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Too Poor to be sick: Linkages between Agriculture and Health






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    Agro-based clusters in developing countries: staying competitive in a globalized economy 2010
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    An agro-based cluster is a concentration of producers, agribusinesses and institutions that are engaged in the same agricultural or agro-industrial subsector, and interconnect and build value networks when addressing common challenges and pursuing common opportunities. Cluster approaches recognize that all the actors in the agricultural value chain are often more innovative and successful when they interact with supporting institutions and other actors in the supply chain. By promoting v ertical and horizontal links between local agricultural enterprises, as well as supporting relationships between them and facilitating organizations (e.g. local governments, research institutes and universities), cluster policies promote the diffusion of innovation, as well as the use and generation of important local externalities. Agro-based clusters can also enhance access to markets and information. Cluster policies are argued to be crucial for small-scale farmers and agribusiness, a s they enable them to engage in higher productivity, and more market-oriented and higher value-added production. Accordingly, central and local governments have discovered that cluster promotion is a valuable tool to support agricultural enterprises in their territory and help them link to global agricultural value chains in a more efficient and sustainable manner. The present paper presents existing literature and methodologies on agro-based cluster development, and provides insights into cluster promotion in Latin America, Asia and Africa. It offers as well a series of best practices recommendations to ensure that governments and other facilitating institutions provide effective support to agricultural clusters in the developing world.
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    Linkages between Farm and Non-Farm Sectors at the Household Level in Rural Ghana
    A consistent stochastic distance function approach
    2008
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    In the light of an expanding rural non-farm (RNF) sector in developing rural economies, this paper explores the effects of this expansion within the household. Using rural Ghana as a case study this paper explores if the RNF economy allows for economies of diversification within farms; how input demands, agricultural-specific and shared, are transformed by the expansion of this sector; and if this expansion has measurable effects in overall household production efficiency. We first explore the c haracteristic of the intra-household linkages (technological and welfare driven) between the agricultural and RNF sectors both assuming perfectly working input and output markets, and assuming market failures, in particular missing labor and credit markets. We then try to measure the identified linkages by estimating a household level input distance function. This function is estimated consistently without making log-transformations as has been previously done in the literature. Our empirical an alysis suggests that there are high levels of inefficiency in Ghanaian farms. Also, there are cost-complementarities between the RNF sector and the agricultural sector, particularly with food crops in which the poorest tend to specialize. The expansion of the RNF sector increases demand for most inputs including agricultural land. Finally, we show that smaller farms tend to be more efficient, and that RNF output is helping the farm household to become more efficient, but the latter result is not robust.
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    Prevalence of Obesity: A Public Health Problem Poorly Understood 2013
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    This review article discusses the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) in support of a total diet approach to achieving diet and health goals, especially as they relate to the obesity epidemic. However, some scientists and organizations have identified one food, food group, or nutrient as the cause of the obesity epidemic and recommend that simply reducing that food/food group/nutrient will solve the problem. This is simplistic and unlikely to be effective in long term management of the obesit y problem. This article also acknowledges discrepancies in the literature and the lack of consensus opinions from systematic reviews. Failure to consider the evidence as a whole can lead to inaccurate reports which may, in turn, adversely influence clinical practice, public policy, and future research. This article also considers where the line should be drawn between individual choice and responsibility and public regulation. Using sugar sweetened beverages as an example, the article considers the lack of a consistent association between added sugars and weight in the literature and calls for policy recommendations that are based on science and emphasizes the need for evidence-based policies rather than policy-based evidence.

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