Food Security in a Food Abundant World: Volume 16

Cover of Food Security in a Food Abundant World

An Individual Country Perspective

Subject:

Table of contents

(21 chapters)
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Purpose

We discuss food security within the context of welfare economics. We review models of commodity price stabilization brought about by government storage, and/or the private sector. We use data on the stocks of major commodities to discuss the implications of storage models on food security.

Methodology/approach

The impact of storage on food security is discussed within the context of welfare economics.

Findings

Storage is not necessarily a solution to solving long-term world food problems. Also, at times in history, countries such as the United States have accumulated large stocks of commodities such as wheat, which turned out to be a costly policy.

Social implications

While food insecurity is a major issue worldwide, the solution does not entirely lie in governments being heavily involved in managing and owning food stocks. The private sector manages stocks as a part of commercial transactions. The government’s role is to provide food from stockholdings in times of emergency situations.

Purpose

This chapter examines whether donor investments in a market channel that rewards product quality increase food security in Rwanda. Specifically, do policy interventions that improve marketing channels increase the price received by farmers also increases smallholder income? Furthermore, does this increase in income improve food security?

Methodology/approach

To examine the effect of the policy intervention, we estimates the relationship between the share of income spent on food and income (Working’s Model) using ordinary least squares and a logit regression.

Findings

The empirical results support Working’s conjecture (i.e., the share of income spent on food declines as income increases). Furthermore, whether the household benefits from the improved market channel does not affect the share of income spent on food.

Practical implications

Increased household income appears to improve food security. However, the lack of a statistically significant effect of the policy intervention variable indicates that commercial agriculture does not eliminate household food production at home.

Purpose

We introduce a risk management framework to assess food security, which is interpreted as the probability of fatality or adverse health effects due to lack of food and which is a product of food availability, access, and vulnerability.

Methodology/approach

We derive cost-minimizing policies to achieve food security objectives by addressing availability, access, and vulnerability, and taking into account how randomness, uncertainty, and heterogeneity affect the system.

Findings

Ignoring key sources of variability, particularly heterogeneity, may lead to biases because food security policies require targeting the most vulnerable populations, which may each have unique features such as age, location, and health status. Establishing any policy solution requires making tough choices about policy criteria. Outcomes will differ when the criteria is to minimize overall risk or to minimize risk to the most vulnerable.

Social implications

Policies addressing food security crises should balance enhanced supply with targeting available food and the provision of emergency health services to vulnerable populations.

Purpose

The global demand for agricultural commodities may more than double in the second half of the twenty-first century. It has been suggested that rapidly growing world needs in food and agriculture can be met by expanding the acreage or cultivation of existing farmland. Because available land for farming is limited, about 90% of future production growth is expected to result from yield growth, with only 10% realized at the cost of acreage expansion.

Methodology/approach

In this chapter, we analyze the multitude of social benefits of modern agriculture. We also expand the traditional analysis of the return to research methodology by explicitly including environmental and other benefits of crop yield growth.

Findings

A key result of our analysis is that the environmental benefits of productivity growth far exceed the direct economic benefits to consumers and producers from an expansion of production. Hence, restricting analysis solely to price and quantity effects seriously underestimates the social benefits of modern agriculture.

Practical implications

The environmental benefits of yield growth in modern agriculture far exceed the traditional measure of social welfare.

Purpose

We analyze the food security implications of off-farm labor reallocation decisions of rural farm households in transitional Albania. We accomplish this by examining local and nonlocal off-farm incomes for at-home food consumption expenditures.

Methodology/approach

An instrumental variable approach is employed to correct for endogeneity and censorship biases of off-farm income variables in a two-stage estimation of the food consumption expenditures.

Findings

We find that local off-farm income exerts a positive and significant effect on per capita food consumption expenditures of farm households, while private remittances from nonlocal off-farm income has the opposite effect on food consumption expenditures. In terms of regional heterogeneity, we discover that the mountain region spends significantly less on annual per capita food consumption compared to the central region. This confirms anecdotal evidence that food and nutrition insecurity in rural Albania is predominant in the mountain region.

Social implications

Our findings suggest the need for policy makers to promote a development agenda that enables farm households to exploit the synergies among the various income-generating activities in the rural economy. This spectrum of income-generating activities forms complex livelihood strategies adopted by rural farm households to improve and maintain their food security.

Originality/value

We distinguish between local and nonlocal sources of off-farm income. Knowing which off-farm income source(s) has the largest impact on household welfare through improved food security status should be of interest to policy makers.

