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Journal ArticleDOI

Measuring Food Insecurity

12 Feb 2010-Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science)-Vol. 327, Iss: 5967, pp 825-828
TL;DR: This work states that estimated prevalence rates and patterns remain tenuous because measuring food security, an elusive concept, remains difficult.
Abstract: Food security is a growing concern worldwide. More than 1 billion people are estimated to lack sufficient dietary energy availability, and at least twice that number suffer micronutrient deficiencies. Because indicators inform action, much current research focuses on improving food insecurity measurement. Yet estimated prevalence rates and patterns remain tenuous because measuring food security, an elusive concept, remains difficult.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the impacts of global climate change on food systems are expected to be widespread, complex, geographically and temporally variable, and profoundly influenced by socioeconomic conditions, and some synergies among food security, adaptati...
Abstract: Food systems contribute 19%–29% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, releasing 9,800–16,900 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2008. Agricultural production, including indirect emissions associated with land-cover change, contributes 80%–86% of total food system emissions, with significant regional variation. The impacts of global climate change on food systems are expected to be widespread, complex, geographically and temporally variable, and profoundly influenced by socioeconomic conditions. Historical statistical studies and integrated assessment models provide evidence that climate change will affect agricultural yields and earnings, food prices, reliability of delivery, food quality, and, notably, food safety. Low-income producers and consumers of food will be more vulnerable to climate change owing to their comparatively limited ability to invest in adaptive institutions and technologies under increasing climatic risks. Some synergies among food security, adaptati...

1,598 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs and there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals.
Abstract: “Landscape approaches” seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. Here we synthesize the current consensus on landscape approaches. This is based on published literature and a consensus-building process to define good practice and is validated by a survey of practitioners. We find the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs. Notably, there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals. We provide 10 summary principles to support implementation of a landscape approach as it is currently interpreted. These principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder involvement, and multiple objectives. Various constraints are recognized, with institutional and governance concerns identified as the most severe obstacles to implementation. We discuss how these principles differ from more traditional sectoral and project-based approaches. Although no panacea, we see few alternatives that are likely to address landscape challenges more effectively than an approach circumscribed by the principles outlined here.

1,004 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the overall role of climate change, water scarcity, and population growth in redefining global food security is examined, which reveals that the water for food security situation is intricate and might get daunting if no action is taken.

988 citations


Cites background from "Measuring Food Insecurity"

  • ...…and widening inequality and income gap between the rich and the poor is a serious concern; though it is amazing that while one billion people are hungry in the developing world (Barrett, 2010), a significant proportion of the population in the developed countries is obese (Schäfer-Elinder, 2005)....

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  • ...The high and widening inequality and income gap between the rich and the poor is a serious concern; though it is amazing that while one billion people are hungry in the developing world (Barrett, 2010), a significant proportion of the population in the developed countries is obese (Schäfer-Elinder, 2005)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the driving forces behind farmers' decisions to adapt to climate change and the impact of adaptation on farmers' food production, and investigate whether there are differences in the food production functions of farm households that adapted and those that did not adapt.
Abstract: We examine the driving forces behind farmers’ decisions to adapt to climate change, and the impact of adaptation on farmers’ food production. We investigate whether there are differences in the food production functions of farm households that adapted and those that did not adapt. We estimate a simultaneous equations model with endogenous switching to account for the heterogeneity in the decision to adapt or not, and for unobservable characteristics of farmers and their farm. We compare the expected food production under the actual and counterfactual cases that the farm household adapted or not to climate change. We find that the group of farm households that adapted has systematically different characteristics than the group of farm households that did not adapt. The relationship between production and average temperature is inverted U-shaped for farm households that adapted, while it is U-shaped for farm households that did not adapt, and vice versa in the case of precipitation. We find that adaptation increases food production, however, the impact of adaptation on food production is smaller for the farm households that actually did adapt than for the farm households that did not adapt in the counterfactual case that they adapted.

916 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A model-driven integrated soil–crop system management approach is used to develop a maize production system that achieved mean maize yields that are nearly twice the yield of current farmers’ practices with no increase in N fertilizer use.
Abstract: China and other rapidly developing economies face the dual challenge of substantially increasing yields of cereal grains while at the same time reducing the very substantial environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. We used a model-driven integrated soil–crop system management approach to develop a maize production system that achieved mean maize yields of 13.0 t ha−1 on 66 on-farm experimental plots—nearly twice the yield of current farmers’ practices—with no increase in N fertilizer use. Such integrated soil–crop system management systems represent a priority for agricultural research and implementation, especially in rapidly growing economies.

610 citations


Cites background from "Measuring Food Insecurity"

  • ...aCollege of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China; bDepartment of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; cDepartment of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583; dSchool of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; and eInstitute of Plant Nutrition, Hohenheim University, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany Contributed by Peter M. Vitousek, February 15, 2011 (sent for review October 25, 2010) China and other rapidly developing economies face the dual challenge of substantially increasing yields of cereal grains while at the same time reducing the very substantial environmental impacts of intensive agriculture....

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  • ...Science 327:818–822....

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  • ...Science 327:812–818....

