Agriculture and Food

24 items available

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A strong food and agriculture system is fundamental to economic growth, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and human health. The Agriculture and Food Series is intended to prompt public discussion and inform policies that will deliver higher incomes, reduce hunger, improve sustainability, and generate better health and nutrition from the food we grow and eat. It expands on the former Agriculture and Rural Development series by considering issues from farm to fork, in both rural and urban settings. Titles in this series undergo internal and external review under the management of the World Bank’s Agriculture and Food Global Practice.

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    The Land Governance Assessment Framework : Identifying and Monitoring Good Practice in the Land Sector
    (World Bank, 2012) Deininger, Klaus; Selod, Harris
    Seventy-five percent of the world's poor live in rural areas and most are involved in agriculture. In the 21st century, agriculture remains fundamental to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability. The World Bank's Agriculture and rural development publication series presents recent analyses of issues that affect the role of agriculture, including livestock, fisheries, and forestry, as a source of economic development, rural livelihoods, and environmental services. The series is intended for practical application, and hope that it will serve to inform public discussion, policy formulation, and development planning. Increased global demand for land because of higher and more volatile food prices, urbanization, and use of land for environmental services implies an increased need for well-designed land policies at the country level to ensure security of long-held rights, to facilitate land access, and to deal with externalities. Establishing the infrastructure necessary to proactively deal with these challenges can require large amounts of resources. Yet with land tenure deeply rooted in any country's history, a wide continuum of land rights, and vast differences in the level of socioeconomic development, the benefits to be expected and the challenges faced will vary across and even within countries, implying a need to adapt the nature and sequencing of reforms to country circumstances. Also, as reforms will take time to bear fruit and may be opposed by vested interests, there is a need to identify challenges and to reach consensus on how to address them in a way that allows objective monitoring of progress over time. Without this being done, the chances of making quick progress in addressing key land policy challenges are likely to be much reduced. The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) is intended as a first step to help countries deal with these issues. It is a diagnostic tool that is to be implemented at the local level in a collaborative fashion, that addresses the need for guidance to diagnose and benchmark land governance, and that can help countries prioritize reforms and monitor progress over time.
  • Publication
    Rising Global Interest in Farmland : Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?
    (World Bank, 2011) Deininger, Klaus; Lindsay, Jonathan; Norton, Andrew; Selod, Harris
    Interest in farmland is rising. And, given commodity price volatility, growing human and environmental pressures, and worries about food security, this interest will increase, especially in the developing world. One of the highest development priorities in the world must be to improve smallholder agricultural productivity, especially in Africa. Smallholder productivity is essential for reducing poverty and hunger, and more and better investment in agricultural technology, infrastructure, and market access for poor farmers is urgently needed. When done right, larger-scale farming systems can also have a place as one of many tools to promote sustainable agricultural and rural development, and can directly support smallholder productivity, for example, throughout grower programs. However, recent press and other reports about actual or proposed large farmland acquisition by big investors have raised serious concerns about the danger of neglecting local rights and other problems. They have also raised questions about the extent to which such transactions can provide long-term benefits to local populations and contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Although these reports are worrying, the lack of reliable information has made it difficult to understand what has been actually happening. Against this backdrop, the World Bank, under the leadership of Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, along with other development partners, has highlighted the need for good empirical evidence to inform decision makers, especially in developing countries.
  • Publication
    Gender and Governance in Rural Services : Insights from India, Ghana, and Ethiopia
    (World Bank, 2010) World Bank
    As the first output from the gender and governance in rural services project, this report presents descriptive findings and qualitative analysis of accountability mechanisms in agricultural extension and rural water supply in India, Ghana, and Ethiopia, paying specific attention to gender responsiveness. The gender and governance in rural services project seeks to generate policy-relevant knowledge on strategies to improve agricultural and rural service delivery, with a focus on providing more equitable access to these services, especially for women. The project focuses on agricultural extension, as an example of an agricultural service, and drinking water, as an example of rural service that is not directly related to agriculture but is of high relevance for rural women. A main goal of this project was to generate empirical micro level evidence about the ways various accountability mechanisms for agricultural and rural service provision work in practice and to identify factors that influence the suitability of different governance reform strategies that aim to make service provision more gender responsive. Three out of four poor people in the developing world live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. Providing economic services, such as agricultural extension, is essential to using agriculture for development. At the same time, the rural poor need a range of basic services, such as drinking water, education, and health services. Such services are difficult to provide in rural areas because they are subject to the "triple challenge" of market, state, and community failure. As a result of market failure, the private sector does not provide these services to the rural poor to the extent that is desirable from society's point of view. The state is not very effective in providing these services either, because these services have to be provided every day throughout the country, even in remote areas, and because they require discretion and cannot easily be standardized, especially if they are demand driven. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and communities themselves are interesting alternative providers of these services, but they too can fail, because of capacity constraints and local elite capture. This triple challenge of market, state, and community failure results in the poor provision of agricultural and rural services, a major obstacle to agricultural and rural development.
  • Publication
    Building Competitiveness in Africa's Agriculture : A Guide to Value Chain Concepts and Applications
    (World Bank, 2010) Webber, C. Martin; Labaste, Patrick
