The Role of the Small-Scale Farmer in Minimizing Climate Change Impact

Climate Change and Food Security

The State of Food and Agriculture 2016 has made it clear that the agricultural industry is currently at a point in time where the actions taken by farmers, development organizations, and governments today will directly affect the livelihood of millions in the future. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that “in order to meet the demand for food in 2050, annual world production of crops and livestock will need to be 60 percent higher than it was in 2006”. The remarkable challenge we have ahead of us, however, it to not only end hunger by 2030, but to also limit the impact of climate change. We must put our most sincere efforts into making our agriculture systems and local capacity as efficient and sustainable as possible.

In order to limit the global impact of climate change, it is imperative that the global temperature increase remains under 1.5 degrees Celsius. 81 nations of the world have committed to combat climate change and to adapt to its effects by signing The Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Coming into affect November 4th, the committed nations will begin efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, adapt their energy sources, and to enforce policies that lesson their impact on climate change.

Climate change and food insecurity are very interrelated global issues; they each are negatively impacting the other. Compared to a projection discounting climate change, the world will experience a 5-7% crop yield loss by 2050. As climate change becomes more predominant, we will see rising temperatures that limit crop growth, loss of freshwater sources that negatively impact aquaculture, and heat waves that adversely affect livestock. Likewise, agriculture contributes to at least 21% of global emissions worldwide, releasing carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. These effects will vary regionally, but by 2030 will negatively affect all four food security dimensions: access, availability, utilization, and stability.

  • In South America, climate change will greatly impact hunger in less-developed regions. Much of South America will struggle in aquaculture due to fish species moving southward, much more frequent and extreme tropical storms, and species extinction. Tropical forests will be affected by water availability, and rainfed agriculture will experience higher crop losses.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa will experience similar problems to South America. Because 95% of crops in this region are rainfed, the frequency of extreme wet and dry years will drastically decrease crop yields of the small farmers. Fishery employment is expected to decrease by 50%. Plants and animals will also undergo reduction in numbers region-wide.
  • Climate change will alter Asia’s agricultural zones northward and will limit rice and other cereal crop yields. Many countries in Asia will see coastal flooding as well as a loss of aquaculture and freshwater resources. Similarly to South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia will experience biodiversity loss.

What Small-Scale Farmers Can Do

In the midst of a problem that is generally regarded as a policy issue, small scale farmers have a large role to play in decreasing the impact of climate change on agriculture and livelihood. There are several key actions that must be taken to address the constraints on agriculture by climate change:

  1. Strengthen small-scale farming systems. Farmers must learn how to adapt practices to changing climate, build adaptive capacity in implementing effective actions in changing situations, and must
  2. Diversify both their agricultural production and their income sources. Farmers need to diversify their crop so as to be able to withstand weather variation. They must also spread financial risk by diversifying how they are making their living.
  3. Manage natural resources in a sustainable way. Farmers must implement sustainable growing systems, such as FAO’s Save and Grow model, which cuts down fossil fuel use and doesn’t exhaust their resources. Agroecological production systems also efficiently utilize inputs (i.e. recycling biomass).
  4. Improve infrastructure, credit, and social insurance. Improved infrastructure ties into more efficient farming techniques. Support to risk management and diversifying finances allows farmers to adapt to changes in their markets.
  5. Reduce gender inequalities. Women face disparities in responsibilities, knowledge, and training opportunities in farming innovation. Rural women also face an increased workload when freshwater becomes scarce.

Though small-scale farmers may disproportionately bear the financial burden of reducing climate change impact, it is important to state that the costs of doing nothing greatly outweigh the costs of implementing these interventions. FAO’s Director-General Jose` Graziano da Silva believes “We have the opportunity to end hunger within our lifetimes. This is the greatest legacy we can leave to future generations”. Our actions today can lessen the impact of climate change and ensure a productive food system for the future.