Purpose

This chapter analyzes and discusses the food insecurity and malnutrition situation in Europe and Central Asia (ECA), with a strong focus on the Caucasus and Central Asian countries.

Methodology/approach

Authors use descriptive statistics to examine macro-level, sectoral-level, and household-level data from national and international sources to review production, trade, and consumption of food and agricultural products in the selected countries. Overall trends in economic growth and poverty reduction, constraints and bottlenecks in agricultural productivity growth, as well as policies that shape food security in the ECA region are analyzed.

Findings

While the countries that constitute the focus of this chapter have shown significant progress in alleviating food insecurity and extreme poverty, many risk factors remain, such as inadequate micronutrient intake, sub-optimal quality diets, growing obesity rates, and high dependence on food imports in a number of the ECA countries.

Practical implications

Based on the assessment of the food security situation in the ECA countries, the authors discuss government actions, including those emanating from various global initiatives, being implemented to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition.

Purpose

This chapter analyzes which factors influence adolescent obesity by separating nutritional factors of the food consumed from socioeconomic and demographic variables.

Methodology/approach

A general linear equation is utilized to model the results empirically. A descriptive analysis is also utilized to determine which foods adolescents consume.

Findings

The empirical results found that food at home and food away from home and calories have a similar positive influence on obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI). The evidence shows that mothers have a greater influence on adolescents’ BMI than do fathers.

Practical implications

The results offer insight on what factors may be attributed to obesity in urban China.

Purpose

We examine the joint demand for components of a household’s diet diversity and its relationship with household and regional characteristics that embody diverse food access and utilization constraints within the framework of the dietary patterns of rice producers in Peru.

Methodology/approach

We use multivariate probit regression to account for the simultaneous nature of the choice of different dietary group components.

Findings

There are diverse food intake patterns for households, depending on their wealth, education, demographic structure, market access and geographic location, as well as past shocks. There are also several obesogenic foods that are complements to consumption, with milk being a strong substitute for some of them. Of particular concern is the high vulnerability of female-headed households to low consumption of micronutrient-rich foods as well as the high vulnerability of households with children to high consumption of beverages with added sugars. Climate shocks are also highly associated with poor diet quality.

Practical implications

Results show the important influence of trade on household nutrition and food security. They indicate that policy and program recommendations should focus on nutrition information (such as labeling requirements) and education so that consumers can make informed decisions. They also suggest that policy makers should focus on how to make healthy foods available during crises to prevent health issues after economic and climatic shocks.

Purpose

The CANAMEX Trade Corridor plays an important role in routing food supplies for fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Over 400,000 trucks per annum travel this north-south corridor. Industries, consumers, and federal agencies cooperate to make sure food safety and food security works for all participants.

Methodology/approach

This chapter outlines the underlying factors in North American food supply efforts and highlights some of the disputes and settlements that constitute an important part of the North American food safety system.

Findings

Along the CANAMEX Trade Corridor cooperative efforts are being made by all three nations to improve the food safety and food security system for North America. Food safety and food security information is provided in three major languages (English, French, and Spanish) and in over 50 Native American languages.

Practical implications

The modal view of trade in the CANAMEX Trade Corridor shows that 75% of goods move by truck, 18% by rail, and 7% by air (United States Department of Transportation. (2001). US international trade and freight transportation trends. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation). As border security and food safety/security technology issues heighten, CANAMEX becomes increasingly important in NAFTA negotiations.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to assess the food security situation in Bangladesh based on 2011/2012 Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey data using two commonly measured food security indicators: Food Consumption Score (FCS) and Household Hunger Scale (HHS).

Methodology/approach

The dependent variable in the model is a categorical variable representing different scales of food security as obtained from the FCS and HHS indicators. These categorical variables are explained by annual remittances received by the households; the demographic characteristics (age, gender, literacy level, and occupation) of the household head; and total monthly income from agricultural and non-agricultural wages using ordered probit regression models.

Findings

Results indicated that remittances play an important role in improving the food security of households. Other significant variables in the model were income earned outside of the farm, male-operated household, and literacy. Increasing income from other than the agricultural sector significantly raises the probability of a household being food secure.

Practical implications

The Government of Bangladesh should make the agriculture sector stronger at all levels of the value chain. Additionally, providing income generation opportunities for households outside of the farm can be used as a diversification measure to achieve food security within the country.

Purpose

To determine the factors that motivate rural households to supply ganyu labor and to estimate its impact on food security.

