Market information is essential for agricultural development and to improve food security, particularly for small‐scale producers and traders, who typically have limited access to, and understanding of market information and analysis.
Good market information helps ensure transparency, competitiveness and the more equitable sharing of benefits between market participants. Effective market information systems reduce information asymmetries, increase competitiveness, and improve marketing system efficiencies. For small farmers, this can help strengthen their bargaining position and improve their understanding of marketing opportunities and options. For traders, market information can help identify producers and others traders, expand their business and bargain more efficiently. Good market information is also an essential ingredient for governments to take appropriate policy decisions in support of agricultural growth and enhanced food security.
Continued population growth, urbanization and rising incomes are likely to continue to put pressure on food demand. International prices for most agricultural commodities are set to remain at 2010 levels or higher, at least for the next decade (OECD-FAO, 2010). Small-scale producers in many developing countries were not able to reap the benefits of high food prices during the 2007-2008 food price crises. Yet, this upward food price trend could have been an opportunity for them to increase their incomes and food security. The opportunity that high food prices could have provided as a pathway out of poverty for small producers was not realized.
Evidence from the ground shows that when strong rural organizations such as producer groups and cooperatives provide a full range of services to small producers, they are able to play a greater role in meeting a growing food demand on local, national and international markets. Indeed, a myriad of such institutional innovations from around the world are documented in this FAO case-study-based publication. Nevertheless, to be able to provide a broad array of services to their members, organizations have to develop a dense network of relationships among small producers, between small-producer organizations and with markets actors and policy-makers.
S. S. Shirahatti, M. S. Badiger, K. V. Prakash The woman does the most tedious and back-breaking tasks in agriculture, animal husbandry and homes. The research efforts at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes have tried to relieve her of the drudgery by providing time and labour saving tools such as improved weeders, winnowers, threshers, paddy transplanters. The interventions were also provided in the areas of nutritional security, dryland and irrigated agricultural technology etc. Vocational trainings are also being conducted to impart skills to undertake different vocations. In extension activities, the woman is now the centre point and activities are being planned keeping her in view. Women are involved in various activities related to agricultural and allied enterprises and some of these activities are found to have profound health risks on women. In such situation, introduction of agricultural implements has been proved effective in relieving drudgery. Present paper is such an effort to analyse studies conducted by various ICAR institutes in improving efficiency and boosting agricultural production through agricultural engineering interventions.
The concept of the 'nutrition transition' is widely used to explain the recent, rapid rise in overweight and obesity, and the co-existence of under- and over-nutrition, in low-income populations in 'middle-income' developing countries. This article provides an overview of the changes occurring in diets, physical activity, and nutritional status among children and adults in nutrition transition settings, explores the impact of these changes by gender, and discusses the long-term individual and social repercussions of such changes. It concludes by framing important questions for development practice and policy in nutrition transition settings through a gendered lens.