OECD Report: Women & Money, or Lack Thereof

In June 2016 OECD released a report that investigated funding for organizations and programs whose objectives target gender equality. The title for this report should speak volumes: ‘Tracking the Money for Women’s Economic Empowerment – Overall Donor Support Targeted for Gender Equality: Small’. It is only recently that budgets and finances have become more transparent. The data revealed by this new level of transparency does not bode well for programs and organizations that have a primary focus to achieve gender equality. Aid committed by Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members specifically for women’s economic empowerment reached $8.8 billion on average in 2013-14, a rise from the average in 2007-8, $5.2 billion. Unfortunately, only 24% of DAC member aid to the economic and productive sectors included targeted gender equality as a primary or secondary objective in 2013-14. Furthermore, aid targeting women’s economic empowerment as the principal objective accounts for only 2% of all aid going towards the economic and productive sectors, a percentage which has not changed for six years.

Screenshot 2016-08-02 at 5.00.44 PM

As seen above, 43% of the $8.8 billion DAC members committed for women’s economic empowerment went towards ‘Agriculture and Rural Development’. According to the OECD report, via the FAO “only 5% of women across 97 countries have access to agricultural and other training activities, and only 15% of agricultural extension agents are women”. Programs and actions that level the playing field for women to avail of agricultural extension services and markets should also be included in future programs. Gender parity is also critical when considering women’s access to owning and controlling land.

17% of the $8.8 billion given for women’s empowerment in the banking and business sector. A lot of this money is focused on microcredit opportunities. While microcredit is a useful tool for many women, the report claims there is lack of importance placed on gender equality in the formal banking, credit, and insurance industries and women should have access to the full range of credit and monetary services at their disposal.

This report highlights the extremely low levels of investment in programs and organizations that focus on the gender dimension of transportation, infrastructure, and the energy sector. Shifts in infrastructure and transportation will improve a woman’s access to markets, jobs, and other services like healthcare and education. Additionally, improving access to affordable energy sources can increase the time for paid work activities and and reduce time spent on unpaid work. An IDS report found that a woman’s benefit to electricity in her home freed up much more time for paid work activities because electricity helped reduce the time needed for domestic activities. The IDS report included a study in Indonesia that found an increase of 27% of rural, nonfarm income after electricity was introduced. The OECD report laments the reality that funding for energy programs so frequently does not include a gender dimension because women would benefit so much from affordable, sustainable energy.

There is a disparity between the call for inclusion of women for the success of the SDGs and numbers that suggest the opposite. If women are deemed important for the ultimate success of the SDGs, the money invested should reflect that importance.

Update 8.15.16: Three reports from the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) have been brought to our attention which corroborate and expand on the OECD report.

DC Launch of 2016 Access to Nutrition Index

Last week, the Access to Nutrition Foundation Executive Director Inge Kauer presented the most recent Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI) for 2016 at the InterAction office in Washington, DC.

The Access to Nutrition Foundation is an independent nonprofit based in the Netherlands, with the objective of assessing and contributing to the improvement of the private sector’s methods of providing global nutrition. ATNI’s founding principle is centered on the fact that the world’s leading food and beverage companies can play a leading role in improving poor nutrition and related diseases. By examining the companies’ practices, governance structure, marketing, and commitments, ATNI assigns an index number to the major food and beverage companies, providing them with an incentive to improve before the next index is released.

The first Access to Nutrition Index was released in 2013, as a tool major companies can use to benchmark their nutrition practices progress. Overall, 22 of the top companies were assessed to determine their levels of social, commercial and financial responsibility within their industry.

According to this year’s index, one in three people in the world are undernourished or overweight. Over the course of the next ten years, nutrition issues are projected to significantly increase. Obesity and diet-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers are at epidemic rates, affecting countries of all income levels. Recent years has shown a positive trend in corporations’ interest in engaging better with their consumers, who demand healthier products and higher levels of accountability.

The 2016 Index has additionally included a pilot study, ranking all the leading producers of breastmilk substitutes (BMS). This addition to the index addresses a controversial issue in on the nutrition agenda. ATNI’s intention was to create a transparent and accountable way to measure how corporations contribute to child rearing in developing countries. Companies were assessed based on alignment with the 1981 International Code of Marketing and of Breast-milk Substitutes.

