Browse by Theme: Food Security

What changes do we need to empower women smallholders and achieve food security? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past several decades, but transformative changes in both public policy and practice have been few and far between. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), closing the „gender gap‟ in agriculture – or increasing women‟s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities – could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent, or by 100 to 150 million people.

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What changes do we need to empower women smallholders and achieve food security? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past several decades, but transformative changes in both public policy and practice have been few and far between. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), closing the „gender gap‟ in agriculture – or increasing women‟s contribution to food production and enterprise by providing equal access to resources and opportunities – could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent, or by 100 to 150 million people.

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Three years after the 2007/2008 food price crisis, the cost of food items on both international and national markets are on the rise again.

Poor people, still suffering from the impact of the previous crisis, are being hit hardest. As well as the challenge of rising prices, agricultural commodity indices on both international and national markets have been increasingly volatile over the short-term – negatively impacting on both producers and consumers.

Assessments show that prices on international markets are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

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"Food insecurity is a growing concern throughout the developing world, particularly for poor women and children.

Estimates suggest that in 2010, approximately 925 million individuals were undernourished.1 While there have been some gains in reducing hunger globally, it remains a critical challenge, and it is unlikely that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger by 20152 will be met.

A recent study on the future of food and farming identified six key drivers of change affecting the global food system: a growing global population; changing diets, notably an increase in demand for resource-intensive meat products;
food system governance, including globalisation of markets, subsidies and trade restrictions; competition for resources, particularly land, water and energy; consumer values and ethics; and the impacts of climate change.4 The combined effects of these pressures mean that increasing numbers of people will be at risk of hunger in the coming years.

While recognising that all of these drivers represent significant factors in achieving food security for all, this brief is focused on the impacts of climate change on food security in developing countries. Tackling this crisis will require unprecedented efforts on the part of the humanitarian and development community, researchers, governments, private sector and civil society organisations and farmers around the world. This brief outlines CARE’s understanding of the challenge and our response."

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This case study explores how CARE Kenya combined food security programming with an emerging market engagement strategy to decrease food shortages and increase incomes in western Kenya. With support from USAID, CARE implemented the Dak Achana project from 2004 to 2009. Over this period, the multi-component initiative succeeded in reducing the incidence of food shortages among the target area households from 86 percent in 2006 to 65 percent in 2008. The project has benefitted well over 100,000 Kenyans. These results are not insignificant in a region where 60 percent of the population lives in poverty and 90 percent of households depend on subsistence agriculture for their staple foods.

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Livestock is the main household asset and a key productive resource for pastoralist communitiesliving in the border areas of Kenya and Ethiopia. However, recurrent droughts are eroding pastoralists’ livestock base and weakening their livelihoods and their resilience to climatic shocks.

Livestock marketing, understood as the process through which live animals change ownership, is increasingly perceived as critical for improving pastoral household income. Efforts aimed at addressing constraints to the development of efficient and vibrant livestock marketing activities in the region are increasingly seen as a meaningful way of reducing pastoralists’ vulnerability to drought.

This baseline study, commissioned by CARE International, identifies structural issues behind livestock marketing in Mandera Central and West in Kenya and the Borana zone in Ethiopia. The study also aims to provide potential entry points for action to improve livestock marketing in the region.

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A Publication of the Oakland Institute & the UK Hunger Alliance.

High food prices in 2007-2008 threatened the livelihoods and food security of billions of people worldwide for whom getting enough food to eat was already a daily struggle. All over the world, individuals, civil society groups, governments and international organizations took action to cope with the crisis triggered by skyrocketing food prices.

This report investigates whether these responses were appropriate and effective and whether high food prices have brought about any changes in food and agriculture policies. Whereas price volatility remains a threat for the world’s poor, the intention of this report is to draw key lessons from these responses in order to inform future policies and programmes.

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