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Journal Cover Global Food Security
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2211-9124
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3043 journals]
  • Rapid breeding and varietal replacement are critical to adaptation of
           cropping systems in the developing world to climate change
    • Authors: Gary N. Atlin; Jill E. Cairns; Biswanath Das
      Pages: 31 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): Gary N. Atlin, Jill E. Cairns, Biswanath Das
      Plant breeding is a key mechanism for adaptation of cropping systems to climate change. Much discussion of breeding for climate change focuses on genes with large effects on heat and drought tolerance, but phenology and stress tolerance are highly polygenic. Adaptation will therefore mainly result from continually adjusting allele frequencies at many loci through rapid-cycle breeding that delivers a steady stream of incrementally improved cultivars. This will require access to elite germplasm from other regions, shortened breeding cycles, and multi-location testing systems that adequately sample the target population of environments. The objective of breeding and seed systems serving smallholder farmers should be to ensure that they use varieties developed in the last 10 years. Rapid varietal turnover must be supported by active dissemination of new varieties, and active withdrawal of obsolete ones. Commercial seed systems in temperate regions achieve this through competitive seed markets, but in the developing world, most crops are not served by competitive commercial seed systems, and many varieties date from the end of the Green Revolution (the late 1970s, when the second generation of modern rice and wheat varieties had been widely adopted). These obsolete varieties were developed in a climate different than today's, placing farmers at risk. To reduce this risk, a strengthened breeding system is needed, with freer international exchange of elite varieties, short breeding cycles, high selection intensity, wide-scale phenotyping, and accurate selection supported by genomic technology. Governments need to incentivize varietal release and dissemination systems to continuously replace obsolete varieties.

      PubDate: 2017-02-13T09:03:58Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.008
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2017)
  • What will it take to accelerate improvements in nutrition outcomes in
           Odisha? Learning from the past
    • Authors: Neha Kohli; Rasmi Avula; Mara van den Bold; Elisabeth Becker; Nicholas Nisbett; Lawrence Haddad; Purnima Menon
      Pages: 38 - 48
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): Neha Kohli, Rasmi Avula, Mara van den Bold, Elisabeth Becker, Nicholas Nisbett, Lawrence Haddad, Purnima Menon
      The Indian state of Odisha has made significant strides to address health and nutrition in the last 25 years. We used public data, policy and program documents, published literature, and interviews (n=75) with program and policy decision-makers, representatives from development partners, and civil society and community members to analyze these changes. Factors that contributed to scale up of health and nutrition interventions and the food security program included overarching policy support, financing at the national and state level, leadership across sectors from government to civil society and development partners, capacity and stability of tenure of bureaucrats, and state innovations in service delivery interventions. Barriers that may impede further progress include lack of sanitation, low levels of women's education, early marriage in girls, livelihood distress, and uneven progress across social groups.

      PubDate: 2017-02-13T09:03:58Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.007
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2017)
  • Improving nutrition through biofortification: A review of evidence from
           HarvestPlus, 2003 through 2016
    • Authors: Howarth E. Bouis; Amy Saltzman
      Pages: 49 - 58
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): Howarth E. Bouis, Amy Saltzman
      Biofortification is a feasible and cost-effective means of delivering micronutrients to populations that may have limited access to diverse diets and other micronutrient interventions. Since 2003, HarvestPlus and its partners have demonstrated that this agriculture-based method of addressing micronutrient deficiency through plant breeding works. More than 20 million people in farm households in developing countries are now growing and consuming biofortified crops. This review summarizes key evidence and discusses delivery experiences, as well as farmer and consumer adoption. Given the strength of the evidence, attention should now shift to an action-oriented agenda for scaling biofortification to improve nutrition globally. To reach one billion people by 2030, there are three key challenges: 1) mainstreaming biofortified traits into public plant breeding programs; 2) building consumer demand; and 3) integrating biofortification into public and private policies, programs, and investments. While many building blocks are in place, institutional leadership is needed to continue to drive towards this ambitious goal.

      PubDate: 2017-02-13T09:03:58Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.009
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2017)
  • Food security, farmland access ethics, and land reform
    • Authors: Michael Lipton; Yashar Saghai
      Pages: 59 - 66
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      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: 2017-03-26T01:01:28Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.03.004
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2017)
  • How Senegal created an enabling environment for nutrition: A story of
    • Authors: Halie Kampman; Amanda Zongrone; Rahul Rawat; Elodie Becquey
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Halie Kampman, Amanda Zongrone, Rahul Rawat, Elodie Becquey
      In the past 15 years, Senegal has made considerable progress in the fight against child undernutrition. To better understand how this was achieved, we reviewed 11 national policy documents published between 2001 and 2015, and interviewed 25 key-informants from the government, donor community, civil society, as well as 24 local service providers and 18 community members. We explored the commitment of actors and coherence between and within sectors. We linked this to changes in nutrition services experienced by communities. The key theme that emerged was the critical role of increased political commitment, materialized and maintained by a high-level national coordinating body for nutrition. The body actively facilitates multisectoral coherence in action for nutrition, overseeing the implementation of a national nutrition program, the effects of which are seen at the community level.

      PubDate: 2017-03-26T01:01:28Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.02.005
  • From coherence towards commitment: Changes and challenges in Zambia's
           nutrition policy environment
    • Authors: Jody Harris; Scott Drimie; Terry Roopnaraine; Namukolo Covic
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Jody Harris, Scott Drimie, Terry Roopnaraine, Namukolo Covic
      An enabling environment for malnutrition reduction includes creating policy and political momentum, and converting momentum to implementation and impact. We used several qualitative data sources to investigate changes in policy and action over time in Zambia. There now exists coherent policy covering key nutrition issues from several sectors, and multisectoral coordination structures at national level and in pilot districts. However, converting momentum into action faces challenges of limited national political and funding commitment, with increased donor resources currently bridging the gap, and reach into communities is still limited. To sustain recent stunting reductions there are still political challenges to be addressed in Zambia, and citizens and civil society will need to hold government to account for recent commitments on nutrition.