Corporations were measured for the index based on seven indicators:

  1. Governance (12.5%) – corporate strategy, governance and management
  2. Products (25%) – formulation of appropriate products
  3. Accessibility (20%) – delivering affordable, available products
  4. Marketing (20%) – responsible marketing policies, compliance and spending
  5. Lifestyles (2.5%) – support for healthy diets and active lifestyles
  6. Labeling (15%) – informative labeling and appropriate use of health and nutrition claims
  7. Engagement (5%) – engagement with governments, policymakers and stakeholders

Based on the 2016 Index, Unilever scored highest for the ATNI overall ranking. ATNI commended Unilever for successfully integrating nutrition strategy into their core business model, with a specific emphasis on undernutrition. According to the Index, Unilever dedicated its future strategy towards a healthier profiling system, with a comprehensive response to undernutrition.

Other top performers included Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez, and Mars. The main conclusions of the 2016 Index were that progress has been made, but these large food and beverage corporations are slow to change their role in the fight for better global nutrition.

ATNIchart

Nestlé topped the BMS Index, but ATNI found that none of the four F&B companies and the two pharmaceutical companies included in the BMS Index were fully compliant with the International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes (The Code) or the many World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions reinforcing The Code. As recommendations, ATNI encourages all companies to overhaul their marketing systems, except when forbidden by national laws. In independent case studies conducted by Westat in Vietnam and Indonesia, many instances of non-compliance were revealed, offering much room for improvement.

ATNIBMSATNI has now reached global recognition for their work as the first index to benchmark companies to facilitate growth and improvement. Since the first index in 2013, companies have increased their engagement with the research process, which highlights a positive trend towards improved policies and procedures.

Full details of the companies’ performances can be found on individual scorecards at accesstonutrition.org.

UNICEF Calls for Innovation

Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 4.08.31 PMThis year’s State of the World’s Children Report has been published and it is calling for innovation. While it is a fact that remarkable progress has been done towards the protection and promotion of children’s rights, an unfortunate amount of children still exist whose rights are continuously violated and are regularly experiencing the tragic repercussion of poverty and malnutrition. The State of the World’s Children Report – Reimagine the future: Innovation for every child, expresses the need for cooperation from the global community to find advanced and unconventional ways to address the age-old problem that is still affecting the lives of the innocent children all over the world, which is poverty and malnutrition.

(See table at the bottom of this post with a quick summary of statistics in Hunger Project program countries.)

Poverty begins prior to the birth of the child, increases across the life course and onto the succeeding generation. It is a cycle of deprivation. A child living in poverty does not only mean being deprived from an access to material goods, it is also a deprivation of life, health, cognitive development, education and opportunities. While an adult may experience poverty temporarily, for children, the consequence can last a lifetime.

Poverty is associated with malnutrition. According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report, the poorest 20 per cent of the world’s children are twice as likely as the richest 20 per cent to be stunted by poor nutrition and to die before their fifth birthday. Stunting is one of the many manifestations of malnutrition. It is a form of growth failure. Stunting commence prior to the birth of a child. Poor maternal nutrition, inadequate feeding practices, lack of access to clean water and sanitation, non-exclusive breastfeeding and clinical and subclinical infections or diseases are causative agents of stunting. Not only poverty has an awful repercussion to a child’s health, it also deprives a child’s fundamental right to life.

Poverty also plays a huge role when it comes to a child’s cognitive development. Children living in poverty are most likely to encounter learning disabilities and developmental delays. According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report, nearly 9 in 10 children from the wealthiest 20 per cent of households in the world’s least developed countries attend primary school – compared to only about 6 in 10 from the poorest households. Children who are stunted are most likely to have poor performance in school and have higher chances of dropping out. They are unable to reach their full potential because of the procured learning impediment. Some children choose to drop out of school and prefer to start working at a very young age for the reason that they are able to contribute to their family’s income.

Poverty persists to be a driving force of child marriage. Seldom families get their daughters to marry before 18 because it reduces the family expenses. Many communities also practice economic transactions like “bride price,” where the family receives money or livestock in exchange for their daughter. This practice often results to girls not being able to obtain an education. UNICEF reported that for every 100 boys in secondary school, only 76 girls are enrolled. The cycle of poverty is an often product of child marriage. Because of early marriage and pregnancy, girls are forced to drop out of school, making it harder for them to escape the awful consequences of poverty.

The Hunger Project recognizes the significance of nutrition for the eradication of world hunger and poverty. At the Hunger Project’s epicenters, health care professionals explain the basics of nutrition for both children and mothers and the importance of pre- and postnatal care to women. Women also have access to antenatal care services in the epicenter and children also have access to the epicenter nursery schools and are guaranteed to a full nutritious meal every day they are in attendance. The Hunger Project also partners with more than 100 organizations representative of governments, civil society, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and the research community dedicated to the eradication of malnutrition and poverty.

