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Journal Cover Global Food Security
   Journal TOC RSS feeds Export to Zotero [3 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 2211-9124
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2570 journals]   [H-I: 1]
  • A biogeochemical view of the global agro-food system: Nitrogen flows
           associated with protein production, consumption and trade
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 September 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-10-05T18:02:11Z
       
  • Regional governance, food security and rice reserves in East Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 September 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-10-05T18:02:11Z
       
  • Benchmarking consumptive water use of bovine milk production systems for
           60 geographical regions: An implication for Global Food Security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 September 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Mst. Nadira Sultana , Mohammad 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: 2014-10-05T18:02:11Z
       
  • A review of global food security scenario and assessment studies: Results,
           gaps and research priorities
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 October 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): M. van Dijk , G.W. Meijerink
      Over the last decade, scenario analysis increasingly has been used to explore the main drivers affecting global food supply and demand in the future. The aim of this study is to summarise, compare and evaluate global scenarios with a focus on global food security. We find that food security outcomes differ substantially and may be attributed to three main factors: (1) differences in scenario storylines and assumptions on drivers, (2) differences in the models that are employed to process the drivers and generate scenario outcomes, and (3) differences in the way and the extent to which results are reported. We also identify several ways how studies and models may be improved. This paper provides important and helpful suggestions for practitioners, but is also useful for policy-makers, who are usually the ultimate users of these scenario studies.


      PubDate: 2014-10-05T18:02:11Z
       
  • Strengthening the engagement of food and health systems to improve
           nutrition security: Synthesis and overview of approaches to address
           malnutrition
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 October 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-10-05T18:02:11Z
       
  • Food wedges: Framing the global food demand and supply challenge towards
           2050
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 October 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-10-05T18:02:11Z
       
  • Food security and the evaluation of risk
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 September 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-09-20T02:11:26Z
       
  • Urbanization and linkages to smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa:
           Implications for food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-09-20T02:11:26Z
       
  • Drought and food security – Improving decision-support via new
           technologies and innovative collaboration
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 September 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Markus Enenkel , Linda See , Rogerio Bonifacio , Vijendra Boken , Nathaniel Chaney , Patrick Vinck , Liangzhi You , Emanuel Dutra , Martha Anderson
      Governments, aid organizations and people affected by drought are struggling to mitigate the resulting impact on both water resources and crops. In this paper we focus on improved decision-support for agricultural droughts that threaten the livelihoods of people living in vulnerable regions. We claim that new strategic partnerships are required to link scientific findings to actual user requirements of governments and aid organizations and to turn data streams into useful information for decision-support. Furthermore, we list several promising approaches, ranging from the integration of satellite-derived soil moisture measurements that link atmospheric processes to anomalies on the land surface to improved long-range weather predictions and mobile applications. The latter can be used for the dissemination of relevant information, but also for validating satellite-derived datasets or for collecting additional information about socio-economic vulnerabilities. Ideally, the consequence is a translation of early warning into local action, strengthening disaster preparedness and avoiding the need for large-scale external support.


      PubDate: 2014-09-11T09:29:13Z
       
  • Erratum to “Biofuels in Brazil: Evolution, achievements and
           perspectives on food security” [Glob. Food Secur. 2 (2013)
           117–125]
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issue 2
      Author(s): Luiz Augusto Horta Nogueira , Rafael Silva Capaz



      PubDate: 2014-08-03T03:21:33Z
       
  • Farm household models to analyse food security in a changing climate: A
           review
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 June 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): M.T. van Wijk , M.C. Rufino , D. Enahoro , D. Parsons , S. Silvestri , R.O. Valdivia , M. Herrero
      We systematically reviewed the literature on farm household models, with emphasis on those focused on smallholder systems. The models were evaluated on their predictive ability to describe short term (3–10 years) food security of smallholder farm households under climate variability and under different scenarios of climate change. The review of 126, mainly production-oriented, farm household models, showed that integrated analyses of food security at the farm household level are scarce. Some models deal with elements of food security, but the models covered in this review are weak on decision-making theory and risk analyses. These aspects need urgent attention for dealing with more complex adaptation and mitigation questions, in the face of climatic change. Approaches that make use of decision making theory and combine the strengths of (dynamic) mathematical programming and expert systems decision models seem promising in this respect. They could support the robust evaluation of climate change impacts and adaptive management options on smallholder systems.


      PubDate: 2014-07-29T02:44:22Z
       
  • Climate change adaptation in crop production: Beware of illusions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 June 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): David B. Lobell
      A primary goal of studying climate change adaptation is to estimate the net impacts of climate change. Many potential changes in agricultural management and technology, including shifts in crop phenology and improved drought and heat tolerance, would help to improve crop productivity but do not necessarily represent true adaptations. Here the importance of retaining a strict definition of adaptation – as an action that reduces negative or enhances positive impacts of climate change – is discussed, as are common ways in which studies misinterpret the adaptation benefits of various changes. These “adaptation illusions” arise from a combination of faulty logic, model errors, and management assumptions that ignore the tendency for farmers to maximize profits for a given technology. More consistent treatment of adaptation is needed to better inform synthetic assessments of climate change impacts, and to more easily identify innovations in agriculture that are truly more effective in future climates than in current or past ones. Of course, some of the best innovations in agriculture in coming decades may have no adaptation benefits, and that makes them no less worthy of attention.


