The Global Food Policy Report is IFPRI’s flagship publication. This year’s annual report examines major food policy issues, global and regional developments, and commitments made in 2015, and presents data on key food policy indicators. The report also proposes key policy options for 2016 and beyond to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015, the global community made major commitments on sustainable development and climate change. The global food system lies at the heart of these commitments—and we will only be able to meet the new goals if we work to transform our food system to be more inclusive, climate-smart, sustainable, efficient, nutrition- and health-driven, and business-friendly.
In addition to global events and food policy changes, 2015 also saw important developments with potentially wide repercussions in individual countries and regions. This chapter offers perspectives on major food policy developments across the major regions: Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The individual regional sections cover many critical topics: Facing climate risks and growing populations with regional cooperation and accountability in Africa; Growing refugee populations, food insecurity, and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa; Vulnerability to external shocks and falling remittances that increase Central Asia’s food insecurity; New policies for food safety, nutrition, and financial and social inclusion in South Asia; Expected impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in East Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean’s contribution to global food security and global environmental public goods
The aim of this chapter is to present a forward-looking analysis of need for MSN systems and the required three main capacity areas (technical, managerial, and leadership) for effective MSN action to bring about the desired nutrition outcomes for the continent in a sustained manner. The chapter is structured as follows: First we discuss MSN systems, including MSN structures and the system requirements needed to address both nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions for wellcoordinated horizontal and vertical action in a multisectoral approach.
The revised CAADP Results Framework has 40 indicators for tracking progress across three levels. Level 1 includes the high-level outcomes and impacts to which agriculture contributes, including wealth creation; food security and nutrition; economic opportunities, poverty alleviation, and shared prosperity; and resilience and sustainability. Level 2 includes the outputs from interventions intended to transform the agriculture sector and achieve inclusive growth: improved agricultural production and productivity; increased intra-African regional trade and functional markets; expanded local agro-industry and value-chain development, inclusive of women and youth; increased resilience of livelihoods and improved management of risks in agriculture; and improved management of natural resources for sustainable agriculture. Level 3 includes inputs and processes required to strengthen systemic capacity to deliver CAADP results and create an enabling environment in which agricultural transformation can take place: effective and inclusive policy processes; effective and accountable institutions, including assessing implementation of policies and commitments; strengthened capacity for evidence-based planning, implementation, and review; improved multi-sectoral coordination, partnerships, and mutual accountability in sectors related to agriculture; increased public and private investments in agriculture; and increased capacity to generate, analyze, and use data, information, knowledge, and innovations. This ATOR presents and discusses progress on 30 of the 40 indicators in the Results Framework.
Focusing the 2015 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) on nutrition will contribute to a broader understanding of the role and importance of nutrition in achieving international, continental, and national economic growth targets through agriculture, food security, and nutrition. This report presents information and analysis in support of evidencebased policy making at the moment when the second-generation CAADP national investment plans are being developed. This is an important moment for shaping the region’s future and ensuring that the much-needed agriculture-led growth and development agenda can simultaneously deliver on improving nutrition and health, saving lives, improving the productivity of Africa’s population, and curbing public health expenditure on nutrition-related diseases. This includes addressing not only the usual elements of undernutrition but also widespread micronutrient deficiencies (termed “hidden hunger”) and the growing problem of overweight and obesity that is increasing across the African continent.
The current AU policy environment supports efforts by African countries to address malnutrition and can be a rallying point for different interventions at the continental, REC, and country levels. In addition, the accountability processes incorporated into the various declarations create opportunities for monitoring nutrition progress across the continent. The chapters in this report reflect on the current status of nutrition in Africa and offer insight into some of the different approaches being used to improve nutrition outcomes as part of agriculture interventions. The ATOR also always includes a chapter (Chapter 12) that reports current progress on CAADP indicators.
In the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, the world faces many seemingly intractable problems. Malnutrition should not be one of them. The incentives to improve nutrition are strong, and determined countries can make rapid advances in malnutrition reduction. Good nutrition provides a vital foundation for human development that is central to meeting our full potential. When nutrition status improves, a host of positive outcomes can follow for individuals and families. Improved nutrition in Africa means many more children will live past the age of five, their growth will be less disrupted, and they will gain in height and weight. Their cognitive abilities will develop more fully, allowing them to learn more both in and outside of school. As a result of sufficient nourishment and a positive early environment, children are more likely to get better jobs and suffer fewer illnesses as adults—aging healthily and living longer to support the African Union Agenda 2063 vision of a prosperous and united Africa (AU 2015b).