      PubDate: 2017-03-26T01:01:28Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.02.006
  • Tackling vitamin A deficiency with biofortified sweetpotato in sub-Saharan
    • Authors: Jan W. Low; Robert O.M. Mwanga; Maria Andrade; Edward Carey; Anna-Marie Ball
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Jan W. Low, Robert O.M. Mwanga, Maria Andrade, Edward Carey, Anna-Marie Ball
      Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) is a rich plant-based source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. In sub-Saharan Africa, sweetpotato is known as a food security crop but most varieties grown are high dry matter white-fleshed types, lacking beta-carotene. In 1995, researchers recognized the potential of OFSP varieties to address widespread vitamin A deficiency in SSA using an integrated agriculture-nutrition approach. With their partners, they confronted conventional wisdom concerning food-based approaches and institutional barriers, to build the evidence base and breed 42 OFSP varieties adapted to farmer needs and consumer preferences. Subsequently, a multi-partner, multi-donor initiative, launched in 2009, has already reached 2.8 million households. This review summarizes that effort describing how the changing policy environment influenced the process.

      PubDate: 2017-03-26T01:01:28Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.004
  • Bangladesh’s story of change in nutrition: Strong improvements in basic
           and underlying determinants with an unfinished agenda for direct community
           level support
    • Authors: Nicholas Nisbett; Peter Davis; Sivan Yosef; Nazneen Akhtar
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 February 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Nicholas Nisbett, Peter Davis, Sivan Yosef, Nazneen Akhtar
      Bangladesh has made considerable progress in reducing child stunting and is lauded as a success story in global nutrition fora. This mixed-methods study considers available statistical and qualitative evidence to help reveal the critical factors behind Bangladesh's ‘story of change’ in nutrition. Much of the improvement in nutrition in Bangladesh in recent years is explained by what can be seen as nutrition-sensitive drivers within a wider enabling environment of pro-poor economic growth. Key amongst these factors have been improving incomes; smaller family sizes and greater gaps between births; parental - and particularly women's - education and wider health access. Research and interviews with key stakeholders and work at a community level has helped shed light on the policy and programmatic choices which lie behind these wider determinants. Community based nutrition programmes have not yet been operating at scale as in other countries and the current governance arrangements for nutrition delivery are weak. But as Bangladesh faces growing new nutritional problems and still suffers from a relatively high burden of child stunting, such ‘nutrition-specific’ programmes will have to play a greater role than in the past, as the further gains from some of these wider drivers may be limited and are likely to have plateaued.

      PubDate: 2017-02-26T08:27:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.005
  • Accounting for nutritional changes in six success stories: A
           regression-decomposition approach
    • Authors: Derek Headey; John Hoddinott; Seollee Park
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Derek Headey, John Hoddinott, Seollee Park
      Over the past two decades, many developing countries have made impressive progress in reducing undernutrition. We explore potential explanations of this success by applying consistent statistical methods to multiple rounds of Demographic Health Surveys for Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Odisha, Senegal, and Zambia. We find that changes in household wealth, mother's education and access to antenatal care are the largest drivers of nutritional improvement, except for Zambia where large increases in bednet usage is the single largest factor. Other factors play a smaller role in explaining nutritional improvements with improvements in sanitation only appearing to be important in South Asia. Overall, the results point to the need for multidimensional nutritional strategies involving a broad range of nutrition-sensitive sectors.

      PubDate: 2017-02-26T08:27:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.02.003
  • Economic impacts of invasive alien species on African smallholder
    • Authors: Corin F. Pratt; Kate L. Constantine; Sean T. Murphy
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Corin F. Pratt, Kate L. Constantine, Sean T. Murphy
      In developing countries, invasive alien species (IAS) threaten smallholder farmer production and the food security of subsistence growers, but economic impacts are widely under-reported. Here, the economic impacts of IAS that threaten smallholder mixed maize farming in eastern Africa are presented. Maize is important for most smallholders and is commonly grown with horticultural crops and other cereals which collectively provide nutrition and income. These crops are also important for national economies. Estimates of the economic impacts of five major IAS: Chilo partellus, Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease, Parthenium hysterophorus, Liriomyza spp. and Tuta absoluta on mixed maize smallholders in six countries gave current combined annual losses of US$0.9–1.1 billion; and future annual losses (next 5–10 years) of US$1.0–1.2 billion.

      PubDate: 2017-02-26T08:27:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.011
  • Community-level perceptions of drivers of change in nutrition: Evidence
           from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa
    • Authors: Nicholas Nisbett; Mara van den Bold; Stuart Gillespie; Purnima Menon; Peter Davis; Terry Roopnaraine; Halie Kampman; Neha Kohli; Akriti Singh; Andrea Warren
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Nicholas Nisbett, Mara van den Bold, Stuart Gillespie, Purnima Menon, Peter Davis, Terry Roopnaraine, Halie Kampman, Neha Kohli, Akriti Singh, Andrea Warren
      Changes in the immediate, underlying and basic determinants of nutritional status at the community- and household-level are a logical and empirical prerequisite to reducing high levels of undernutrition in high burden countries. This paper considers these factors directly from the perspective of community members and frontline workers interviewed in six countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In each country, in-depth interviews were conducted with mothers, other community members and health workers to understand changes in health and nutrition practices, nutrition-specific interventions, underlying drivers and nutrition-sensitive interventions, and life conditions. Overall, the need for basic improvements in livelihood opportunities and infrastructure are solidly underscored. Nutrition-specific and -sensitive changes represented in most cases by deliberate government or NGO supported community interventions are rolling out at a mixed and uneven pace, but are having some significant impacts where solidly implemented. The synthesis presented here provides an invaluable source of information for understanding how community-level change occurred against a wider backdrop of national level progress.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T11:05:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.006
  • Maternal and Child Nutrition in Nepal: Examining drivers of progress from
           the mid-1990s to 2010s
    • Authors: Kenda Cunningham; Derek Headey; Akriti Singh; Chandni Karmacharya; Pooja Pandey Rana
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 February 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Kenda Cunningham, Derek Headey, Akriti Singh, Chandni Karmacharya, Pooja Pandey Rana
      This paper explores the drivers of Nepal's maternal and child nutrition success using document review, interviews with mothers, and quantitative analysis of DHS datasets. Our qualitative and quantitative analyses both highlight similar policy and community level changes but limited improvements in child feeding and care practices. Improvements in four key drivers of nutritional change emerged: health services, sanitation, education, and wealth. However, the relative contributions of each factor varied by indicator, with health services more important for linear growth among children, and sanitation more important for weight gain among both children and mothers. We conclude with a discussion bringing the qualitative and quantitative findings together into key lessons from Nepal's success.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T11:05:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.02.001
  • Mid-level actors and their operating environments for implementing
           nutrition-sensitive programming in Ethiopia
    • Authors: Andrea M. Warren; Edward A. Frongillo
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Andrea M. Warren, Edward A. Frongillo
      This paper provides an analysis of mid-level actors and their operating environments in relation to implementing nutrition-sensitive programming in Ethiopia. We used an innovative, multi-sited qualitative method encompassing the group of implementing actors in health, agriculture, and social protection below regional level and a sample of households from a community receiving these government services. Systemic constraints and day-to-day operational challenges within sectoral programming characterized the mid-level operating environment. Communities experienced nutrition-related improvements over time, but were constrained in their ability to engage with government programming by their physical environment. Mid-level actors are subject to complex constraints originating from both systemic factors and day-to-day resource constraints. Further development of existing service provision platforms and attention to community constraints is recommended to align national nutrition agendas with implementation capacities and community needs.

