AAAE News Brief-44 | 2 November 2022

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November 02, 2022 | No. 44
FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS - 7th African Conference of Agricultural Economists and the 60th AEASA Conference
The president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), jointly with the president of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), invite submissions for the 7th African Conference of Agricultural Economists and the 60th AEASA Conference 2023 to be held from September 18-21, 2023 in Durban, South Africa. These submissions may include the submission of all Contributed Papers with Abstracts, Invited Panels and Organized Symposia. The theme of the conference will be; THROUGH CRISIS: BUILDING RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS IN AFRICA. The deadline for all submissions is March 7, 2023. Corresponding authors will be informed of the outcome of the review and selection process by June 6, 2023. The final call for paper schedule can be downloaded from the website. 

source: AAAE
The Green Revolution – were we lied to?
In a recent analysis, a researcher at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT revealed that one of the founding narratives of the Green Revolution, a movement to modernize agriculture through technology that began more than 50 years ago, was untrue. The Green Revolution is frequently credited for tripling the production of staple crops while only requiring 30% additional cultivated land in the second half of the 20th century. This accomplishment was largely made possible by the use of technology, such as the breeding of higher-yielding plant varieties and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. .

source: SciTechDaily
Megalopolis: how coastal west Africa will shape the coming century
There is one place above all that should been seen as the centre of this urban transformation. It is a stretch of coastal west Africa that begins in the west with Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, and extends 600 miles east – passing through the countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin – before finally arriving at Lagos. Recently, this has come to be seen by many experts as the world’s most rapidly urbanising region, a “megalopolis” in the making – that is, a large and densely clustered group of metropolitan centres. By the end of the century, Africa will be home to 40% of the world’s population – and nowhere is this breakneck-pace development happening faster than this 600-mile stretch between Abidjan and Lagos. 

source: The Guardian
Three challenges and three opportunities for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa— home to over 656 million people, many of whom are poor and face significant challenges accessing adequate, safe, and nutritious food every day— has some of the most vulnerable food systems in the world. The recently approved Food Systems Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa will help tackle the underlying structural challenges of food insecurity and address the vulnerability to unpredictable shocks. Madagascar, where 7.8 million people are facing food insecurity, and Ethiopia, where up to 22.7 million people are food insecure, will benefit from the first phase of the project. Both countries are experiencing historically severe droughts, exacerbated by climate change.

Africa needs more, not less, fertilizer
Russia’s war in Ukraine has exacerbated food shortages—already worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic—and shed light on global agriculture’s massive nutrient and energy needs. Most fertilizers are made from coal or natural gas, and Western sanctions on Russia, which is the world’s top fertilizer exporter, have further increased natural gas and fertilizer prices. In June, the cost of fertilizer nearly surpassed its August 2008 peak. As a result, farmers could be forced to reduce global fertilizer use by as much as 7 percent next season—the largest decline since 2008. Use is projected to fall the most in sub-Saharan Africa. In May, the president of the African Development Bank warned that fertilizer shortages could lead to a 20 percent decline in food production on the continent. 

source: FP 
The world’s food security is at stake as Russia exits grain deal
Traders are bracing for a fresh spike in grain prices after Russia’s exit from a deal allowing Ukraine crops to move from the Black Sea to the countries most in need of them roils markets anew. The sudden move by Russia has left leaders scrambling to rescue the UN-and-Turkey-brokered agreement credited with saving vulnerable populations from risk of starvation. The pact reached in July had helped temper wheat futures after they rocketed to a record high in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. The latest trade setback threatens to worsen already severe inflation and deepen a global food crisis. The first test will be on Monday morning in Asia, when trading kicks off.  

source: Bloomberg
Global starvation looms as food price rises intensify
The world is experiencing its third major food crisis this century. Can food systems become more resilient to shocks? Fiona Broom investigates. Rises in staple food prices around the world are pushing family budgets to breaking point, a SciDev.Net investigation has revealed, as millions of people teeter on the brink of starvation. While gathering food price data at markets, supermarkets and independent stores across the global South, SciDev.Net recorded major spikes in everyday staples. When compared against median annual salaries, the cost of a basket of food makes alarming reading. 

source: SciDev
Putting Africans at the heart of food security and climate resilience
As the impacts of climate change continue to intensify and global shocks upend business as usual, Sub-Saharan Africa is feeling the brunt of what has been coined “the perfect storm” – a food, fuel, and fertilizer crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, scarring effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring inflation, rising debt, and extreme weather.
While inflation levels urgently need to be tamed and the burden of debt made more sustainable, perhaps no priority is more pressing than addressing food insecurity to safeguard the calorie and nutrition needs of Africa’s one billion people and protect their human development. At least one in five Africans goes to bed hungry and an estimated 140 million people in Africa face acute food insecurity, according to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises 2022 Mid-Year Update. The Horn of Africa is suffering from persistent drought and countries that depend on Russia and Ukraine for wheat and sunflower oil imports have seen prices skyrocket out of reach of ordinary people. Read more.

source: World Bank
3 Doctoral researcher positions in agricultural/development economics at ZEF, Bonn
The Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, has three position openings for doctoral researchers in agricultural/ development economics, starting in January 2023 (or as soon as possible thereafter) for a period of three years. The positions are part of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC 228) “Future Rural Africa” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The research is supervised by Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim and involves empirical economics research on rural labor markets and employment in Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, and Zambia. The doctoral researchers will be integrated into ZEF’s Doctoral Program (BIGS-DR). Deadline: 15 November 2022.

source: ZEF
Call for abstracts and symposium proposals
The Asian Society of Agricultural Economists (ASAE) in collaboration with the Agricultural Economics Society of Japan (AESJ), will hold the 11th International Conference on 17-20 March 2023 at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. The conference will provide a venue for a good mix of academics, policymakers, professionals, and specialists from public and private sectors. At this stage, the conference is planned to be held face-to-face, but will be adjusted according to the global COVID-19 guidelines. Any changes will be promptly communicated to participants. 

source: ASAE 
Becoming an AAAE member: The African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) is a nonprofit association serving the professional interests of those working in agricultural and broadly related fields of development economics. Becoming a member of AAAE brings together people who work in the same industry and/or share common interests and goals. Please subscribe today and become a member to help in advocating for our shared purpose.
African Association of Agricultural Economists
c/o University of Nairobi, C.A.V.S, Upper Kabete Campus
Loresho Ridge Road, Nairobi, Kenya


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