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Journal Cover Global Food Security
  [SJR: 0.786]   [H-I: 3]   [1 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2211-9124
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2970 journals]
  • Oil crops, aquaculture, and the rising role of demand: A fresh perspective
           on food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 May 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Rosamond L. Naylor
      The global economy has experienced remarkable growth during the past twenty-five years. Rising incomes have helped to alleviate extreme poverty and calorie deficiencies worldwide, and have fueled demand for animal protein and processed foods. Income disparities have also widened, leaving the majority of the world's population in the lower income groups. This paper explores how economic growth, income distribution, and trade have influenced patterns of food demand and food security since 1990. It focuses on two of the most rapidly expanding segments of the world food economy, tropical oil crops and aquaculture. These commodity groups involve multinational companies and smallholder producers oriented mainly around global markets. To date, however, Sub-Saharan Africa has largely been by-passed by growth in both sectors.


      PubDate: 2016-05-14T22:33:04Z
       
  • Food security, farmland access ethics, and land reform
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 May 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Michael Lipton, Yashar Saghai
      Though reducible by known means, food insecurity remains widespread, with tightening constraints on alternative policies to address it. In this article, we argue that in many developing countries more equal distribution of land is a key, yet often neglected, policy option, and that state-led land reform remains a major, ethically defensible route for addressing food insecurity and related disadvantages. In assessing empirically and ethically redistributive land reform to smallholders, we seek to advance the debate in global food security and to make a contribution to farmland-access ethics, that is, the moral evaluation of actions, practices, policies, and laws that affect farmland distribution, allocation, and use.


      PubDate: 2016-05-03T21:49:31Z
       
  • Sustainable food security and nutrition: Demystifying conventional beliefs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 April 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Shenggen Fan, Joanna Brzeska
      The global food system today faces the significant challenge of feeding more people amid dwindling natural resources and a more fragile natural environment. The path toward sustainable food security and nutrition is often riddled with inaccurate and oversimplified beliefs regarding the requirements and impacts of such a strategy. This includes the belief that trade-offs are inevitable when linking environmental sustainability with food security and nutrition strategies—which means that stakeholders have to prioritize one area at the expense of the other. Likewise, policymakers and researchers alike often make inaccurate assumptions about technological innovations, gender, biofuels, and smallholder farming. Such sustainable food security and nutrition “myths” pose a significant challenge to the effective design and promotion of more environmentally-friendly agricultural and food systems. This paper will explore the myths and realities surrounding the relationship between environmental sustainability, food security, and nutrition. It will focus on debunking some of the common myths that hamper sustainable food security and nutrition efforts and will highlight actions that can mutually reinforce food security, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. Providing the world's growing population with a more secure and sustainable supply of nutritious food is possible but not automatic and requires an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the dynamics surrounding sustainable food security and nutrition pathways.


      PubDate: 2016-04-24T11:44:50Z
       
  • Agricultural interventions for improved nutrition: A review of livelihood
           and environmental dimensions
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 8
      Author(s): Kathryn J. Fiorella, Rona L. Chen, Erin M. Milner, Lia C.H. Fernald
      A diverse group of agricultural interventions aim to improve the nutritional status of women and children. These interventions range from the cultivation of bio-fortified crop varieties to home gardening to livestock intensification. We systematically review 42 evaluations of agricultural interventions for improved maternal and child nutrition. Using these evaluations, we identify three intervention typologies – Enhancement, Diversification, and Substitution – that reflect the differential impact of interventions on household livelihoods and patterns of food consumption. Our typologies allow for a nuanced approach to categorize and generalize about pathways of impact for agricultural interventions. In applying our typologies to existing evaluations, we summarize the evidence base and emphasize areas for further inquiry, particularly in terms of understanding these interventions amid complex environmental, political and economic local contexts.


      PubDate: 2016-04-20T11:04:28Z
       
  • Debunking the ‘new normal’: Why world food prices are expected
           to resume their long run downward trend
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 8
      Author(s): Uris Lantz C. Baldos, Thomas W. Hertel
      Contrary to the opinions expressed by many commentators, the recent episode of higher prices for agricultural commodities is likely a transitory phenomenon. When compared to the last half-century, population growth is expected to be much slower in the coming decades, with nearly all of the growth occurring in lower income countries, where added population places less pressure on global markets. The impact of the recent surge in growth rates in the developing world, and the associated dietary upgrading, will be insufficient to overcome the population effect. Further, earlier projections of biofuels growth are proving overly enthusiastic in the wake of lower oil prices and environmental concerns. Consequently, our projections using the SIMPLE model of global agriculture suggest that, in the long run, food prices are expected to be slightly lower at mid-century than they were prior to the food price crisis (2006). However, this outcome is shown to depend critically on the rate of productivity growth in agriculture. Our projections involve expected global productivity growth over the 2006–2050 period which is only 60% as fast as over the historical period: 1961–2006. If total factor productivity growth slows more than this, perhaps due to adverse climate impacts or reduced investment in R&D, then prices could rise in the coming decades. Also, we cannot rule out the possibility of a steeper price decline in the wake of recent signs of robust productivity growth in the developing world.


