The number of African countries facing acute food insecurity rose in June, according to the latest AGRA Food Security Monitor. The Food Monitor defines acute food insecurity as occurring when more than 50 percent of the population lacks access to sufficient food supplies. Acutely food-insecure countries in the region now include South Sudan (60%), Burkina Faso (59%), and Mali (58%).
The latest Global Hunger Index (GHI) was released this week by the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide. Presenting an annual, multidimensional measure of national, regional, and global hunger, the 2015 GHI utilizes data and projections from various UN agencies for 2010-2016 and provides scores from 9.9 or lower to denote “low” hunger to 35-49.9 to denote “alarming” hunger. (For more information about the 2015 GHI and overall global results, please read this new post on the global Food Security Portal.)
Contract farming has become a popular way to integrate smallholder farmers into modern, high-value markets; however, poorly designed contracts may create additional risks for farmers and even subject them to abuses by larger agricultural players. In July, the FAO, along with UNIDROIT and IFAD, released a Legal Guide on Contract Farming , a comprehensive guide to establishing sound, transparent agricultural contracts between growers and buyers.
Conversations about climate change often focus on future effects, but according to the latest Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, changes to the global climate have already had a significant impact on food production. Global agricultural productivity has declined over the past 30 years by 1-5 percent per decade, and this deterioration is expected to continue, even if we only experience low levels of warming (+2 ºC).