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The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014

SOFI 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets.

The 2014 report also presents further insights into the suite of food security indicators introduced in 2013 and analyses in greater depth the dimensions of food security – availability, access, stability and utilization.

In addition, this year’s report examines the diverse experiences of seven countries, with a specific focus on the enabling environment for food security and nutrition that reflects commitment and capacities across four dimensions: policies, programmes and legal frameworks; mobilization of human and financial resources; coordination mechanisms and partnerships; and evidence-based decision-making.

You can read the key messages or download your full copy from the FAO website: www.fao.org/publications/sofi

 

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Street Food: The way forward for better food safety and nutrition

This article summarizes the outcomes of an FSN Forum online discussion on Street Foods (September/October 2011). The discussion was part of a study carried out by FAO’s Regional Office for Africa on possible incentives to improve the safety, quality, and nutritional value of street foods.

11.09.2014

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Climate Change and Food Security in Pacific Island Countries

With increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent and intense extreme weather events, Pacific islands countries, especially those in warmer latitudes, are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Their populations are expected to be among the first that will need to adapt to climate change or even abandon their traditional homeland and relocate. Unless we act now, climate change will constitute a major barrier to the achievement of sustainable development and viable food production goals for all Pacific island countries, while threatening the very existence of many of them.

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HLPE - High Level Panel of Experts Reports

On this page you can access al reports prepared by the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

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Price volatility 
and food security

2011
Process and docs

Land tenure and international investments in agriculture 2011
Process and docs

Food security 
and climate change
2012

Process and docs

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Social protection 
for food security
2012

Process and docs
Web annex

Biofuels 
and food security

Process and docs

Investing in smallholder agriculture for
food security

Process and docs

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Sustainable
fisheries and aquaculture for
food security and nutrition

Food losses
and waste in the
context of
sustainable food systems 

 

 

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Meat Atlas - Facts and figures about the animals we eat

 
This publication sheds light on the impacts of meat and dairy production, and aims to catalyse the debate over the need for better, safer and more sustainable food and farming.

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Impacts of foreign agricultural investment in developing countries: evidence from case studies

by Pascal Liu, Senior Economist, Trade and Markets Division, FAO.  
 
Although there has been much debate about the potential benefits and risks of international investment, there is a lack of systematic evidence on the actual impacts on the host country and their determinants. This paper summarizes the results of FAO’s case studies on foreign investment in developing country agriculture.

FAO’s studies on foreign investment in developing country agriculture suggest that the disadvantages of large-scale land acquisitions often outweigh the few benefits to the local community. In countries where local land rights are not clearly defined and governance is weak, large scale land acquisition raises particularly high risks for the local community.  Even from the perspective of the investor, land acquisition is unlikely to be the most profitable business model due to the high potential for conflict and damage to reputation.

Conversely, the studies suggest that investments that involve local farmers as equal business partners, giving them an active role and leaving them in control of their land, have the most positive and sustainable effects on local economies and social development. These inclusive business models need strong external support for supporting farmers and facilitating the investor-farmers relationship in order to succeed. They also require ‘patient capital’, as financial returns to investment are unlikely to materialize in the first years.

Beside the business model, other important factors include the legal and institutional framework in the host country, the terms and conditions of the investment contract and the social and economic condition in the investment area. Strengthening the governance and capacity of institutions in host developing countries is essential to enhancing the developmental impacts of foreign agricultural investment.

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Transferts Monétaires et Résilience : Renforcer les liens entre transferts monétaires d’urgence et programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux dans le Sahel - Document de discussion

Suite à une prise de conscience ces dernières années par les acteurs de la région sahelienne, un nombre croissant d’États ont engagé une dynamique visant à mettre en place des programmes permanents de transferts sociaux afin que l’aide aux populations les plus vulnérables devienne plus prévisible et régulière, et ainsi plus efficace. Parallèlement, les acteurs humanitaires ont été amenés à étendre leur action au-delà des seuls pics de crise, et tendent à harmoniser leurs approches en matière de réponses d’urgence et de redressement.

Dans ce contexte, il apparaît opportun de s’interroger sur une possible amélioration des liens entre projets de transferts monétaires d’urgence et programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux (monétaires) en vue du renforcement de la résilience des populations au Sahel. Ainsi, faisant écho à une récente étude de cas commissionnée par le CaLP sur les possibilités d’utilisation des programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux pour répondre aux crises humanitaires, la question soulevée ici est la suivante :
Dans quelle mesure est-il possible et souhaitable d’utiliser les programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux pour fournir une assistance humanitaire aux populations du Sahel ?

Afin d’apporter des éléments de réponse à cette question, le CaLP, l’UNICEF et la Commission européenne se sont associés pour organiser, avec le soutien financier de l’OFDA, un premier atelier d’échange régional sur le sujet. En réunissant une cinquantaine d’acteurs d’horizons divers (acteurs humanitaires, de développement, étatiques, du secteur privé) impliqués dans les politiques et programmes de transferts monétaires, l’atelier visait à porter un regard croisé sur la problématique et à établir un diagnostic commun. Établir un tel diagnostic doit permettre de poser les bases de l'élaboration, par la suite, d'un programme régional de recherche et d'action autour des relations entre systèmes de protection sociale et réponses humanitaires dans le Sahel.