Methodology/approach

Data from the 2010/2011 Malawi household survey were used. A probit model to evaluate the determinants of ganyu labor supply and a propensity score-matching estimator to assess its impact on food security were used.

Findings

Less educated males are more likely to supply ganyu labor. Ganyu labor supply increases with household size, while it decreases with the level of crop farming and size of land owned. Results from the average treatment effect indicate a positive and significant impact of ganyu labor participation on the number of meals consumed per day.

Practical implications

Ganyu labor participants in Malawi have better access to food as a result of cash income from ganyu. Government support mechanisms such as minimum wage regulations should consider the welfare of ganyu labor participants.

Purpose

To understand the political economy of export restrictions for grain commodities in Vietnam and India.

Methodology/approach

Two theoretical models were developed (one for each country) to analyze government policies for export restrictions in Vietnam and India based on price fluctuations. In Vietnam, there was one choice variable – export tariffs. In India, there were two choice variables – export tariffs and procurements. In both cases, the elite were assumed to maximize expected rents.

Findings

Export restrictions have become an important feature of trade policy in Vietnam and India and are unlikely to be eliminated in the foreseeable future because to do so would be costly both politically and economically to local elites. The impact of food price increases can be particularly large given the importance of loss aversion.

Practical implications

Understanding export restrictions as the outcome of a political-economic calculation is important because it suggests that efforts to limit export restrictions in countries like Vietnam and India are unlikely to be successful.

Purpose

This chapter considers food security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from a global perspective within a water-energy-food nexus framework.

Methodology/approach

A general water-energy-food nexus framework is used to analyze the interplay of water scarcity, relative energy abundance, and food production and consumption in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We identify crucial considerations from the perspective of high food import dependency based on sourcing food to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through food imports and foreign investments.

Findings

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced major reforms to reduce the use of highly subsidized but very scarce water for domestic feed and food production. However, the country is now more vulnerable to increasing food demand in relation to high, volatile world market prices, particularly for cereals. Despite major reforms in agricultural production, the KSA government faces serious challenges.

Practical implications

Developing strategies to meet the KSA food security objectives is essential. The KSA government should push reform even further and revise its policy regarding forage crops to save scarce water resources. Furthermore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would benefit from a more extensive food security strategy in which food stocks and subsidies are complemented by in-kind and cash transfers.

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Purpose

Little work has directly addressed the potential to control food waste. This chapter focuses on behavioral nudges and their potential to reduce food waste and, in turn, implications for food security.

Methodology/approach

Key methodological and definitional challenges that must be met to make effective use of interventions to reduce food waste are examined. Chief among these challenges are determining welfare measures that are robust to the behavioral anomalies and apparently inconsistent preferences observed under behavioral interventions.

Findings

Targeted reductions in food waste can be significantly impacted by simple behavioral interventions either in institutional settings or within the home. Some evidence suggests that food waste is rampant not only in developed countries, but also among developing countries.

Practical implications

Our findings highlight the need to create a research program addressing the behavioral causes of food waste both in developed and developing country contexts.

Purpose

Wastage and post-harvest losses in food value chains are becoming increasingly debated and policies are being increasingly designed to reduce food wastages. Despite its presumed importance, there is large variation in the importance and type of food losses and wastage. We identify the levels of food wastage at various levels of the potato food chain for three Asian countries.

Methodology/approach

Surveys were fielded to better measure the important variation between value chain agents, to capture wastage at each level, to analyze the structure of the value chain, and to evaluate wastage over the whole value chain (except for consumption). We generate data on an important staple in these countries and analyze the importance of waste in domestic rural-urban food value chains, often the most important value chain in these countries.

Findings

We find total quantities of potatoes wasted are equal to 5.2% in the harvest period and 6.4% in the off-season of all quantities that enter the value chain for Bangladesh. Even lower numbers are obtained in India (3.2% and 3.3%, respectively). These wastage levels are higher in China, possibly because of the significantly longer distances that potatoes are shipped.

Practical implications

The use of cold storage facilities can minimize the level of wastage in the potato distribution chain. Studies of this type of storage for other countries and commodities can identify opportunities in which adoption of cold storage can provide the greatest contributions toward the elimination of food wastage.

Cover of Food Security in a Food Abundant World
DOI
10.1108/S1574-8715201616
Publication date
2016-01-12
Book series
Frontiers of Economics and Globalization
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78560-215-3
eISBN
978-1-78560-214-6
Book series ISSN
1574-8715