      PubDate: 2016-04-02T17:38:11Z
       
  • Growing advantage of large farms in Asia and its implications for global
           food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Keijiro Otsuka, Yanyan Liu, Futoshi Yamauchi
      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.


      PubDate: 2016-04-02T17:38:11Z
       
  • An integrated approach to maintaining cereal productivity under climate
           change
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 8
      Author(s): Matthew P. Reynolds, Emma Quilligan, Pramod K. Aggarwal, Kailash C. Bansal, Anthony J. Cavalieri, Scott C. Chapman, Saharah M. Chapotin, Swapan K. Datta, Etienne Duveiller, Kulvinder S. Gill, Krishna S.V. Jagadish, Arun K. Joshi, Ann-Kristin Koehler, Petr Kosina, Srivalli Krishnan, Renee Lafitte, Rajendra S. Mahala, Raveendran Muthurajan, Andrew H. Paterson, Boddupalli M. Prasanna, Sujay Rakshit, Mark W. Rosegrant, Indu Sharma, Ravi P. Singh, Shoba Sivasankar, Vincent Vadez, Ravi Valluru, P.V. Vara Prasad, Om Prakash Yadav
      Wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet, and sorghum provide over half of the world's food calories. To maintain global food security, with the added challenge of climate change, there is an increasing need to exploit existing genetic variability and develop cultivars with superior genetic yield potential and stress adaptation. The opportunity to share knowledge between crops and identify priority traits for future research can be exploited to increase breeding impacts and assist in identifying the genetic loci that control adaptation. A more internationally coordinated approach to crop phenotyping and modeling, combined with effective sharing of knowledge, facilities, and data, will boost the cost effectiveness and facilitate genetic gains of all staple crops, with likely spill over to more neglected crops.


      PubDate: 2016-03-07T05:05:27Z
       
  • Assessing U.S. food wastage and opportunities for reduction
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 8
      Author(s): Zhengxia Dou, James D. Ferguson, David T. Galligan, Alan M. Kelly, Steven M. Finn, Robert Giegengack
      Reducing food wastage is one of the key strategies to combat hunger and sustainably feed the world. We present a comprehensive analysis of available data, despite uncertainties due to data limitation, indicating that the U.S. loses at least 150 million metric tonnes (MMT) of food between farm and fork annually, of which about 70MMT is edible food loss. Currently, <2% of the edible food loss is recovered for human consumption. A reasonably-attainable goal of food waste reduction at the source by 20% would save more food than the annual increase in total food production and would feed millions of people. This is an opportunity of significant magnitude, offering food security and resource and environmental benefits with few negatives. Seizing this opportunity requires technological innovation, policy intervention, and public outreach. This U.S.-based analysis is pertinent to other mid- to high-income countries.


      PubDate: 2016-03-07T05:05:27Z
       
  • Adoption and impacts of international rice research technologies
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 8
      Author(s): Takashi Yamano, Aminou Arouna, Ricardo A. Labarta, Zenaida M. Huelgas, Samarendu Mohanty
      To meet rising demand for rice, it is estimated that the global rice production needs to increase by 116milliontons by 2035. Much of the increase has to come from smallholder rice farmers in developing countries. In this article, we review 25 evaluation studies on new rice technologies and practices that have been tried and used by smallholder rice farmers in developing countries. Stress-tolerant rice varieties are found among promising new rice varieties. African farmers benefit from New Rice for Africa (NERICA) varieties. Some natural resource management (NRM) practices have been evaluated in farmer trials and found beneficial. However, the NRM evaluation studies faced with difficulties in defining NRM “technology” and “adoption”, and the difficulties remain as future challenges for evaluation studies.


      PubDate: 2016-02-14T22:21:00Z
       
  • The role of food retailers in improving resilience in global food supply
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 January 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Sarina Macfadyen, Jason M. Tylianakis, Deborah K. Letourneau, Tim G. Benton, Pablo Tittonell, Michael P. Perring, Carla Gómez-Creutzberg, András Báldi, John M. Holland, Linda Broadhurst, Kimiko Okabe, Anna R. Renwick, Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Henrik G. Smith
      We urgently need a more resilient food supply system that is robust enough to absorb and recover quickly from shocks, and to continuously provide food in the face of significant threats. The simplified global food supply chain we currently rely upon exacerbates threats to supply and is unstable. Much attention has been given to how producers can maximise yield, but less attention has been given to other stakeholders in the supply chain. Increasingly, transnational food retailers (supermarkets) occupy a critical point in the chain, which makes them highly sensitive to variability in supply, and able to encourage change of practice across large areas. We contend that the concentration in the chain down to a few retailers in each country provides an opportunity to increase resilience of future supply given appropriate, scale-dependent interventions. We make ten recommendations aimed at reducing variability in supply that can be driven by retailers (although some of the interventions will be implemented by producers). Importantly, resilience in our food supply requires the restoration and expansion of ecosystem services at the landscape-scale.


