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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Insect and Hydroponic Farming in Africa: The New Circular Food Economy

2021-12-07, Verner, Dorte, Halloran, Afton, Surabian, Glenn, Tebaldi, Edinaldo, Ashwill, Maximillian, Vellani, Saleema, Konishi, Yasuo

This book presents a heavily disruptive, inclusive, and resilient solution to Africa’s wide-ranging food security challenges. Specifically, it assesses the benefits and costs of using the frontier agriculture technologies to create a circular food economy in Africa, particularly in Fragility, Conflict, and Violence (FCV)-affected countries. This book focuses on two types of frontier agriculture technologies: insect farming and hydroponic crop farming. Both technologies quickly produce nutritious human food and animal feed and could provide tremendous health, social, economic, climatic, environmental, and food security benefits in Africa. Insect and hydroponic farming can create a circular food economy by reusing society’s organic waste, including agricultural and certain industrial waste, to produce foods for humans, fish, and livestock without the need for vast amounts of arable land or water resources. This book finds that frontier agriculture is a viable complement to conventional agriculture in Africa and could meet many of the continent’s social, economic, environmental, and food security challenges. The book also shows that frontier agriculture can be economically competitive with conventional agriculture in the resource constrained environments of African FCV countries, while generating a fraction of the climate and environmental damage. These frontier agriculture technologies show great potential for growth and scalability as the market is rapidly increasing for novel protein sources from farmed insects and for nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables from hydroponic crops.

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The Land Governance Assessment Framework : Identifying and Monitoring Good Practice in the Land Sector

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.

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Gender and Governance in Rural Services : Insights from India, Ghana, and Ethiopia

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.

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The Sunken Billions : The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform

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.

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What's Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System

2021-03-16, Schroeder, Kateryna, Lampietti, Julian, Elabed, Ghada

The digital agriculture revolution holds a promise to build an agriculture and food system that is efficient, environmentally sustainable, and equitable, one that can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Unlike past technological revolutions in agriculture, which began on farms, the current revolution is being sparked at multiple points along the agrifood value chain. The change is driven by the ability to collect, use, and analyze massive amounts of machine-readable data about practically every aspect of the value chain, and by the emergence of digital platforms disrupting existing business models. All this allows for drastically reduced transaction costs and pervasive information asymmetries that plague the agrifood system. The success of the digital transformation, however, is not guaranteed as the risks it brings are numerous, including those related to data governance and inadequate competition within and between digital platforms. What’s Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System investigates how digital technologies can accelerate the transformation of the agrifood system by increasing efficiency on the farm; improving farmers’ access to output, input, and financial markets; strengthening quality control and traceability; and improving the design and delivery of agriculture policies. It also identifies a key role for the public sector in maximizing the benefits of this process while minimizing its risks, through enabling an innovation ecosystem featuring open datasets, digital platforms, digital entrepreneurship, digital payment systems, and digital skills and encouraging equitable technology adoption.

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Agricultural Innovation Systems : An Investment Sourcebook

2012, World Bank

This sourcebook draws on the emerging principles of Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) analysis and action to help to identify, design, and implement the investments, approaches, and complementary interventions that appear most likely to strengthen innovation systems and promote agricultural innovation and equitable growth. Although the sourcebook discusses why investments in AISs are becoming so important, it gives most of its attention to how specific approaches and practices can foster innovation in a range of contexts. The sourcebook is targeted to the key operational staff in international and regional development agencies and national governments who design and implement lending projects and to the practitioners who design thematic programs and technical assistance packages. The sourcebook is also an important resource for the research community and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and may be a useful reference for the private sector, farmer organizations, and individuals with an interest in agricultural innovation. It concludes with details on the sourcebook's structure, a summary of the themes covered in each module, and a discussion of the cross-cutting themes treated throughout the sourcebook.

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Building Competitiveness in Africa's Agriculture : A Guide to Value Chain Concepts and Applications

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.

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The Safe Food Imperative: Accelerating Progress in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

2019, Jaffee, Steven, Henson, Spencer, Unnevehr, Laurian, Grace, Delia, Cassou, Emilie

Food safety is vital for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending poverty and hunger and promoting health and well-being. Unsafe food can cause illness and death, and it keeps people from working and thriving. It undermines food and nutritional security, imposes costs on the food economy and public health system, and disrupts international trade. The global burden of foodborne disease falls disproportionately on children under age five and on the populations of low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa. Low- and middle-income countries are estimated, in aggregate, to experience a productivity loss of some US$95 billion per year as a result of unsafe food. The Safe Food Imperative argues that much of the health and economic burden of unsafe food can be avoided through preventive measures, investments, and behavioral changes adopted from farm to fork. It draws attention to policies and approaches that governments can use to invest wisely in food safety, to better leverage private initiatives, and to engage effectively with consumers. Both its analysis of food safety challenges and its recommendations for priority public and other stakeholder actions are differentiated for countries at different levels of economic development. The Safe Food Imperative will be of interest to food safety and development practitioners, as well as to policy makers and policy analysts in low- and middle-income countries---those associated with technical ministries (especially agriculture, health, and trade) and those involved with economic and development planning and budgetary and fiscal management.

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Rising Global Interest in Farmland : Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?

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.

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Bioenergy Development : Issues and Impacts for Poverty and Natural Resource Management

2010, Cushion, Elizabeth, Whiteman, Adrian, Dieterle, Gerhard

These report overviews recent developments in the consumption and production of bioenergy. It examines the main issues and possible economic implications of these developments and assesses their potential impact on land use and the environment, especially with respect to forests. The report examines both solid biomass and liquid biofuels, identifying opportunities and challenges at the regional and country levels. The development of bioenergy presents both opportunities and challenges for economic development and the environment. It is likely to have significant impacts on the forest sector, directly, through the use of wood for energy production, and indirectly, as a result of changes in land use. The impact of bioenergy on poverty alleviation in developing countries will depend on the opportunities for agricultural development, including income and employment generation, the potential to increase poor peoples' access to improved types of bioenergy; and the effects on energy and food prices. Five main messages emerge from this report: solid biomass will continue to be a principal source of energy; developments in bioenergy will have major implications for land use; tradeoffs, including those related to poverty, equity, and the environment, must be evaluated when choosing a bioenergy system; there is considerable potential for making greater use of forestry and timber waste as a bioenergy feedstock; and the climate benefits of bioenergy development are uncertain and highly location and feedstock specific.