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Journal Cover Global Food Security
  [SJR: 0.786]   [H-I: 3]   [1 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2211-9124
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2970 journals]
  • Robust seed systems, emerging technologies, and hybrid crops for Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 9
      Author(s): Jim Gaffney, Jennifer Anderson, Cleve Franks, Sarah Collinson, John MacRobert, Worede Woldemariam, Marc Albertsen
      Hybrid crops are underutilized in many developing countries. Subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) rely predominantly on outdated hybrids and open-pollinated varieties, which has limited the region's ability to achieve food security and agricultural sustainability goals. Key challenges in SSA include lack of access to improved hybrid seed, insufficient infrastructure to support a formal seed system, and limited smallholder farmer access to input and output markets. Implementing improved seed systems and creating greater market access will require engagement from the public and private sector and the governments within Africa. This paper reviews the importance of hybrids in agriculture, the challenges associated with creating new hybrids, and the technological advancements that will enable more efficient production of quality hybrids in Africa.

      PubDate: 2016-06-18T18:08:11Z
  • Approaches for increasing nitrogen and water use efficiency simultaneously
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 9
      Author(s): Miguel Quemada, Jose L. Gabriel
      Enhancement of water and nitrogen use efficiency simultaneously may provide advantages over optimization of water and nitrogen inputs separately. In addition, water is the driver of the main environmental problems caused by excessive nitrogen use, such as nitrate contamination of water bodies or increasing emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. Therefore, management practices oriented towards reducing nitrogen losses and maintaining farm productivity should rely on optimizing nitrogen and water inputs at the same time. This manuscript identifies agricultural systems with strong interactions between water- and nitrogen-use efficiency. Measurements and approaches for applying new technologies to increasing nitrogen and water efficiency simultaneously are discussed.

      PubDate: 2016-06-13T07:20:21Z
  • Improving food security in Asia through consumer-focused rice breeding
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 9
      Author(s): Marie Claire Custodio, Matty Demont, Alice Laborte, Jhoanne Ynion
      Public rice breeding plays a crucial role in food security in Asia, but it is often supply-focused. Consumer-focused rice breeding incorporates consumer preferences in varietal development and benefits (i) consumers by fostering availability of affordable rice with characteristics that meet their food preferences, and (ii) farmers by facilitating market access and enabling them to capture consumer surplus. We review historical evidence and survey urban consumers across 24 cities in seven Asian countries to assess heterogeneity and trends of consumer preferences for intrinsic attributes of rice. We conclude that to improve food security in Asia, public rice breeding programs should incorporate widely preferred attributes such as softness in Southeast Asia and slenderness in South Asia, while considering geographic heterogeneity and specificity of preferences.

      PubDate: 2016-06-13T07:20:21Z
  • Sustainability of rice intensification in Uruguay from 1993 to 2013
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 9
      Author(s): Cameron M. Pittelkow, Gonzalo Zorrilla, José Terra, Sara Riccetto, Ignacio Macedo, Camila Bonilla, Alvaro Roel
      Despite increasing calls for the sustainable intensification (SI) of agriculture, environmental impacts associated with historical patterns of yield increase remain poorly understood, particularly involving multiple sustainability indicators. The objective of this study was to examine the sustainability of rice intensification in Uruguay from 1993 to 2013. National rice production and crop management records were used to estimate energy, nitrogen, water, and carbon footprints and agrochemical contamination risk for the rice phase of typical rice-pasture rotations in Uruguay. Results suggest that increases in national production were achieved with simultaneous increases in net energy yield and water use efficiency (56% and 41%, respectively). Although carbon footprint per unit of production decreased (−30%), potential nitrogen losses increased (37%) and elevated agrochemical contamination risk occurred in specific years. This study highlights the potential role of improved agronomy in balancing food production and environmental goals, while also indicating that similar holistic assessments are needed for other rice growing regions to better evaluate SI strategies and quantify potential tradeoffs.

      PubDate: 2016-06-13T07:20:21Z
  • Interplay of food security, agriculture and tourism within GCC countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Global Food Security, Volume 9
      Author(s): Sanaa I. Pirani, Hassan A. Arafat
      For the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates), food security is critical. Currently, these countries import most of what they consume and will continue to do so, since locally producing the majority of food needed is not a viable option. This paper looks into multiple pathways which can be used to secure food imports, particularly foreign agricultural land acquisition. It also looks at the rapidly expanding GCC tourism sector and its relevance to food security. The sector has contributed significantly to the amounts of food consumed and wasted in the region. It is concluded that the way forward for the GCC countries must involve diversified food supplies along with decreasing food demand in the first place.

      PubDate: 2016-06-13T07:20:21Z
  • Why behavioral economics matters to global food policy
    • 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
  • Oil crops, aquaculture, and the rising role of demand: A fresh perspective
           on food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 May 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Rosamond L. Naylor
      The global economy has experienced remarkable growth during the past twenty-five years. Rising incomes have helped to alleviate extreme poverty and calorie deficiencies worldwide, and have fueled demand for animal protein and processed foods. Income disparities have also widened, leaving the majority of the world's population in the lower income groups. This paper explores how economic growth, income distribution, and trade have influenced patterns of food demand and food security since 1990. It focuses on two of the most rapidly expanding segments of the world food economy, tropical oil crops and aquaculture. These commodity groups involve multinational companies and smallholder producers oriented mainly around global markets. To date, however, Sub-Saharan Africa has largely been by-passed by growth in both sectors.

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

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

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

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

      PubDate: 2016-04-02T17:38:11Z
  • Growing advantage of large farms in Asia and its implications for global
           food security
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 March 2016
      Source:Global Food Security
      Author(s): Keijiro Otsuka, Yanyan Liu, Futoshi Yamauchi
      When the wage rate is low, a labour-intensive production method is chosen. Since it is costly to monitor hired labourers in agriculture, small-scale farms dependent on family labour are more efficient than large farms relying on hired labour. This leads to the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity, if land markets do not reallocate land. When the wage rate increases, labour-saving and machine-using production methods become efficient. If machinery and land are complementary and machines are indivisible to some extent, large-scale mechanized farms become more efficient, which tends to weaken the inverse farm size-productivity relationship. This article argues that if small-scale farms continue to dominate in the face of the increasing wage rate in Asia, many countries in this region will lose their comparative advantage in agriculture.

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

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

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

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

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

      PubDate: 2016-01-01T03:50:52Z
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