World Agricultural Resources and Food Security: Volume 17

Cover of World Agricultural Resources and Food Security

International Food Security

Subject:

Table of contents

(19 chapters)

Prelims

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the impact of public agricultural Research and Development (R&D) investments on agricultural productivity and long-term food security to derive policy recommendations. The methodological approach is based on the application of the state-of-the art Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to R&D. By endogenizing R&D in global CGE models, it is possible to assess the impact of different public R&D policies on the food availability and food access of food security. This study found that R&D investments bring positive effects on the food access dimension of food security, particularly in places such as Sub-Saharan Africa where prices are expected to grow significantly by 2050, as agricultural land becomes scarcer and more expensive. Doubling the R&D intensity would soften the land constraints and substantially decelerate food prices, thus preventing the deterioration of living standards of rural households and leading to a gain in daily caloric consumption. The impact of alternative agricultural R&D policies on the various dimensions of food security has not been analyzed using a CGE framework, which enables capturing both the benefits and costs from R&D investments. Modeling the dynamic accumulation of R&D stocks makes it possible to analyze the effects of R&D on food security over time.

Abstract

Deficiency of nutrition is generally referred to as malnutrition; however, malnutrition can refer to both overnutrition and undernutrition. Nutrient availability and intake are current challenges for society, and these challenges will only intensify as population continues to grow and resources become more stressed. This chapter examines the need for dietary guidelines to increase nutrition security, describes the history of dietary guidelines in the United States, examines compliance and challenges with compliance of dietary guidelines, and finishes with future implications of dietary guidelines. This study concluded that although the purpose of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines is to assist Americans in choosing healthy eating patterns and to alleviate the negative health and economic outcomes associated with malnutrition, consumers typically do not follow the USDA Dietary Guidelines due to their inherent complexities and other factors, such as income and access to food which may affect compliance.

Abstract

While genetically modified (GM) crops have provided tremendous agricultural productivity gains, many consumers oppose GM products and maintain they are unsafe. We use the case of GM sugar beets and their adoption by the US producers to examine the implications of GM technology on food security. A partial equilibrium framework is used to examine the implications of GM technology on food security. This analysis provides a unique opportunity to examine the impact of GM adoption in one product (sugar beets) relative to non-GM adoption in a substitute product (sugarcane). This analysis examines the potential gains to food security through the adoption of biotechnology versus consumer fear of GM technology. Research and development (R&D) has potential implications not only through its impact on supply, but also on demand as well. This study shows that demand impacts can negate the supply-induced food security gains of R&D. Regulations such as mandatory labeling requirements can impact this outcome.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to ask and answer the question of what would happen if Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) plant materials were banned. We report on two studies – one with United States only ban and one with a global ban. We used a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), for the analysis. This model has been used in hundreds of published papers on trade, energy, land use, and environmental issues. Our use of the model was to estimate the crop yield benefits for the major GMO crops, and then to convert this to a loss if the GMO traits were banned. We then shocked the GTAP model with the yield losses and estimate economic, land use, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts. We found that losing the GM technology would cause commodity and food prices to increase and also bring about a significant increase in GHG emissions. The increase in emissions is caused by the need to convert forest and pasture to compensate for the lost production. Another interesting conclusion of the global ban study is that economic well-being for the United States, the world’s largest GMO user, actually increases with a ban. Many regions that ban or use little GMO varieties like the European Union, India, China, and Japan all see economic well-being decrease. These counterintuitive results are driven mainly by trade patterns. Therefore GMO technology helps agriculture reduce its carbon footprint. Without this technology, agricultural land-use GHG emissions increase as do food prices. Some groups would like to see GMOs banned and also see GHG emissions fall. You cannot have it both ways.

Abstract

Food security is at risk from climate change. In fact, climate change and its drivers already affect food production through increased temperatures, changed precipitation patterns, extreme event frequency, and escalated carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone. These effects are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. This will cause changes to agricultural production worldwide with regional consequences for global food security. In the face of this, adaptations must be pursued that help agriculture maintain and enhance productivity under climate change while meeting growing demands for food. This chapter reviews the current literature on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and possible adaptation strategies to combat its effects. Specifically, this chapter focuses on research conducted on crop systems, livestock, fisheries, and food access.

This study concluded that food production systems around the world will be altered unevenly by climate change, with some gaining and many losing. Possible adaptation strategies will be suggested and successful implementation will need to include both public and private actions.

