Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture

Voluntary standards are gaining in importance in global markets for high-value foods. We analyze and compare impacts of three sustainability-oriented standards - Fairtrade, Organic, and UTZ - on the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda. Using survey data and propensity score matching with multiple treatments, we find that Fairtrade certification increases household living standards by 30% and reduces the prevalence and depth of poverty. For the other two certification schemes, no significant impacts are found. Several factors that can explain differential impacts are discussed.
A changing climate alters the living conditions for almost every species on earth. We recognise that these changes may threaten our environment, our water and food supply, and our health; predicting the likely changes and impacts we try to prepare for different weather conditions. A complicated and perhaps underestimated threat is how climate change may affect foodborne parasites - a subject that tends to be neglected among infectious diseases under any climatic conditions.
Elsevier, Environmental Modelling and Software, Volume 62, December 01, 2014
Agricultural systems models worldwide are increasingly being used to explore options and solutions for the food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation and carbon trading problem domains. APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator) is one such model that continues to be applied and adapted to this challenging research agenda.
Elsevier, Global Environmental Change, Volume 28, September 01, 2014
This paper examines the development and use of scenarios as an approach to guide action in multi-level, multi-actor adaptation contexts such as food security under climate change. Three challenges are highlighted: (1) ensuring the appropriate scope for action; (2) moving beyond intervention-based decision guidance; and (3) developing long-term shared capacity for strategic planning. To overcome these challenges we have applied explorative scenarios and normative back-casting with stakeholders from different sectors at the regional level in East Africa.
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Western diets are characterised by a high intake of meat, dairy products and eggs, causing an intake of saturated fat and red meat in quantities that exceed dietary recommendations. The associated livestock production requires large areas of land and lead to high nitrogen and greenhouse gas emission levels. Although several studies have examined the potential impact of dietary changes on greenhouse gas emissions and land use, those on health, the agricultural system and other environmental aspects (such as nitrogen emissions) have only been studied to a limited extent.
Elsevier, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Volume 103, February 2014
Introduction: Diabetes is a serious and increasing global health burden and estimates of prevalence are essential for appropriate allocation of resources and monitoring of trends. Methods: We conducted a literature search of studies reporting the age-specific prevalence for diabetes and used the Analytic Hierarchy Process to systematically select studies to generate estimates for 219 countries and territories. Estimates for countries without available source data were modelled from pooled estimates of countries that were similar in regard to geography, ethnicity, and economic development.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 8, June 2014
Sub-Saharan Africa needs to produce more food, feed, and fiber to support its growing population and intensification of smallholder agriculture is a crucial component of any strategy towards this goal. Sustainable Intensification (SI) acknowledges that enhanced productivity needs to go hand in hand with the maintenance of other ecosystem services and enhanced resilience to shocks. A very diverse group of smallholders dominate SSA agriculture, with large heterogeneity in socio-technical conditions, famer typologies, production objectives, and the biophysical environment.
The objective of this study is to explore empirical evidence on the quantitative importance of supply, demand, and market shocks for price changes in international food commodity markets.
For economic development to succeed in Africa in the next 50. years, African agriculture will have to change beyond recognition. Production will have to have increased massively, but also labor productivity, requiring a vast reduction in the proportion of the population engaged in agriculture and a large move out of rural areas. The paper questions how this can be squared with a continuing commitment to smallholder agriculture as the main route for growth in African agriculture and for poverty reduction.