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Challenges and Opportunities for African Agriculture and Food Security: high food prices, climate change, population growth, and hiv and aids

Expert Meeting on How to feed the World in 2050







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    Book (stand-alone)
    Good Practices In Building Innovative Rural Institutions to Increase Food Security 2012
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    Continued population growth, urbanization and rising incomes are likely to continue to put pressure on food demand. International prices for most agricultural commodities are set to remain at 2010 levels or higher, at least for the next decade (OECD-FAO, 2010). Small-scale producers in many developing countries were not able to reap the benefits of high food prices during the 2007-2008 food price crises. Yet, this upward food price trend could have been an opportunity for them to increase their incomes and food security. The opportunity that high food prices could have provided as a pathway out of poverty for small producers was not realized. Evidence from the ground shows that when strong rural organizations such as producer groups and cooperatives provide a full range of services to small producers, they are able to play a greater role in meeting a growing food demand on local, national and international markets. Indeed, a myriad of such institutional innovations from around the w orld are documented in this FAO case-study-based publication. Nevertheless, to be able to provide a broad array of services to their members, organizations have to develop a dense network of relationships among small producers, between small-producer organizations and with markets actors and policy-makers.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    International Investments in Agriculture in the Near East
    Evidence from Egypt, Morocco and Sudan
    2011
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    The food crisis of 2007- 2008 sparked an increase in investment flows to agriculture in the Near East, particularly to countries rich in water and land resources, such as Sudan. These investments have continued to increase during 2009 - 2010, as food prices continue to remain high. This publication was motivated by this surge in international investments in agriculture. and the-. need to answer some key policy questions, through and a brief review of international investments in the region, and an exploratory analysis of the issues and challenges in the policy arena. Three case studies in Egypt, Morocco and Sudan were commissioned by the FAO Regional Office for the Near East. The purpose was to (i) identify past and current investment trends in terms of the actors involved, modalities, size and impact (to the extent that information is available), (ii) assess these investments in the context of the region and its food security challenges, and (iii) identify areas to be addressed by pol icy makers to ensure food security in the long run and provide a starting point to evaluate investments for timely and targeted policy measures. While information on international investments in agriculture is not readily available, the case studies provide an overall picture of agriculture investments, specifically focusing on foreign direct investments. The share of international investments to agriculture has traditionally been very low in the region. With a an average share of 1- 2% of total FDI, this investment is mostly concentrated in sectors other than primary agriculture. In the past few years, investments in agriculture have grown remarkably; however, information on their allocation and impact is incomplete and fast changing. Impacts of agricultural investments in the past have been mixed and concentrated in capital and resource intensive activities which are largely supported by the public sector. Sudan has attracted resource seeking investments, whereas Morocco and Egypt co ntinue to be investment destinations for market seeking investments, in the food processing and fruit and vegetable production sectors. The involvement of the private sector in investment in agriculture is growing but there is still a strong government presence in supporting these investments, often through direct and indirect subsidies in most countries. The historical experience of the region is instructive in terms of improving the efficiency of future investments in agriculture as well as en suring sustainable outcomes. Some of the salient features of international investments in agriculture can be summarized as follows: • Intra-regional investment in agriculture constitutes the bulk of the international investment in agriculture in the Near East. • Countries such as Egypt and Sudan are the largest recipients of recent international investments in food and agriculture, mostly from the Gulf States but also from other countries such as China and South Korea. Other countries in the reg ion are also heavily investing in agriculture and food sectors overseas, and beyond the Near East, including in Asia and Latin America. • Whether investor or host country, the common driving factor for international investments in agriculture in the region is food security concerns. The investment policies of most countries in the region are geared toward attracting investments. They are therefore relatively open and do not differentiate between the different sectors or the different types of ac tivities within agriculture. Agriculture, as an investment category, has been growing rapidly in the last three years, and most countries (especially the poorest) have not yet had the time to align their investment strategies with their national food security objectives. Given the rapid growth in agricultural investment, caution needs to be exercised by investor and host country governments, as well as private investors, to develop sustainable solutions and incorporate a long term perspective to support healthy and profitable investments. Given the diverse national and household food security concerns and resource availabilities, a regional focus on food security may be needed to better formulate and harmonize policies as well as tap into opportunities. The potential capacity for staple food production has its limits, but income generating opportunities are ample. A mix of investments geared at food processing, food service, and other sectors linked to agriculture, could also provide a lternative income opportunities for rural people, as well as increased employment opportunities in urban areas. Within this context, regional initiatives could be very promising in promoting food security in the longer term.
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    Project
    Population and development in fishing communities: The challenge ahead 1994
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    The populations in all IDAF countries grew substantially during the last three decades, thereby hampering overall economic growth. Despite remarkable increases in agricultural production including fish, food supply could not keep pace with population growth. The population of the region will continue to grow fast in the years to come and is - based on its current average annual growth rate of 3% - expected to double in about 25 years. The implicationc of further population growth for the art isanal fisheries sector, which plays a crucial role within the region as a provider of employment and animal protein, are threefold: (i) the increasing number of (young) people entering the labour force market challenges the labour absorbing capacity of the sector; (u) increased fishing effort is putting pressure on limited resources; and (iii) the increasing demand for (cheap) animal protein challenges the potential of the fishery resource. Any efforts to develop appropriate strategies fo r a sustainable exploitation of the fishery resources harmonized with the increasing demands for employment, income and food of a growing population have to be based on the active participation of the fisherfolk themselves. Consequently, the design of such strategies requires a better knowledge of the perceptions of fisherfolk on population-development interrelationships, their view on the sustainability of artisanal fisheries and its role in providing the livelihood for their children in the future. In this context, IDAF undertook three case studies during 1992-93, one each in The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria with the following objectives: t> to appraise the level of awareness amongst fisherfolk in the target communities on the interrelationships between population, resources, and the socio-economic environment; t> to assess the population and development concerns and advise on (i) potential fisheryoriented interventions; and (ii) potential population-oriented interventions. Based on their own past experience or even that of several generations, fisherfolk generally consider fishing and related activities as good occupations providing adequate employment, income and food. The introduction of improved fishing technology during the last decades pushed the sector substantially in terms of production. During the past few years,however, fisherfolk in all communities investigated observe declining catches, while at the same time the general cost of living are felt to have incre ased. The majority of fisherfolk people is taking the richness of the fishery resource as granted, and consequently they make mainly the lack of fishing inputs due to unavailability or high prices responsible for the prevailing lower catches. Some fisherfolk are, however, concerned about the increasing number of fishermen exploiting the given resources and link this directly to declining catches.They are apparently aware of the limited nature of the fishery resource and, hence, the need for co nservation efforts.One overwhelming finding of the studies is the importance given to formal education.

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