Le présent document de discussion est inspiré des échanges qui ont eu lieu au cours de l’atelier. Il vise à étendre la discussion à d’autres acteurs de la région, ainsi qu’à d’autres régions confrontées au même questionnement. Il propose une première approche de la problématique, présente quelques conclusions issues de l’atelier, et suggère plusieurs pistes d’action. Son but est avant tout de susciter réactions et réflexions. La problématique est vaste et cette première initiative vise à enclencher un processus à plus long terme de dialogue et d’échanges entre acteurs humanitaires, acteurs étatiques et autres instances autour de cette question.

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Atelier d’échange régional « Liens entre programmes de transferts monétaires d’urgence et filets sociaux de sécurité dans le Sahel » - Rapport de l’atelier

Les transferts monétaires sont aujourd’hui largement utilisés dans les réponses aux crises alimentaires et nutritionnelles du Sahel. Au-delà des situations d’urgence, les instruments de type « transferts monétaires » sont également de plus en plus considérés par les gouvernements et les bailleurs de fonds dans les plans nationaux de lutte contre la pauvreté, souvent au sein de stratégies et politiques nationales de protection sociale. Il apparaît opportun de s’interroger sur une possible amélioration des liens entre programmes de transferts monétaires d’urgence et programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux (monétaires) en vue du renforcement de la résilience des populations au Sahel. C’est dans ce cadre que le CaLP, l’UNICEF et la Commission européenne se sont associés pour organiser, avec le soutien financier de l’OFDA, un atelier d’échange régional sur le sujet. Faisant écho à unerécente étude de cas commissionnée par le CaLP sur les possibilités d’utiliser les programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux pour répondre à une crise humanitaire, la question centrale de l’atelier était la suivante :
Dans quelle mesure est-il possible et souhaitable d’utiliser les programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux pour fournir une assistance humanitaire aux populations du Sahel ?

Les objectifs principaux de cette initiative étaient doubles, à savoir :

  1. de permettre aux différents acteurs de la région impliqués dans les réponses aux crises de partager attentes, perspectives et défis ressentis sur l'utilisation des programmes nationaux de transferts sociaux dans les réponses aux crises humanitaires ; et
  2. de poser les bases de l'élaboration d'un programme régional de recherche et d'action visant à renforcer les liens entre systèmes de protection sociale et réponses humanitaires dans le Sahel.
     

Le présent rapport se veut aussi fidèle que possible aux opinions exprimées par les participants au cours de l’atelier et au travers des fiches d’évaluation de l’atelier.4 Le programme de l’atelier, la liste des participants, ainsi que l’évaluation de l’atelier par les participants sont présentés dans les annexes. L’ensemble des documents et présentations partagés au cours de l’atelier peut être téléchargé depuis la page « Afrique de l’Ouest » du site du CaLP.

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What do we really know about the number and distribution of farms and family farms in the world?

The agricultural economics literature provides various estimates of the number of farms and small  farms in the world. This paper is an effort to provide a more complete and up to date as well as  carefully documented estimate of the total number of farms in the world, as well as by region and  level of income.

It uses data from numerous rounds of the World Census of Agriculture, the only  dataset available which allows the user to gain a complete picture of the total number of farms  globally and at the country level. The paper provides estimates of the number of family farms, the  number of farms by size as well as the distribution of farmland by farm size.

These estimates find that:  there are at least 570 million farms worldwide, of which more than 500 million can be considered  family farms. Most of the world’s farms are very small, with more than 475 million farms being less  than 2 hectares in size. Although the vast majority of the world’s farms are smaller than 2 hectares,  they operate only a small share of the world’s farmland. Farmland distribution would seem quite  unequal at the global level, but it is less so in low- and lower-middle-income countries as well as in  some regional groups.

These estimates have serious limitations and the collection of more up-to-date  agricultural census data, including data on farmland distribution is essential to our having a more representative picture of the number of farms, the number of family farms and farm size as well as farmland distribution worldwide. 

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Food Losses and Waste in Europe and Central Asia

The paper discusses the issues and policy options for reduction of food losses and waste in Europe and Central Asia, focusing primarily on middle and low income countries of the region.

Food losses and waste (FLW) depend on specific conditions and the local situation in a given country. In broad terms, food losses and waste are influenced by production and processing choices, patterns and technologies, internal infrastructure and capacity, marketing chains and channels for distribution, consumer purchasing and food use practices. To a large extent, FLW are rational from a private perspective as they are the result of the optimizing behaviour of agents. However, in certain countries there are serious limitations due to ineffective food chains, and a lack of capacity to preserve or process foods, or limited markets. From a societal perspective, FLW are claimed to generate socioeconomic and environmental problems.

Development context has high importance on the level, structure and causes of FLW. In developed countries of the region consumer preferences and practices are the main reason for FLW. As a consequence, all steps of the supply chain have to adjust their production, processing, or distribution to these preferences. In middle and low income countries the most frequently mentioned causes of food losses are inadequate infrastructure and technology, inefficient market and demand for supply as well as the lack of education and skills, in particular at the farm level.

Targeted investments to reduce FLW at any significant scale could be primarily done by the private sector. Equally importantly, by promoting effective policy and enabling environment in support of sustainable agricultural production, and value chain approaches the public sector can contribute to a minimisation of FLW. The scope of the public policies should be to create an enabling environment for private sector to introduce practices having potential to reduce FLW whereby contributing to increase the overall efficiency of food supply chains.