      PubDate: 2014-07-29T02:44:22Z
       
  • Eating meat: Constants and changes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 July 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Vaclav Smil
      Eating meat has been an important component of human evolution and rising meat consumption has made a major contribution to improved nutrition. Expanding the current practices of meat production would worsen its already considerable environmental consequences but more environmentally sensitive ways of meat production are possible. Although they could not match the current levels of meat supply, they could provide nutritionally adequate levels worldwide. This would mean a break with historical trends but such a shift is already underway in many affluent countries and demographic and economic factors are likely to strengthen it in decades ahead.


      PubDate: 2014-07-29T02:44:22Z
       
  • Historical divergence in public management of foodgrain systems in India
           and Bangladesh: Opportunities to enhance food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 July 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-07-29T02:44:22Z
       
  • Measuring nutritional diversity of national food supplies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 July 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      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: 2014-07-29T02:44:22Z
       
  • 40 Years of dialogue on food sovereignty: A review and a look ahead
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 April 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Ashley Chaifetz , Pamela Jagger
      We review the evolution of the food sovereignty movement from its Green Revolution origins centered on food self-sufficiency to current dialogue focused on reduced use of transgenic crops, supporting small-scale agriculture, eschewing trade liberalization, and promoting agroecology principles. We discuss food sovereignty in the context of a “right to food” as has been put forward by the United Nations. We review food sovereignty discourse to assess what it contributes to key aspects of global food security. We conclude that, while food sovereignty has promise as a normative concept, it is unlikely to be implemented in any substantive way in the near future. Forces affecting the future of food including rapid population growth, upward food price trends, globalization, and institutional path dependence in global food and agricultural input markets are formidable adversaries.


      PubDate: 2014-06-18T16:27:18Z
       
  • Does intensification slow crop land expansion or encourage
           deforestation'
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 May 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Derek Byerlee , James Stevenson , Nelson Villoria
      The role of intensification in minimizing cropland and slowing deforestation is often disputed. We make a broad distinction between technology-induced and market-induced intensification. We find evidence at the local level that technical progress in a few cases may induce land expansion although much depends on where the technical change occurs (near the forest frontier or away from it) and the type of market (local or global). At a global level, technology-driven intensification is strongly land saving although deforestation in specific regions is likely to continue to occur. Market-driven intensification, however, is often a major cause of land expansion and deforestation especially for export commodities in times of high prices. Beyond land saving, the type of intensification matters a lot for environmental outcomes. Finally, technology-driven intensification by itself is unlikely to arrest deforestation unless accompanied by stronger governance of natural resources.


      PubDate: 2014-06-18T16:27:18Z
       
  • Five inter-linked transformations in the Asian agrifood economy: Food
           security implications
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 May 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Thomas Reardon , C. Peter Timmer
      “Five interlinked transformations” of the agrifood system are occurring rapidly in Asia and are well along in Latin America and emerging in Africa: (1) urbanization; (2) diet change; (3) agrifood system transformation; (4) rural factor market transformation; (5) intensification of farm technology (the agricultural transformation). These transformations are linked in mutually causal ways in all directions—the transformation is of an integrated system rather than piecemeal, independent changes. This means the overall transformation has the potential to be very rapid and complicated. The new situation is not linear and easily predictable, but there remains the need to act – by both the private and public sectors – in this rapidly changing environment. Having an informed vision of these dynamic interrelationships can sharply improve the potential to act appropriately.


      PubDate: 2014-06-18T16:27:18Z
       
  • Framework for participatory food security research in rural food value
           chains
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2014
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 3, Issue 1
      Author(s): F. Graef , S. Sieber , K. Mutabazi , F. Asch , H.K. Biesalski , J. Bitegeko , W. Bokelmann , M. Bruentrup , O. Dietrich , N. Elly , A. Fasse , J.U. Germer , U. Grote , L. Herrmann , R. Herrmann , H. Hoffmann , F.C. Kahimba , B. Kaufmann , K.-C. Kersebaum , C. Kilembe , A. Kimaro , J. Kinabo , B. König , H. König , M. Lana , C. Levy , J. Lyimo-Macha , B. Makoko , G. Mazoko , S.H. Mbaga , W. Mbogoro , H. Milling , K. Mtambo , J. Mueller , C. Mueller , K. Mueller , E. Nkonja , C. Reif , C. Ringler , S. Ruvuga , M. Schaefer , A. Sikira , V. Silayo , K. Stahr , E. Swai , S. Tumbo , G. Uckert
      Enhancing food security for poor and vulnerable people requires adapting rural food systems to various driving factors. Food security-related research should apply participatory action research that considers the entire food value chain to ensure sustained success. This article presents a research framework that focusses on determining, prioritising, testing, adapting and disseminating food securing upgrading strategies across the multiple components of rural food value chains. These include natural resources, food production, processing, markets, consumption and waste management. Scientists and policy makers jointly use tools developed for assessing potentials for enhancing regional food security at multiple spatial and temporal scales. The research is being conducted in Tanzania as a case study for Sub-Saharan countries and is done in close collaboration with local, regional and national stakeholders, encompassing all activities across all different food sectors.


