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September 29, 2021 | No. 32
Food for All: International Organizations and the Transformation of Agriculture

A new book was issued by Oxford University Press on September 17, 2021, authored by Uma Lele, Manmohan Agarwal, Brian Baldwin and Sambuddha Goswami, titled Food for All: International Organizations and the Transformation of Agriculture, together the authors bring to bear well over 100 years of experience. The publication is timely given the UN Food Summit underway. It reviews the history of international cooperation since five key international organizations, (World Bank, FAO, World Food Program, CGIAR and IFAD) were created in the post World War II period with the strong leadership of the United States in the establishment of the United Nations. Free Download

source: OUP
Agri-food Systems Targeted Applied Research (ASTAR) Grants

The Cornell University/Colorado State University (CSU) Agri-food Systems Targeted Applied Research (ASTAR) Pilot Grants Program supports research using the Economic Research Service (ERS) food dollar method, which is a systematic economy-wide agri-food value chain (AVC) data and modeling framework. Grants will be awarded to applied agri-food systems research proposals that address one or more topics at the intersection of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the high priority focus areas (HPFA) indicated by USDA Secretary Vilsack: climate change, racial and social equality, tackling the pandemic, building back the economy, open and competitive markets, nutritional food insecurity, and rural economic development and growth. The ASTAR program seeks applications from a diverse community of experienced economic systems modelers, domestic and international development researchers, early career scholars, and established researchers who bring expertise in complementary research areas and disciplines. We are especially seeking projects actively engaging researchers from historically underrepresented groups. Read more

The 2021 Global Food 50/50 Report

The inaugural Global Food 50/50 Report reviews the gender- and equity-related policies and practices of 52 global food system organizations. Global Food 50/50 argues that a combination of gender-responsive programming, gender-equitable institutions, and diversity in leadership will lead to more effective organizations and more equitable and inclusive food systems. Global Food 50/50 is a joint initiative between Global Health 50/50 and the International Food Policy Research Institute. Read more 

Food Security in a Changing Climate: Look Beyond Supply

This narrative regarding the relationship between food security and climate change is very common among the international community. A growing population on a planet with limited resources and an increasingly erratic climate indeed spells trouble for food systems. Finding ways to make them more efficient makes absolute sense. However, many proposals include solutions—like land conversion, pesticides and fertilizers—that exacerbate environmental problems. Even technology and innovation in the agricultural sector will only slow the growth of the environmental footprint without reducing it overall. Ultimately, we must question whether we really need to produce more food for global food security. Read more

source: CCAFS
Food’s a human right, not just ‘a commodity to be traded’: Guterres 

Every day, hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry. Three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet. Two billion are overweight or obese and yet 462 million, are underweight. Nearly a third of all food that is produced, is lost or wasted. These are just some of the problems and contradictions laid bare by the UN Secretary-General on Thursday at the opening of the landmark UN Food Systems Summit, that is bringing together farmers and fishers, youth, Indigenous Peoples, Heads of State, governments and many more, in an effort to transform the sector and get the world back on track to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Read more

source: UN
Transform Nutrition West Africa: Time to build on the momentum

The COVID–19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts, and other problems made 2020 a difficult year for global nutrition. Knowledge will be crucial in addressing current nutrition issues and advancing the nutrition agenda for 2021 and beyond. Transform Nutrition West Africa (TNWA), a project led by IFPRI and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2017-2021 and now concluding, has worked to put stakeholders and knowledge generation at the heart of decisions about policies and programs for maternal, infant, and young child nutrition. TNWA’s aim is to support effective policy and programmatic decisions and actions to improve maternal and child nutrition. It has pursued this goal by encouraging an inclusive and collaborative process of knowledge generation and mobilization among the many stakeholders involved. As a regional platform, the project’s overall West Africa approach has been anchored in four focal countries where more intensive work has been done: Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso. Read more

source: IFPRI
The Resilient Water Accelerator 

Climate change is happening now and it is the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities – those who have done the least to cause it – who feel its effects first and most severely. Without reliable access to basic services including clean water, good hygiene facilities and decent toilets, the struggles these communities face are compounded by the effects of our changing climate. Unreliable access to water increases communities’ vulnerability to climate-related challenges, such as changing weather patterns, less predictable rainfall, salt water intrusion and increased exposure to disease. Sewage systems flood with increasing frequency, contaminating nearby water sources and the local environment. Severe droughts force people to resort to increasingly unsafe sources of drinking water. Other effects on health also become more likely. In Bangladesh, for example, rising sea levels are increasing groundwater salinity, contributing to high blood pressure and heart disease among coastal communities. For many, basic water and sanitation services can therefore be the key difference between coping and not coping with the devastating effects of climate change. Read more

source: Water Aid
The Women trying to Revolutionise Agriculture in West Africa

Outside Mariama Sonko’s home in the Casamance region of southern Senegal pink shells hang on improvised nets that will be placed in mangroves to provide a breeding spot for oysters. Normally, women collecting oysters chop at the branches – a method that can harm the mangroves. But these nets allow them to harvest sustainably, says Sonko, who is trying to revolutionise agriculture in west Africa. Sonko, 52, heads Nous Sommes la Solution (NSS, We are the Solution), an ecofeminist movement of more than 500 rural women’s associations in Senegal, Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Mali. The movement promotes sustainable agroecology and fights large-scale industrial farming. “We promote agroecology and food sovereignty in Africa. Women are invaluable actors for the development of the rural areas,” she says. “We want to valorise this tireless work of women who are concerned about the environment and the health of their families. They have always worked in agriculture, and they do not use the products that ruin the ecosystem nor the health of humans.” Read more

source: The Guardian
Is America Ready to Embrace African Cuisine?

Interest in African cuisines is at an all-time high in the US, but only a small portion of the population has tried it. Access has been part of the problem, but new deals in food distribution are starting to afford greater opportunities for American shoppers, and enterprising chefs have made it their mission to engage American eaters with African cuisine. In recent years, Technomic data revealed a growing interest in South African fare, especially with fast-food chain Nando’s Peri-Peri chicken made with African Bird’s Eye chilli seeds. North African cuisines have also gained traction, mainly Moroccan, but also Tunisian. Currently, West African food is gaining the most traction in the U.S. Amac Foods, a U.S. producer of readymade West African Jollof rice, has experienced a notable uptick in demand since the product launched in 2015. Owners Kwamena and Penelope Cudjoe created the company to bridge cultural gaps and make Jollof an international meal. Read more

AEASA Virtual Conference RSVP: Pandemics and Political unrests in South Africa: 

The Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa invites you to join in on the conversation during the virtual annual conference. This year the conference theme is “Pandemics and political unrest in South Africa: Reflections by agricultural economists”. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused severe pressure on food systems, while the 2021social unrest in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal created additional disruptions in South Africa’s economy that affected the resilience and sustainability of the entire value chain. Read more

source: AEASA
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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