      PubDate: 2016-01-25T05:51:14Z
       
  • Food security and the global agrifood system: Ethical issues in historical
           and sociological perpspective
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 December 2015
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): John Wilkinson
      The world food system was developed under the auspices of free trade. Very quickly though free trade was countered with protectionism in the form of policies favoring national and cultural food security. The traumas of World War led to the introduction of international commitments on individual rights with respect to labor and the right to freedom from hunger. From the seventies, the pendulum swung back in favor of free trade, this time provoking a response in the form of fair and ethical trade. The introduction of new food markets promoted by social movements as from the eighties where values were attached to the conditions and processes of production rather than the product itself led to agriculture and food markets becoming imbued with ethical attributes. At the same time, an increasingly holistic concept of food security became adopted in international forums pointing to the need for policies which were no longer reducible to food aid. While for a period, broader ethical values were identified only with alternative food networks, as from the turn of the new millennium, under the collective umbrella of economic, social and environmental sustainability, they became adopted by the global agri-food players as the triple bottom line for all agricultural and food markets. Although a new consensus has been achieved on the centrality of sustainability and food security a range of tensions and conflicts persist over the relation between food security and trade, investment, biofuels, producer and consumer rights, animal welfare, nature and the environment.


      PubDate: 2016-01-01T03:50:52Z
       
  • Ethical issues for human nutrition in the context of global food security
           and sustainable development
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2015
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Jessica Fanzo
      One of the great dilemmas of our time is how we will secure and provide plentiful, healthy and nutritious food for all, do so in an environmentally sustainable and safe manner, while addressing the multiple burdens of undernutrition, overweight and obesity and micronutrient deficiencies. The food security directive focuses predominantly on ensuring the world is producing and consuming enough calories in bulk to reduce hunger and safeguard survival, as opposed to a goal that includes nutrition for well-being and development. To advance the dialogue, it is necessary to consider the ethical questions that swirl around integrating nutrition into the food security paradigm. The health, environmental, economic, and societal costs will be substantial if we do not change our course of action when it comes to feeding the world. Yet solving this problem is riddled with ethical and moral implications. Key ethical issues to consider include how to make societal decisions and define values about food security that impact nutrition outcomes, and the ethical trade-offs between environmental sustainability and ensuring that individual dietary and nutritional needs are met. Such complex issues underscore the need to articulate the broader ethical landscape of the nutrition debate within global food security.


      PubDate: 2015-12-08T03:22:05Z
       
  • Securing a sustainable biomass supply in a growing bioeconomy
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 6
      Author(s): Iris Lewandowski
      An analysis of the development of bioenergy has revealed that competing claims on biomass and agricultural land for its production are perceived as major obstacles to increasing sustainable biomass supply in the context of food security and environmental conservation. This study elaborates recommendations for dealing with competing claims on biomass for food, feed, fibre and fuel production and for securing a sustainable biomass supply in a growing bioeconomy. Suggested approaches include a better understanding of the drivers of competition, technical strategies and participatory approaches to realizing the sustainable biomass potential, and integrated approaches for optimizing bioeconomic value chain nets.


      PubDate: 2015-11-09T03:49:45Z
       
  • Global economic, environmental and health benefits from GM crop adoption
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 November 2015
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Stuart J. Smyth, William A. Kerr, Peter W.B. Phillips
      2015 marks 20 years of commercial production using genetically modified (GM) crops and while numerous environmental non-governmental organizations continue to trumpet that 'there are no benefits from biotech or GM crops', the authors beg to differ. GM crops have been tested or adopted in more than 30 different countries, with a variety of benefits. Developing countries such as China, India, South Africa and the Philippines have experienced economic, environmental and health benefits. Key agri-food exporters, in both modern market economies and developing countries, such as Australia, Canada, the United States, Brazil and Argentina have experienced near full adoption with GM varieties of canola, corn, cotton and soybeans. This review summarizes the economic, environmental and health benefits from GM crop adoptions in various countries, concluding with estimates of the distribution of the benefits of GM crops between farmers, consumers and innovators.