Others fail to see the correlation between nutrition and poverty. To some, it is mere financial inequity. They fail to see the bigger picture of how one factor leads to the other. Children who are living in poverty are much more likely to be in poverty later in life and is likely to shepherd the next generation to go through the same vicious way of life. Not unless the cycle is being cut, helpless and innocent children are relentlessly punished of this deprivation.

According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report, all children must have an equal chance to make the most of their potential. The report features people across the world who went the extra mile and applied unorthodox approaches to further the progress. The global community must prioritize the children and fully dismantle the numerous hindrances to achieve innovation and ultimately achieve a future in which children from all corners of the world can enjoy their rights.

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Civil Society Space and The United Nations Human Rights System

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently published a guide of practical recommendations on how to create and maintain space for a free and independent civil society. The civil society plays an important role to influence positive change in communities, but this role can only be effective if certain conditions are met. The guide has identified five of such conditions.

  • A conducive political and public environment : The political and public environment must value civil society’s contributions.
  • A supportive regulatory framework: The legislation, administrative rules and practice should be conform to international standards and effectively protect civil society activities. This also means that access to justice, to both national and international human rights institutions should be open to everyone, including civil society actors.
  • Free flow of information: For civil society actors to become aware and informed about issues, effectively articulate concerns, engage constructively, and contribute to solutions it is important that they easily have access to good information.
  • Long term support and resources: There is a need for measures to build capacity for marginalized voice and ensure that all civil society advocates have access to resources, meeting place, and technology.
  • Space for dialogue and collaboration: Civil society must have a place in decision-making processes.

In addition to these five conditions the guide states that “a safe and enabling environment for civil society work must be supported by a robust national legal framework, grounded in international human rights law. Freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public affairs, are rights that enable people to mobilize for positive change”.

This said, whether active at the micro level (locally), or at the macro level ( globally) civil society actors may be confronted to a variety of obstacles. The UN High commissioner for Human Rights’ guide listed three of these obstacles. Laws and regulations (e.g Limiting what types of activities can be done, criminal sanctions for unregistered activities), arbitrary measures (e.g Forced office closures,search and seizures of property), and extra-legal harassment, intimidation and reprisals (e.g. Surveillance, torture, disappearances, and killings).

More interestingly the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ guide also explains how UN human rights mechanisms can protect civil society space. Documentation about human rights situations forms the basis for interventions by UN human rights mechanisms, so civil society advocates are invited to carefully document obstacles and threats to their activities.

To learn more, click on one of the links below.

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The IFPRI 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report: Focus of Sanitation and Nutrition

The International Food Policy Research Institute recently released the 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report. The 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report is the fourth of its kind in an annual series to provide a comprehensive overview of major food policy events and developments. As issues of sanitation and nutrition in developing countries moved to the top of the post-2015 development agenda, one key point developed in the 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report is the importance of sanitation for nutrition. Clean water, sanitation and hygiene are important and go hand-in-hand with good nutrition.

The 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report notes that the nutritional consequences of sanitation, especially for open defecation without using toilet or latrines, are particularly devastating for children. Poor sanitation and deficient WASH expose growing children to germs that cause disease. Because children’s height reflect their nutrition and health during the first few years of life there is a link between children’s height and WASH.To stress why action is absolutely needed, and why policymakers need to invest heavily in improving WASH, the new Global Food Policy Report is based on empirical and biomedical evidences that highlight the link between poor sanitation and the nutritional outcomes for children in developing countries.

Recent research suggest for example that during the past 40 years, improvement in water and sanitation have been one of the key drivers in reduction in child stunting across 116 countries (Smith and Haddad, 2015).Furthermore, it has now been demonstrated that children in India are shorter on average than much poorer children in Africa south of the Sahara because they are exposed to a much greater density of open defecation (Spears, 2013). Also, in addition to diarrhea and parasitic infection, environmental enteropathy, a complex disorder of the intestines caused by inflammatory response to ingestion of large quantities of fecal germs (Humphrey, 2009) can reduce the ability of child’s intestines to absorb nutrients and cause poor nutrition.

