of men and women within the household as decision makers of the coping strategy to manage climate shock. The study uses a multivariate probit model and the results suggest that there is a higher probability that the male farmers will make the decision on choice of the coping strategy. The most prominent coping mechanism is to find alternative employment in urban locations; however, when consumption levels have to be reduced because of climate shock, all family members then contribute to the decision-making process collectively. The results show that exposure to agriculture extension and training programs have a positive influence on choosing appropriate coping mechanisms, but female farmers have poor access to these resources. These policies should look into providing outreach to both male and female farmers in any given locality.
This article analyzes the potential of learning processes to promote governance and economic development in rural areas. It examines how three types of learning in the Lurín River Basin in Peru —-technical expertise, storytelling, and experiential knowledge – combine to empower rural communities to act collectively. Based on an analysis of three community-led economic development processes—-irrigation improvements, tourism and food processing—-we show that learning can result in new, albeit fragile, forms of governance and social capital. Fragile governance can turn into regional economic development when learning results in the development of a regional narrative and coordination occurs across both vertical and horizontal network dimensions.
When the wage rate is low, a labour-intensive production method is chosen. Since it is costly to monitor hired labourers in agriculture, small-scale farms dependent on family labour are more efficient than large farms relying on hired labour. This leads to the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity, if land markets do not reallocate land. When the wage rate increases, labour-saving and machine-using production methods become efficient. If machinery and land are complementary and machines are indivisible to some extent, large-scale mechanized farms become more efficient, which tends to weaken the inverse farm size-productivity relationship. This article argues that if small-scale farms continue to dominate in the face of the increasing wage rate in Asia, many countries in this region will lose their comparative advantage in agriculture.
Numerous sources provide evidence of trends and patterns in average farm size and farmland distribution worldwide, but they often lack documentation, are in some cases out of date, and do not provide comprehensive global and comparative regional estimates. This article uses agricultural census data (provided at the country level in Web Appendix) to show that there are more than 570 million farms worldwide, most of which are small and family-operated. It shows that small farms (less than 2 ha) operate about 12% and family farms about 75% of the world’s agricultural land. It shows that average farm size decreased in most low- and lower-middle-income countries for which data are available from 1960 to 2000, whereas average farm sizes increased from 1960 to 2000 in some upper-middle-income countries and in nearly all high-income countries for which we have information.
Such estimates help inform agricultural development strategies, although the estimates are limited by the data available. Continued efforts to enhance the collection and dissemination of up-to date, comprehensive, and more standardized agricultural census data, including at the farm and national level, are essential to having a more representative picture of the number of farms, small farms, and family farms as well as changes in farm size and farmland distribution worldwide.
India has pursued an active food security policy for many years, using a combination of trade policy interventions, public distribution of food staples, and assistance to farmers through minimum support prices defended by public stocks. This policy has been quite successful in stabilizing staple food prices, but at a high cost, and with potential risks of unmanageable stock accumulation. Based on a rational expectations storage model representing the Indian wheat market and its relation to the rest of the world, this paper analyzes the cost and welfare implications of this policy and unpacks the contribution of its different elements. To analyze alternative policies, social welfare is assumed to include an objective of price stabilization and optimal policies corresponding to this objective are assessed. Considering fully optimal policies under commitment as well as optimal simple rules, it is shown that adopting simple rules can achieve most of the gains from fully optimal policies, with both potentially allowing for lower stockholding levels and costs.
• The water–food–energy Nexus has emerged as a new perspective in debates concerned with balancing potentially conflicting sectoral imperatives of large scale development investments concerned with energy, water or food security. Current frameworks are partial as they largely represent a water-centric perspective. Our hypothesis is that a dynamic Nexus framework that attempts to equally weight sectoral objectives provides a new paradigm for diagnosis and investigation. Dynamic refers here to explicitly understanding (or a diagnosis of) the dynamic relationships and ripple effects whereas static-comparative refers to a comparison of states before and after change. This paper proposes a balanced Nexus framework and presents results from an application to the Mekong basin. The analysis identified the advantages of a sectorally balanced, dynamic Nexus approach, in particular the ability to reveal either the emergence of cross-sectoral connections, or changes in those connections, as a consequence of single sector interventions.