      PubDate: 2015-11-05T15:42:40Z
       
  • Food system resilience: Defining the concept
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 6
      Author(s): D.M. Tendall, J. Joerin, B. Kopainsky, P. Edwards, A. Shreck, Q.B. Le, P. Kruetli, M. Grant, J. Six
      In a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, the security of food supplies is threatened by many factors. These include multiple processes of global change (e.g. climate change, rapid urbanization, population ageing), unexpected shocks (e.g. natural disasters, financial and political crises), and unexpected responses of food systems themselves to these processes and events. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework for food system resilience, and consider how this could be implemented through stakeholder participation to ensure food security for everyone. Resilience is conceptualized from a holistic perspective, as encompassing the complexity of whole food systems, including social, economic and biophysical processes operating at many scales. It presents the opportunity to eradicate weaknesses and build capacities in the food system while dealing with future uncertainty.


      PubDate: 2015-09-29T11:50:27Z
       
  • Improving irrigation access to combat food insecurity and undernutrition:
           A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 6
      Author(s): Laia Domènech
      Interventions aimed at increasing water availability for livelihood and domestic activities have great potential to improve various determinants of undernutrition, such as the quantity and diversity of foods consumed within the household, income generation, and women's empowerment. This review analyzes the existing evidence concerning the role of irrigation in improving nutrition and health outcomes. Most of the studies examined showed a positive effect of irrigation interventions on food security. However, existing evidence is still insufficient to draw broad conclusions, largely because nutrition is yet to be considered an explicit objective of irrigation development. Nutrition-sensitive irrigation programs are needed to help realize the full potential of irrigation interventions and avoid adverse impacts on human health and nutrition.


      PubDate: 2015-09-29T11:50:27Z
       
  • Global soil organic carbon assessment
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 6
      Author(s): Uta Stockmann, José Padarian, Alex McBratney, Budiman Minasny, Delphine de Brogniez, Luca Montanarella, Suk Young Hong, Barry G. Rawlins, Damien J. Field
      Soil carbon is a key component of functional ecosystems and crucial for food, soil, water and energy security. Climate change and altered land-use are having a great impact on soils. The influence of these factors creates a dynamic feedback between soil and the environment. There is a crucial need to evaluate the responses of soil to global environmental change at large spatial scales that occur along natural environmental gradients over decadal timescales. This work provides a suite of new data on global soil change which will uniquely utilize the world’s prior investment in soil data infrastructure. Here we attempt a comprehensive global space–time assessment of soil carbon dynamics in different ecoregions of the world accounting for impacts of climate change and other environmental factors.


      PubDate: 2015-08-10T04:27:06Z
       
  • Climate change through a gendered lens: Examining livestock holder food
           security
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 6
      Author(s): Sarah L. McKune , Erica C. Borresen , Alyson G. Young , Thérèse D Auria Ryley , Sandra L. Russo , Astou Diao Camara , Meghan Coleman , Elizabeth P. Ryan
      Livestock holders experience increased food insecurity because of climate change. We argue that development programs, public health specialists, and practitioners must critically examine gendered impacts of climate change to improve food security of livestock producers. This review illustrates the differential experiences of men and women and how vulnerability, adaptive capacity, exposure and sensitivity to climatic stimuli are gendered in distinct ways between and among livestock holding communities. We propose a gendered conceptual framework for understanding the impact of climate change on food security among livestock holders, which highlights potential pathways of vulnerability and points of intervention to consider in global health strategies for improving household food security.