      PubDate: 2014-04-27T18:02:28Z
       
  • Climate change adaptation in mixed crop–livestock systems in
           developing countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 April 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Philip K. Thornton , Mario Herrero
      Mixed crop–livestock systems produce most of the world׳s milk and ruminant meat, and are particularly important for the livelihoods and food security of poor people in developing countries. These systems will bear the brunt of helping to satisfy the burgeoning demand for food from increasing populations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where rural poverty and hunger are already concentrated. The potential impacts of changes in climate and climate variability on these mixed systems are not that well understood, particularly as regards how the food security of vulnerable households may be affected. There are many ways in which the mixed systems may be able to adapt to climate change in the future, including via increased efficiencies of production that sometimes provide important mitigation co-benefits as well. But effective adaptation will require an enabling policy, technical, infrastructural and informational environment, and the development challenge is daunting.


      PubDate: 2014-04-27T18:02:28Z
       
  • Does the conversion of grasslands to row crop production in semi-arid
           areas threaten global food supplies?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): David E. Clay , Sharon A. Clay , Kurtis D. Reitsma , Barry H. Dunn , Alexander J. Smart , Gregg G. Carlson , David Horvath , James J. Stone
      In the world's semi-arid regions, high crop demands have produced short term economic incentives to convert food production on native grasslands to dryland row crop food production, while genetic enhancements and equipment have reduced the risk of crop failure. The objectives of this paper were to discuss (1) the importance of considering the long-term sustainability of changing land use in semi-arid regions; (2) the impact of extreme climatic events on ecosystem functioning; and (3) factors contributing to higher crop yields in semi-arid regions. Semi-arid regions contain fragile areas where extreme climate events may be a tipping point that converts an apparent sustainable system to a non-sustainable ecosystem. However, semi-arid regions also contain zones where “better” management practices have reduced the agricultural impacts on the environment, increased soil carbon levels, and stimulated economic development. Research suggests that food production can be increased by enhancing the productivity of existing cropped land. However, this statement does not infer that crop production on all existing cropped lands in semi-arid regions is sustainable. Worldwide, targeted research should be conducted to clearly identify local barriers to conservation practice adoption and identify the long-term ramifications of extreme climatic events and land-use changes on semi-arid ecosystem functioning.


      PubDate: 2014-01-25T00:03:24Z
       
  • Soybean production potential in Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 January 2014
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Thomas R. Sinclair , Helene Marrou , Afshin Soltani , Vincent Vadez , Krishna C. Chandolu
      Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) could possibly become a major crop in Africa due to its many uses as a food, feed, and in industry. Also, its ability to undertake symbiotic nitrogen fixation is a great advantage over cereal crops. This study simulated yield potential across west and east Africa. A number of areas were excluded from soybean production because of inadequate early season rains to allow timely sowing of the crop. Among the remaining areas, average yields greater than 200gm−2 were commonly simulated. Two drought traits were examined as plant modifications to increase yields. These results identified those areas and plant traits in Africa where soybean has the potential to be an important, viable crop.


      PubDate: 2014-01-09T00:04:27Z
       
  • Taking planetary nutrient boundaries seriously: Can we feed the
           people?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 December 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Helena Kahiluoto , Miia Kuisma , Anna Kuokkanen , Mirja Mikkilä , Lassi Linnanen
      Recent research suggests that anthropogenic nutrient flows may have transgressed the regulatory capacity of the earth. Agrifood systems account for most of the flows, and the food supply is limited more by reducing the excessive flows than by phosphorus (P) reserves or population growth. The food supply is limited primarily by the P flow tolerated by freshwater ecosystems and next by the needed reduction in the conversion of nitrogen (N) to reactive form in fertilizer manufacture, legume cultivation and fossil fuel combustion. The required reduction in P and N flows would reduce the food supply to 250 and 710kcalcapita−1 d−1, respectively, in the current agrifood systems. Dietary changes, waste prevention and nutrient recycling are parts of the necessary transformation.


      PubDate: 2013-12-08T02:59:44Z
       
  • Enhancing the impact of natural resource management research: Lessons from
           a meta-impact assessment of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 November 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Roderick M. Rejesus , Adrienne M. Martin , Phrek Gypmantasiri
      This article present results from a multi-dimensional impact assessment of a large multi-year Natural Resource Management (NRM) research project for rice – the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) – and uses insights from this assessment to further understand how NRM research can be improved to have more impact in a developing country context. Results of the meta-impact assessment indicate that NRM research generated by the IRRC has provided a wide-range of impacts in multiple dimensions—from micro-level impacts on farmer livelihoods to national-level agricultural policy influence. Based on the IRRC experience, international NRM research institutions can enhance impact in developing countries by: fostering partnerships, collaborations, and cross-country learning; involving social scientists for monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment; and, having long-term support and involvement of donors.


