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Issue paper

2012

Mobile Technologies for Agriculture and Rural Development

New information and knowledge are critical inputs for the practice of agriculture the world over. This is especially true for resource-poor farmers living in rural areas in Asia. Yet most of these farmers are not only resource poor but also information poor. Mobile technology holds great promise in delivering information to resource-poor farmers and as a consequence to improving their livelihoods. The number of mobile connections is presently six billion and growing. There are many examples of mobile-based interventions in agriculture, health, education and rural livelihood projects in Asia. Of these, however, few have moved from the pilot phase to [...]

Case study

2012

Good Practices in Building Innovative Rural Institutions to Increase Food Security

Strong rural organizations like producer groups and cooperatives are crucial to hunger and poverty reduction. They allow small producers toplay a greater role in meeting growing food demand on local, national and international markets, while improving their own economic, social and political opportunities. This thinking connects a series of case studies found in a new publication by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).The publication, Good practices in building innovative rural institutions to increase food security, released during the International Year of Cooperatives, presents thirty-five cases of successful institutional [...]

Report

2011

The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11: Women in Agriculture. Closing the Gender Gap for Development

Women make significant contributions to the rural economy in all developing country regions. Their roles differ across regions, yet they consistently have less access than men to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive. Increasing women’s access to land, livestock, education, financial services, extension, technology and rural employment would boost their productivity and generate gains in terms of agricultural production, food security, economic growth and social welfare. Closing the gender gap in agricultural inputs alone could lift 100–150 million people out of hunger.  No blueprint exists for closing the gender gap, but some basic principles are universal: governments, [...]

Issue paper

2011

Rural Women’s Access to Financial Services: Credit, Savings and Insurance. ESA Working Paper No. 11-07

This paper reviews rural women’s access to financial services, a key factor of successful rural development strategies. Designing appropriate financial products for women to be able to save, borrow and insure is essential to strengthen women’s role as producers and widen the economic opportunities available to them. For this purpose it is essential to understand how context-specific legal rights, social norms, family responsibilities and women’s access to and control over other resources shape their need for capital and their ability to obtain it. The paper argues that it is important that development strategies that aim to boost rural women’s productive [...]

Issue paper

2009

International Price Shocks and Technological Changes for Poverty Reduction in Burkina Faso. A General Equilibrium Approach. EASYPol Series 071

After sketching the mutual links between economic growth, agriculture, technology, poverty reduction and external factors, this paper analyses the implications of recent international price shocks on welfare and growth, notably energy and agricultural products, for Burkina Faso, a less industrialised, low-income, food-deficit, net oil-importing country. The socio-economic impacts of the above-mentioned external shocks are analysed by means of a Computable General Equilibrium model (CGE). The paper also discusses the extent to which technological changes in agriculture, specifically the introduction of “Good Agricultural Practices” (GAP) towards “conservation agriculture”, could mitigate the welfare and growth losses derived by international price shocks.  Additionally, it is shown [...]

Issue paper

2009

Agricultural Reforms and Trade Liberalization in China and Selected Asian Countries. Lessons of Three Decades. Policy Assistance Series 6

How did the Asia-Pacific region rescue over 700 million people from extreme poverty between 1980 and 2005? What policy lessons can we learn and implement to improve conditions for the nearly 1 billion people in the region who continue to live in poverty? Examining Asia’s recent agricultural reform and trade liberalization experiences, in the context of current global crises, presents an occasion to reflect on past achievements and consider future opportunities. This publication synthesizes the proceedings and presents technical papers from a policy forum convened by FAO and China's Ministry of Agriculture. The first part summarizes key points from presentations, panel [...]

Case study

2007

Future Expansion of Soybean 2005-2014. Implications for Food Security, Sustainable Rural Development and Agricultural Policies in the Countries of Mercosur and Bolivia. Synthesis document. Policy Assistance Series 3

The purpose of this document is to provide greater insight into the possible implications of soybean expansion for food security, rural development and agricultural policies in these countries for the period 2005-2014. Based on country studies carried out for the investigation, this document summarizes the causes of soybean expansion in the last ten years and presents the main changes that have accompanied the process. It also quantifies in approximate terms, the growth of soybean and its products (meal and oil) between 2005 and 2014, explores the main implications of this expansion and offers a number of analytical conclusions.
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