Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the midstream of agrifood value chains—wholesalers, logistics, and processors—play a critical role to food security and value chain transformation. These enterprises help keep food supplies affordable and stable, provide employment and income for millions of rural and urban workers, and improve food quality and safety for consumers. However, in South Asia, Africa south of the Sahara (SSA), and other developing regions, SMEs often don’t play a role in the food system transformation conversation.
Increasing urbanization plays a major role in shifting patterns of food supply and demand and thus in transforming food systems. These transformations carry significant implications for the livelihoods of rural populations, presenting both challenges and opportunities. A new paper published in Food Security examines some of these impacts in Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) and South Asia, as well as the enabling environments needed to help rural communities benefit from the changes.
The CGIAR COVID-19 Hub has released updated policy notes regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global and regional food systems. This latest series of updates covers several FSP priority countries, including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi, and Bangladesh.
Agricultural mechanization can help reduce farmers’ labor costs and increase agricultural productivity; however, in many parts of Africa south of the Sahara, most farm activities still rely on human and animal power ( IFPRI Insights , September 2014 ). Increasing Africa’s agricultural mechanization could be a key driver of future development in the region, but only if it is done properly and sustainably.
This post was originally published on IFPRI.org. By Elizabeth Bryan, Patti Kristjanson, and Claudia Ringler
Until recently, there has been little evidence supporting the need to focus on the gendered dimensions of agriculture and climate change. Why? Because few researchers have been talking to women in agriculture as well as men--both of whom contribute to solving the food security challenges posed by climate change.