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Issue paper

2020

Preventing the next zoonotic pandemic. Strengthening and extending the One Health approach to avert pandemics of animal origin in the region

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, probably originated from an animal source, similar to 60 percent of all human infectious diseases. The pandemic has emphasized the need to prepare for, prevent, detect and respond to diseases at primary spillover level, where a new pandemic is likely to start. Pathogens are most likely to spread in locations where wildlife comes into contact with livestock production, particularly where people earn livelihoods, such as in live animal markets, areas where bushmeat is hunted, traded and consumed, or where growing pressures on natural ecosystems has forced livestock, wildlife and humans into close proximity. As [...]

Briefs

2020

Policy in Focus. Leveraging food systems to reduce poverty and malnutrition

Even though substantial progress has been achieved worldwide in reducing both poverty and malnutrition, much is yet to be done. There are signs that the progress made in both dimensions has stalled in recent years.Poor-quality diets have become a major driver for overweight and obesity and associated non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, and some types of cancers. Conflict and climate vulnerability have been identified as major obstacles to reaching Sustainable Development Goal targets related to malnutrition by 2030. In 2019, economic downturns and slowdowns hindered efforts even further. More recently, the COVID-19 crisis has imposed even harsher conditions [...]

Issue paper

2020

Data for decision-making. Rapid, repeated assessments to monitor food insecurity at national and regional level

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified development challenges across Europe and Central Asia, generating ever more demand for rapid, accessible and reliable data to guide decision-making. The evolving pandemic and associated economic crisis are impacting food security and jeopardizing countries’ progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Identifying and evaluating the multi-faceted impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the food security situation requires real-time, quality information that enables the measurement of changes in people’s access to food and an assessment of the underlying causes.See the full list of policy briefs related to COVID-19.

Issue paper

2020

Extraterritorial investments in agriculture in Africa: the perspectives of China and South Africa

The 2008 global food price crisis, and the resurgence of food prices in 2010-2011, caused both widespread concern and expectations. On the one hand, countries whose food supply depends on procuring food from international markets saw food price spikes as threats to their national food security. On the other hand, investors saw in these price spikes an opportunity to make profitable investments in agriculture. Either as threat or opportunity, food price spikes raised interest in Africa, whose lands are fertile and have unrealised potential. Concerns of a possible land acquisitions in Africa, and in particular the impacts of Large-Scale Land-Based [...]

Issue paper

2020

Use of information and communications technology tools for tractor hire services in Africa

This publication discusses the role information and communications technology (ICT) plays in agricultural mechanization, which has the potential to transform and improve smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Although mechanization levels tend to be low in African countries, there is still evidence of demand for mechanization services from smallholder farmers, especially tractor hire services. Where such demand exists, tractor owners have formed private hiring markets to provide the required services. The main challenge is related to high transaction costs – incurred by farmers due to information distortion concerning the availability of tractor hire services and how to access them, and by [...]

Case study

2020

Developing capacities for agricultural innovation systems. Lessons from implementing a common framework in eight countries

This document intends to provide an analysis of the outcomes of the application of the TAP Common Framework in the eight countries of the Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) project. The TAP Common Framework (TAP CF) was developed at the global level as an initial activity of the CDAIS project in order to guide capacity development (CD) and strengthening of Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS). The project then tested this framework in eight pilot countries (Guatemala, Honduras, Burkina Faso, Angola, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Bangladesh). The purpose of the transversal analysis was to understand how the CDAIS approach contributed [...]

Briefs

2020

Protecting agricultural workers through remote COVID-19 awareness campaigns in Pakistan. Using digital media and distanced messaging to promote virus mitigation and combat misinformation

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic—and related lockdowns—triggered a massive cash crisis around the world for families who depend on informal earnings, including daily wage workers. In Pakistan, a nationwide lockdown was imposed on 21 March 2020. This had major reverberations on the food supply chain and agriculture sector, where restrictive measures threatened the livelihoods of workers and smallholder farmers. In total, as of 12 July 2020, there were 248 872 confirmed cases throughout Pakistan.Lockdown-related challenges have created new threats to public health, with communities struggling to adhere to restrictions while still securing food for their families. Overall, society’s most vulnerable and [...]

Case study

2020

Supporting climate adaptation in smallholder agriculture. Summarizing lessons learnt

Supporting smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change is essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No poverty) and 2 (Zero hunger). This will require policies and programs that enable farmers with few resources to adopt farm practices and technologies that reduce sensitivity to rising temperatures, the spread of new pests and diseases, and increasingly erratic rainfall. This brief consolidates evidence and stylized facts to guide policy discussions on climate adaptation in smallholder agriculture, based on work carried out by the FAO Economic and Policy Analysis of Climate Change (EPIC) team.

Training & e-learning

2020

Developing gender-sensitive value chains. FAO elearning Academy

The development of sustainable food systems is a key component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This course discussed why eliminating gender inequalities is pivotal to achieving the necessary transformations. It proposes FAO’s gender-sensitive value chain framework as an approach for the analysis of value chains, and for guiding interventions to address gender-based constraints. Released May 2020.1 h 30 m of learning System RequirementsThe online version of this course runs on the latest versions of Chrome and Safari. In order to access this course on Internet Explorer or Firefox, you must install and enable Adobe Flash player.The downloadable version only runs [...]

Case study

2020

Evaluation of the Food and Nutrition Security, Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) Programme. Project code: GCP/INT/244/EC

The FIRST Programme aims to support the governments of targeted countries to strengthen the enabling policy and institutional environment for food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). The programme is designed as a demand-based “policy assistance” facility which has its roots in the long-term partnership between FAO and the European Union and aims to add value to both partners’ actions at the country level.The programme approach of embedding a policy officer within partner country administrations, constitutes the best option for building trusted relationships to support improved policy processes. FIRST has created a high level of trust with government partners [...]