      PubDate: 2015-06-27T22:31:15Z
       
  • Urbanization and linkages to smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa:
           Implications for food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 4
      Author(s): Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt
      The article reviews evidence on African urbanization trends and consequences of these for the smallholder sector and rural food security. Urban growth is less rapid than often assumed and consumption rather than production driven, while liberalized trade regimes have globalized food systems. Urban insecurity and rural poverty are handled through self-provisioning arrangements in both rural and urban areas, which may undermine the role of urban areas as sources of demand for rural produce. Smallholders in rural areas close to existing urban areas are likely to benefit most from growing markets for high value products. Food security must be the priority for marginal areas untouched by urbanization.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Upgrading rice value chains: Experimental evidence from 11 African markets
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Matty Demont , Maïmouna Ndour
      Previous research has advanced the hypothesis that improving food security in Africa will require upgrading rice value chains in order to increase the quality-based competitiveness of domestic rice relative to imported rice in urban markets. We review the experimental evidence in support of this hypothesis. During 2008–2012, a research program of framed field experiments based on experimental auctions was implemented to study consumers’ revealed preferences for rice quality attributes in 11 African markets. The experimental results suggest that domestic rice can compete with imported rice in urban markets if its intrinsic and extrinsic quality attributes are better tailored to urban consumer preferences. This is important for policy makers who are currently implementing ambitious national rice development strategies throughout Africa.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Rice yield growth analysis for 24 African countries over 1960–2012
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Kazuki Saito , Ibnou Dieng , Ali A. Toure , Eklou A. Somado , Marco C.S. Wopereis
      In Africa, there have been scattered reports of yield stagnation. This study examined trends in rice yields in 24 African countries based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data from 1960 to 2012 using segmented linear regression, and determined factors affecting variation in yield growth rates across countries. About 74% of rice harvested area in Africa recently witnessed positive rice yield growth rates of greater than 35kgha−1 year−1. Lifting rice yields requires continued investment in rice research on technology development, development or rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, and upgrading of the existing rainfed lowlands to irrigated or partially irrigated systems. Priority should be given to countries with high rice consumption levels, where the investments will be more effective.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • How much have domestic food prices increased in the new era of higher food
           prices?
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): David Dawe , Cristian Morales-Opazo , Jean Balie , Guillaume Pierre
      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.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • West African rice development: Beyond protectionism versus
           liberalization?
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Patricio Mendez del Villar , Frédéric Lançon
      The 2008 rice-price surge provided ammunition to the opponents of rice trade liberalization in West Africa. However, a comparative analysis of the rice development history and policy changes since the 1980s across selected West African countries shows that neither protectionism nor liberalization had a sustainable impact on West Africa׳s rice import dependency. Both policy options wrongly assume that rice markets are efficient and able to forward price incentives to producers, while they are actually deeply segmented between local and imported rice. Without putting a higher priority on the development of an efficient local rice marketing system, rice development will likely have a limited impact on import dependency level, whatever trade policy options are chosen (protectionism or liberalization).


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Introduction
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Marco C.S. Wopereis



