Knowledge for Development

Relevant publications

Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture: A roadmap for stakeholders

By the World Economic ForumThe “New Vision for Agriculture” wants to see agriculture drive food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. Its aspirations are high, not least of which are to increase production by 20% while decreasing emissions by 20% and reducing the prevalence of rural poverty by 20% every decade. These goals are intended to build on the Millennium Development Goals and other international targets by coordinating and concentrating the efforts of agricultural players around the world.


EARS FAST Maize yield forecast at GAUL1 level for the Southern Africa region - 01 March 2011

The FAST Maize yield forecast at GAUL1 level for the Southern Africa region as per March 1st 2011, has been produced by EARS.EARS provides systems and data services for monitorng climate, water & food (Climate and Photosynthesis monitoring; Crop yield and River flow forecasting).The document (to download below) provides a preliminary forecast of crop yield expected at the end of the current (2010-2011) growing season in Southern Africa. It contains a series of crop yield raster maps produced from the most recent satellite images of Southern Africa.Forecasts are provided from halfway the growing season (70 growing days). Although at that time the most critical stages of crop development have passed, the final outcome may still be subject to some change depending on how the second half of the season proceeds. Our forecasts are updated with the most recent satellite data available and distributed through email on a personal subscription basis every ten days.About FAST"FAST crop yield forecasting service for Africa" In the framework of the GMES project "Global Monitoring for Food Security" (GMFS), lead by VITO (Belgium), EARS has provided its "Food Assessment by Satellite Technology" (FAST) service. FAST products and crop yield early warning bulletins were created on the basis of Meteosat data and provided to FAO-GIEWS and WFP-VAM. These products were provided timely before their Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions to countries in Africa with upcoming food problems. The methodology to generate these products is discussed elsewhere on this siteThe FAST early warning products provided are FAST 1: Rainfall during the growing season FAST 2: Relative evapotranspiration during the growing season FAST 3: Difference evapotranspiration during the growing season FAST 4: Forecasted end of season crop relative yield FAST 5: Forecasted end of season difference yield


African regional integration: Implications for food security

by: Van Dijk, Michiel; Wageningen University, LEI paper series.This report from the Wageningen University looks at the African regional trade, regional integration agreements (RIAs) and the implications for food security. An overview is presented on the present state of African regional integration and the determinants of regional trade in agriculture and food commodities. In particular the study focuses on eight target countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan), related RIAs and a set of strategic food commodities.The evidence presented in this study shows that African countries have made progress in opening up agriculture and food trade with partner countries. With, the exception of Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique, the effective applied tariff rates for regional trade partners are substantially lower than the rates applied to world trade partners. Nonetheless, regional trade in agriculture and food only increased marginally between 1990 and 2009, and is relatively low in comparison with other developing regions. The weak state of soft and hard infrastructure, rather than high trade tariffs, seem to be the cause of this.


Land deals in Africa: What is in the contracts? Cotula, L., Land deals in Africa: What is in the contracts?, IIED, London, 2011. This report was prepared for “Legal tools for citizen empowerment”, a programme steered by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). This report analyses 12 land deals and their wider legal frameworks. A number of the contracts reviewed appear to be short, unspecific documents that grant long-term rights to extensive areas of land, and in some cases priority rights over water, in exchange for seemingly little public revenue and/or apparently vague promises of investment and/or jobs. Also, a number of the deals are being negotiated in legal contexts where safeguards for local interests are weak, and some contracts appear not to properly address social and environmental issues. Some contracts do however feature better terms: such as better distributed revenues, international social and environmental on-farm standards, more flexible duration, clearer identification of the land being transacted, specific investor commitments on jobs, training, local procurement and local processing, greater attention to local food security, and their tighter social and environmental safeguards.


Strengthening of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: Conservation and utilization in the Pacific

By the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI); 2011. This publication describes the historical perspective, extent of genetic diversity of major crops, the institutions involved, genebank holdings, crop improvement, utilization of genetic resources, training and capacity building and public awareness. It also highlights the regional efforts for plant genetic resources (PGR) conservation and use, the current issues and the way forward for agricultural research for development. The roots and tuber crops are of particular importance for the Pacific region, from the point of view of food and nutrition security, income generation and cultural diversity. In order to save the valuable genetic diversity from possible extinction, all countries in the region are engaged in plant genetic resources activities to varying degrees and a number of externally funded projects are being implemented on various aspects of collecting, characterization, evaluation, documentation, conservation and utilization.