    The development and business communities involved in the African agriculture and agribusiness sectors have recently experienced a strong resurgence of interest in promoting value chains as an approach that can help design interventions geared to add value, lower transaction costs, diversify rural economies, and contribute to increasing rural household incomes in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. Enhancing value chain competitiveness is increasingly recognized as an effective approach to generating growth and reducing the rural poverty prevalent in the region. This is a welcome development for practitioners who have long been convinced of the need to look differently at agriculture not just as a means of survival, but as smaller or larger commercial businesses linked to domestic and global markets and of the need to identify and tap into new sources of potential growth and value addition in the sector. Hopefully, renewed engagement will lead to a substantial increase in the flow of financial resources and technical assistance devoted to supporting market-driven, competitive agro-enterprises and agricultural value chains throughout the African continent. However, there is danger that this renewed engagement may not last, or may even backfire, if the high expectations placed on promoting value chains are not met. Because the development literature is not clear about the concepts and methods relating to value chains, there is risk that sooner or later the benefits of the value chain approach will be overshadowed by unmet expectations. That in turn could cause the approach to be discarded categorically. Although there is no single way to mitigate such risks, this guide aims to offer practical advice and tools to businessmen, policy makers, representatives of farmer or trade organizations, and others who are engaged in SSA agro-enterprise and agribusiness development. This guide is particularly designed for those who want to know more about value chain based approaches, and how to use them in ways that can contribute to sound operational decisions and results for enterprise and industry development, as well as for policy making with respect to doing business, stimulating investment, and enhancing trade in the context of African agriculture.
  • Publication
    The Sunken Billions : The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform
    (World Bank, 2009) World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization
    This study and previous studies indicate that the current marine catch could be achieved with approximately half of the current global fishing effort. In other words, there is massive overcapacity in the global fleet. The excess fleets competing for the limited fish resources result in stagnant productivity and economic inefficiency. In response to the decline in physical productivity, the global fleet has attempted to maintain profitability by reducing labor costs, lobbying for subsidies, and increasing investment in technology. Partly as a result of the poor economic performance, real income levels of fishers remain depressed as the costs per unit of harvest have increased. Although the recent changes in food and fuel prices have altered the fishery economy, over the past decade real landed fish prices have stagnated, exacerbating the problem. The value of the marine capture seafood production at the point of harvest is some 20 percent of the $400 billion global food fish market. The market strength of processors and retailers and the growth of aquaculture, which now accounts for some 50 percent of food fish production, have contributed to downward pressure on producer prices. In technical terms, this study estimates the loss of potential economic rent in the global fishery. For the purposes of this study, economic rent is considered broadly equivalent to net economic benefits, which is the term used throughout most of the report. This study estimated the difference between the potential and actual net economic benefits from global marine fisheries using 2004 as the base year. The estimate was made using a model that aggregated the world's highly diverse fisheries into a single fishery. This made it possible to use the available global fisheries data such as production, value of production, and global fisheries profits as inputs to the model.
  • Publication
    Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2009) World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization; International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Three out of every four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. In many parts of the world, women are the main farmers or producers, but their roles remain largely unrecognized. The 2008 World development report: agriculture for development highlights the vital role of agriculture in sustainable development and its importance in achieving the millennium development goal of halving by 2015 the share of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger. Climate change and rising food prices are reminders of the need to focus on food security and agriculture for development; and the material presented in the gender in agriculture sourcebook suggests that accounting for the different roles of women and men and gender equality in access to resources and opportunities is a necessary condition for doing so. This sourcebook is a particularly timely resource. It combines descriptive accounts of national and international experience in investing in agriculture with practical operational guidance on to how to design agriculture for development strategies that capitalize effectively on the unique properties of agricultural growth and rural development involving women and men as a high-impact source of poverty reduction. It looks at gender equality and women's empowerment, and the associated principles have the potential to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of rural poor.
  • Publication
    Sustainable Land Management Sourcebook
    (Washington, DC, 2008) World Bank
    This sourcebook is intended to be a ready reference for practitioners (including World Bank stakeholders, clients in borrowing countries, and World Bank project leaders) seeking state-of-the-art information about good land management approaches, innovations for investments, and close monitoring for potential scaling up. This sourcebook is divided into three parts: the first part identifies the need and scope for sustainable land management (SLM) and food production in relation to cross-sector issues such as freshwater and forest resources, regional climate and air quality, and interactions with existing and emerging infectious diseases. It introduces the concept of production landscapes and analysis of trade-offs and establishes a framework for linking indicators that provide a measure of the outcomes of SLM. It then categorizes the diversity of land management (that is, farming) systems globally and the strategies for improving household livelihoods in each type of system. For the farming system types, a set of SLM principles and common but important issues for future investments are identified. The second part of the sourcebook focuses on three major farming system types and presents a range of investment notes and innovative activity profiles. The third part provides users of the source book with easy-to access, web-based resources relevant for land and natural resource managers. The resources are available in the public domain, and readers can access the web sites of various international and national agencies.
  • Publication
    Shaping the Future of Water for Agriculture : A Sourcebook for Investment in Agricultural Water Management
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2005) World Bank
    Agricultural water management is a vital practice in ensuring reduction, and environmental protection. After decades of successfully expanding irrigation and improving productivity, farmers and managers face an emerging crisis in the form of poorly performing irrigation schemes, slow modernization, declining investment, constrained water availability, and environmental degradation. More and better investments in agricultural water are needed. In response, the World Bank, in conjunction with many partner agencies, has compiled a selection of good experiences that can guide practitioners in the design of quality investments in agricultural water. The messages of this publication center around the key challenges to agricultural water management, specifically: building policies and incentives; designing institutional reforms; investing in irrigation systems improvement and modernization; investing in groundwater irrigation; investing in drainage and water quality management; investing in water management in rain-fed agriculture; investing in agricultural water management in multipurpose operations; coping with extreme climatic conditions; and assessing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of agricultural water investments.