Based on these facts and evidences the International Food Policy Research Institute’s report recommends the inclusion of improving sanitation (especially reducing open defecation) among nutrition supporting policy priorities. For The Hunger Project too, good hygiene and sanitation are important and should be integrated as a priority in nutrition policies. Through our bottom-top women centered development strategy we work to empower rural communities in developing countries to ensure increased access to clean water and improved sanitation.

Thanks to The Hunger Project capacity building projects, 961 latrines were constructed, installed, or rehabilitated in Africa in 2014. Today, 60 percent of people worldwide who defecate in the open live in India.The Hunger Project is empowering Indian elected women leaders with the knowledge to participate in the development of their communities, and solve water and sanitation problems locally.

References

J.H.Humphrey, “Child Undernutrition, Tropical Enteropathy, Toilets, and Handwashing, “The Lancet, 374, no. 9694 (2009): 1032-1035.

Smith and L. Haddad, “Reducing Child Undernutrition: past Drivers and Priorities for the Post-MDG Era” World Development 68 (forthcoming, April 2015)

Spears, How Much International Variation in Child Height Can Sanitation Explain? Policy Research Working Paper 6351 (Washington, DC: World Bank 2013)

Our perspective on the Global Nutrition Report

2014 Global Nutrition Report CoverBackground: Nutrition is a huge and difficult challenge, requiring convergent action on many fronts: agriculture, health, WASH, education and – most importantly – gender equality and female empowerment. Those championing this action have been held back by the lack of timely data — until now. In the aftermath of the the 2013 Nutrition for Growth summit in London, civil society pressed for publication of a Global Nutrition Report to help hold countries accountable for their commitments, and now we have it. Lawrence Haddad has led an Independent Expert Group in preparing this first report, and everyone committed to ending world hunger should be familiar with it.

Purpose of this note: Here are a number of points particularly relevant to The Hunger Project’s advocacy.

  1. We strongly endorse the top 10 messages of the report (see page 71-72).
  2. The Post-2015 Agenda should be more ambitious on nutrition. Current drafts ratify most of the 2012 World Health Assembly (WHA) goals, which are not particularly ambitious (40% reduction in stunting by 2025) and are inconsistent with the Zero Goal philosophy of the SDGs.
  3. Gender-specific good news from India: Maharashtra, one of the richest states in India, reduced stunting from 36.5 percent to 24 percent from 2005-2006 to 2012. Improvements in women’s lives was key: “the determinants that improved the most were the age of mother at first birth, maternal under-weight, maternal literacy, coverage of antenatal visit, delivery in the presence of birth attendants, child feeding practices and access to ICDS (the Integrated Child Development Scheme).
  4. Malnutrition affects us all. Both undernutrition and obesity have terrible health and economic impacts, and both co-exist in most countries. We are all in this together. The report calls this the “quintessential 21st century challenge.”
  5. Five THP countries are not on course to meet a single WHA target: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique. On track for one target are: Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Mexico and Senegal. For two: Peru and Uganda.
  6. More attention is needed on participation and local governance. The report mentions decentralization as a challenge for national accountability and points to promising experience in Indonesia and Guatemala, but The Hunger Project sees it as key to effective implementation. More in-depth study of how this can best be achieved would be useful, particularly how communities can build their own capacity and measure and track their own progress. The report points out that “the impact of [participatory] mechanisms on provision of nutrition services has not been empirically evaluated.”
  7. Importance of going to scale. Improving society-wide conditions requires society-wide action, not small projects. Governments and civil society groups need to work together on a campaign footing to ensure that clear, consistent information reaches everyone. Educating local-level leaders to be nutrition champions who understand the linkages to WASH and gender needs to be a top priority.

Top 10 Messages from the GNR:

  1. People with good nutrition are key to sustainable development.
  2. We need to commit to improving nutrition faster and build this goal into the Sustainable Development Goal targets for 2030.
  3. The world is currently not on course to meet the global nutrition targets set by the World Health Assembly, but many countries are making good progress in the target indicators.
  4. Dealing with different, overlapping forms of malnutrition is the “new normal.”
  5. We need to extend coverage of nutrition-specific programs to more of the people who need them.
  6. A greater share of investments to improve the underlying determinants of nutrition should be designed to have a larger impact on nutritional outcomes.
  7. More must be done to hold donors, countries, and agencies accountable for meeting their commitments to improve nutrition.
  8. Tracking spending on nutrition is currently challenging, making it difficult to hold responsible parties accountable.
  9. Nutrition needs a data revolution.
  10. National nutrition champions need to be recognized, supported, and expanded in number.

