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School Food Programs in Middle East Successful, Have Additional Benefit of Boosting Enrollment, Gender Equity

"The success of school feeding programmes in Jordan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia has inspired poor countries such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq to introduce similar initiatives for improving the health, nutrition and education of school-age children. The provision of food fortified with micronutrients provides nutritional support and alleviates short- term hunger for school children in the most food insecure areas of these countries."

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Middle East unrest holds lessons for South America: indicators for political vulnerability

A host of factors led to the social uprisings in the Middle East in 2011, triggered in part by rising food prices; Bolivia, which also experienced unrest in that period, exhibits many of these factors and highlights vulnerability in itself and in the region.

Gonzalo Alcade of FORO writes,

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Sources:

FORO March 2011 pages 4-5:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Mar2011.pdf#page=4

UNDP, Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano para Bolivia 2010, online at: http://idh.pnud.bo/index.php?option=com_hello&view=hello2&Itemid=56&id=6

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, “La volatilidad de precios en los mercados
agrícolas”. Informes de Política 12, available online at: http://www.fao.org/economic/es-policybriefs/es

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Food security efforts should focus on energy independence, not food or energy subsidies

Countries that rely heavily on food imports and foreign oil are particularly sensitive to food price spikes, which helped catalyze Middle East and Bolivia unrest (see Middle East unrest holds lessons for South America: indicators for political vulnerability) Such dependence limits the government’s ability to shield the poor, which is a short-term strategy regardless. Investing in agricultural innovation and energy strategies that don’t rely on subsidies will be key for long-term stability.

Gonzalo Alcade of FORO writes,

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Sources:

FORO March 2011 pages 4-5:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Mar2011.pdf#page=4

UNDP, Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano para Bolivia 2010, online at: http://idh.pnud.bo/index.php?option=com_hello&view=hello2&Itemid=56&id=6

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, “La volatilidad de precios en los mercados
agrícolas”. Informes de Política 12, available online at: http://www.fao.org/economic/es-policybriefs/es

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Urban agriculture as mitigation measure for food security, inflation, nutrition challenges in cities

The From Farm to Table project, facilitating sustainable urban farming systems around the world, targets key constraints to urban agriculture. The result is a set of strategies for making urban agriculture a bigger part of the national agenda, nutrition solutions, and urban economies. Among the key barriers are recognition and protection by governments, lack of market knowledge, lack of information access, and pollution.

Intellecap writes,

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Mid-day Meal Scheme fights Food Inflation & Urban Malnutrition in India

"Between 1999 and 2005, urban malnutrition in adults as well as children remained high in India, with very little change. At present, over 70% of people in urban areas consume fewer calories than the National Sample Survey Organization’s calorie norm, compared to 61% in rural areas."

"...numbers of the poor in urban areas will continue to increase over the next decade. In 2030, an estimated 91 million people will be poor in urban areas."

1.68
Average: 1.7 (3 votes)
 

Sources:

Strategic Foresight Group, Asian Horizons, Issue No: 6, August 2010. Page 2.

http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_Aug2010.pdf#page=2

• Mirza, Maheen. ‘Urban Poverty and Malnutrition Increase in MP’. InfoChange India. March
2010. <http://infochangeindia.org/Agriculture/Urban-poverty-and-the-food-crisis/Urban-poverty-
and-malnutrition-increase-in-MP .html> • ‘National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) 2005–06: India Volume I’. International Institute for
Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International. September 2007.
<http://www.nfhsindia.org/NFHS-3%20Data/VOL-1/India_volume_I_corrected_17oct08.pdf> • ‘National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2), 1998–99: India’. International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ORC Macro. October 2000.
<http://www.nfhsindia.org/pnfhs2.html> • ‘Antyodaya Anna Yojana’. Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
<http://fcamin.nic.in/dfpd_html/aay.htm> • Vashishtha, MV Vipin. ‘Rising Urbanization of Poverty-A Blot on the Shining Armor: India
Urban Poverty Report 2009’. Indian Pediatrics. 17 October 2009.
<http://medind.nic.in/ibv/t09/i10/ibvt09i10p875.pdf> • ‘India: Urban Poverty Report 2009: Factsheet’. United Nations Development Programme.
<http://data.undp.org.in/poverty_reduction/Factsheet_IUPR_09a.pdf>

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Angola passes law to spur biofuel production

Angola recently passed a law aimed at promoting domestic biofuel production. The South Africa Notes writes: “According to the Oil Minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos, the law will address Angola’s national energy needs and ‘preserve the environment given the diversification of the economy’ [sic]. ‘Bio-fuel production will also create jobs and build a renewable energy source and will allow regional integration and promote return of populations to rural areas’.

