Posts Tagged ‘Food security’

CIMMYT Annual Report 2013: Agricultural research for development to improve food and nutritional security

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in CIMMYT Publications

CIMMYT Annual Report 2013: Agricultural research for development to improve food and nutritional security. 2014. CIMMYT, Int.. : 136 p.. Mexico, DF (Mexico). CIMMYT. Series: CIMMYT Annual Report

99444.pdfThrough research, development, training and capacity building, CIMMYT works with partners to sustainably increase the productivity of maize- and wheat-based cropping systems. Focused on improving food and nutritional security and improving livelihoods in the developing world, CIMMYT is a member of CGIAR and leads the MAIZE and WHEAT CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs)..


Modeling the effect of a heat wave on maize production in the USA and its implications on food security in the developing world

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Weather and Climate Extremes, 2014

Chung, U.;  Gbegbelegbe, S.D.;  Shiferaw, B.;  Robertson, R.;  Jin I. Yun;  Kindie Tesfaye Fantaye;  Hoogenboom, G.Sonder, K.

This study uses geo-spatial crop modeling to quantify the biophysical impact of weather extremes. More specifically, the study analyzes the weather extreme which affected maize production in the USA in 2012; it also estimates the effect of a similar weather extreme in 2050, using future climate scenarios. The secondary impact of the weather extreme on food security in the developing world is also assessed using trend analysis. Many studies have reported on the significant reduction in maize production in the USA due to the extreme weather event (combined heat wave and drought) that occurred in 2012. However, most of these studies focused on yield and did not assess the potential effect of weather extremes on food prices and security. The overall goal of this study was to use geo-spatial crop modeling and trend analysis to quantify the impact of weather extremes on both yield and, followed food security in the developing world.

We used historical weather data for severe extreme events that have occurred in the USA. The data were obtained from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In addition we used five climate scenarios: the baseline climate which is typical of the late 20th century (2000s) and four future climate scenarios which involve a combination of two emission scenarios (A1B and B1) and two global circulation models (CSIRO-Mk3.0 and MIROC 3.2). DSSAT 4.5 was combined with GRASS GIS for geo-spatial crop modeling. Simulated maize grain yield across all affected regions in the USA indicates that average grain yield across the USA Corn Belt would decrease by 29% when the weather extremes occur using the baseline climate. If the weather extreme were to occur under the A1B emission scenario in the 2050s respectively, average grain yields would decrease by 38% and 57%, under the CSIRO-Mk3.0 and MIROC 3.2 global climate models, respectively. The weather extremes that occurred in the USA in 2012 resulted in a sharp increase in the world maize price. In addition, it likely played a role in the reduction in world maize consumption and trade in 2012/13, compared to 2011/12. The most vulnerable countries to the weather extremes are poor countries with high maize import dependency ratios including those countries in the Caribbean, northern Africa and western Asia. Other vulnerable countries include low-income countries with low import dependency ratios but which cannot afford highly-priced maize. The study also highlighted the pathways through which a weather extreme would affect food security, were it to occur in 2050 under climate change. Some of the policies which could help vulnerable countries counter the negative effects of weather extremes consist of social protection and safety net programs. Medium- to long-term adaptation strategies include increasing world food reserves to a level where they can be used to cover the production losses brought by weather extremes.

Identifying secure and low carbon food production practices: A case study in Kenya and Ethiopia

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 197 : 137-146, 2014

Bellarby, J.;  Stirling, C.; Vetter, S.H.; Berresaw Menale Kassie; Kanampiu, F.; Sonder, K.; Smith, P.; Hillier, J.

The world population is projected to increase to 9–10 billion by 2050, during which time it will be necessary to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. The particular challenge this places on agriculture is to identify practices which ensure stable and productive food supply that also have a low greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity. Maize is the principle staple crop in many parts of Africa with low and variable yields, averaging only 1.6 t/ha in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Food security and increasing crop yields are considered priorities in SSA over impacts of food production on GHG emissions. Here we describe an approach that can be used to inform a decision support tree for optimal interventions to obtain sufficient food production with low GHG intensity, and we demonstrate its applicability to SSA. We employed a derivative of the farm greenhouse gas calculator ‘Cool Farm Tool’ (CFT) on a large survey of Kenyan and Ethiopian smallholder maize-based systems in an assessment of GHG intensity. It was observed that GHG emissions are strongly correlated with nitrogen (N) input. Based on the relationship between yield and GHG emissions established in this study, a yield of 0.7 t/ha incurs the same emissions as those incurred for maize from newly exploited land for maize in the region. Thus, yields of at least 0.7 t/ha should be ensured to achieve GHG intensities lower than those for exploiting new land for production. Depending on family size, the maize yield required to support the average consumption of maize per household in these regions was determined to be between 0.3 and 2.0 t/ha, so that the desirable yield can be even higher from a food security perspective. Based on the response of the observed yield to increasing N application levels, average optimum N input levels were determined as 60 and 120 kg N/ha for Kenya and Ethiopia, respectively. Nitrogen balance calculations could be applied to other countries or scaled down to districts to quantify the trade-offs, and to optimise crop productivity and GHG emissions.