      PubDate: 2017-02-07T08:30:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.010
  • Growing water scarcity, food security and government responses in China
    • Authors: Jinxia Wang; Yanrong Li; Jikun Huang; Tingting Yan; Tianhe Sun
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 January 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Jinxia Wang, Yanrong Li, Jikun Huang, Tingting Yan, Tianhe Sun
      China's food production depends highly on irrigation, but irrigated agriculture has been threatened by increasing water scarcity. As such, the overall goal of this study is to provide a better understanding of the changing trends in water supply and demand balance, their impacts on food production, and government policy responses. The results show that water scarcity in China is a regional issue, mainly in northern areas. This is reflected in the limited and uneven distribution of water resources, decline of surface water resources, depletion of groundwater resources, degradation of water quality and increasing water demand. Climate change has further aggravated water scarcity in several river basins in northern China, resulting in the reduction of irrigated areas and a fall in food production. Consequently, the Chinese government has tried to control total water withdrawal, improve water use efficiency, and control water pollution. While these policy responses are encouraging, their effectiveness in resolving the growing water scarcity in China needs to be examined.

      PubDate: 2017-01-31T07:48:52Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.003
  • Robust spatial frameworks for leveraging research on sustainable crop
    • Authors: Patricio Grassini; Cameron M. Pittelkow; Kenneth G. Cassman; Haishun S. Yang; Sotirios Archontoulis; Mark Licht; Kendall R. Lamkey; Ignacio A. Ciampitti; Jeffrey A. Coulter; Sylvie M. Brouder; Jeffrey J. Volenec; Noemi Guindin-Garcia
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Patricio Grassini, Cameron M. Pittelkow, Kenneth G. Cassman, Haishun S. Yang, Sotirios Archontoulis, Mark Licht, Kendall R. Lamkey, Ignacio A. Ciampitti, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Sylvie M. Brouder, Jeffrey J. Volenec, Noemi Guindin-Garcia
      Meeting demand for food, fiber, feed, and fuel in a world with 9.7 billion people by 2050 without negative environmental impact is the greatest scientific challenge facing humanity. We hypothesize that this challenge can only be met with current and emerging technologies if guided by proactive use of a broad array of relevant data and geospatial scaling approaches to ensure local to global relevance for setting research priorities and implementing agricultural systems responsive to real-time status of weather, soils, crops, and markets. Despite increasing availability of field-scale agricultural data, robust spatial frameworks are lacking to convert these data into actionable knowledge. This commentary article highlights this knowledge gap and calls attention to the need for developing robust spatial frameworks that allow appropriate scaling to larger spatial domains by discussing a recently developed example of a data-driven strategy for estimating yield gaps of agricultural systems. To fully leverage research on sustainable intensification of cropping systems and inform policy development at different scales, we call for new approaches combining the strengths of top-down and bottom-up approaches which will require coordinated efforts between field scientists, crop modelers, and geospatial researchers at an unprecedented level.

      PubDate: 2017-01-18T10:40:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.002
  • Livestock: On our plates or eating at our table? A new analysis of the
           feed/food debate
    • Authors: Anne Mottet; Cees de Haan; Alessandra Falcucci; Giuseppe Tempio; Carolyn Opio; Pierre Gerber
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 January 2017
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Anne Mottet, Cees de Haan, Alessandra Falcucci, Giuseppe Tempio, Carolyn Opio, Pierre Gerber
      Livestock contribute to food security by supplying essential macro- and micro-nutrients, providing manure and draught power, and generating income. But they also consume food edible by humans and graze on pastures that could be used for crop production. Livestock, especially ruminants, are often seen as poor converters of feed into food products. This paper analyses global livestock feed rations and feed conversion ratios, with specific insight on the diversity in production systems and feed materials. Results estimate that livestock consume 6 billion tonnes of feed (dry matter) annually – including one third of global cereal production – of which 86% is made of materials that are currently not eaten by humans. In addition, soybean cakes, which production can be considered as main driver or land-use, represent 4% of the global livestock feed intake. Producing 1kg of boneless meat requires an average of 2.8kg human-edible feed in ruminant systems and 3.2kg in monogastric systems. While livestock is estimated to use 2.5 billion ha of land, modest improvements in feed use efficiency can reduce further expansion.

      PubDate: 2017-01-11T19:09:22Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.01.001
  • Food losses and waste: Navigating the inconsistencies
    • Authors: Géraldine Chaboud; Benoit Daviron
      Pages: 1 - 7
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): Géraldine Chaboud, Benoit Daviron
      In recent years, the question of food losses and waste (FLW) has been the subject of much debate. When it comes to food security, the preservation of natural resources and potential economic benefits, the general public, scientists and politicians all agree that FLW needs to be reduced. However, there are numerous inconsistencies in terms of how the problem of FLW has been presented and analysed. This article aims to highlight these inconsistencies and help identify the areas of research that could contribute to a more effective handling of FLW issues. The article examines: (i) whether the choice of definition(s) adopted are consistent with the problem(s) targeted; (ii) the efficiency of the methodologies used to address the issues raised, and (iii) the relevance of arguments put forward concerning FLW reduction.