Along with high economic growth over a period of somewhat more than the past three decades, poverty, household food insecurity, and undernutrition have substantially declined in Ghana. Ghana was one of the first African countries that achieved the first MDG, that of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Recently, Ghana achieved (lower-) middle-income-country status. Economic growth has been accompanied by a structural transformation of the economy and progressing urbanization. Household income growth improves people’s ability to afford nutritious foods and diversified diets, and allows them to utilize superior healthcare and higher education, contributing to healthier and more productive lives for themselves and their children. However, improvements in people’s living standards and changes in their livelihood activities and lifestyle usually also lead to a nutrition transition and give rise to new nutritional challenges, including increasing prevalence of overweight/obesity and related NCDs. To successfully address these new nutritional challenges, governments may need to launch new health and nutrition programs and revisit established food policies that have become inefficient in reducing food insecurity and malnutrition or even detrimental under the new circumstances.
The food and agriculture sector is pivotal not only to addressing undernutrition but also to containing and preventing the spread of diet-related noncommunicable disease. This context requires action throughout the food system, from sustainably managing natural resources and input supplies to enabling consumption of healthy diets and promoting gender equity. Political commitment is growing, but much remains to be done in terms of strengthening the information base to support strategic decision making, and developing capacities for implementation at scale. In April 2016, the UN General Assembly enacted a Decade of Action for Nutrition, and nutrition is directly or indirectly related to all of the Sustainable Development Goals. This enabling environment at the global level should foster further progress in the region, and conversely, African countries can inspire other regions of the world by pursuing innovative approaches for unleashing the latent potential of the agrifood sector to drive positive change in nutrition.
This chapter summarizes the primary results from the impact evaluation and two rounds of process evaluation described above that have been previously published in journal articles (van den Bold et al. 2015; Olney et al. 2015, 2016) or program evaluation reports (Olney, Behrman, et al. 2013; Dillon et al. 2012). The chapter brings together these different findings to describe the overall impacts that HKI’s EHFP program in Burkina Faso had on maternal and child health, nutrition, and well-being outcomes during the program period, and discusses how these impacts may have been achieved along the hypothesized program impact pathways. In addition, we discuss ideas about how this type of program could be further leveraged to optimize impacts on maternal and child health, nutrition, and well-being outcomes in future programs.
Over the past 15 years, conventional breeding efforts have resulted in varieties of several staple food crops with significant levels of the three micronutrients whose deficiency can be most limiting to humans: zinc, iron, and vitamin A. Evidence from nutrition research has revealed that these varieties provide considerable amounts of bioavailable micronutrients, and consumption of them can mitigate micronutrient deficiency and hence improve health status among target populations. Termed “biofortification,” the development and delivery of these micronutrient-rich varieties could reduce hidden hunger, especially among rural populations whose diets rely on staple food crops.
Over the past decade, there has been increasing recognition that the quantity of food alone guarantees neither food security nor adequate nutrition as measured by metrics such as hunger, malnutrition, and stunting. Increasingly, policy and decision makers understand the need to include nutritional aspects into improvements of food systems. However, not as fully recognized is that unsafe, contaminated foods thwart these efforts and maintain an unacceptable status quo in food insecurity, poverty, and a range of health-related problems. All of this makes sustainable development more challenging. In 2010, foodborne hazards caused 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths across the world, with 40 percent of this disease burden occurring among children under five years of age (Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition 2016). Yet food safety has become an important precondition for access to global food markets and, increasingly, for high-value domestic markets in developing countries.
This chapter explores how evidence-informed decision making related to nutrition can be enhanced in Africa. It highlights the opportunities evidence presents to contribute more effectively to addressing the nutritional challenges on the continent by drawing on lessons learned so far about evidence-informed decision making in Africa. Hence, it is imperative that countries design policies and programs that will not only enable them to sustain and accelerate the current recovery process but also generate high economic growth that is inclusive and creates significant employment opportunities in order to lift millions out of poverty. Africa’s ability to sustain and accelerate its current growth will be determined by the effectiveness of its response to the challenges and opportunities it faces resulting from a deepening globalization, a rapid pace of urbanization, a rising middle class, a growing young population, rapidly transforming food systems, a changing climate, and more volatile global food and energy prices.