Climate change, food security, and agrobiodiversity: Toward a just, resilient, and sustainable food system

C. G. Gonzalez; Fordham Environmental Law Review, Vol. 22, p. 493, Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 11-19; February 2011This article examines the underlying causes of the crises in the global food system, and recommends specific measures that might be adopted to address the distinct but related problems of food insecurity, loss of agrobiodiversity, and climate change. The article concludes that the root cause of the crises confronting the global food system is corporate domination of the food supply and the systemic destruction of local food systems that are healthy, ecologically sustainable, and socially just. The article argues that small-scale sustainable agriculture has the potential to address the interrelated climate, food, and agrobiodiversity crises, and suggests specific measures that the international community might take through law and regulation to promote the transition to a more just, resilient, and sustainable food system. (via PAR, 31/8/2011)


The state of climate information services for agriculture and food security in East African countries

M. Kadi, L.N. Njau, J. Mwikya, A. Kamga; CCAFS Working Paper No. 5; 2011Through research conducted by way of questionnaires, consultations, visits, interviews, and websites, the current study sets out to inventory different types and formats of climate information used in East Africa. It also assesses current climate services, including how such services are disseminated and applied by various regional and national actors, and makes recommendations on the sorts of measures that might be taken in order to better satisfy climate information needs of the agriculture and food security sector in East Africa. Eastern Africa has good regional meteorological services network within NMHSs (National meteorological and hydrological services) and ICPAC [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development's (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre] as a specialized sub-regional institution is well co-funded by member states. The institutions websites are regularly updated. The Internet high-speed availability in the region facilitates easy accessibility of climate information and products. Some countries have poor data observation network, including Eritrea and Somalia. There are insufficient funds to continuously disseminate climate information and prediction products for instance holding workshops or through print media. There is no early warning budget line allocated by governments. The early warning sector that is responsible for disseminating climate forecast products and information is located in the Ministry of Agriculture in some countries. This research evaluates the various methods that are available to estimate crop production and cropped area in such farming systems. A description and summary tables from a database of estimated crop yields in Uganda, collated from a large set of field studies over past decades, are also provided.


Prolinnova policy brief: Strengthening local resilience to climate change

The latest (June 2011) policy brief from Prolinnova reports on the organisation’s investigative work on how poor rural communities develop innovations that enables a stronger resilience to changes in climates patterns. This brief focuses on community-based adaptation to climate change, and the means needed to recognize and document local innovation. A number of example from the field help illustrate Prolinnova’s research (20082011) into the innovation and creativity processes appearing in local communities that face uncertainty and hardship due to climate-related environmental change. At a moment in time where food security and climate change are at the top of the agenda, Prolinnova has made three detailed recommendations to help policy makers integrate local innovation in the climate sensitive agricultural programmes they are currently developing: Give local innovation due recognition in policy and planning, Promote farmer led adaptation to climate change, and Link Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) to local governance and innovation.


Food security and climate change in the Pacific: Rethinking the options

Report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pacific Studies Series, September 2011This report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) describes the present state of food security and its contributing factors in the Pacific region, assesses its prospects amid the growing threats and likely impacts of climate change, and presents potential areas for more active assistance, investments, and interventions from ADB and other development partners. While technical and policy measures to ensure food security amid the ensuing climate change are numerous, interrelated, and complex, the successful implementation of programs and projects calls for simple and flexible designs that carefully consider the capabilities of relevant stakeholders at the regional, national, and local levels. The Pacific island governments view climate change as a priority issue, especially in terms of its potential impacts on food security, and need clear directions in addressing both issues. (ADB, 9/2011)


Food Security, nutrition and sustainability

Edited By Geoffrey Lawrence, Kristen Lyons and Tabatha Wallington; Earthscan; April 2011This book offers critical insights by international scholars, on global food security, supermarket power, new technologies, and sustainability. The book also assesses the contributions of diet and nutrition research in building socially just and environmentally sustainable food systems and provides policy recommendations to improve the health and environmental status of contemporary agri-food systems. The book features contributions from a range of social science perspectives, including sociology, anthropology, public health and geography, with case study material drawn from throughout the world. (Reviewed by the New Agriculturalist)