      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Asian rice economy changes and implications for sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Ramziath T. Adjao , John M. Staatz
      Despite significant increases in rice production, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) still procures about one third of its rice needs through imports, mainly from Asia. Improving the competitiveness of local rice production will be economically sustainable only if production in SSA remains cost-competitive with Asia. Realizing this goal depends not only on conditions in SSA but also on how the rice economy in Asia evolves. Several factors are likely to affect the major Asian rice economies strongly in the coming years: (i) increased diversification of diets as a result of changing age structures and rapid economic growth; (ii) changes in production patterns; and (iii) evolving costs of production in response to higher energy and water costs, and technological change. The aim of the article is to assess the changes in rice-system dynamics of both SSA and Asia and derive their implications for the development of the rice subsector in SSA.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Digital soil assessment for regional agricultural land evaluation
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): B. Harms , D. Brough , S. Philip , R. Bartley , D. Clifford , M. Thomas , R. Willis , L. Gregory
      The development of irrigated cropping is an important component of the strategy to intensify land use in sparsely populated northern Australia. An integrated resource assessment study has been conducted, with the aim of evaluating the potential for irrigated cropping in the Flinders and Gilbert river catchments – an area of 155,500km2 in north Queensland. The coupling of digitally derived soil and land attributes with a conventional land suitability framework facilitated the rapid evaluation of regional-scale agricultural potential in this remote area. Approximately 50% of the total area was found to be suitable for a range of irrigated crops, but the vast majority of this area has significant soil limitations and other constraints to production. Growing crops successfully in the dry tropics of northern Australia remains a challenge. Quantified uncertainty associated with the digital soil mapping outputs was used to estimate the reliability of the land suitability assessments.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Revised hunger estimates accelerate apparent progress towards the MDG
           hunger target
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Colin David Butler
      In 2012, the Food and Agricultural Organization released new measures of hunger data in its authoritative report “State of Food Insecurity in the World”. These revised estimates of global hunger were not only lower for recent years than previously reported, but also significantly higher for 1990. Both changes have implications for the attainability of the Millennium Development Goal target, set in 2000, making it appear much more within reach. Implications are discussed.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • De-mystifying family farming: Features, diversity and trends across the
           globe
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 5
      Author(s): Jiska A. van Vliet , Antonius G.T. Schut , Pytrik Reidsma , Katrien Descheemaeker , Maja Slingerland , Gerrie W.J. van de Ven , Ken E. Giller
      Family farms are defined by two criteria: the importance of family labour and the transfer of ownership, land tenure or management to the next generation. Most farms across the globe are family farms, and they vary in size from <1ha to >10,000ha. Trends in farm size (small farms getting smaller and large farms getting larger) are not directly related to farm ownership and do not necessarily impact global food security. Rather, both the causes and effects of farm size trends depend on the availability of farm resources and off-farm employment opportunities. Similarly, environmental sustainability, though impacted by agriculture, cannot be linked directly to family ownership or farm size. To address issues related to environment, social conditions and food security, focus should not be on the preservation of family farms but on transformations to strive for environmental, social and economic sustainability of farming in all its shapes and forms.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Global sustainability standards and food security: Exploring unintended
           effects of voluntary certification in palm oil
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Peter Oosterveer , Betty E. Adjei , Sietze Vellema , Maja Slingerland
      Voluntary labelling and certification schemes have become increasingly used in global agro-food chains. They primarily aim at enhancing the sustainability of agricultural production processes. The global palm oil supply, the different environmental and social problems related to it, and the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification clearly illustrate this. However, global sustainability standards may also have unintended impacts on food security and local development, which are not explicitly taken into account. This article explores the unnoticed effects of voluntary palm oil certification in Indonesia and Ghana and identifies their implications on local and national food provision. As voluntary labels and certification schemes are an emerging category of global governance instruments, their role in food security, as a global public good, should be taken seriously and connected to political and scientific debates on their future involvement in realizing food security.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • A biogeochemical view of the global agro-food system: Nitrogen flows
           associated with protein production, consumption and trade
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Gilles Billen , Luis Lassaletta , Josette Garnier
      Through a detailed analysis of the FAO database, we propose a generalised representation of the world׳s agro-food systems in 2009, based on the description of nitrogen (i.e. proteins) fluxes from fertilisers to crops and from crops to livestock and human nutrition. This description also includes the resulting environmental losses of nitrogen at each stage of the chain. Current trade and production fluxes of food and feed differentiate 12 macro-regions, strongly contrasted in terms of N transfer patterns. Three major factors determining the performance of the agro-food system are highlighted: (i) the cropland yield–fertilisation relationship, (ii) vegetal to animal protein conversion efficiency in the livestock farming system, as well as its connection to either semi-natural grassland or cropping systems, and (iii) total protein consumption and proportion of animal protein in the human diet.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Rethinking the measurement of undernutrition in a broader health context:
           Should we look at possible causes or actual effects?
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Alexander J. Stein
      When measuring food and nutrition security, focusing on proxy indicators such as food availability, or on selected head count figures such as stunting rates, gives an incomplete picture. Outcome-based global burden of disease (GBD) studies offer an alternative for monitoring the burden of chronic and hidden hunger. Judging by this measure, the international goal of halving global hunger between 1990 and 2015 has already been achieved. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) that are used as metric in GBD studies can be converted into more easily understood monetary terms. The resulting estimate of the annual cost of global hunger of up to 1.9 trillion international dollars may be better suited to illustrate the magnitude of the remaining problem.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Strengthening the engagement of food and health systems to improve
           nutrition security: Synthesis and overview of approaches to address
           malnutrition
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Jessica Fanzo
