Agriculture and Food

23 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.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • 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
    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
    Agribusiness and Innovation Systems in Africa
    (World Bank, 2009) Larsen, Kurt; Theus, Florian
    The role of agriculture in sustainable development and poverty reduction for the vast majority of developing countries cannot be overemphasized. Forty-five percent of the developing world's population lives in households involved in agriculture, and twenty-seven percent in smallholder households, and most depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The agricultural sector generates on average twenty-nine percent of gross domestic product (GDP), employs sixty-five percent of the labor force in agriculture-based countries, and is a key to generating overall growth. This book attempts to address these questions and challenges, by examining how agricultural innovation arises in four African countries, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, through agribusiness, public policies, and specific value chains for food staples, high value products, and livestock. Determinants of innovation are not viewed individually but within the context of a complex agricultural innovation system (AIS) involving many actors and interactions. The country reports are based on qualitative interviews with agribusiness representatives about their experiences in this area. The synthesis chapter preceding the country reports presents the main findings of the country reports, links common themes, and distills lessons learned.
  • 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
    Agricultural Land Redistribution : Toward Greater Consensus
    (World Bank, 2009) Binswanger-Mkhize, Hans P.; Bourguignon, Camille; Brink, Rogier van den
    The main focus of this book is land redistribution. To forge greater consensus among practitioners of land reform, and to enable them to make better choices among the many options, the book describes and analyzes alternative broad paths of implementation, using examples and the detailed implementation mechanisms that were used in those examples. The objectives of this book are to review and analyze: a) the growing consensus on the importance of land redistribution; b) the historical origins of land concentration and past attempts to redistribute land; c) ongoing land reform programs, their mechanisms, achievements, and limitations; d) the wide array of objectives, mechanisms, and tools for land redistribution that remain the focus of heated debate; and e) how to develop, implement, and monitor an effective national program of land redistribution.
  • Publication
    Organization and Performance of Cotton Sectors in Africa : Learning from Reform Experience
    (World Bank, 2009) Tschirley, David; Poulton, Colin; Labaste, Patrick
    Cotton is a major source of foreign exchange earnings in more than 15 countries across all regions of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) and a crucial source of cash income for millions of rural people in these countries. The crop is, therefore, critical in the fight against rural poverty. The World Bank and other development institutions have been and are currently assisting many cotton exporting countries of SSA to improve their cotton sector performance through projects supporting investment as well as through policy and institutional reform. Many SSA countries have been implementing or are considering implementing reforms of their cotton industries. The ultimate objective of the reform programs is to strengthen the competitiveness of cotton production, processing, and exports in an increasingly demanding world market and to ensure long-term, sustainable, and equitable growth for these major sectors of many African economies. The reform programs generally entail redefining the role of the state; facilitating greater involvement of the private sector and farmer organizations; ensuring greater competition in input and output markets; improving productivity through research and development, extension, and technology dissemination; and seeking value addition through market development and processing of cotton lint and by-products. A number of SSA cotton sectors, especially in West and Central Africa (WCA), are currently facing serious short-term financial difficulties. It is important to clarify that the purpose of this report is not to provide quick solutions to these short-run problems. Rather, it is to step back, build up a reliable broad assessment of cotton sector performance from detailed empirical information, and thereby provide guidance for the design of strategies that will address the long-term challenges of cotton production and marketing in Africa. Finally, to ensure that a broad perspective was brought to bear, the study was entrusted to a team which includes independent researchers and experts in the field of cotton.
  • 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
    Sustainable Land Management : Challenges, Opportunities, and Trade-offs
    (Washington, DC: Wolrd Bank, 2006) World Bank
    Land is the integrating component of all livelihoods depending on farm, forest, rangeland, or water (rivers, lakes, coastal marine) habitats. Due to varying political, social, and economic factors, the heavy use of natural resources to supply a rapidly growing global population and economy has resulted in the unintended mismanagement and degradation of land and ecosystems. This book provides strategic focus to the implementation of sustainable land management (SLM) components of the World Bank's development strategies. Sustainable land management is a knowledge-based procedure that integrates land, water, biodiversity, and environmental management to meet rising food and fiber demands while sustaining livelihoods and the environment. This book articulates priorities for investment in sustainable land management and natural resource management and identifies the policy, institutional, and incentive reform options that will accelerate the adoption of productivity improvements and pro-poor growth with sustainable land management.