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Food crisis in wake of flooding not met with sufficient aid

UN calls for emergency relief funds have gone unheard by the global community and only 1/3 of what was sought has arrived.

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Sources:

Center for Democracy and Development, July 2010 pg. 10:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/CDD_July2010.pdf#page=10

Http://www.apanews.net/spip.php ?article128239

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Transgenic-free zones protect farmers against GMO agricultural practices

FORO Nacional Internacional writes,

"Some civil society networks and environmental organizations are informing citizens about the possible risks and impacts of GM agriculture, and one of the results has been to create transgenic-free zones, where GMOs are not allowed. Genetically Modified Organisms are becoming increasingly prominent in South America, yet they continue to face strong resistance.

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Sources:

FORO Nacional/Internacional, May 2010, page 4: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_May2010.pdf#page=4

Clive James, 2009 in: http://isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/41/executivesummary/pdf/Brief%2041%20-%20Executive%20Summary%20-%20Spanish.pdf

FAO and the Acquisition for Agri-Biotech Aplications (ISAAA) point out the need to feed 9,200 million people in 2050, this require to double the food production in less than 50 years. See: http://isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/41/executivesummary/pdf/Brief%2041%20-%20Executive%20Summary%20-%20Spanish.pdf

http://transgenicos.ecoportal.net/

http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/espana/reports/que-sabes-de-los-transgenicos-2.pdf

http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/index_es.jsp and http://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cartagena-protocol-es.pdf

Venezuela and Brazil have some regulation about GM. See: http://www.semillas.org.co/sitio.shtml?apc=h1-1--&x=20156447

After the earthquake in Haiti, the Company Montsanto tried to donate 475 tons of GM seeds to Haiti, but Haitian authorities did not accept them. See: http://alainet.org/active/38266.

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Surface water shortages force farmers to monocrop

Agricultural water shortages in the north-west region of Bangladesh is causing many farmers to monocrop during the monsoon season, contributing to soil degradation and a vicious cycle that squeezes farmers into poverty and could result in depopulation/migration.

The Strategic Foresight Group writes,

3
Average: 3 (2 votes)
 

Sources:

The Strategic Foresight Group, July 2010, page 6: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_July2010.pdf#page=6

Mazumdar, Shoumitra. ‘Growers in north frustrated over sterile boro crop’. New Age. 03 April
2010. <http://www.newagebd.com/2010/apr/03/front.html#5>

Ali, Anwar. ‘Water table falling by 2ft a year in Barind area’. The Daily Star. 23 March 2009.
<http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=80877>

Shariful Islam, Sarker. ‘Barind region facing imminent natural disaster’. New Nation. 21 July
2009. <http://www.ittefaq.com/issues/2009/07/21/news0523.htm>

‘Call to declare Barind tract as most vulnerable area’. The Independent. 20 May 2010.
<http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=174239>

‘Water crisis acute in vast Barind tract’ 23 March 2010.
<http://www.ittefaq.com/issues/2010/03/23/all0137.htm>

Asaduzzaman, M. Ringler, Claudia. Thurlow, J. and Alam, S. ‘Investing in Crop Agriculture in
Bangladesh for Higher Growth and Productivity, and Adaptation to Climate Change’. Bangladesh
Food Security Investment Forum. May 2010.

Naya Diganta. 28 March 2010. <http://www.sonarbangladesh.com/newsdetails.php?ID=3348>
(Bangla).

‘Crops are being destroyed due to Drought’. 13 April 2010.
<http://www.sonarbangladesh.com/newsdetails.php?ID=3798> (Bangla)

Amardesh. 20 March 2010. <http://www.amardeshonline.com/pages/details/2010/03/20/23482>
(Bangla)

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Thai Rice Farmers Growing Own Food for Financial Security

IFTF writes that with the insecurity of rice production, farmers are installing their own vegetable gardens. As one response to global price fluctuations and vulnerability of rice crops, some farmers have set aside part of their land for a vegetable garden to feed their families when rice yields or sales were poor.

Implications

3
Average: 3 (2 votes)
 

Sources:

Strategic Foresight Group, Dec 2010, page 18:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_Dec2010.pdf#page=18

Kawasaki, Jitana. ‘Thailand’s rice farmers adapt to Climate Change.’ Our World. 24 May, 2010: http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/climate-change-adaptation-for-thailands-rice-farmers/
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