      The nutritional status of populations often serves as a proxy for the world׳s wider progress and setbacks. Currently, we are facing a crisis: a double burden of both undernutrition and overweight and obesity compounded with food insecurity in many countries. In an increasingly globalized world and interconnected food system, subjected to the pressures of growing populations, climate variability and food price volatility, no country or population is immune to the challenges that lay ahead. While unsettling, we now have more information, both in science and in practice, on how to improve the global food system. The solutions are inherently trans-sectoral, engaging practitioners and experts across agriculture, rural development and public health. Improvements can be driven by resilient food system approaches to ensure better utilization of food and dietary diversity and quality. Strengthening food systems should be complemented with engagement of the public health and the water, sanitation and hygiene systems to ensure adequate food and nutrition security, health and wellbeing for all.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Measuring nutritional diversity of national food supplies
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Roseline Remans , Stephen A. Wood , Nilanjana Saha , Tal Lee Anderman , Ruth S. DeFries
      Improvements in agricultural production have drastically increased grain yields in the past half-century. Despite this growth in productivity and calories available per capita, malnutrition – both undernutrition and, increasingly, overweight – remains pervasive. Though nutrition is critical to human health, it has yet to be systematically integrated into assessments of agricultural and food systems. Using three complementary diversity metrics, we find strong associations between nutritional diversity of national food supplies and key human health outcomes, while controlling for socio-economic factors. For low-income countries the diversity of agricultural goods produced by a country is a strong predictor for food supply diversity; for middle- and high-income countries national income and trade are better predictors. Our results highlight the importance of diversity in national food systems for human health. We provide metrics for agricultural and food security policies to consider nutritional diversity.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Regional governance, food security and rice reserves in East Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Paul Belesky
      Many underlying systemic issues that produced the surge in global food prices in 2007–08 continue to exist today. This study proposes that these complex and interconnected transnational issues cannot be adequately addressed solely on a national basis, but instead require broader regional cooperation. This paper will assess the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve as an exemplar of regional cooperation in relation to addressing food insecurity. It is posited that while regional food reserves do have some limitations, they can benefit countries facing food emergencies and are an effective way of promoting regional cooperation and mutual assistance among countries, amid the challenges posed by increasing instability and price volatility in the contemporary global food system.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Historical divergence in public management of foodgrain systems in India
           and Bangladesh: Opportunities to enhance food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): O. Banerjee , T. Darbas , P.R. Brown , C.H. Roth
      The Indian government is involved in almost every aspect of foodgrain procurement and distribution. Systemic inefficiencies and irregularities have slowed progress in achieving food security while programme expansion toward universality of coverage has important budgetary implications. Bangladesh offers a stark contrast with the reduced role of government in foodgrain distribution and highly targeted approach to the poor. With the Indian government׳s control of the foodgrain system undergoing an overhaul, this paper explores the evolution of foodgrain systems in India and Bangladesh in search of insights to improve system design and efficiency to enhance food security outcomes. The increasing role of markets, self-targeted programs, conditional programs and technological innovation in foodgrain supply management have been effective in reducing food insecurity in the region.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Post-harvest loss in sub-Saharan Africa—what do farmers say?
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Jonathan Kaminski , Luc Christiaensen
      The 2007–2008 global food crisis has renewed interest in post-harvest loss (PHL), but estimates remain scarce, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper uses self-reported PHL measures from nationally representative household surveys in Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania. Overall, on-farm PHL adds up to 1.4–5.9 percent of the national maize harvest, substantially lower than the FAO (2011) post-harvest handling and storage loss estimate for cereals of 8 percent. It is also concentrated among few, less than a fifth of households. PHL increases with humidity and temperature, and declines with better market access, post primary education, higher seasonal price differences and possibly also with improved storage practices. Wider use of nationally representative surveys in studying PHL is called for.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Inland capture fishery contributions to global food security and threats
           to their future
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): So-Jung Youn , William W. Taylor , Abigail J. Lynch , Ian G. Cowx , T. Douglas Beard Jr. , Devin Bartley , Felicia Wu
      Inland fish and fisheries play important roles in ensuring global food security. They provide a crucial source of animal protein and essential micronutrients for local communities, especially in the developing world. Data concerning fisheries production and consumption of freshwater fish are generally inadequately assessed, often leading decision makers to undervalue their importance. Modification of inland waterways for alternative uses of freshwater (particularly dams for hydropower and water diversions for human use) negatively impacts the productivity of inland fisheries for food security at local and regional levels. This paper highlights the importance of inland fisheries to global food security, the challenges they face due to competing demands for freshwater, and possible solutions.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Food wedges: Framing the global food demand and supply challenge towards
           2050
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Brian A. Keating , Mario Herrero , Peter S. Carberry , John Gardner , Martin B. Cole
      A projection of global food demand to 2050, with assumptions on population growth, dietary shifts and biofuel expansion, provides an estimate of the amount of additional food needed over the next 40 years to satisfy human needs. This additional food demand, expressed in kilocalories, represents a “mega-wedge” akin to the carbon stabilisation wedges of Pacala and Socolow (2004). This food demand challenge consists of three component “food wedges” classed according to their target pathways: i.e. pathways that target reducing food demand; pathways that target increasing food production; and pathways that target sustaining the productive capacity of food systems. In this paper we examine these wedges in terms of prospective pathways through which food supply and demand can stay in balance over the next 40 years. Within these wedge classes, we nominate 14 pathways that are likely to make up the food security ‘solution space’. These prospective pathways are tested through a survey of 86 food security researchers who provided their views on the likely significance of each pathway to satisfy projected global food demand to 2050. The targeting of pathways that contribute to filling the production gap was ranked as the most important strategy by surveyed experts; they nominated that 46% of the required additional food demand is likely to be achieved through pathways that increase food production. Pathways that contribute to sustaining the productive capacity are nominated to account for 34% of the challenge and 20% might be met by better food demand management. However, not one of the 14 pathways was overwhelmingly ranked higher than other pathways. This paper contributes a simple and comprehensive framing of the “solution space” to the future food demand challenge and a portfolio of investment pathways proposed to meet this challenge.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • The First International Conference on Global Food Security – A
           Synthesis
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issues 3–4
      Author(s): Martin K. van Ittersum , Ken E. Giller