Quantifying the impact of weather extremes on global food security: A spatial bio-economic approach

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Weather and Climate Extremes 4 : 96-108, 2014

Gbegbelegbe, S.; Chung, U.; Shiferaw, B.; Msangi, S.; Kindie Tesfaye Fantaye

This study uses a spatial bio-economic modelling framework to estimate the impact of the 2012 weather extreme in the USA on food security in the developing world. The study also quantifies the potential effects of a similar weather extreme occurring in 2050 under climate change. The study results indicate that weather extremes that affect maize productivity in key grain baskets can negatively affect food security in vulnerable countries. The 2012 weather extreme which occurred in the USA reduced US and global maize production by 29% compared to trend; maize consumption in the country decreased by 5% only and this resulted in less surplus maize for exports from the largest maize exporter in the world. Global maize production decreased by 6% compared to trend. The decrease in global maize production coupled with a reduction in the volume of global maize exports worsened food insecurity in eastern Africa, the Caribbean and Central America and India. The effects of the weather extreme on global food security would be worse, if the latter were to occur under climate change in 2050, assuming no climate change adaptation worldwide over the years. In addition, the hardest-hit regions would remain the same, whether the weather extreme occurs in 2012 instead of 2050: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), South Asia and the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. However, sustained growth in per capita income across world economies between 2000 and 2050 would allow few countries in SSA and the LAC region to virtually eliminate hunger within their borders. In these countries, per capita income would be high enough by 2050 to completely offset the negative effect of the weather extreme. The study results are also consistent with USDA׳s estimates on US and global maize production and consumption in 2012 after the weather extreme. Some discrepancy is found on the volume of global maize trade; this implies that the bio-economic model likely overestimates the effect of the weather extreme on food insecurity. However, the trends from the analysis are likely to be valid. Further research would involve using a CGE model that can capture the net effects of weather extremes.

Evaluating the impact of improved maize varieties on food security in Rural Tanzania: Evidence from a continuous treatment approach

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Food Security, 2014

Berresaw Menale Kassie; Jaleta, M.; Mattei, A.

This paper investigates impact heterogeneity in the adoption of improved maize varieties using data from rural Tanzania. We used a generalized propensity-score matching methodology, complemented with a parametric econometric method to check the robustness of results. We found a consistent result across models, indicating that adoption increased food security, and that the impact of adoption varied with the level of adoption. On average, an increase of one acre in the area allocated to improved maize varieties reduced the probabilities of chronic and transitory food insecurity from between 0.7 and 1.2 % and between 1.1 and 1.7 %, respectively. Policies that increase maize productivity and ease farmers’ adoption constraints can ensure the allocation of more land to improved technologies and, in doing so, enhance the food security of households.

Regulatory reform of seed systems: Benefits and impacts from a mungbean case study in Nepal

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Field Crops Research 158 : 15-23, 2014

Joshi, K.D.;Khanal, N.P.; Harris, D.; Khanal, N.N.; Sapkota, A.; Khadka, K.; Darai, R.; Neupane, R.K.; Joshi, M.; Witcombe, J.R.

Mungbean (Vigna radiata (L). Wilczek) is becoming an important grain legume in Nepal. It can be grown as an additional crop after harvesting winter crops such as winter wheat, winter legumes and oilseeds and before planting main season rice from the low-altitude Terai through to the middle hills of Nepal. Replacing short fallows in the spring, it provides additional high quality food, enhances soil fertility and increases the yield of the following crop. In spite of continued varietal research by the National Grain Legume Research Programme, no mungbean varieties were released from 1975 to 2006. The old variety, Pusa Baishakhi, was released in 1975, but became susceptible to Mungbean Yellow Mosaic Virus (MYMV) and several other diseases so mungbean became limited to a rarely grown, green manure crop. In 2003, we introduced four mungbean varieties resistant to MYMV from the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre. These were evaluated in participatory varietal selection (PVS) mother and baby trials in low fertility and droughted conditions using farmers’ levels of inputs and management. Variety spread was promoted by distributing free small seed samples in a process known as Informal Research and Development (IRD); and community-based seed production and marketing. Of the four varieties, NM94 and VC6372 consistently produced higher grain yields than the local check varieties, were resistant to MYMV and hence were preferred by farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives endorsed a new variety release procedure in 2005 that permitted the use of data from PVS trials to support the release or registration of new crop varieties. In 2006, on the basis of data generated from PVS trials alone, the National Seed Board released NM94 as ‘Kalyan’ while, on the basis of combined data from the PVS trials and from on-station trials, VC6372 (45-8-1) was released as ‘Prateeksha’. The use of PVS contributed greatly to fast-tracking the release process and this resulted in farmers getting new MYMV-resistant mungbean varieties more quickly. Varieties spread rapidly through IRD and farmer-to-farmer seed networks and provided benefits to farming households. Regulatory reforms to speed up and simplify the process of varietal release are discussed.

