The Green Revolution -- based on modern, high yielding plant varieties, requiring high inputs of fertilizer and water -- has led to increases in world food production at a pace that outstripped population growth. Food prices have declined markedly. Increased water use in irrigated agriculture has benefited farmers and the poor. But increased water and chemical use that fueled the Green Revolution has contributed to environmental degradation, and threatened the resource base upon which we depend for food and livelihoods.
Many Ugandans may not be aware of the ongoing climate changes but its effects are already threatening lives of many people countrywide.
The issue has dominated the international public discourse for the past few years with catch phrases such as global warming and green house gas emissions becoming part of everyday vocabulary.
Vulnerability, in the context of global environmental change (GEC), entails two simultaneous modes or processes: a general mode in the sense that all are vulnerable, and a particular mode in the sense that different groups in society are differentially at risk from different threats to their livelihood.
Globally, food insecurity and poverty are often found where biodiversity loss is especially pronounced, as well as in some of the more remote areas of richest remaining biodiversity. Two thirds of the rural population - and the rural poor - live in higher-risk production environments with variable rainfall, difficult soils and pest complexes. Over 500 million people live in drylands without access to irrigation, and 625 million live in mountainous regions, where considerable natural biodiversity still remain.
Kenya – Environmental Policy Brief: Point of departure for a discussion of poverty and environmentally sustainable developmentPosted on: 4 August 2008 - 5:40pm
Poverty in Kenya is predominantly a rural phenomenon. It is linked in a complex way to the rural households' large dependence on natural resources (mainly soils, biological and forest resources), inefficient agricultural practices, land degradation, declining food production, rapid population growth, land fragmentation, and limited access to markets, credits and public services.
Small ruminants in Asia; Contribution to food security, poverty alleviation and opportunities for productivity enhancementPosted on: 28 July 2008 - 3:28pm
Small ruminants (goats and sheep) form an important economic and ecological niche in agricultural systems throughout the developing countries. Their current contribution is not commensurate with the potential capacity for higher levels of production. The context for productivity enhancement and increased socio-economic contribution relates to large population size, wide distribution across various agro-ecological zones and production systems and diversity of breeds.
The rapidly expanding requirements of water for food production, both in rainfed and irrigated agriculture, have entailed very large water withdrawals, significant modification of flow regimes, and degradation of water quality -- all with major implications for ecosystem health.
Strict seasonal limits to cropping in the semiarid tropics of West Africa mean that farmers must manage or supplement household cereal stocks during the extended period between annual harvests. Following a poor harvest, farmers make a series of decisions to allocate their consumption, sales, and purchases over time with the goal of satisfying calorie intake requirements through the subsequent cropping season, when labor demands again peak. Failure can have substantial effects on welfare as well as productivity. If calorie deficits are sufficiently severe and sustained, and particularly if they occur during the cropping season, households may fall into a poverty cycle not easily resolved by most market-oriented policy instruments.
This chapter explores the seasonal incidence and determinants of food insecurity as experienced by farm households in two regions of Burkina Faso (Sahel savanna and Sudano-Sahel) during the recent Sahelian drought period of September 1984-December 1985. The objectives are to (1) describe the degree and nature of household consumption deficits in a seasonal framework; (2) determine how such deficits make households vulnerable to unpredictable factors in the market and in access to relief assistance; (3) determine whether these problems affect households equally, or rather are more narrowly concentrated in certain groups with particular wealth and demographic characteristics; and (4) highlight important policy implications of these cross-sectional and intertemporal patterns.
The objectives of this Technical Paper are to highlight the contribution that inland and coastal small-scale fisheries can make to poverty alleviation and food security and to make practical suggestions on ways that this contribution can be maximized.
This paper is organized into three main sections. The first section discusses the concepts of poverty, vulnerability and food security, and briefly outlines how these concepts have evolved in recent years within the field of fisheries (in line with the rest of the development literature). The second section reviews the actual and potential contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security. It illustrates, through use of examples, the role that small-scale fisheries can play in economic growth at the national level and poverty alleviation and rural development at the local level. The third and main section of the document discusses ways of increasing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security through nine main entry points.
The paper then proposes a series of broad pro-poor or pro-small-scale fisheries principles, before discussing in greater detail three of the main management instruments adopted in fisheries: (i) property right approaches; (ii) co-management; and (iii) protected areas.
This report on land resources is part of a series of supporting documents that accompany the main volume, Poverty Alleviation and Food Security in Asia: Lessons and Challenges which was published earlier and which assessed recent experiences, policies, and select issues on poverty alleviation in Asian developing countries.
In the context of agricultural development, sustainability is concerned with the adoption of land management practices that will enable the available natural resources to be used, now and in the future, to meet basic human needs. Such a concept of sustainability embraces a number of different disciplinary concerns. From the bio-physical perspective the concern is maintaining and enhancing the potential of the physical environment (the land) to sustain plant growth (crops, pastures and trees) while conserving biodiversity within the natural resource base. There is an implicit time dimension that requires that immediate or short term productive returns from the land should not be obtained at the expense of potential future production in the medium to long-term. There is a social dimension that addresses the need to use the land to meet human needs in ways that are socially and culturally acceptable. The economic dimension requires that any economic and financial costs incurred by individual landusers and the wider society should be commensurate with the benefits and that there should be no diminution in the value of the natural resource capital stock as a result of using the land for agricultural purposes.
The present report assesses the potentials, status, issues and strategies relating to sustainable agricultural resource management in the context of food security across similar eco-regions and to the farm level with special reference to the endowment and resources of the poor and marginal farmers within the Asia Pacific Region.