The Reality of Aid 2014: Rethinking Partnerships in a Post 2015 World

ROA 2014The Reality of Aid Network (RoA) published the Reality of Aid 2014 Report (RoA 2014) in December 2014 with the general theme of Partnerships and the Post-MDGs. The network, comprising 172 member organizations, includes more than 40 civil society regional and global networks in the field of international cooperation in 21 donor countries of the OECD, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia/Pacific. The network is recognized as a civil society organization (CSO) network for global aid reform and constructive dialogue for effective aid from the international development community.

The series of biennial global reports from the Reality of Aid Network has been known to  “analyse and advocate key messages relating to the performance of aid donors from a unique perspective of civil society in both donor and recipient countries.”

The RoA 2014 report provides the global civil society a perspective on working and balanced partnerships towards the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a resonating message from the network on “maximizing contributions to poverty eradication, within a framework that is defined by human rights standards.”This report urges CSOs to consider post 2015 with a particular focus on the following issues regarding partnerships for sustainable development:

  • What have we learned from previous partnerships?
  • In what ways can diverse partnerships with a broader array of development actors contribute to achieving the post 2015 goals?
  • How do we ensure that these partnerships are consistent with human rights standards and the goals of eradicating poverty, inequality and social injustice?
  • What are the preconditions and the principles to ensure that future partnerships are equitable?

The RoA 2014 report includes 27 dialogues and reflections based on best practices from diverse contributors about:

  • Principles and practices for inclusive partnerships at global and national levels
  • New (and existing) models of partnering for positive development outcomes for the poor
  • Preconditions for equitable partnerships that contribute to sustainable development outcomes for the poor

The State Of Food And Agriculture 2014: Innovation in family farming

SOFA-2014-cover-web-en_01FAO’s 2014 report on The State Of Food and Agriculture (SOFA 2014) focuses on the vital role of family farms for food security, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability. The report states more than 500 million family farms manage the majority of the world’s agricultural land  and produce most of the world’s food. That group constitutes 90% of the world’s farmers. Family farms occupy around 70 – 80 percent of farmland and produce more than 80 percent of the world’s food in value terms.

The vast majority of the world’s farms are small and in many lower-income countries farm sizes are shrinking. Globally, farms of less than 5 hectare account for 94 percent of all farms but control only 19 percent of all agricultural land. In contrast, only 1 percent of all farms in the world are larger than 50 hectares, but these few farms control 65 percent of the world’s agricultural land. Many of these large farms are family-owned and operated.

In most countries, small and medium-sized farms tend to have higher agricultural crop yields per hectare than larger farms because they manage resources and use labor more effectively, however they produce less per worker. SOFA 2014 assesses the innovation needed to improve labor productivity. The development, adaptation and application of new technologies and farm management practices, and the wider application of existing technologies and practices, are cited as the pathways towards efficiency in labor productivity, natural resource management and environmental
sustainability as well as food security.

The report sets the following prerequisite circumstances as a backdrop for family farming innovation;

  • Family farms are an extremely diverse group, and innovation systems must take this diversity into account.
  • The challenges facing agriculture and the institutional environment for agricultural innovation are far more complex than ever before; the world must create an innovation system that embraces this complexity
  • Public investment in agricultural research and development and extension and advisory services should be increased and refocused to emphasize sustainable intensification and closing yield and labor productivity gaps.
  • All family farmers need an supportive environment for innovation, including good governance, stable macroeconomic conditions, transparent legal and regulatory regimes, secure property rights, risk management tools and market infrastructure
  • Capacity to innovate in family farming must be promoted at multiple levels.
  • Individual innovation capacity must be developed through investment in education and training.
  • Effective and inclusive producers’ organizations can support the innovation of their members.

According to FAO 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), which aims to highlight the role of family farmers in achieving food security and sustainable development.

Below is a sample table showing the agricultural labor productivity of THP program countries and the world based on income grouping. 

You can review the complete report here!