The nexus between energy, water and agricultural production is important to consider for effective resource management and risk mitigation. New data acquisition techniques, in conjunction with cheap storage applications, have facilitated the collection and analysis of massive datasets to holistically describe natural and built environments. However, the field of coupling energy, water and agricultural management through evolving remote sensing technologies is still nascent. We find that remote sensing technologies are being increasingly utilized for resource management, but there are still large opportunities to deploy these technologies to achieve integrated resource management goals. Thus, this article aims to bridge remote sensing and integrated resource management communities, which have largely developed in isolation, so that technologies can be developed to assist in achieving sustainable development. The opportunities and challenges highlighted in this article can guide technology development, research opportunities and create new interdisciplinary research partnerships.
A variety of indices have been applied to the performance of nation states, both for research and as aids to help guide policy and intervention. While the literature on indices is extensive, the focus to date has been almost entirely on technical issues of index creation. However the success of an index is arguably related at least in part to the use of that index by policy makers and managers. While cause-effect can be difficult to determine, one approach is to measure ‘success’ in terms of the reporting of indices by an intermediary group such as the media, and this paper assesses the reporting of 24 indices by newspapers worldwide until 2012. The results suggest that index success is influenced by a number of factors, including the time it has existed, its focus, extent and quality of publicity, adaptability in terms of the scope for others to change the content and methodology of the index and resonance in terms of the match with ideas/culture/behaviour of people. The paper makes a case for a new research field that seeks to investigate the meaning and factors involved in ‘success’ of indices and how these should help with index development.
Water touches every aspect of human existence on planet earth. While this notion may be regarded as a triviality, it nevertheless has highly complex consequences. Water as a georesource is subject to many pressures due to its multiple functions that go far beyond its role as the fundamental basis of organic life. For instance, antagonistic social, economic and ecological demands meet to form the “water-energy-food” nexus. Rising population numbers, changing lifestyles and climate change have substantial impacts on water resources and aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, water is a factor in peace among nations: water can be both a source of controversy and of cooperation. The “hidden core” of many international conflicts can be regarded as disputes over the access to water.
The study highlights the need for creating alternative indicators of sustainability for considering a well-guarded view about sustainable development of a country. The aim of the study is (1) to focus on different alternative measures of sustainability, (2) to assess whether these alternative measures move in the same direction which indicates peoples’ wellbeing as well as maintenance of environmental health and (3) to ascertain whether there has been some tendency towards convergence among the considered countries based on the alternative sustainability measures. Four alternative sustainability indicators like Green Net National Product, Ecological Footprint, Sustainable Human Development Index and Pollution Sensitive Human Development Index, for 22 developing countries have been constructed. Correlation matrix has been considered to focus on the extent of consistency between alternative indices. Unit root test has been done to ensure the stationarity of time series of such indices. The issue of convergence of different sustainability indices has been analysed by use of beta and sigma convergence employing pooled OLS and fixed effect model. It has been found that the different indices are more or less mutually consistent and stationary and over time they have converged across the considered countries. The results indicate that despite convergence coherent with Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis, the level of environmental degradation when linked to GDP per capita gives rise to an N-shaped pattern. The study suggests the need for diverse economic pollution control instruments to avoid degradation of the environment.
Land is a key factor in production agriculture and the land rental market is an important institution in agriculture. Rental activity of both sharecropped and fixed rent arrangements represents about 25% of cultivated land in the Philippines. The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of 1988, which essentially redistributes land to landless farmers, has implications for land ownership and farm productivity. This study investigates the impact of land ownership on the productivity and technical efficiency of rice farmers in the Philippines. We use a 2007–2012 Loop Survey from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and a stochastic frontier function method. Results show that land ownership has a significant impact on technical efficiency. In particular, counter to the theory, the CARP may have reduced the technical efficiency of leasehold farmers compared with owner operators. Additionally, results show that land area, fuel cost, fertilizer cost, irrigation cost, and labor cost are significant factors that affect rice production. We found a mean technical efficiency score of 0.79—still leaving room for improvement. Finally, educated females and farmers leasing land have higher technical inefficiency.
In the last fifteen years, Peru has hosted a broad array of value chain development initiatives. The market-oriented rationale has gained momentum not only in agriculture, but also in various sectors that are linked to trade and production, as the quote taken from the Strategic Sector Plan of the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture for the time period 2012-2016 highlights. To understand how the market-oriented rationale has become effective in Peru, one has to study the conditions under which it was introduced in regulatory frameworks, policy agendas and in society at large. In this vein, it is absolutely essential to look at the socio-spatial context in which the framework touches ground.