      PubDate: 2013-11-30T00:02:31Z
       
  • Why crop yields in developing countries have not kept pace with advances
           in agronomy
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 November 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Thomas George
      Crop research generates two distinct sets of products: improved germplasm and advances in agronomy — technologies and knowledge/techniques to efficiently exploit the germplasm yield potential (Yp). The success of the Green Revolution was largely due to high farmer adoption of improved germplasm along with subsidized inputs that greatly increased average yield (Ya) from a low base. Although farmers adopted irrigation, fertilizers, machinery and other inputs that changed their agronomy and led to robust total factor productivity (TFP) growth, the Ya remained well below Yp indicating poor agronomy practice. Policies focusing on total production to meet food demand have also contributed to expansion of harvested area at low Ya and low input efficiency (low productivity of land, labor, water, fertilizer or other). Yield growth has since slowed or Ya has stalled at low levels unlike in developed countries where Ya advanced markedly closer to Yp. This paper argues that poor agronomy practice in developing countries is because of farmers' rational perception, regardless of their information needs, of high risks and low returns which do not justify the additional investments in labor and inputs required to systematically practice agronomy. As such, farmers default to low-risk, low-yield practices, even though they would temporarily switch to high-yield practices in low-risk settings, such as in agricultural projects. With poor agronomy practice, there is also little market feedback in developing countries for agronomy research products. Therefore, the potential for agronomy to dramatically increase Ya and productivity remains untapped in developing countries. To increase farmer yields and incomes without enlarging the agricultural footprint at low Ya, this paper argues that the focus must shift from relying mainly on germplasm-driven increases in total production to increasing both Ya and productivity of inputs through effective agronomy practice. This requires creating low-risk, high-return market settings for the average developing country farmer.


      PubDate: 2013-11-22T00:04:54Z
       
  • Fisheries in transition: Food and nutrition security implications for the
           global South
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 November 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Ben Belton , Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted
      Fisheries and fish supply are undergoing a fundamental structural transition, as indicated by a ten country analysis. Aquaculture now provides around half the fish for direct human consumption and is set to grow further, but capture fisheries continue to make essential contributions to food and nutrition security throughout the global South. Capture fisheries provide diverse, nutritionally valuable fish and fish products which are often culturally preferred and easily accessed by the poor. Technological changes in aquaculture have dramatically increased fish supply, lowered relative fish prices, and reigned in price volatility. Policies that recognize and safeguard the diversity and complementarity of roles played by capture fisheries and aquaculture are needed to ensure that the transition in fisheries sustainably improves food and nutrition security in the global South.


      PubDate: 2013-11-10T00:08:55Z
       
  • Feeding capitals: Urban food security and self-provisioning in Canberra,
           Copenhagen and Tokyo
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 October 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): John R. Porter , Robert Dyball , David Dumaresq , Lisa Deutsch , Hirotaka Matsuda
      Most people live in cities, but most food system studies and food security issues focus on the rural poor. Urban populations differ from rural populations in their food consumption by being generally wealthier, requiring food trade for their food security, defined as the extent to which people have adequate diets. Cities rarely have the self-provisioning capacity to satisfy their own food supply, understood as the extent to which the food consumed by the city's population is produced from the city's local agro-ecosystems. Almost inevitably, a city's food security is augmented by production from remote landscapes, both internal and external in terms of a state's jurisdiction. We reveal the internal and external food flows necessary for the food security of three wealthy capital cities (Canberra, Australia; Copenhagen, Denmark; Tokyo, Japan). These cities cover two orders of magnitude in population size and three orders of magnitude in population density. From traded volumes of food and their sources into the cities, we calculate the productivity of the city's regional and non-regional ecosystems that provide food for these cities and estimate the overall utilised land area. The three cities exhibit differing degrees of food self-provisioning capacity and exhibit large differences in the areas on which they depend to provide their food. We show that, since 1965, global land area effectively imported to produce food for these cities has increased with their expanding populations, with large reductions in the percentage of demand met by local agro-ecosystems. The physical trading of food commodities embodies ecosystem services, such as water, soil fertility and pollination that are required for land-based food production. This means that the trade in these embodied ecosystem services has become as important for food security as traditional economic mechanisms such as market access and trade. A future policy question, raised by our study, is the degree to which governments will remain committed to open food trade policies in the face of national political unrest caused by food shortages. Our study demonstrates the need to determine the food security and self-provisioning capacity of a wide range of rich and poor cities, taking into account the global location of the ecosystems that are provisioning them.


      PubDate: 2013-10-20T23:03:25Z
       
  • Urbanization and farm size in Asia and Africa: Implications for food
           security and agricultural research
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 September 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): William A. Masters , with Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt , Cornelis De Haan , Peter Hazell , Thomas Jayne , Magnus Jirström , Thomas Reardon
      Urbanization and economic development have made global agriculture increasingly differentiated. Many hinterland farms remain largely self-sufficient, while farms closer to markets become increasingly specialized and linked to agribusinesses. Both semi-subsistence and commercialized farms remain family operations, with the few successful investor-owned farms found mainly for livestock and crops processed on site such as sugar, tea and oil palm. Meanwhile, demographic transition drives rapid change in farm sizes, with less land available per family until non-farm opportunities expand enough to absorb all new workers. Asia as a whole has now passed this turning point so its average farm sizes can rise, while in Africa average farm sizes will continue to fall for many years, posing special challenges in both hinterland and commercialized areas.