      PubDate: 2016-12-17T13:27:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.11.004
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2016)
  • Agronomic biofortification of crops to fight hidden hunger in sub-Saharan
    • Authors: A.W. de Valença; A. Bake; I.D. Brouwer; K.E. Giller
      Pages: 8 - 14
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): A.W. de Valença, A. Bake, I.D. Brouwer, K.E. Giller
      Micronutrient deficiencies or ‘hidden hunger’ resulting from unbalanced diets based on starchy staple crops are prevalent among the population of sub-Saharan Africa. This review discusses the effectiveness of agronomic biofortification - the application of mineral micronutrient fertilizers to soils or plant leaves to increase micronutrient contents in edible parts of crops – and it's potential to fight hidden hunger. There is evidence that agronomic biofortification can increase yields and the nutritional quality of staple crops, but there is a lack of direct evidence that this leads to improved human health. Micronutrient fertilization is most effective in combination with NPK, organic fertilizers and improved crop varieties, highlighting the importance of integrated soil fertility management. Agronomic biofortification provides an immediate and effective route to enhancing micronutrient concentrations in edible crop products, although genetic biofortification may be more cost effective in the long run.

      PubDate: 2016-12-17T13:27:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.12.001
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2016)
  • Innovations continuously enhance crop breeding and demand new strategic
    • Authors: Richard B. Flavell
      Pages: 15 - 21
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): Richard B. Flavell
      Food security relies on continuous supplies of improved products from plant breeding and their assimilation into agriculture. Extraordinary innovations in the life sciences have brought plant breeding into a new phase of opportunity. These include the means to discover, manage and select better versus poorer versions of genes and the ability to change gene sequences in situ by gene editing. Genomics is also revealing the thousands of different microbes in all plants and the roles that their genomes play in determining crop traits that can be further improved by addition of the right microbes. Assimilation of such innovations into breeding strategies can have major impacts on rates of breeding gain but to achieve this will require comprehensive strategic leadership, planning and investments by scientists, leading global agencies and all governments based on appreciation of (i) the continuous streams of innovations underpinning crop improvement and (ii) the necessities for more rapid crop improvements everywhere to help avert otherwise inevitable catastrophes.

      PubDate: 2016-12-24T14:09:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.10.001
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2016)
  • Enhancing food security: Food crop portfolio choice in response to
           climatic risk in India
    • Authors: Aditya R. Khanal; Ashok K. Mishra
      Pages: 22 - 30
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 12
      Author(s): Aditya R. Khanal, Ashok K. Mishra
      Food security is highly sensitive to climate risks in rainfed areas, particularly in South Asia where agriculture is highly dependent on rainfall. About 56% of India's land mass is agricultural land, and only 43% is net cultivated area; 60% of India's total cropped area is still rain-fed and therefore dependent on the monsoon. Changes in climatic variables such as rainfall can have an adverse impact on output and income, food prices and human health, and the food security. This study considers the combination of food crop choices as one of the ex-ante risk management strategies and examines farm households’ food crop portfolio choices as a response to climatic risk in semi-arid tropics of India. Unlike in other countries, intercropping and mixed cropping are prevalent among Indian farmers. Taking this into consideration and data from Indian farms findings show that farmers in semi-arid tropics of India are growing less risky food crop portfolio. Secondly, we find that in the presence of climatic risk, farmers tend to choose less risky crops and as a result less risky food crop portfolios. Finally, in the presence of climatic risk wealthy farmers and farmers with more cash on hand are more likely to choose relatively riskier food crop portfolio.

      PubDate: 2016-12-31T12:16:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.12.003
      Issue No: Vol. 12 (2016)
  • Nutrition indicators in agriculture projects: Current measurement,
           priorities, and gaps
    • Authors: Anna Herforth; Terri J. Ballard
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Anna Herforth, Terri J. Ballard
      How agriculture can improve human nutrition is a topic of debate. Recent reviews demonstrate little impact on nutritional status but do not critically examine the choice of appropriate outcome indicators. This paper reviews which nutrition impact indicators are currently used in agriculture-nutrition projects, and highlights priorities and gaps in measurement. Many project evaluations are statistically underpowered to observe impact on nutritional status, but appear to be powered to observe impacts on food consumption and dietary quality, which we conclude are an appropriate level of impact of agriculture-nutrition projects. To improve the evidence base, there is a need to develop indicators of outcomes that are not being fully measured, including dietary quality and food security, women's empowerment, health environments, and food environments.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-08-04T09:40:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.004
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • Horticultural exports and food security in developing countries
    • Authors: Goedele Van den Broeck; Miet Maertens
      Pages: 11 - 20
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Goedele Van den Broeck, Miet Maertens
      This article reviews the channels through which horticultural exports affect food security in developing countries. We describe the trends in horticultural export chains and investigate the macro- and micro-level effects on the different components of food security, including availability, access, utilization and stability. The available evidence suggests that horticultural exports contribute to food security in developing countries, particularly through the development of rural labor markets and female wage employment in companies. Important challenges remain; most notably the provision of secure employment at remunerative conditions and the sustainable use of water resources. Overcoming these challenges requires tighter national legislation but also private food standards may contribute. Empirical evidence that directly measures the impact of horticultural exports on food security and the underlying impact pathways is still completely missing and highly needed.

      PubDate: 2016-08-04T09:40:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.007
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • Land tenure reforms, tenure security and food security in poor agrarian
           economies: Causal linkages and research gaps
    • Authors: Stein T. Holden; Hosaena Ghebru
      Pages: 21 - 28
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Stein T. Holden, Hosaena Ghebru
      This paper reviews the literature to identify the relationship between tenure security and food security. The literatures on tenure issues and food security issues are not well connected and the scientific evidence on the causal links between tenure security and food security is very limited. The paper explores the conceptual linkages between land tenure reforms, tenure security and food security and illustrates how these vary across diverse contexts. The paper then reviews the limited number of high quality studies that contribute to a causal chain analysis between tenure security and food security and identifies important research gaps.

      PubDate: 2016-08-04T09:40:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.002
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • The growing role of the private sector in agricultural research and
           development world-wide
    • Authors: Keith Fuglie
      Pages: 29 - 38
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Keith Fuglie
      The private sector is playing an important role in developing technologies to raise productivity in agriculture. This paper presents new estimates of private agricultural and food R&D spending trends over the past 25 years. Global private spending on agricultural R&D (excluding R&D by food industries) rose from $5.1billion in 1990 to $15.6billion by 2014. Private R&D investment accelerated as agricultural commodity prices began to rise in 2003. Although the companies that account for most agricultural R&D spending are based in developed countries, their technologies have considerable and growing importance for developing countries. Some implications of these trends for public R&D policy are discussed.