Given the inevitability of climate change impacting agricultural systems, adapting to the impacts is necessary to maintain future food security. More research is encouraged to determine how to best incorporate multiple systems, actors, and interests in adaptation, as well as how to best respond to the imminent threat to the food system.

Abstract

Will Florida’s agriculture adapt to climate change? Climate disruptions to agriculture and natural resources in Florida are projected to increase in the future. These impacts will be increasingly negative because critical thresholds are being exceeded. This chapter discusses how Florida’s agriculture and natural resources may be affected by climate change in the coming decades.

Agriculture will be affected by invasive alien species, sea-level-rise flooding, and storm surges. A warmer, drier climate will place agriculture in competition with other users for limited water resources. A serious concern for agriculture is that rising sea level will cause coastal groundwater to become more saline and groundwater levels to rise. The loss of coastal wetlands increases the risk of catastrophic damage due to extreme weather events. Degradation of soil and water assets due to increasing extremes in precipitation will challenge both rainfed and irrigated agriculture without the implementation of innovative conservation methods. High night-time temperatures can reduce grain yields and animal-sourced production. Climate change also increases the vulnerability of forests to ecosystem changes due to decreased soil moisture and increased evapotranspiration. The practical implications are that increased innovation will be needed to ensure the adaptation of agriculture and the associated socioeconomic system can keep pace with climate change. Given the difficulties in predicting our future climate, we must develop new risk-transfer innovations that will facilitate damage recovery. Changes in agricultural yields and food prices could have important implications for food security.

Abstract

Malnutrition is widespread and affects about one-third of humanity. Increasing production and consumption of vegetables is an obvious pathway to improve dietary diversity, nutrition and health. This chapter analyses how climate change is affecting vegetable production, with a special focus on the spread of insect pests and diseases. A thorough literature review was undertaken to assess current global vegetable production, the factors that affect the spread of diseases and insect pests, the implications caused by climate change, and how some of these constraints can be overcome. This study found that climate change combined with globalization, increased human mobility, and pathogen and vector evolution has increased the spread of invasive plant pathogens and other species with high fertility and dispersal. The ability to transfer genes from wild relatives into cultivated elite varieties accelerates the development of novel vegetable varieties. World Vegetable Center breeders have embarked on breeding for multiple disease resistance against a few important pathogens of global relevance and with large evolutionary potential, such as chili anthracnose and tomato bacterial wilt. The practical implications of this are that agronomic practices that enhance microbial diversity may suppress emerging plant pathogens through biological control. Grafting can effectively control soil-borne diseases and overcome abiotic stress. Biopesticides and natural enemies either alone or in combination can play a significant role in sustainable pathogen and insect pest management in vegetable production system. This chapter highlights the importance of integrated disease and pest management and the use of diverse production systems for enhanced resilience and sustainability of highly vulnerable, uniform cropping systems.

Abstract

In the United States, successive farm bills and the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) have largely defined domestic subsidy and conservation programs and U.S. food-aid initiatives over the past decade. This chapter examines the effects of the current mixture of U.S. agricultural policies and international food-aid programs on domestic and global food-insecure populations. A detailed research-based examination is carried out with respect to the impacts of U.S. subsidy programs on agricultural production, domestic and global agricultural commodity prices, and their implications for food-insecure populations. The impacts of the RFS are assessed along with the effects of current and potentially reformed U.S. international food-aid programs.

This study concludes that current U.S. agricultural subsidy programs have small or negligible impacts on the aggregate level and mixture of U.S. agricultural output, U.S. domestic prices and global prices, and domestic and global food insecurity among poor households. The RFS has increased prices for food and feed grain and oilseeds with adverse implications for the urban poor in developing countries and some poor U.S. households. The portfolios of U.S. food-aid programs are managed inefficiently because of congressional mandates designed to aid special interest groups that waste 30% of the current budget. While U.S. subsidy programs likely should be moderated for other reasons, they have few impacts on domestic and globally food-insecure households. However, in relation to global and domestic food insecurity, the RFS should be discontinued and major reforms to U.S. international food aid implemented.