      PubDate: 2013-09-13T23:07:00Z
       
  • Market engagement and food insecurity after a climatic hazard
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 September 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Mya Sherman , James D. Ford
      This paper conducts a systematic realist review to examine how market engagement interacts with vulnerability to food insecurity after a climatic hazard event, focusing on rural areas of the developing world. It examines who is able to engage in the market after a climatic hazard and the barriers and opportunities that this engagement presents to food security. In the review, households were less able to effectively engage in the market to maintain food security when they had limited pre-hazard resources and/or were unable to mobilize these resources due to the biophysical and socioeconomic context following the climatic event. It is important to consider the volition behind market engagement after a climatic hazard and the consequences of using the market to maintain food security.


      PubDate: 2013-09-13T23:07:00Z
       
  • Can there be a green revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa without large
           expansion of irrigated crop production?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 September 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Kenneth G. Cassman , Patricio Grassini
      Although large expansion of irrigated agriculture was a pivotal component of past green revolutions, it is not given much attention for Sub-Saharan Africa. At issue is whether this lack of attention is an oversight. Analysis of irrigated agriculture's role in past green revolutions provides insight to address this question. We conclude that expansion of irrigated rice area will likely be an essential component of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2050. For maize it is much less certain and depends on whether the climate and soils in major Sub-Saharan Africa maize-growing regions are more similar to the harsher conditions in the U.S. Western Corn Belt or to the higher-yielding more reliable Eastern Corn Belt.


      PubDate: 2013-09-13T23:07:00Z
       
  • The U.S. drought of 2012 in perspective: A call to action
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): J.S. Boyer , P. Byrne , K.G. Cassman , M. Cooper , D. Delmer , T. Greene , F. Gruis , J. Habben , N. Hausmann , N. Kenny , R. Lafitte , S. Paszkiewicz , D. Porter , A. Schlegel , J. Schussler , T. Setter , J. Shanahan , R.E. Sharp , T.J. Vyn , D. Warner , J. Gaffney
      The United States is the world's largest exporter of major grain and oilseed crops. In the three-year period from 2008–2010, it produced 39% of global maize and 35% of global soybean and accounted for 49% and 46%, respectively, of total global exports in these commodities. It also contributed 17% of total global exports in wheat and 11% of total rice exports. A large disruption to U.S. production of these crops, as occurred during the U.S. drought of 2012, can have a substantial impact on international grain markets. In this opinion piece, we consider the severity of this drought event and the impact on grain prices in relation to previous droughts of similar magnitude and use this information to highlight priorities for global research on drought and crop productivity to help buffer against future climatic shocks to global food supply.


      PubDate: 2013-09-09T23:09:40Z
       
  • Demand side drivers of global food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 August 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Anita Regmi , Birgit Meade
      Drawing upon a series of cross-country demand analyses conducted using International Comparison Program (ICP) data from 1980, 1996 and 2005, this paper highlights how consumer preferences for food evolve over time. Income and price elasticities were estimated for an increasing number of countries, reaching 144 in the 2005 ICP analysis. Consumers in lower income countries spend a higher share of income on food, are most responsive to income and price changes, and are increasingly diversifying their diets toward more protein and fat containing foods such as meats and fish. Consumers, in general, also make larger adjustments to non-food expenditures when food prices change than they do to food expenditures when the price of non-food items change.


      PubDate: 2013-09-01T23:10:09Z
       
  • Mineral industries, growth corridors and agricultural development in
           Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 August 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Lingfei Weng , Agni Klintuni Boedhihartono , Paul H.G.M. Dirks , John Dixon , Muhammad Irfansyah Lubis , Jeffrey A. Sayer
      An extractive industries boom in Africa is driving unprecedented expansion of infrastructure into sparsely populated regions. Much of the investment is in high-volume minerals such as iron and coal that will require heavy infrastructure and large settled workforces. New roads and railways are being built to support these industries. Mineral infrastructure is reinforcing the dynamic of designated “growth corridors”, which are increasingly determining settlement patterns and rural land use in Africa. These corridors are penetrating into areas where agriculture has been constrained by lack of access to markets. They could unleash a major expansion of arable crops in the Guinea and Miombo savannahs, tropical tree crops in Congo Basin rainforests and irrigated agriculture on the floodplains of several African river systems. Rapidly growing African cities are largely dependent on imported food but growth corridors linking them to hinterland areas could favour shifts to African-sourced foods. Governance weaknesses may allow outside investors to make land grabs along growth corridors and further marginalise poor smallholders. New pressures on environmentally sensitive areas may emerge. Policy changes are needed to avoid negative impacts of this major new development trend and to exploit the potential for poverty alleviation and food-security benefits.