      PubDate: 2016-08-08T09:19:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.005
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • Why African rural development strategies must depend on small farms
    • Authors: Donald F. Larson; Rie Muraoka; Keijiro Otsuka
      Pages: 39 - 51
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Donald F. Larson, Rie Muraoka, Keijiro Otsuka
      Improving the productivity of smallholder farms in Sub-Saharan Africa offers the best chance to reduce poverty among this generation of rural poor by building on the few resources farming households already own. It is also the best and shortest path to meet rising food needs. Using examples from farmers' maize and rice fields, comparisons with Asia, and an extensive literature review, we explain why the set of technologies promoted to date have produced localized successes rather than transformational change. We also examine the limitations of alternative policies that are not centered on small farms. We give indicative examples of how resource-management technologies can supplement seed-fertilizer technologies to speed an African Green Revolution.

      PubDate: 2016-08-17T09:58:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.006
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • The interaction between social protection and agriculture: A review of
    • Authors: Nyasha Tirivayi; Marco Knowles; Benjamin Davis
      Pages: 52 - 62
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Nyasha Tirivayi, Marco Knowles, Benjamin Davis
      Both agricultural interventions and social protection interventions are needed for combatting hunger and poverty among poor smallholder farmers. Yet, coordination between these two sectors is generally limited and, until recently, little attention has been paid to the interaction between them and how this potentially improves rural livelihoods. Our review analyses the empirical evidence on how social protection impacts agricultural production and how agricultural interventions reduce risks and vulnerability at the household and local economy levels. Most studies show that social protection can increase agricultural production while agricultural interventions can lower vulnerability. However, the availability of evidence is uneven across outcomes and developing regions. We conclude that existing evidence largely provides an empirical rationale for building synergies between social protection and smallholder agriculture.

      PubDate: 2016-08-31T10:55:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.004
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • Structural approaches to modeling the impact of climate change and
           adaptation technologies on crop yields and food security
    • Authors: Shahnila Islam; Nicola Cenacchi; Timothy B. Sulser; Sika Gbegbelegbe; Guy Hareau; Ulrich Kleinwechter; Daniel Mason-D'Croz; Swamikannu Nedumaran; Richard Robertson; Sherman Robinson; Keith Wiebe
      Pages: 63 - 70
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): Shahnila Islam, Nicola Cenacchi, Timothy B. Sulser, Sika Gbegbelegbe, Guy Hareau, Ulrich Kleinwechter, Daniel Mason-D'Croz, Swamikannu Nedumaran, Richard Robertson, Sherman Robinson, Keith Wiebe
      Achieving and maintaining global food security is challenged by changes in population, income, and climate, among other drivers. Assessing these threats and weighing possible solutions requires a robust multidisciplinary approach. One such approach integrates biophysical modeling with economic modeling to explore the combined effects of climate stresses and future socioeconomic trends, thus providing a more accurate picture of how agriculture and the food system may be affected in the coming decades. We review and analyze the literature on this structural approach and present a case study that follows this methodology explicitly modeling drought and heat tolerant crop varieties. We show that yield gains from adoption of these varieties differ by technology and region, but are generally comparable in scale to (and thus able to offset) adverse effects of climate change. However, yield increases over the projection period are dominated by the effects of growth in population, income, and general productivity, highlighting the importance of joint assessment of biophysical and socioeconomic drivers to better understand climate impacts and responses.

      PubDate: 2016-09-20T12:46:17Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.003
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • Translating the Sustainable Development Goals into action: A participatory
           backcasting approach for developing national agricultural transformation
    • Authors: David R. Kanter; Marie-Hélène Schwoob; Walter E. Baethgen; José E. Bervejillo; Miguel Carriquiry; Achim Dobermann; Bruno Ferraro; Bruno Lanfranco; Mario Mondelli; Cecilia Penengo; Rodrigo Saldias; María Eugenia Silva; Juan Manuel Soares de Lima
      Pages: 71 - 79
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 10
      Author(s): David R. Kanter, Marie-Hélène Schwoob, Walter E. Baethgen, José E. Bervejillo, Miguel Carriquiry, Achim Dobermann, Bruno Ferraro, Bruno Lanfranco, Mario Mondelli, Cecilia Penengo, Rodrigo Saldias, María Eugenia Silva, Juan Manuel Soares de Lima
      A new set of objectives for sustainable development are now in place, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and countries need to develop concrete policy roadmaps to achieve them. This is particularly challenging in the agricultural sector given the heterogeneity of local conditions, the diffuse nature of its environmental impacts, and the important interactions with various aspects of sustainable development – from education and poverty alleviation, to human health and the environment. And yet it is precisely because of these interactions that vibrant, resilient and sustainable national agricultural sectors are key to the SDGs’ success. This paper presents a practical backcasting approach and methodological toolkit – developed by the Agricultural Transformation Pathways (ATP) initiative under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – for countries to develop policy roadmaps towards 2030 using local tools and expertise that could help transform national agricultural sectors in a way that is consistent with the SDGs. This approach is illustrated using the Uruguayan beef sector as a case study, where productivity and environmental targets were developed in tandem with a wide range of stakeholders in order to maximize productivity, while minimizing a suite of environmental impacts – from carbon footprint and biodiversity, to nitrogen losses. This marks the beginning of a new approach to achieving the SDGs in the agricultural sector: participatory target setting and pathway development across a number of areas crucial to sustainable development – all under a harmonized framework provided by the ATP initiative. We hope the methodological approach and results of the Uruguay case study will become a touchstone for future work in this area.

      PubDate: 2016-09-20T12:46:17Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 10 (2016)
  • Linking agriculture and social protection for food security: The case of
    • Authors: Silvio Daidone; Benjamin Davis; Joshua Dewbre; Borja Miguelez; Ousmane Niang; Luca Pellerano
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 December 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Silvio Daidone, Benjamin Davis, Joshua Dewbre, Borja Miguelez, Ousmane Niang, Luca Pellerano
      In July 2013 FAO Lesotho began a pilot initiative called the Linking Food Security to Social Protection Programme (LFSSP). The programme's objective was to improve the food security of poor and vulnerable households by providing vegetable seeds and training on improved homestead gardening. The programme was intentionally provided to households eligible for a large-scale social cash transfer, the Child Grants Programme (CGP). In this paper we present findings from the impact evaluation of the two programmes. Overall we find positive effects of the programmes on homestead gardening and productive agricultural activities. Many of these observed outcomes appear driven by the combination of the two programmes. An additional year of CGP along with one year of the LFSSP achieved a number of outcomes which two years of receiving the CGP alone did not. This pilot has been used as the basis for the design of a national upscale response to El Nino drought in Lesotho including Home Gardening and Nutrition assistance for all CGP beneficiaries who were affected by a sharp increase of food prices.