Abstract

In this chapter the development of new sugarcane varieties in Florida and Louisiana is examined, along with the accompanying advancement in mechanization technology through the widespread adoption of sugarcane harvesters. An econometric analysis is carried out to determine the impact of the price of raw sugar on raw-sugar yields in Louisiana and Florida. This study found that in the case of Louisiana, the 3-year lagged US raw-sugar price had a positive and significant impact on sugar yields. The change in raw-sugar prices did not have a significant impact on sugar yields for the Florida industry. Sugar production has increased over time, in part, due to the development of new sugarcane varieties accompanied by modern sugarcane harvesters. Given the relationship between price and yield, particularly in Louisiana, policy makers and producers must be mindful of the potential impact of policy-induced research and development (R&D) on the competitiveness of their industry.

Abstract

Aquaculture has become the world’s fastest growing food-production technology. This chapter outlines the main factors for this growth and shows how farmed seafood can contribute directly and indirectly to food security. We used the databases of the FAO on food production and trade to analyze the development of production in the main categories of animal protein. The trends were interpreted in a productivity growth and trade context. We found that modern aquaculture is enabled by transferring knowledge from terrestrial animal production and from developing new technologies to create substantial productivity growth and production cost reductions. The current growth rate of aquaculture production exceeds all other types of meat production and is expected to continue to increase as the agro-science industry expands (seafood made up 34.5% of the world’s animal production in 2013). More than 90% of the world’s aquaculture production takes place in developing countries, where it contributes to food security directly through consumption or indirectly as a source of income. Seafood is a main source of animal protein in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries. Depending on species and country, farmed seafood contributes to food security directly through domestic consumption, or indirectly through economic growth from exports.

Abstract

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), designed to establish and enforce food-safety standards for foods from domestic and foreign origins, focuses federal regulation on the prevention of food contamination. Many concerns have been expressed about how FSMA-compliance costs will affect the economic viability of very small and small farms, which have higher average compliance costs than do larger farms, thus marginalizing their ability to compete in the marketplace. The purpose of this study is to estimate how FSMA will affect differently sized US and international tomato producers in the fresh-tomato industry. A simulation approach is applied for changes of quantities demanded, revenues, and profits for differently sized farms based on elasticities estimated using a differential approach. Our findings indicate that both domestic and foreign tomato producers with both very small and small farms are expected to see significant losses in profit after the adoption of FSMA. The practical implications of these findings are that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be aware of, be concerned about, and take into consideration the adverse consequences of their regulatory decisions on food prices, food-industry costs, the structure of the food industry, and product diversity. In essence, the FDA needs to strike a balance between food safety (the primary objective of FSMA) and market performance.

Abstract

Strong evidence has shown that increased agricultural productivity and opened international trade are required to maintain and enhance food security. The multilateral trading system has been unable to keep trade open for one subset of agricultural products – those that use biotechnology in production. This chapter assesses whether preferential trade agreements can represent potential alternative sources of trade rules for dealing with trade in the products of biotechnology. This chapter analyzes and compares three case studies of preferential trade agreements (Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Trans-Pacific Partnership), by focusing on negotiations pertaining to products of biotechnology. The three preferential trade agreements have shown little inventiveness in their attempts to put in place rules of trade for the products of modern agricultural biotechnology and have established forums where only issues can be discussed. They are forums to talk and talk without any means to force closure on negotiations. Given the inability to deal with the issue of biotechnology at the WTO or other multilateral forums, the recent and current negotiations of major preferential agreements represent the second best alternative which still needs to be analyzed and still needs to be understood by policy makers, academics, and the population at large. This chapter represents a first step in that direction.

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Abstract

We analyze several dimensions of food security in Ethiopia, taking into account projected population growth, economic growth, and price information to estimate future food consumption by income decile. The analysis looks at the potential impact of large consumer price increases on food security metrics. We use the new USDA/ERS demand-based modeling framework in order to carry out this study. The modeling approach captures economic behavior by making food demand systematically responsive to income and price changes based on a demand specification well-grounded in microeconomic foundations. The projected change in food consumption can be apportioned to population growth, income growth, and changes in food prices and real exchange rates. We found that Ethiopia is highly food insecure, with 54% of the population consuming less than 2,100 calories a day at calibration levels. Income growth under unchanged prices mitigates food insecurity with the number of food-insecure people falling to 42.5 million in 2016. If domestic prices were free to fall with world market prices, the food-insecure population would decrease farther to 36.1 million. If domestic prices increased because of domestic supply shocks and constrained imports, the food-insecure population could rise to 64.7 million. The food gap (i.e., the amount of food necessary to eliminate Ethiopia’s food insecurity) would reach 3.6 million tons. The practical implications of this are that measures of food security are sensitive to changes in prices. Maintaining higher prices when global prices are low maintains higher levels of food insecurity than would otherwise prevail. Expanded access to lower cost imports could significantly improve food security in Ethiopia.

