Risk and Resilience

2017 Global Hunger Index Released

Hunger levels in Africa south of the Sahara remain among the highest in the world, according to the latest Global Hunger Index (GHI), released today by IFPRI, Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe. 

Scaling Up ICTs for Agriculture

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have vast potential for improving agriculture and food security and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ICTs can contribute to agriculture in a variety of ways, from helping farmers get fair prices for their produce to increasing agricultural yields.

New Malabo Montpellier Report

While significant progress has been made in reducing hunger and food insecurity in Africa in recent decades, around one in five people in the region continue to face chronic undernourishment. In a new report from the Malabo Montpellier Panel, “Nourished: How Africa Can Build a Future Free from Hunger and Malnutrition”, researchers take a systematic country-level approach to identify where progress has been achieved and how to replicate and scale up successful policies.

Vulnerability to Shocks: Evidence from Ethiopia

Vulnerability to poverty – the risk of falling into poverty in the future – remains a challenge in developing countries for researchers and policymakers alike. While reducing populations’ vulnerability to shocks that could drive them into poverty is clearly an important step in improving well-being, measuring and quantifying vulnerability is complex and is often further complicated by a lack of accurate data.

Investing in Agricultural Research

Africa south of the Sahara is the only developing region in the world where the number of people living below the poverty line continues to rise.  Since agriculture contributes substantially to the economy in this region, spurring agricultural growth is crucial to reducing poverty. But while improved technology has been the driving factor in increased agricultural production growth in other developing areas, in Africa south of the Sahara, growth has been extensive rather than intensive, which will not be sustainable over the long term.

ICTs for Agriculture: Way Forward

Last week, a panel of global and regional experts joined the Africa south of the Sahara Food Security Portal for a virtual dialogue on ICT use in African agriculture.  The dialogue centered on four main discussion questions:

Regional Food Reserves to Increase Resilience

In 2011, agricultural ministers from the G-20 countries met in Paris to discuss how best to mitigate the adverse effects of price volatility following the food price shocks of 2007-08 and 2010-11.  One of the outcomes of the ministerial was the creation of the Agricultural Market information System (AMIS), which aims to provide better and more timely information on market supply and demand and thus to enable more informed policymaking.  Another outcome was the support of a pilot program to establish a regional humanitarian grain reserve in the ECOWAS countries of West Africa.  The reserve w

Farmer's Willingness to Pay for Drought-Tolerant Maize

Maize plays a vital role in food security in Africa south of the Sahara, providing an estimated 40-50 percent of the calories consumed by poor populations.[1] However, the crop is also very susceptible to climate-driven shocks, particularly variable rainfall and drought. While drought-tolerant maize varieties have become more widely available in recent years, the adoption of these new varieties depends on farmers’ perceptions of the crop’s benefits – and their willingness to pay for those benefits.

Financial Inclusion and Agricultural Growth

In Africa south of the Sahara, lack of access to financial services and products poses a serious challenge for agricultural growth and productivity. Many smallholder farmers are cash-poor; it is common for farmers in the region to sell their crops immediately after harvest in order to meet their immediate cash needs rather than waiting for prices to go up and thus increasing their profits. This lack of available capital, coupled with the difficulty smallholders often face in accessing credit, limits their ability to invest in their farms and in other incoming generating activities.

Famine Likely in Nigeria

According to a special report put forth last week by FEWS Net, several areas of Nigeria likely experienced famine during 2016 and continue to face the threat of famine into 2017. 

One area of particular concern is Bama Local Government Area (LGA), where the majority of the population is concentrated in Bama Town and Banki Town. FEWS Net reports that available evidence indicates that at least 2,000 people in these towns died from famine-related causes between January and September.

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