      PubDate: 2013-08-28T23:02:55Z
       
  • Market-based approaches for governments of food-importing countries to
           manage food security risks
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 August 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Julie Dana
      Though well-established in the commercial sector, the use of market-based risk management is not widespread in the public sector, particularly by governments. Recent volatility in food and in energy prices has awakened governments' interest in learning more about how to use these tools, and some countries are beginning to experiment with them. Although it is clear that food price shocks are problematic, many countries have only a partial understanding of the specific exposure to commodity price risk; details about exactly how and where it affects the national budget are critical. To implement the use of market-based tools, it is important to identifying trade-offs between expected cost and risk, and to ensure that there is a strong institutional framework in place to support the strategy.


      PubDate: 2013-08-16T23:02:06Z
       
  • research4life
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2013
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 2, Issue 2




      PubDate: 2013-08-04T23:02:58Z
       
  • Reversing urban bias in African rice markets: A review of 19 National Rice
           Development Strategies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 July 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Matty Demont
      Economic development in poor countries is often hampered by urban bias. Partly as a result of historical urban bias, African countries have become heavily dependent on food imports with concomitant risks for food security as witnessed during the 2008 food crisis. African governments now recognize that they should reverse urban bias by investing in agriculture in order to decrease food import dependency. However, they typically focus primarily on supply-shifting investments that may be insufficient to render domestically produced food competitive, particularly in import-biased food markets. We review the national rice development investment strategies of 19 African countries and argue that in order to reverse urban bias in African rice markets, more resources will need to be allocated to value-adding and demand-lifting investments.


      PubDate: 2013-08-04T23:02:58Z
       
  • Market-mediated environmental impacts of biofuels
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 July 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Thomas W. Hertel , Wallace E. Tyner
      This paper surveys the evidence on market-mediated environmental impacts of biofuels, with special attention to the indirect greenhouse gas emissions stemming from land cover change in the wake of increased demand for biofuel feedstocks. We find clear evidence that market mediated land use response to crop price changes has occurred over the past decade. However, despite all the research that has been done and all the advances made, there remains considerable quantitative uncertainty surrounding biofuels induced land use change. Obtaining precise estimates of these impacts is likely beyond the reach of current models and data.


      PubDate: 2013-07-15T23:01:38Z
       
  • Build it back better: Deconstructing food security for improved
           measurement and action
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 June 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Jennifer Coates
      The challenge of measuring food security became increasingly thorny during the 1990s, when the number of conceptual elements proliferated in widely accepted definitions. There have been commendable recent advances in the development of simple, valid measures of “food access”. Yet most users apply single indicators interchangeably and capture only a portion of the full concept. Rather than tackling ‘food insecurity’ as a monolithic concept, food security assessment and action would be more effective if deconstructed into well-defined dimensions beyond the “availability, access, and utilization pillars”. Internationally recognized definitions and ethnographic literature support the isolation of five dimensions: (1) food sufficiency (2) nutrient adequacy (3) cultural acceptability, (4) safety, (5) certainty and stability. This paper traces the evolution of food security concepts and measures up through the first decade of the 21st century, proposes indicators to represent these five dimensions, and highlights areas where the development of new metrics is warranted.


      PubDate: 2013-06-25T23:08:08Z
       
  • A framework for analyzing the interplay among food, fuels, and biofuels
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 June 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): John Baffes
      This paper provides a framework for analyzing the complex relationship among food, fuels, and biofuels. It first notes that high energy prices increase the costs of producing food and can induce policies that divert food crops to the production of biofuels. Then, it argues that sustained high crude oil prices, in addition to rendering biofuels profitable, could also induce innovations by increasing the energy content of (existing or new) crops grown on arable land, in turn causing further food price increases. Hence, as we move forward, crude oil prices are likely to play an even more important role in shaping food price trends.


      PubDate: 2013-06-09T23:08:48Z
       
  • The status of bioenergy development in developing countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 June 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Irini Maltsoglou , Tatsuji Koizumi , Erika Felix
      Following a period of increasing oil prices, bioenergy received a wake of renewed attention by policymakers as an alternative renewable energy strategy due to the potential for improving country level energy security, for increasing overall access to energy, stimulating rural development and for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, concerns about the viability of this strategy and potential conflicts with food demand soon dampened the enthusiasm and raised a number of questions concerning environmental and social sustainability and, more specifically, food security. In reality though, with the exception of the US, Brazil and some European countries, production of modern bioenergy and more specifically liquid biofuels around the world is still limited, especially in the case of Africa where the sector is still in its infancy. The paper gives a detailed overview of production in the African, Asian and Latin American regions illustrating how the three regions of the developing world are working toward bioenergy development, the strategies and policies, and the main hurdles being encountered.