Average annual level(Constant 2004–06 international dollars) Average annual rate of change(Percentage)
Countries 1981–1991     1991– 2001    2001–2012 1981–1991     1991– 2001   2001–2012
Low income 416                419                  490 –0.2                    0.7                 1.9
Lower middle  income 937                902                  1057 1.4                      0.5                 2.3
Upper Middle income 720                1003                 1454 1.3                      3.7                 3.5
World 1141               1261                1535 0.4                      1.7                 2.1
Low and middle income 755                 879                  1144 1.2                      2.2                 2.8
Bangladesh 333                 378                  537 0.2                      2.9                 3.6
Benin 658                 831                  1046 2.0                      3.9                 1.4
Bolivia 1194                1362               1530 1.5                       0.8                1.2
Burkina Faso 270                  334                 370 3.9                       0.4               –0.7
Ethiopia                        216                  265                            0.9                 2.6
Ghana 615                  841                 1010 2.6                       1.6                 1.8
India 555                 658                  763 1.8                       1.5                 2.7
Malawi 319                 344                  494 –1.6                      5.9                 3.9
Mexico 2390               2803                 3797 0.5                        2.9                 2.6
Mozambique 202                 210                  267 –0.7                      4.2                 3.1
Peru 1304               1401                 2000 –0.6                      4.1                 3.7
Senegal 370                 337                  328 0.0                        0.4                 1.7
Uganda 502                 504                  517 –0.2                     0.5               –1.1

Announcing the 2014 Global Hunger Index

GHI2014The 2014 Global Hunger Index, now available from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, shows a steady decrease in hunger in most developing countries.While great strides have been made to feed the world, hunger persists: some 805 million people go hungry every day because they don’t get enough to eat, and even those who eat enough calories can still suffer from “hidden hunger”– deficiencies in micronutrients that are often harder to detect but devastating in their impact.

Levels of hunger are still “alarming” in 14 countries, and “extremely alarming” in Burundi and Eritrea. In addition, a staggering 2 billion people globally suffer from “hidden hunger,” or micronutrient deficiency. Hidden hunger holds countries back in a cycle of poor nutrition, poor health, lost productivity, poverty, and reduced economic growth.

Sustainably tackling hidden hunger requires multisectoral action on all levels and a post-2015 framework that includes a universal goal to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms and clear mechanisms to ensure accountability. Alongside the multi-sectoral coordination, the report acknowledges the importance of  “behavioral change communication … to educate people about health services, sanitation and hygiene, and caring practices, as well as the need for greater empowerment of women at all levels.”

Read the full report here!

Findings for THP’s Program Countries

The following table presents a selection of findings from the 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report for The Hunger Project’s program countries.

Proportion of undernourished in the population (%) Prevalence of underweight in children under five years (%) Under-five mortality rate (%) Global Hunger Index (GHI)
Year ’04–’06             ’11–’13 ’03–’07            ’09–’13 2005          2012 2005         2014
Bangladesh 15.3                    16.3 37.3                  36.8 6.8              4.1 19.8            19.1
Benin 13.8                     6.1 20.2                 18.4 * 12.0             9.0 15.3            11.2
Bolivia 29.9                    21.3 5.9                   4.4 * 5.8               4.1 13.9             9.9
Burkina Faso 25.8                   25.0 37.6                 24.4 16.0              10.2 26.5             19.9
Ethiopia 46.8                   37.1 34.6                 29.2 11.0              6.8 30.8             24.4
Ghana 11.2                   2.9 * 13.9                 13.4 8.8                7.2 11.3             7.8
India 21.5                    17.0 43.5                 30.7 7.5                5.6 24.2             17.8
Malawi 26.4                   20.0 18.4                 13.8 12.0               7.1 18.9             13.6
Mexico 0.1 *                   0.7 * 3.4                   2.8 2.0                 1.6 <5               <5
Mozambique 39.9                    36.8 21.2                15.6 13.2               9.0 24.8             20.5
Uganda 27.8                    30.1 16.4                14.1 10.9                6.9 18.4             17.0
Peru 21.9                    11.8 5.4                   3.4 2.8                  1.8 10.0              5.7
Senegal 18.4                    21.6 14.5                 15.7 9.9                  6.0 14.3             14.4

* IFPRI estimates