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  • ...R the challenges of ensuring global food security have received increasing attention from the scientific community, including high-profile features in Science (1, 2) and Nature (3, 4)....

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  • ...Science 327:833–834....

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References
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01 Jan 2011
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors highlight the differential impacts that the world food crisis of 2006-2008 had on different countries, with the poorest being most affected, and present policy options to reduce volatility in a cost-effective manner and to manage it when it cannot be avoided.
Abstract: This report highlights the differential impacts that the world food crisis of 2006-2008 had on different countries, with the poorest being most affected. This year’s report focuses on the costs of food price volatility, as well as the dangers and opportunities presented by high food prices. Climate change and an increased frequency of weather shocks, increased linkages between energy and agricultural markets due to growing demand for biofuels, and increased financialization of food and agricultural commodities all suggest that price volatility is here to stay. The report describes the effects of price volatility on food security and presents policy options to reduce volatility in a cost-effective manner and to manage it when it cannot be avoided.

3,644 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors developed an asset-based approach to poverty analysis that makes it possible to distinguish deep-rooted, persistent structural poverty from poverty that passes naturally with time due to systemic growth processes.
Abstract: Longitudinal data on household living standards open the way to a deeper analysis of the nature and extent of poverty. While a number of studies have exploited this type of data to distinguish transitory from more chronic forms of income or expenditure poverty, this paper develops an asset-based approach to poverty analysis that makes it possible to distinguish deep-rooted, persistent structural poverty from poverty that passes naturally with time due to systemic growth processes. Drawing on the economic theory of poverty traps and bifurcated accumulation strategies, this paper briefly discusses some feasible estimation strategies for empirically identifying poverty traps and long-term, persistent structural poverty, as well as relevant extensions of the popular Foster-Greer-Thorbecke class of poverty measures. The paper closes with reflections on how asset-based poverty can be used to underwrite the design of persistent poverty reduction strategies.

1,487 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A new data set on national poverty lines is combined with new price data and almost 700 household surveys to estimate absolute poverty measures for the developing world as discussed by the authors, finding that 25% of the population lived in poverty in 2005.
Abstract: A new data set on national poverty lines is combined with new price data and almost 700 household surveys to estimate absolute poverty measures for the developing world We find that 25% of the population lived in poverty in 2005, as judged by what “poverty” typically means in the world's poorest countries This is higher than past estimates Substantial overall progress is still indicated—the corresponding poverty rate was 52% in 1981—but progress was very uneven across regions The trends over time and regional profile are robust to various changes in methodology, though precise counts are more sensitive

1,352 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There is an association between child dietary diversity and nutritional status that is independent of socioeconomic factors, and that dietary diversity may indeed reflect diet quality, which is suggested to be recommended for widespread use as an indicator of diet quality.
Abstract: Simple indicators reflecting diet quality for young children are needed both for programs and in some research contexts. Measures of dietary diversity are relatively simple and were shown to be associated with nutrient adequacy and nutritional status. However, dietary diversity also tends to increase with income and wealth; thus, the association between dietary diversity and child nutrition may be confounded by socioeconomic factors. We used data from 11 recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to examine the association between dietary diversity and height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) for children 6-23 mo old, while controlling for household wealth/welfare and several other potentially confounding factors. Bivariate associations between dietary diversity and HAZ were observed in 9 of the 11 countries. Dietary diversity remained significant as a main effect in 7 countries in multivariate models, and interacted significantly with other factors (e.g., child age, breast-feeding status, urban/rural location) in 3 of the 4 remaining countries. Thus, dietary diversity was significantly associated with HAZ, either as a main effect or in an interaction, in all but one of the countries analyzed. These findings suggest that there is an association between child dietary diversity and nutritional status that is independent of socioeconomic factors, and that dietary diversity may indeed reflect diet quality. Before dietary diversity can be recommended for widespread use as an indicator of diet quality, additional research is required to confirm and clarify relations between various dietary diversity indicators and nutrient intake, adequacy, and density, for children with differing dietary patterns.

1,036 citations

01 Jan 2006
TL;DR: The unequivocal choice now is between continuing to fail as the global community did with HIV/AIDS for more than a decade or to finally make nutrition central to development so that a wide range of economic and social improvements that depend on nutrition can be realized.
Abstract: It has long been known that malnutrition undermines economic growth and perpetuates poverty. Yet the international community and most governments in developing countries have failed to tackle malnutrition over the past decades even though well-tested approaches for doing so exist. The consequences of this failure to act are now evident in the worlds inadequate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and toward poverty reduction more generally. Persistent malnutrition is contributing not only to widespread failure to meet the first MDG--to halve poverty and hunger--but to meet other goals in maternal and child health HIV/AIDS education and gender equity. The unequivocal choice now is between continuing to fail as the global community did with HIV/AIDS for more than a decade or to finally make nutrition central to development so that a wide range of economic and social improvements that depend on nutrition can be realized. (excerpt)

774 citations

Trending Questions (1)
How is food insecurity measures?

Food insecurity measures are difficult to determine due to the elusive nature of the concept and the need for cross-nationally comparable, longitudinal monitoring at the household and individual level.