      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Benchmarking consumptive water use of bovine milk production systems for
           60 geographical regions: An implication for Global Food Security
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 4
      Author(s): Mst. Nadira Sultana , Mohammad Mohi Uddin , Brad Ridoutt , Torsten Hemme , Kurt Peters
      This study sets out to measure CWU (litre/kg ECM, energy-corrected milk) of typical milk production systems in 60 dairy regions from 49 countries representing 85% of the world׳s milk production. The extended version of TIPI-CAL 5.2 including water model was used for data analysis. The results have shown the CWU/kg ECM ranged between 739L on the Danish farm to 5622 l on the Ugandan farm with a global average of 1833L. When looking at averages per region, the CWU was lowest in Europe (913L) and highest in Africa (3384L) with large intra- and inter-regional differences. Compared with grazing and intensive production system, low yielding cows on small-scale farms have the highest CWU/kg ECM. The key driver for variation in CWU/kg ECM is feed, accounting for 94–99% of the total CWU. Increasing milk productivity might be one of the promising ways to reduce CWU/kg ECM. However, this might also lead to the negative impact into water supply systems if this increase is dependent on land irrigation in water scarce areas. The findings of this study showed the need to address the location of the farm, the feed quality, feeding system and milk production intensity simultaneously when aiming at efficient water resource management which would help to contribute food production and livelihood security of dairy farmers worldwide.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • What should agriculture copy from natural ecosystems?
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 4
      Author(s): R. Ford Denison , Andrew M. McGuire
      Natural ecosystems persist without synthetic inputs. Would mimicking the organization of natural ecosystems enhance the productivity, year-to-year stability, or long-term sustainability of agriculture? Ecological research has disproved once widely accepted ideas, such as the assumption that homeostatic mechanisms in natural ecosystems are as reliable as those in organisms. Although there are still many unanswered questions, we argue that natural-ecosystem organization (diversity, spatial patterns, etc.) is not necessarily superior to that in well-designed agricultural ecosystems, especially by criteria relevant to agriculture. Furthermore, agriculture׳s constraints (exporting protein to cities, challenges in managing mixtures) would limit mimicry even of any hypothetical natural ecosystems with superior organization. Unlike overall ecosystem organization, individual adaptations of wild species have been consistently improved over millennia, via competitive natural selection. These adaptations, which might be applied to improve pest resistance or stress tolerance of crops, may best be studied in the natural ecosystems where they evolved.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Food safety in developing countries: Moving beyond exports
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 4
      Author(s): Laurian Unnevehr
      Food safety is linked to food security through health and livelihoods, and improving food safety is necessary to address food security. An international consensus has emerged that the best way to address food safety is through a risk-based, farm-to-table approach that focuses on cost-effective prevention. In developing countries, this approach has been implemented in supply chains for high-value markets, particularly exports. Evidence shows that improvements are possible where market incentives exist, and where market institutions can ensure that risk reduction practices are followed. To address food safety for food insecure consumers in developing countries, public efforts should focus on the most important risks and cost-effective controls, provide support for capacity building and supply chain coordination, and improve incentives for food safety management.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Food security and the evaluation of risk
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 4
      Author(s): Stuart J. Smyth , Peter W.B. Phillips , William A. Kerr
      Achieving global food security over the next 40 years will require sustained increases in agricultural productivity. This will require increased investment in agricultural R&D. If there are systemic reasons why agricultural R&D is inhibited, they warrant investigation. New products and technologies require regulatory approval if they are to be commercialized. Approval, or not, is based on risk assessment with only those products that pass the risk assessment contributing to productivity improvements. If the likelihood of meeting the acceptable risk threshold is reduced, investment in R&D will be negatively impacted. This paper investigates the changing methods of risk assessment for agricultural products and notes a deterioration in the likelihood that risk assessment exercises will be completed successfully. Genetically modified products are used as an example. The changing nature of risk assessments is found to be inhibiting international market access, reducing trade and, hence, making investments in productivity enhancing technologies in agriculture less interesting. Achieving future food security goals will be more difficult.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Urban agriculture and food security: A critique based on an assessment of
           urban land constraints
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 4
      Author(s): Madhav G. Badami , Navin Ramankutty
      Urban agriculture (UA) is promoted because of its contribution to food security and poverty alleviation. A considerable literature highlights these benefits, but there are also criticisms that they are overstated. We review these divergent perspectives and assess the potential for UA to contribute to urban food security in different regions, based on a low threshold of urban land required to grow the daily vegetable intake for the urban poor. We find that UA is feasible in these terms in high-income countries, but its potential is low, except in the most optimistic scenario, in low-income countries, where it might be most useful. We conclude that UA can only make a limited contribution in achieving urban food security in low-income countries.


      PubDate: 2015-06-24T16:34:08Z
       
  • Assessment of rice self-sufficiency in 2025 in eight African countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2015
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): P.A.J. van Oort , K. Saito , A. Tanaka , E. Amovin-Assagba , L.G.J. Van Bussel , J. van Wart , H. de Groot , M.K. van Ittersum , K.G. Cassman , M.C.S. Wopereis
      Most African countries are far from self-sufficient in meeting their rice consumption; in eight countries the production: consumption ratio, ranged from 0.16 to 1.18 in 2012. We show that for the year 2025, with population growth, diet change and yield increase on existing land (intensification), countries cannot become fully self-sufficient in rice. This implies that for the future, a mixture of area expansion and imports will be needed on top of yield gap closure. Further research is needed for identification of most suitable new land for rice area expansion and areas that should be protected.


      PubDate: 2015-05-22T01:26:27Z
       
 
 
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