      PubDate: 2013-06-05T23:09:26Z
       
  • Biofuels and food prices: Separating wheat from chaff
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 May 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Wallace E. Tyner
      Biofuels are produced from agricultural commodities, so they represent a competing demand for those commodities. Therefore, it is clear that biofuels have some impact on agricultural commodity prices, so the food–fuel debate surrounds the relative contribution of biofuels to agricultural commodity price increases compared with other drivers. In this paper we have argued that there are many causes for the increase in food commodity prices—not biofuels alone. These include global supply and demand trends, regional or commodity specific supply disruptions, changes in the value of the US$, macroeconomic issues such as recession or financial crisis, trade policy changes, and biofuels. As for biofuels, we have argued that one must distinguish between biofuels driven by market forces and biofuels driven by government policy. Clearly the biofuel industries in the US, Brazil, and Europe were created with government support. However, at least in the US, the market is the major driver today for corn based ethanol. We have also argued that higher commodity prices adversely affect the poor, particularly the urban poor. However, there is another side to this picture, which is the supply increases that can be induced all over the world via the higher commodity prices. If governments establish policies that are conducive to supply growth, the higher commodity prices offer an opportunity to at least partially close the yield gap between developing and developed countries, thereby helping poor farmers in developing countries. Developing country farmers have already shown that markets work with the huge expansion in cropped area in many regions due to higher commodity prices.


      PubDate: 2013-06-02T08:01:35Z
       
  • Biofuels in Brazil: Evolution, achievements and perspectives on food
           security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 May 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Luiz Augusto Horta Nogueira , Rafael Silva Capaz
      Liquid biofuels, as ethanol and biodiesel, supply 25% of the road transport fuel consumed in Brazil. Ethanol blending has been mandatory since 1931, pure ethanol has been used since 1975, and nowadays flex-fuel cars are widely used. In 2008, ethanol production reached 28Mm³, but recently, government efforts to reduce gasoline prices have reduced the demand for ethanol. In turn, biodiesel blending was launched in 2005, and B5 has been mandatory since 2010. In 2011, the land dedicated to production of these biofuels in Brazil was of 8.82Mha or 11.8% of total cultivated area, a considerable fraction of the land available, considering improvements in cattle breeding and agro-ecological zoning for bioenergy. Social development associated with biofuel programs has been relevant to food security. The Brazilian biofuel programs demonstrate the relevance of adopting efficient agro-industrial routes and the possibility of sound coexistence between bioenergy and other uses of agriculture.


      PubDate: 2013-05-28T23:03:42Z
       
  • How biofuels policies affect the level of grains and oilseed prices:
           Theory, models and evidence
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 May 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Harry de Gorter , Dusan Drabik , David R. Just
      This paper synthesizes and critiques three approaches to the analysis of the recent booms in food grains and oilseeds commodity prices: the ‘perfect storm’; statistical time-series models; and models explaining how biofuels linked the fuel and agricultural markets, thus giving rise to a new era of commodity prices. We find that biofuel policies and corn markets were a key instigator of the sharp food commodities price rise in 2006 onwards. We argue that the price increase in the corn market had a spillover effect on the wheat market and caused policy responses and speculation, including hoarding, which caused rice prices to spike. We conclude that because of the sudden increase in commodity prices, the developing countries were unable to benefit from the higher prices even though they have comparative advantage in biofuels production.


      PubDate: 2013-05-28T23:03:42Z
       
  • The crisis in food price data
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 May 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): John Gibson
      Many studies estimate impacts of higher food prices on consumer welfare. Yet reliable data on real welfare levels in poor countries are rare since surveys prioritize collecting nominal living standards data over price data. Narrower questions about the impacts of prices on food quantity consumed and on the availability of nutrients are poorly answered. Most studies ignore coping responses that involve downgrading food quality to maintain quantity and therefore overstate nutritionally harmful effects of rising prices. A full accounting for the impacts of food prices on food security requires spatially detailed food price data and household survey data on both the quantity and the quality of foods. Surprisingly few developing countries have these required data.


      PubDate: 2013-05-24T23:02:38Z
       
  • Second generation biofuels and food crops: Co-products or competitors?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 May 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Wyatt Thompson , Seth Meyer
      Stylized experiments of an economic model show that second generation biofuels can hurt or help food security. Impacts depend critically on whether the feedstock competes with traditional crops or is a co-product in their production. Dedicated biomass, like warm season grasses, likely competes at least somewhat with food crop production. To the extent that agricultural land is allocated to dedicated biomass, food prices will increase. Biofuel from crop residues, such as corn stover and wheat straw, can lead to more land in these uses, potentially reducing food and feed prices. Second generation biofuel impacts also depend on policy mechanisms and market context. For example, the US biofuel mandates that encourage new biofuels might limit their ability to displace other biofuels.


      PubDate: 2013-05-17T00:32:15Z
       
  • Biofortification: Progress toward a more nourishing future
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2013
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 2, Issue 1
      Author(s): Amy Saltzman , Ekin Birol , Howarth E. Bouis , Erick Boy , Fabiana F. De Moura , Yassir Islam , Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer
      Biofortification, the process of breeding nutrients into food crops, provides a sustainable, long-term strategy for delivering micronutrients to rural populations in developing countries. Crops are being bred for higher levels of micronutrients using both conventional and transgenic breeding methods; several conventional varieties have been released, while additional conventional and transgenic varieties are in the breeding pipeline. The results of efficacy and effectiveness studies, as well as recent successes in delivery, provide evidence that biofortification is a promising strategy for combating hidden hunger. This review highlights progress to date and identifies challenges faced in delivering biofortified crops.
      Highlights ► Biofortification is a sustainable strategy for delivering micronutrients. ► The strategy is targeted to rural populations in developing countries. ► Both conventional and transgenic methods are used to breed micronutrient-dense crops. ► Biofortified sweet potato delivery increased micronutrient intakes in target populations. ► Efficacy and effectiveness studies provide evidence for the promise of biofortification.

