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The State of Food and Agriculture, 1996

Food security: some macroeconomic dimensions













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    The state of food and agriculture, 1994
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    1994
    It is difficult to explain the existence of 800 million malnourished people in a world of abundance and with societies capable of admirable scientific and technological feats; our inability to counter the depletion of more than 15 million ha of tropical forest each year during the past decade; or the fact that rich countries and societies have tended to become richer and needy ones needier, while external assistance, particularly to agriculture, has shown a decline in real terms in recent years. The State of Food and Agriculture 1994 examines these issues in the light of recent trends and developments, with a particular focus on the way policy-makers "conduct agriculture". As a special feature, it discusses the difficult policy dilemmas involved in managing our forest resources in a way that ensures equilibrium between economic and social demands, sustainability of production and consumption patterns and environmental stability. This publication reports the accentuation of anomal ies and obstacles to economic progress and food security in many parts of the world, but it also reviews a number of positive recent developments in the global political, economic and institutional fields that raise optimistic expectations for the future.
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    Food price spikes, increasing volatility and global economic shocks
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    Asia is not only the most populous and the most economically vibrant region in the world today, it is also home to the largest number of poor and food insecure people in the world. Improving and sustaining food security in Asia poses formidable challenges in an increasingly unstable global economic environment. During the past five years the region has had to confront two sharp price spikes (in 2007-08 and 2010-11) and the impact of the global economic crisis that followed the global financial c risis of 2008. Though Asia coped with these huge shocks without a slide into large scale food insecurity, it is clear from recent developments in global food markets and the ongoing turmoil in the global economy that there is no room for complacency. How Asian countries coped with these multiple crises are an important source of policy lessons and guidance. This publication provides a synthesis of country studies in Asia - Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sr i Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam - with a view towards analyzing the nature, outcomes and effectiveness of particular policy responses. It examines the extent to which immediate and longer term food security issues were addressed in programmes undertaken to cope with the crises and the lessons that have emerged for countries, as well as for regional and global cooperation to meet food security challenges.
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    The State of Food and Agriculture 2014 (SOFA)
    Innovation in Family Farming
    2014
    More than 500 million family farms manage most of world’s agricultural land and produce most of its food. They are very diverse, including many who are poor with low levels of productivity. All of them must become more innovative to ensure sustainable productivity growth. Strategies to support innovation must recognize the diversity among family farms and focus on increasing yields, preserving natural resources and raising rural incomes. This requires an innovation system that facilitates and co ordinates the activities of all stakeholders involved in agricultural innovation. It begins with an enabling environment for innovation, including good governance, stable macroeconomic conditions, transparent legal and regulatory regimes, secure property rights and market infrastructure, but includes much more. Public investment in agricultural R&D and extension and advisory services must be increased and focused on sustainability and on raising the productivity of small and medium-sized farmers . R&D and extension services must be inclusive and responsive to farmers’ needs. Investments are needed in education and training. Capacity to innovate also depends on effective farmers’ organizations as well as networks and linkages allowing different actors in the innovation system to share information and work towards common objectives.

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