      PubDate: 2016-12-31T12:16:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.12.002
  • Global footprints of water and land resources through China's food trade
    • Authors: Tariq Ali; Jikun Huang; Jinxia Wang; Wei Xie
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 November 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Tariq Ali, Jikun Huang, Jinxia Wang, Wei Xie
      China's rapid increase in food imports has repercussions for China's and global resources. This study reviews the recent literature on China's virtual water and land trade through food trade, presents updated results for 2000–2015, and makes projections for 2030. The results show that the increased imports of virtual water and land have significantly eased pressure on these resources in China. Soybean imports have been the main contributor towards China's domestic savings of virtual water and land. China's food trade has increasingly contributed towards global savings of virtual water and land. Our projections suggest that the trend in savings of domestic and global virtual water and land will continue, with significant variations due to changes in resource use efficiency.

      PubDate: 2016-11-26T23:09:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.11.003
  • Measuring sustainable intensification in smallholder agroecosystems: A
    • Authors: Alex Smith; Sieglinde Snapp; Regis Chikowo; Peter Thorne; Mateete Bekunda; Jerry Glover
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 November 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Alex Smith, Sieglinde Snapp, Regis Chikowo, Peter Thorne, Mateete Bekunda, Jerry Glover
      Sustainable intensification (SI) is at the forefront of food security discussions as a means to meet the growing demand for agricultural production while conserving land and other resources. A broader definition of SI is emerging that takes into account the human condition, nutrition and social equity. Next steps require identification of indicators and associated metrics, to track progress, assess tradeoffs and identify synergies. Through a systematic, qualitative review of the literature we identified SI indicators, with a primary focus on African smallholder farming systems. We assessed indicators and metrics for which there is consensus, and those that remain contested. We conclude that, while numerous metrics for evaluating SI systems exist, many often-cited indicators lack strong sets of associated metrics.

      PubDate: 2016-11-21T22:19:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.11.002
  • Meeting the global food security challenge: Obstacles and opportunities
    • Authors: Christopher B. Barrett; Cheryl Palm
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 November 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Christopher B. Barrett, Cheryl Palm

      PubDate: 2016-11-14T22:14:17Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.11.001
  • Understanding recent challenges and new food policy in China
    • Authors: Jikun Huang; Guolei Yang
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 November 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Jikun Huang, Guolei Yang
      Despite of remarkable achievements in the past, China is also facing several major challenges, in particular on ensuring sustainable growth of agriculture, improving food security, increasing farmers' income. The paper reviews China's agricultural and food policy with specific focus on recent challenges, initial policy responses and their consequences, and re-adjusting in policies. The results show that the policy responses to the challenges of sustainable agriculture are strong and encouraging. Adjusting the national food security target in response to sustainable agriculture and major efforts to improve food security are significant. To increase farmer's income, China has shifted its policy regime from taxing to subsidizing and protecting agriculture in the past decade. However, the results of these efforts are mixture. Price interventions increased farmers' income, they also resulted in several serious problems. Good news is that some new efforts to solve these problems may bring China's market reform back to the right track though they still needs to be evaluated. The paper concludes that the previous experiences on agricultural development through institutional reform, technology change, market reform, and investment in agriculture should still be the keys for successfully ensuring food security and sustainable agriculture for China in the future.

      PubDate: 2016-11-08T21:59:55Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.10.002
  • Transforming gender constraints in the agricultural sector: The potential
           of social protection programmes
    • Authors: Nicola Jones; Rebecca Holmes; Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Maria Stavropoulou
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 November 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Nicola Jones, Rebecca Holmes, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Maria Stavropoulou
      Gender inequality continues to constrain women's opportunities in the agricultural sector, both in terms of achieving food security and increasing agricultural productivity. However, investment in gender-responsive programming which promotes women's empowerment can help to overcome these constraints. This article discusses experiences in social protection programming design and implementation with respect to gender equality, food security and agricultural productivity: we find that while a large part of social protection programming remains focused on supporting women's domestic and care roles and responsibilities, there have also been important advances in thoughtful programming which supports more transformative changes in women's roles as producers. These types of programmes typically recognise the multiple risks and vulnerabilities that women face, both in their reproductive and productive roles, and aim to overcome these through integrated programming combining support for basic needs as well as broader empowerment goals.

      PubDate: 2016-11-08T21:59:55Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.09.004
  • Can yield gap analysis be used to inform R&D prioritisation'
    • Authors: P.A.J. van; Oort Saito Dieng Grassini K.G. Cassman M.K. van
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 October 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): P.A.J. van Oort, K. Saito, I. Dieng, P. Grassini, K.G. Cassman, M.K. van Ittersum
      The phrase “biggest bang for a buck” is associated with the policy making question that governments and development agencies face: “Where and which crops should receive highest priority for improving local and global food supply'”. A first step of prioritisation is to identify region x crop combinations for which high impact can be anticipated. We developed a new method for this prioritisation exercise and applied it to data from the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas (GYGA). Our prioritisation distinguishes between two policy objectives (humanitarian and economic) and builds upon the relative yield gap and climate risk. Results of the prioritisation are presented and visualised in Google Earth.

      PubDate: 2016-10-27T21:43:58Z
  • Design and rural context in antipoverty transfers: Implications for
           programme outcomes
    • Authors: Armando Barrientos
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 October 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Armando Barrientos
      The expansion of antipoverty transfers in low- and middle-income countries focuses on poverty reduction but it also raises important questions regarding their contribution to growth and development. The paper considers the role of design and context in programme outcomes. Distinguishing three main programmes types identified, the analysis relies on insights from theory and practice to identify rural context conditions capable of enhancing or undermining programme outcomes. It finds that context conditions are important and require careful consideration by programmers.

      PubDate: 2016-10-19T15:54:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.09.002
  • Targeting social protection and agricultural interventions: The potential
           for synergies
    • Authors: Cristina Cirillo; Mario Györi; Fabio Veras Soares
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 October 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Cristina Cirillo, Mario Györi, Fabio Veras Soares
      Social protection programmes and agricultural interventions for family farmers tend to operate in isolation from each other. This paper shows how coherent targeting mechanisms can help to coordinate both policy areas and create synergies. We argue that target groups and targeting methods used in both areas are often very similar or potentially complementary, which constitutes a promising basis for better coordination. Moreover, the paper describes relevant cases to illustrate how targeting is already being used to foster synergies between the two areas. We conclude based on these case studies that targeting coordination and overall coherence are indispensable tools to generate positive synergies between social protection and agricultural interventions – a potential basis for addressing food security more effectively in the future.