Abstract

Food security was investigated in three villages in rural Ethiopia for smallholder farmers growing staple crops and coffee. Field surveys were conducted through extensive interviews of head of households in three villages in the coffee-growing region of Oromia. We computed basic descriptive statistics and estimated a discrete variable model of the food security status of households and its socioeconomic determinants. We found that commercial input used among smallholders remains sporadic and pricey. Most households produce coffee as a key source of cash income, and rely on a major coffee cooperative to market their coffee. The coffee cooperative helps with transportation costs, eases market participation decisions, and provides better and stable prices. Many farmers rely on credit and banking services offered by the cooperative. These services contribute to food security. Most food-insecure households tend to be headed by females and have severe land constraints. These households also tend to work outside of their own farm more often at lower-return activities than do food-secure households. Despite the fast growing economy of Ethiopia, smallholder households face considerable impediments to improve their economic livelihoods and market participation due to limited land and poor transportation and telecommunications infrastructures. Policies lowering the unit cost and increasing the local availability of commercial inputs for agriculture would be useful to boost staple food production and income generation of smallholders systematically. Better infrastructures and easier access to land would help mitigate food insecurity.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of off-farm work on food security in rural Bangladesh. We use rural household-level data and a nonparametric propensity score matching (PSM) estimator. Matching estimators are used in observational data to address the potential selection biases caused by nonrandom allocation of the treatment. Monthly food-consumption data and household income and expenditure surveys from rural Bangladesh for 2013–2014 are used in this chapter. We found that rural Bangladeshi households participating in nonfarm income-generating activities, especially in higher return nonfarm employment, enjoy higher levels of per-capita food expenditures and diet diversity – two of the measures of food security. In particular, we find that rural households increased diet diversity in cereals, fruits and vegetables, and meats. Finally, our estimates reveal that rural households participating in off-farm work increased per-capita food consumption by about Taka 1,576, on average, and increased per-capita expenditures on milk and milk products (Taka 212), and fruits and vegetables (Taka 235) significantly. Policy makers should design and implement policies that create off-farm livelihood activities. These nonfarm activities would help smallholder farm families to diversify, to supplement their income, and to continue their agricultural operations as well as increase food security.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the impact of the global food crisis of 2007–2008 on Tanzania’s real retail-food prices and on the cost of the typical food basket. The methodological approach is to compare real retail-food prices and food-basket costs in 20 regions of Tanzania with global food prices. The findings are that the global food crisis of 2007–2008 did not significantly cause food prices in Tanzania to increase and that domestic factors were more important drivers of food prices and food-basket costs. The social implication is that the impacts of the global food crisis on food prices and food-basket costs in developing countries may have been overestimated in previous research and the policy responses of the global community may have been inappropriate.

Abstract

This chapter contributes to the present debate on food loss and waste. Many international and nongovernmental organizations see reducing food loss and waste as a priority for reducing global hunger and resource waste. The aim of this chapter is threefold. First, it questions whether the definition and methodology used for estimating the actual magnitude of food loss and waste is based on sound economic reasoning. Second, it investigates whether the inference concerning the potential for reducing global hunger is valid. Third, it questions whether there is a moral problem compared to wastage of some other consumer goods or the use of them for luxury reasons.

The definition of food waste and loss is crucial for quantifying its magnitude – how much is wasted by humans, fed to animals, and distributed to food banks. The aggregation problem is not solved adequately. It is highly questionable to aggregate all food items independently on the content of calories in kilograms. One kilogram of bread contains fewer calories than one kilogram of meat. It is questionable to consider food as loss or waste if the cost of avoidance would be higher than the value for the reduced loss or waste. Moreover, what is the cost to the hungry population for transferring food waste?

Index

Pages 289-308
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Cover of World Agricultural Resources and Food Security
DOI
10.1108/S1574-8715201717
Publication date
2017-07-15
Book series
Frontiers of Economics and Globalization
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-515-3
eISBN
978-1-78714-515-3
Book series ISSN
1574-8715