      PubDate: 2013-04-22T23:03:18Z
       
  • Transforming agriculture in China: From solely high yield to both high
           yield and high resource use efficiency
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2013
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 2, Issue 1
      Author(s): Jianbo Shen , Zhenling Cui , Yuxin Miao , Guohua Mi , Hongyan Zhang , Mingsheng Fan , Chaochun Zhang , Rongfeng Jiang , Weifeng Zhang , Haigang Li , Xinping Chen , Xiaolin Li , Fusuo Zhang
      The challenges facing agriculture in China are probably more severe than ever before. We have developed an integrated technology system in which the focus is on achieving both high crop productivity and high resource use efficiency (“double high” technology system) to ensure food security and environmental sustainability. The components comprise (1) significantly increased grain-yield through high-yield crop management, i.e. an optimal cropping system design and management well adapted to climate conditions; (2) greatly increased nutrient-use efficiency through root/rhizosphere management to optimize the nutrient supply intensity and composition in the root zone to maximize root/rhizosphere efficiency; (3) improved soil quality to ensure long-term food security by managing soil organic matter and eliminating soil physical, chemical and biological constrains and (4) enhanced agricultural sustainability through resource and environment management by increasing resource use efficiency, reducing nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing negative ecological footprints. In our work in major agricultural regions of China, this system has been successfully tested and demonstrated through well-organized farmer associations, enterprises with improved products and government extension networks. The new “double high” concept has the potential to become an effective agricultural development path to ensure food security and improve environmental quality, especially in China and other rapidly developing economies where agricultural intensification must achieve and must be transformed from low-efficiency systems to achieving high yields with high resource use efficiency.
      Highlights ► We examined future transformation of agriculture in China. ► China must increase grain yield, resource use efficiency and protect environment. ► We proposed a “double high” model with high-yield and high resource-use efficiency. ► Food security and environment protection can be harmonized by the concept. ► New technologies and unique transfer ways in China support such as transformation.

      PubDate: 2013-04-22T23:03:18Z
       
  • research4life
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2013
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 2, Issue 1




      PubDate: 2013-04-22T23:03:18Z
       
  • Is body mass index an appropriate proxy for body fat in children?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 April 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Colleen M. Doak , Daniel J. Hoffman , Shane A. Norris , Maiza Campos Ponce , Katja Polman , Paula L. Griffiths
      As the global prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity spreads to low and middle income countries, there is an increasing need for researchers to assess overweight and obesity in populations where child undernutrition still prevails. Although BMI (body mass index) cutoffs are widely used in research and project evaluations, they have only recently been included in WHO definitions for overweight and obesity in children. This review describes the history of how and why BMI was introduced as a proxy for adiposity in children, the scientific evidence and examples from epidemiological studies. Overall, BMI continues to be a valuable measure in children if the underlying assumptions of the criteria and cut-off values are considered. However, where BMI is associated with height, in children, we recommend using weight for height z-scores.
      Highlights ► In 1832 Quetelet introduced weight/stature3 as a body mass index for adults. ► In 1921, Rohrer introduced weight/stature3 to account for the dimensions of infants. ► Height has been found to be associated with height in some populations of children. ► There are known population differences in height, maturation and body composition. ► Current cutoffs for BMI may overstate obesity and overweight relative tounderweight.

      PubDate: 2013-04-22T23:03:18Z
       
  • Managing food price instability: Critical assessment of the dominant
           doctrine
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 April 2013
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Franck Galtier
      Ever since the late 1980s, the management of agricultural price instability has been dominated both in academic and political circles by a single doctrine. Its domination is so strong that almost all research on this topic has since been abandoned. Based on a very extensive review of the theoretical and empirical literature, this paper provides a critical assessment of this doctrine as applied to grains. An examination of the degree to which the underlying assumptions of the doctrine are confirmed in real grain markets, and the effects generated if they are not, showed that the doctrine substantially underestimates (i) the magnitude of price instability generated by grain markets, (ii) the degree to which farmers and consumers in developing countries are exposed to this instability, and (iii) the resulting effects on welfare (including macroeconomic and long-term consequences). Shifts from doctrine recommendations are therefore justified. In particular, some kind of stabilization of grain prices appears to be necessary, both within developing countries and on international markets.
      Highlights ► We assessed the dominant doctrine on managing food price instability. ► The doctrine overestimates the ability of grain markets to stabilize prices. ► It underestimates DC farmer and consumer exposure to grain price instability. ► It underestimates the welfare effects of this exposure. ► Stabilizing grain prices in DCs is welfare-improving.

      PubDate: 2013-04-22T23:03:18Z
       
 
 
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