      PubDate: 2016-10-19T15:54:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.006
  • Making the case for Institutional Demand: Supporting smallholders through
           procurement and food assistance programmes
    • Authors: Ryan Nehring; Ana Miranda; Andrew Howe
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 October 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Ryan Nehring, Ana Miranda, Andrew Howe
      This paper focuses on the rationale for supporting market interventions for smallholders through what we call Institutional Demand. Institutional Demand consists of different interventions that target procurement from smallholder farmers and distribute their surplus to vulnerable populations. This policy intervention links the goals of both agricultural development and social protection through three key areas: price stabilization; income generation and; food security. We argue that Institutional Demand should be a key policy intervention as it can directly address both rural poverty and malnutrition. It does this by linking the productive capacity of smallholder farmers with populations living in situations of food insecurity. Impact evaluations and assessments of Institutional Demand programmes are limited in scope and depth. Therefore, while this paper outlines much of the evidence thus far, the primary purpose of this paper is to push forward a new research agenda that looks at the ways in which Institutional Demand can promote policy synergies between the goals of social protection and agricultural development. The issues outlined in this paper present fruitful areas for more qualitative and quantitative assessments of Institutional Demand programmes.

      PubDate: 2016-10-19T15:54:32Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.09.003
  • Harnessing informal institutions to strengthen social protection for the
           rural poor
    • Authors: Maria Stavropoulou; Rebecca Holmes; Nicola Jones
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Maria Stavropoulou, Rebecca Holmes, Nicola Jones
      Social protection has emerged as an effective policy response to tackle food insecurity, increase agricultural productivity and promote rural development across the developing world. Despite the proliferation of social protection programmes, their coverage is still low and informal support systems continue to be the key means of protection for the majority of the rural poor and vulnerable. Although their significance has remained largely invisible in policy and programming, there is growing interest to explore their potential and to support linkages with formal programmes. This article reviews the main types of informal social protection with their strengths and weaknesses, identifies their linkages to formal social protection, and proposes ways to strengthen them for more robust and inclusive social protection systems.

      PubDate: 2016-09-24T13:13:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.005
  • Developing approaches to achieve adequate nutrition among urban
           populations requires an understanding of urban development
    • Authors: S. Bloem; S. de Pee
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): S. Bloem, S. de Pee
      Since 2008 the world has become predominantly urban. By 2050, there will be 2.5 billion more people living in cities and most of these will be in small and medium-size cities in Africa and Asia. These continents are home to high malnutrition rates. Policy makers will need to ensure that food and nutrition security can be achieved by the growing urban populations, including the urban poor, in order for this urban growth to generate equitable economic growth. This paper demonstrates how understanding urban dynamics such as city size, urban infrastructures, and rural-urban linkages are critical for planning for adequate urban nutrition. In particular it highlights the potential strength of strategically investing in medium-size cities as they are more likely to generate equitable growth, including for their surrounding hinterlands, thus strengthening local foods systems and creating better enabling environments for improved urban nutrition through better sanitation infrastructures and increased access to nutritious foods by the urban poor.

      PubDate: 2016-09-20T12:46:17Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.09.001
  • Impact of cash transfer programs on food security and nutrition in
           sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis
    • Authors: Smriti Tiwari; Silvio Daidone; Maria Angelita Ruvalcaba; Ervin Prifti; Sudhanshu Handa; Benjamin Davis; Ousmane Niang; Luca Pellerano; Paul Quarles van Ufford; David Seidenfeld
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 September 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Smriti Tiwari, Silvio Daidone, Maria Angelita Ruvalcaba, Ervin Prifti, Sudhanshu Handa, Benjamin Davis, Ousmane Niang, Luca Pellerano, Paul Quarles van Ufford, David Seidenfeld
      This paper explores the extent to which government-run cash transfer programs in four sub-Saharan countries affect food security and nutritional outcomes. These programs include Ghana's Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty, Kenya's Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Lesotho's Child Grants Program and Zambia's Child Grant model of the Social Cash Transfer program. Our cross-country analysis highlights the importance of robust program design and implementation to achieve the intended results. We find that a relatively generous and regular and predictable transfer increases the quantity and quality of food and reduces the prevalence of food insecurity. On the other hand, a smaller, lumpy and irregular transfer does not lead to impacts on food expenditures. We complement binary treatment analysis with continuous treatment analysis to understand not only the impact of being in the program but also the variability in impacts by the extent of treatment.

      PubDate: 2016-09-20T12:46:17Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.009
  • The dynamics of beef trade between Brazil and Russia and their
           environmental implications
    • Authors: Florian Schierhorn; Patrick Meyfroidt; Thomas Kastner; Tobias Kuemmerle; Alexander V. Prishchepov; Daniel Müller
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 August 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Florian Schierhorn, Patrick Meyfroidt, Thomas Kastner, Tobias Kuemmerle, Alexander V. Prishchepov, Daniel Müller
      Changes in the production or consumption of agricultural commodities in one place can drastically affect land use and the environment elsewhere. We show how changes in beef production and consumption in Russia following the breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991 contributed to the emergence of a beef trade linkage between Brazil and Russia. We argue that the decline of Russian beef production after 1991, the rebound of domestic consumption since the late 1990s, the global beef trade constellation of the early 2000s, and the booming Brazilian cattle sector during the same periods forged a strong and lasting telecoupling in the beef trade between Brazil and Russia. As a result, Russia became the largest importer of both CO2 and non-CO2 emissions embodied in Brazilian beef exports since the 2000s. Our review exemplifies how the combination of institutional and socioeconomic shocks along with major changes in global markets can couple food systems and redistribute environmental footprints across long distances. Incorporating telecouplings in assessments of sustainable food systems is therefore important.