During the past two centuries, the world has witnessed a remarkable increase in the atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases (GHGs), namely carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as a result of human activities after 1750 (preindustrial era). During 1750 the concentrations for these gases were 280 ppm, 715 ppb, and 270 ppb, respectively which increased to 379 ppm, 1774 ppb, and 319 ppb, respectively in 2005. It showed an increase of 0.23, 0.96, and 0.12% annually. The same has further increased to 385 ppm, 1797 ppb, and 322 ppb, respectively in 2008 representing 1.6, 1.2, and 0.9% increase, respectively from 2005 levels at an annual increase of 0.53, 0.43, and 0.31%, annually. Increase in atmospheric CO2 promotes growth and productivity of plants with C3 photosynthetic pathway but the increase in temperature, on the other hand, can reduce crop duration, increase crop respiration rates, affect the survival and distribution of pest populations, and may hasten nutrient mineralization in soils, decrease fertilizer-use efficiency, and increase evapotranspiration. The water resources which are already scarce may come under enhanced stress. Thus, the impact of climate change is likely to have a significant influence on agriculture and eventually on the food security and livelihoods of large sections of the urban and rural populations globally. The developing countries, particularly in South Asia and Latin America, with diverse agroclimatic regions, challenging geographies, growing economies, diverse agricultural production systems, and farm typologies are more vulnerable to the effect of climate change due to heavy dependence on agriculture for livelihood. These regions also are demonstrating poor coping mechanisms to adapt to these challenges, and as a result there is evidence of negative impacts on productivity of wheat, rice, and other crops to varying extent depending on agroecologies.
Upscaling of modern technologies such as conservation and climate smart agriculture, judicious utilization of available water for agriculture through microirrigation and water saving technologies, developing multiple stress-tolerant crop cultivars and biotypes through biotechnological tools, restoration of degraded soils and waters, promoting carbon sequestration through alternate production technologies and land use, and conservation of biodiversity must be promoted at regional and country level to ensure durable food and nutritional security. Reliable early warning system of environmental changes, their spatial and temporal magnitude, coupled with policies to support the diffusion of this information, can help interpret these forecasts in terms of their agronomic and economic implications for the benefit of farmers and to provide agriculture-dependent industries and policymakers with more informed options to support farmers. These countries need to formulate both short-term and long-term policies for improvement, sustenance, and protection of natural resources. There is an urgent need for capacity building through international collaboration in order to develop databases and analysis systems for efficient weather forecasting as well as preparing contingency plans for vulnerable areas. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the available information on adaptation strategies and the mitigation options for climate change to meet the food security in South Asia and Latin America.
In 2013, Peru was on the cusp of approving both a national policy and national law related to food security and food sovereignty. Engaging food regime analysis to historicize the political economy of the food system in Peru and the theory of ‘neoliberal multiculturalism’ to analyze how food sovereignty challenges the neoliberal policy paradigm in Peru and simultaneously risks cooptation into the neoliberal food regime, this case study shows that the strategies of participation and construction used in the Peruvian food policy-making process open new alternatives beyond the assumed binary of cooptation or resistance in the institutionalization of a social movement platform. Developed in the midst of the policy debate in Peru, this article is a timely and relevant study that has implications for food policy processes around the world. With the emergence of more initiatives in Latin America and beyond to institutionalize the food sovereignty framework into national policy, careful analysis of the risks, challenges, and opportunities of doing so will inform future efforts.
The paper analyzes various correlates of food security, viz. availability, access, utilization and stability in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Econometric estimates, based on pooled data (1990–2012 for over 40 countries), indicate that while regional variations do exist, nevertheless, broad conclusions can be drawn in terms of determinants of food security. While increases in GDP per capita, as well as its growth; improvement in infrastructure, food production, and access to better drinking water reduce both undernutrition, and the depth of food deficit significantly, food inflation (as also its volatility) has a significant adverse effect on food security. Also, increase in food imports as a percentage of total merchandize exports, in general, has a negative (though non-significant) impact. Given that access to healthy food is a basic human right, steps need to be taken to build resilience of the poor. It is in this context that the paper concludes from a broad policy perspective.
Analysis of domestic price data (adjusted for inflation) from a large range of low- and middle-income countries shows that domestic staple food prices were higher in 2013 than they were in the first half of 2007: consumption-weighted real domestic rice, wheat and maize price indices increased by 19, 19 and 29 percent, respectively. The domestic price indices broadly follow world price movements, but domestic price changes are attenuated to an important extent due to government policies, transport costs, changes in exchange rates and other factors. While world price changes thus overstate the impact on food security of farmers and consumers, the observed increases in domestic prices are still substantial for the poor. Domestic price changes have varied widely across countries, and the changes in any particular country are not necessarily due to changes in world market prices.
n 2007/8 world food prices spiked and global economic crisis set in, leaving hundreds of millions of people unable to access adequate food. The international reaction was swift. In a bid for leadership, the 123 member countries of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) adopted a series of reforms with the aim of becoming the foremost international, inclusive and intergovernmental platform for food security. Central to the reform was the inclusion of participants (including civil society and the private sector) across all activities of the Committee.