The current global evidence base regarding the nutritional impacts of nutrition-sensitive programs, including popular ones such as social safety nets and agriculture development programs, is generally limited due to poor targeting, design, and implementation of programs and, equally important, to suboptimal evaluation designs (Webb-Girard et al. 2012; Ruel and Alderman 2013; Leroy, Ruel, and Verhofstadt 2009). Although there is a consensus regarding the need to invest in nutrition-sensitive programs in order to address the underlying causes of undernutrition and to improve the effectiveness, reach, and scale of both nutrition-specific interventions and nutrition-sensitive programs, the evidence of what works, how, and at what cost is extremely limited. Thus, building a strong body of evidence from rigorous, theory-based comprehensive evaluations of different nutritionsensitive program models that bring together interventions from a variety of sectors (health, education, agriculture, social protection, women’s empowerment, water and sanitation, and so on) is essential to provide the needed guidance for future investments for improving nutrition. This chapter provides this type of guidance, focusing on how to design and carry out rigorous process, cost, and impact evaluations of complex nutrition-sensitive programs. It aims to demystify some of the perceived insurmountable challenges that have prevented investments in rigorous evaluations of such programs in the past. By doing so, we hope that the evidence gap in nutrition-sensitive programming, which has characterized the past decades of development, will quickly be filled and that future investments will benefit from a strong body of evidence on what works to improve nutrition, how it works, and at what cost.
Malnutrition in all its forms—undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight—is robbing Africa of much-needed productivity and growth potential. Addressing nutrition is an investment with high potential returns in terms of reduced health costs, increased productivity, and improved human resource capacity and economic growth. Although nutrition interventions have been seen as belonging in the health sector, integrated programs that include agriculture and other sectors can create synergies and added value. The agriculture sector needs to become more nutrition sensitive so that it can work in tandem with other sectors to drive a much-desired nutrition revolution for Africa. Achieving the goals of the Malabo Declarations on (1) accelerated agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods and (2) nutrition security through inclusive economic growth and sustainable development will require efforts from agriculture, social agriculture, social protection, education, water and sanitation, and more to implement high-impact interventions at scale.
In addition to global developments and food policy changes, 2014 also saw important developments with potentially wide repercussions in individual countries and regions. This chapter offers perspectives on major food policy developments in various regions including Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The individual regional sections cover many critical topics: -Renewed focus on the role of agriculture in broad economic growth, poverty reduction, and food and nutrition security in Africa - Policy reforms in fuel subsidies, agriculture, and food trade in the Middle East and North Africa - Economic challenges and opportunities for Central Asia’s food system - Responses to high food inflation and climatic risk in South Asia - Laying of the groundwork for multilateral cooperation on food policy in East Asia - Progress in South-South learning initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean tempered by weather and other shocks
This 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report is the fourth in an annual series that provides a comprehensive overview of major food policy developments and events. In this report, distinguished researchers, policymakers, and practitioners review what happened in food policy in 2014 at the global, regional, and national levels, and—supported by the latest knowledge and research—explain why. This year’s report is the first to also look forward a year, offering analysis of the potential opportunities and challenges that we will face in achieving food and nutrition security in 2015. The year 2014 was marked by advances and setbacks in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. The Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015 was achieved. World food prices fell to their lowest level since 2010. Nutrition remained prominent: the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome proposed actions to end malnutrition, membership in the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement expanded, and new research highlighted the importance of factors such as water and sanitation and the role of women in battling malnutrition. Debate began on the draft post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, sharpening the world’s focus on the building blocks of food and nutrition security. Significant commitments to combating climate change were made, particularly by China and the United States. Middle income countries, home to the majority of the world’s hungry and malnourished people, continued their efforts to improve food security and nutrition at home, with Brazil and China, for example, expanding investments in agriculture and knowledge and technology transfers with the global South.
This chapter takes a comprehensive look at the process of structural transformation among African countries, highlights the major shift that has taken place in the quality of structural change in the last decade, and examines in depth changes in the productivity of and employment within different economic sectors and their implications for future growth. An important part of this analysis addresses the emerging place and role in future growth processes of the informal goods and services sector, which is now the largest economic sector in most African countries, in addition to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, which have been the focus of traditional growth theory.
Africa has managed to maintain a favorable environment for growth and poverty reduction in the face of the series of global economic crises in the past couple decades. Part of this is due to Africa’s level of isolation from the global economy, but it is also testament to the resilience of African economies even if they are not experiencing the extraordinary growth seen in South and East Asia (AfDB, OECD, and UNDP 2015). Per capita gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a solid 2 percent per year in the decade leading up to 2012 across all of Africa, with western Africa leading at more than 4 percent growth (ReSAKSS database 2015). This growth has put the average per capita GDP for all of Africa at the threshold of middle-income classification according to the World Bank’s World Development Indicators. Eastern and central Africa lag behind a bit with many low-income nations, while the northern and southern regions are mostly represented by stronger middle-income economies.
This paper first looks “downstream” at two processes—urbanization and dietary changes—that create the demand (“pull”) for the changes in the whole food system. It then provides some illustrations of the transformation, mainly at the “midstream,” post-farmgate segments of the supply chains that are transforming—wholesale, processing, and logistics. It concludes with the implications of this transformation.
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