      PubDate: 2016-08-21T10:28:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.001
  • Biofuel policies and the impact of developing countries’ policy
           responses to the 2007–2008 food price boom
    • Authors: Harry de Gorter; Dušan Drabik
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 August 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Harry de Gorter, Dušan Drabik
      Economists have been unanimous that developing countries’ policy responses to high food grain prices in 2007–2008 in restricting exports and promoting imports increased both world food grain price levels and volatility. Furthermore, the literature emphasizes the self-defeating aspects of policy responses: world prices increase even further, thereby raising domestic prices in countries imposing policies to protect domestic consumers. We show that because of the crop-biofuel price linkages that took hold in 2007 caused by biofuel policies, developing countries’ policy responses had little impact on world prices in 2008 and maximum impact in reducing domestic price in developing countries. There is little empirical evidence of a policy responses increasing world prices. Instead, the incidence of those developing countries with policy responses were mostly in reducing domestic prices while those countries that did not respond (including all developed countries) faced high world prices locked onto crude oil prices and unaffected by policy responses. Given that most studies on developing countries’ policy response analyze the impacts on poverty in developing countries, this paper has important policy implications, especially food security analysis which now requires understanding how biofuel policies impact food commodity prices.

      PubDate: 2016-08-13T09:38:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.008
  • Benefits to smallholders? Evaluating the World Food Programme's
           Purchase for Progress pilot
    • Authors: Erin Lentz; Joanna Upton
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 August 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Erin Lentz, Joanna Upton
      The United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP's) Purchase for Progress (P4P), a multi-year, multi-country pilot, sought to improve smallholder farmer wellbeing through a combination of food purchases from farmer organizations and supply-side interventions. We examine the impacts of P4P on smallholder farmers in Tanzania, using panel data on members of participating and comparison farmer organizations. P4P targeted participants based on pre-existing warehouses locations. To account for possible selection on observables, we use propensity score matching, limiting the sample to participating farmers and their matches, and then compute conditional difference-in-differences. While participating small farmers increase their commercial farming activity relative to comparison farmers, we do not find evidence of increased income, increased food consumption scores or increased crop value. We discuss possible factors contributing to these findings, including WFP's diverse objectives and the targeting of farmer organizations rather than smallholders.

      PubDate: 2016-08-08T09:19:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.003
  • Synergies and trade-offs for sustainable agriculture: Nutritional yields
           and climate-resilience for cereal crops in Central India
    • Authors: Ruth DeFries; Pinki Mondal; Deepti Singh; Ishan Agrawal; Jessica Fanzo; Roseline Remans; Stephen Wood
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 July 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Ruth DeFries, Pinki Mondal, Deepti Singh, Ishan Agrawal, Jessica Fanzo, Roseline Remans, Stephen Wood
      Sustainable agriculture has multiple objectives, including efficient use of land to produce nutrients for human consumption, climate resilience, and income for farmers. We illustrate an approach to examine trade-offs and synergies among these objectives for monsoon cereal crops in central India. We estimate nutritional yields for protein, energy and iron and examine the sensitivity of yields to monsoon rainfall and temperature. Rice, the dominant crop in the region, is the least land efficient for providing iron and most sensitive to rainfall variability. Sorghum and maize provide high nutritional yields while small millet is most resilient to climate variability. Price incentives are strong for rice. No single crop is superior for all objectives in this region. Instead, understanding which crops, or combinations of crops, are most suitable requires identifying household-, community-, and region-specific priorities coupled with empirical analysis that considers multiple objectives.

      PubDate: 2016-07-25T09:04:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.07.001
  • Reducing risks to food security from climate change
    • Authors: B.M. Campbell; S.J. Vermeulen; P.K. Aggarwal; C. Corner-Dolloff; E. Girvetz; A.M. Loboguerrero; J. Ramirez-Villegas; T. Rosenstock; L. Sebastian; P. Thornton; E. Wollenberg
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): B.M. Campbell, S.J. Vermeulen, P.K. Aggarwal, C. Corner-Dolloff, E. Girvetz, A.M. Loboguerrero, J. Ramirez-Villegas, T. Rosenstock, L. Sebastian, P. Thornton, E. Wollenberg
      Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on crop, livestock and fisheries production, and will change the prevalence of crop pests. Many of these impacts are already measurable. Climate impact studies are dominated by those on crop yields despite the limitations of climate-crop modelling, with very little attention paid to more systems components of cropping, let alone other dimensions of food security. Given the serious threats to food security, attention should shift to an action-oriented research agenda, where we see four key challenges: (a) changing the culture of research; (b) deriving stakeholder-driven portfolios of options for farmers, communities and countries; (c) ensuring that adaptation actions are relevant to those most vulnerable to climate change; (d) combining adaptation and mitigation.

      PubDate: 2016-07-06T14:00:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.06.002
  • Why behavioral economics matters to global food policy
    • Authors: David R. Just; Gnel Gabrielyan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): David R. Just, Gnel Gabrielyan
      As developed countries have grappled with rising rates of obesity, policymakers’ efforts have been frustrated. Traditional approaches have treated food consumers as if they were making deliberate and calculated food decisions, leading to policies that provide more detailed health information, pricing incentives and direct prohibitions. The results have fallen far short of expectations, and have often generated significant backlash in the process. Alternative approaches recognizing the passive nature of food decisions has recently gained some traction. These approaches, based on behavioral economics, rely on subtle changes in the food choice environment. The hallmark of these “nudges” are relatively large impacts on choice within the altered environment, relatively low costs, and little in the way of consumer resistance. In this paper we review the relevant literature within the developed world, and document the systematic policy applications. One key theme has been the importance of such interventions in food environments affecting the poor and food insecure. This is the case for two distinct reasons: First, it is the food insecure that are at greatest risk for obesity; second, the food insecure are most likely to be susceptible to food choice nudges. For these reasons, nudges may be of import in developing country settings. As obesity is on the rise in many developing countries, lessons learned in developed countries may be directly applicable. Alternatively, similar principles may be of use in ensuring proper nutrition among the food insecure as a means to prevent malnutrition or other acute diet related diseases. We provide some discussion of what these applications may look like, as well as the research needed to make effective use of behavioral choice in this new frontier.

      PubDate: 2016-06-13T07:20:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.05.006
  • Oil crops, aquaculture, and the rising role of demand: A fresh perspective
           on food security
    • Authors: Rosamond L. Naylor
      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
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.05.001
  • Sustainable food security and nutrition: Demystifying conventional beliefs
    • Authors: Shenggen Fan; Joanna Brzeska
      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
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.03.005
  • Growing advantage of large farms in Asia and its implications for global
           food security
    • Authors: Keijiro Otsuka; Yanyan Liu; Futoshi Yamauchi
      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
      DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2016.03.001
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