Drawing on data collected from policy documents, interviews and participant observation, this book examines the re-organization and functioning of a UN Committee that is coming to be known as a best practice in global governance. Framed by key challenges that plague global governance, the impact and implication of increased civil society engagement are examined by tracing policy negotiations within the CFS, in particular, policy roundtables on smallholder sensitive investment and food price volatility and negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition.
The author shows that through their participation in the Committee, civil society actors are influencing policy outcomes. Yet analysis also reveals that the CFS is being undermined by other actors seeking to gain and maintain influence at the global level. By way of this analysis, this book provides empirically-informed insights into increased participation in global governance processes.
Conservation agriculture (CA) has been widely successful in the Southern Cone region of South America. A leader in the development of CA practices and technology, Brazil has encouraged the spread of CA throughout the region through an effective and innovative network of farmers and their associations, private and public partnerships. The benefits of CA in Latin America include soil conservation, reduced production costs, and increased soil biodiversity, which enhances environmental equilibrium, improves crop water balance, and increases yields. In other regions of Latin America, however, such as Central America and the Andean region, CA adoption has proven more difficult. A review of case studies in Latin America suggests that CA adoption is limited by socioeconomic constraints, access to appropriate machinery, crop-residue trade-offs, lack of adaptation of the technology to farmer’s agronomic constraints, and uncoordinated efforts of stakeholders. The development of effective CA innovation systems in countries such as Brazil and Mexico has been instrumental in overcoming factors limiting CA adoption and reflects the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors, including machinery manufacturers, as well as the need for positive incentives and low-interest loans to make technology affordable for farmers. In addition, CA education, information dissemination through extension agents and farmers, and greater policy support and social capital, can help change attitudes and conventional farming practices.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the political economy of food-water security in the water-scarce Middle East and North Africa region. The study deploys the lens of virtual water trade to determine how the region's economies have met their rising food-water requirements over the past three decades. It is shown that the region's water and food security currently depend to a considerable extent on water from outside the region, ‘embedded’ in food imports and accessed through trade. The analysis includes blue (surface and groundwater) and green water resources.
Food security is a major topic in academic and international debates. Numerous indicators have been proposed in order to establish which countries are in need of improved food security status, but the lack of consensus as to which indicator of food insecurity is the most appropriate has motivated scholars to propose composite indexes. Building composite indexes involves multiple choices. This Viewpoint warns how discretional choices of algorithms to compute composite indexes for food security may alter the findings. By commenting on the implications that different measurement choices may have in terms of global indexes, the Viewpoint raises provocative practical and political concerns
Lack of political commitment has been identified as a primary reason for the low priority that food and nutrition interventions receive from national governments relative to the high disease burden caused by malnutrition. Researchers have identified a number of factors that contribute to food and nutrition's 'lowpriority cycle' on national policy agendas, but few tools exist to rapidly measure political commitment and identify opportunities to advance food and nutrition on the policy agenda. This article presents a theory-based rapid assessment approach to gauging countries' level of political commitment to food and nutrition security and identifying opportunities to advance food and nutrition on the policy agenda. The rapid assessment tool was piloted among food and nutrition policymakers and planners in 10 low- and middle-income countries in April to June 2013. Food and nutrition commitment and policy opportunity scores were calculated for each country and strategies to advance food and nutrition on policy agendas were designed for each country. The article finds that, in a majority of countries, political leaders had verbally and symbolically committed to addressing food and nutrition, but adequate financial resources were not allocated to implement specific programmes. In addition, whereas the low cohesion of the policy community has been viewed a major underlying cause of the low-priority status of food and nutrition, the analysis finds that policy community cohesion and having a well thought-out policy alternative were present in most countries. This tool may be useful to policymakers and planners providing information that can be used to benchmark and/or evaluate advocacy efforts to advance reforms in the food and nutrition sector; furthermore, the results can help identify specific strategies that can be employed to move the food and nutrition agenda forward. This tool complements others that have been recently developed to measure national commitment to advancing food and nutrition security.