Crops that feed the world 10. Past successes and future challenges to the role played by wheat in global food security

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Food Security 5 (3) : 291-317, 2013

Shiferaw, B.; Smale, M.; Braun, H.J.; Duveiller, E.; Reynolds, M.P.; Muricho, G.

Wheat is fundamental to human civilization and has played an outstanding role in feeding a hungry world and improving global food security. The crop contributes about 20 % of the total dietary calories and proteins worldwide. Food demand in the developing regions is growing by 1 % annually and varies from 170 kg in Central Asia to 27 kg in East and South Africa. The developing regions (including China and Central Asia) account for roughly 53 % of the total harvested area and 50 % of the production. Unprecedented productivity growth from the Green Revolution (GR) since the 1960s dramatically transformed world wheat production, benefitting both producers and consumers through low production costs and low food prices. Modern wheat varieties were adopted more rapidly than any other technological innovation in the history of agriculture, recently reaching about 90 % of the area in developing regions. One of the key challenges today is to replace these varieties with new ones for better sustainability. While the GR “spared” essential ecosystems from conversion to agriculture, it also generated its own environmental problems. Also productivity increase is now slow or static. Achieving the productivity gains needed to ensure food security will therefore require more than a repeat performance of the GR of the past. Future demand will need to be achieved through sustainable intensification that combines better crop resistance to diseases and pests, adaptation to warmer climates, and reduced use of water, fertilizer, labor and fuel. Meeting these challenges will require concerted efforts in research and innovation to develop and deploy viable solutions. Substantive investment will be required to realize sustainable productivity growth through better technologies and policy and institutional innovations that facilitate farmer adoption and adaptation. The enduring lessons from the GR and the recent efforts for sustainable intensification of cereal systems in South Asia and other regions provide useful insights for the future.

Impact of metal silos on households’ maize storage, storage losses and food security: An application of a propensity score matching

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Food Policy 43 : 44-55, 2013

Gitonga, Z.M.; De Groote, H.; Berresaw Menale Kassie; Tadele Tefera

Maize is the most important food staple in Eastern and Southern Africa, with a highly seasonal production but relatively constant consumption over the year. Farmers have to store maize to bridge seasons, for food security and to protect against price fluctuations. However, the traditional storage methods do not protect grain well, resulting in large postharvest losses. Hermetically sealed metal silos kill storage pests by oxygen deprivation without pesticides. Popular in Central America, they are now being promoted in Africa, but their impact here has not yet been studied. This study used propensity score matching to evaluate the impact of metal silos on duration of maize storage, loss abatement, cost of storage, and household food security. Metal silo adopters (N = 116) were matched with non-adopting farmers from a representative sample of 1340 households covering the major maize-growing zones in Kenya. The major effect of the metal silos was an almost complete elimination of losses due to insect pests, saving farmers an average of 150?200 kg of grain, worth KSh9750 (US$130). Metal silo adopters also spent about KSh340 less on storage insecticides. Adopters were able to store their maize for 1.8?2.4 months longer, and to sell their surplus after five months at good prices, instead of having to sell right after the harvest. The period of inadequate food provision among adopters was reduced by more than one month. We conclude that metal silos are effective in reducing grain losses due to maize-storage insects, and that they have a large impact on the welfare and food security of farm households. The initial cost of metal silos is high (KSh20,000/1.8 ton) and therefore policies to increase access to credit, to reduce the cost of sheet metal, and to promote collective action can improve their uptake by smallholder farmers.

What determines gender inequality in household food security in Kenya? Application of exogenous switching treatment regression

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in World Development 56 : 153-171, 2013

Berresaw Menale Kassie; Ndiritu, S.W.; Stage, J.

This paper explores the link between the gender of a household head and food security in rural Kenya. The results show that the food security gap between male-headed households (MHHs) and female-headed households (FHHs) is explained by their differences in observable and unobservable characteristics. FHHs’ food security status would have been higher than it is now if the returns (coefficients) on their observed characteristics had been the same as the returns on the MHHs’ characteristics. Even if that had been the case, however, results indicate that FHHs would still have been less food-secure than the MHHs due to unobservable characteristics.

Adoption of improved wheat varieties and impacts on household food security in Ethiopia

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Food Policy, 2013

Shiferaw, B.;Berresaw Menale Kassie; Jaleta, M.; Yirga, C.

This article evaluates the impact of the adoption of improved wheat varieties on food security using a recent nationally-representative dataset of over 2000 farm households in Ethiopia. We adopted endogenous switching regression treatment effects complemented with a binary propensity score matching methodology to test robustness and reduced selection bias stemming from both observed and unobserved characteristics. We expand this further with the generalized propensity score (GPS) approach to evaluate the effects of continuous treatment on the response of the outcome variables. We find a consistent result across models indicating that adoption increases food security and farm households that did adopt would also have benefited significantly had they adopted new varieties. This study supports the need for vital investments in agricultural research for major food staples widely consumed by the poor, and efforts to improve access to modern varieties and services. Policies that enhance diffusion and adoption of modern wheat varieties should be central to food security strategies in Ethiopia.