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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 [...]

Issue paper

2020

Agriculture 4.0 – Agricultural robotics and automated equipment for sustainable crop production

This report presents and reflects on the opportunities that new technological developments related to automation and precision agriculture (e.g. robotics) can offer to agriculture in developing countries. These technologies are mainly targeted to support farmers that struggle with the cost of labour when harvesting crops and to tackle the declining availability of manpower for general cropping operations. This report also explores the possible applications of agricultural technology, presents the current trends and discusses some of the principle challenges to successful adoption for sustainable agricultural mechanization in developing countries.

Issue paper

2020

Data for decision-making. Strengthening governments' capacity to invest in food and agriculture with socio-economic cost-effectiveness for post-COVID-19 recovery

This action sheet is part of a series of action sheets developed under the seven key priority areas of the FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery programme, the FAO umbrella programme designed to proactively and sustainably address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. Each action sheet includes a project proposal in support of countries most in need for which FAO is leveraging high-level political, financial and technical expertise. All action sheets are gathered on the Food Coalition web hub, where members of the Coalition - a multi-stakeholder global alliance for a unified global action in response to COVID-19 - can access the [...]

Issue paper

2020

Vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity. Updated data and analysis of drivers

This study, the third of its type published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), adds further evidence that in mountain regions of developing countries, food insecurity, social isolation, environmental degradation, exposure to the risk of disasters and to the impacts of climate change, and limited access to basic services, especially in rural areas, are still prevalent and, under some circumstances, increasing. It also shows the technical challenges for producing more comprehensive and representative assessments based on scientific data, and providing a deeper understanding of the underlying factors of vulnerability of mountain people. Mountains cover 39 million [...]

Issue paper

2020

Series: The agrifood system and the challenges of COVID-19. Traditional food supply channels in a pandemic: suggestions for their modernisation

The text provides a description, analysis and perspectives of the traditional supply and marketing channels in the face of the pandemic. It identifies its main challenges, the contingency measures adopted by governments and the channels themselves. In addition, it delves into the effects and impacts of the pandemic on these commercial circuits, workers, among others. Finally, it summarizes the innovation and adaptation measures against COVID-19 and makes suggestions for modernization. Also available in Spanish. See more COVID-19 policy resources here.

Issue paper

2020

Coffee value chain analysis. Opportunities for youth employment in Uganda

This study aims to analyze the coffee value chain in Uganda and identify opportunities and constraints for enhancing youth employment. Coffee is one of the key agricultural commodities in the Government of Uganda’s pursuance of sustainable growth and job creation, especially for the rapidly expanding youth population. The study outlines a significant number of job opportunities for young people along this value chain, not only in production but increasingly in processing, trade and marketing, as well as service provision. It also suggests strategic upgrading options and outlines concrete policy actions to maximize youth participation in and benefits from the coffee [...]

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 [...]

Issue paper

2020

Emerging opportunities for the application of blockchain in the agri-food industry. Revised version

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and smart contracts provide a unique opportunity to bring greater efficiency, transparency and traceability to the exchange of value and information in the agriculture sector. By utilising digital records, cryptography and the disintermediation of transaction processing and data storage, DLTs can improve both agricultural supply chains and rural development interventions in a number of ways. The technology has the potential to simplify and integrate agricultural supply chains, enhance food safety, facilitate access to trade finance and other types of agricultural financial services, improve market transparency, provide greater legal certainty to land-tenure systems and strengthen accountability for [...]