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Koizumi T.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2015

One of the most crucial problems with increasing biofuel production is that it competes for natural and agricultural resources with food and food related use, because its main feedstock is agricultural product. Increasing biofuel production therefore is going to have an impact on world agricultural commodity prices and food security. The purpose of this study is to conduct an economic analysis of increasing biofuel production on food security. The own price elasticities of supply equations in the long-term are the key to deciding agricultural commodity price adjustments as a result of an increase in biofuel production. Biofuel production may have a negative impact on food security, but on the other hand they can create opportunities for agricultural development. It is critical to understand that own price elasticity of feedstock supply is a key factor in deciding how biofuel development can contribute agricultural development. Policy makers should recognize the importance of the price elasticity of feedstock supply when they promote biofuel programs and select feedstock to contribute to agricultural development. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Gillespie S.,International Food Policy Research Institute | van den Bold M.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Hodge J.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Herforth A.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO
Food Security | Year: 2015

South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are the two regions of the world with the highest concentration of undernutrition. The majority of the nutritionally vulnerable populations in both regions is dependent in some way upon agriculture as a primary source of livelihood. The agriculture sector and wider agri-food system is considered to be central to sustained progress in reducing undernutrition – and yet not enough is known about how to unleash this potential. Recent scoping assessments have also revealed a paucity of information on wider political, institutional and policy-related challenges relating to the agriculture-nutrition nexus globally. Contextualized research into policy processes and the political economy of agriculture and nutrition is needed to better characterize “enabling environments” for agriculture to benefit nutrition, and how these environments can be shaped and sustained. This study aims to contribute to filling this gap, by drawing upon evidence from a set of case studies in South Asia (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) and eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya). In synthesizing results across countries, while recognizing important nuance and detail, we conclude by highlighting four key issues to be addressed. First, improving knowledge and perception of undernutrition and its links to agriculture, on the part of agricultural policymakers and programme managers. Second, generating system-wide incentives for decisions and actions to become more pro-nutrition. Third, developing transparent systems of accountability for nutrition-relevant action throughout the agriculture sector, through linking timely and actionable data and evidence with incentives. And fourth, cultivating and strengthening leadership and capacities at different levels, underpinned by adequate financing. © 2015, The Author(s).

Asfaw S.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | Davis B.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | Dewbre J.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | Handa S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Winters P.,American University of Washington
Journal of Development Studies | Year: 2014

This paper reports the analysis of the impact of Kenya's Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme on the household decisions on productive activities using data from a randomised experimental design. Results show that the programme had a positive and significant impact on food consumption coming from home production, accumulation of productive assets, especially on the ownership of small livestock, and on formation of nonfarm enterprise, especially for females. The programme has provided more flexibility to families in terms of labour allocation decisions, particularly for those who are geographically isolated. The programme was also found to reduce child labour, an important objective of the programme. However, we find very little impact of the programme on direct indicators of crop production. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Von Dobschuetz S.,Royal Veterinary College RVC | Von Dobschuetz S.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | De Nardi M.,Collaborating Center for Diseases at the Human Animal Interface | Harris K.A.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency AHVLA | And 34 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2014

A survey of national animal influenza surveillance programmes was conducted to assess the current capacity to detect influenza viruses with zoonotic potential in animals (i.e. those influenza viruses that can be naturally transmitted between animals and humans) at regional and global levels. Information on 587 animal influenza surveillance system components was collected for 99 countries from Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) (n = 94) and published literature. Less than 1% (n = 4) of these components were specifically aimed at detecting influenza viruses with pandemic potential in animals (i.e. those influenza viruses that are capable of causing epidemic spread in human populations over large geographical regions or worldwide), which would have zoonotic potential as a prerequisite. Those countries that sought to detect influenza viruses with pandemic potential searched for such viruses exclusively in domestic pigs. This work shows the global need for increasing surveillance that targets potentially zoonotic influenza viruses in relevant animal species. © 2014 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Munoz O.,viale dellUniversita 10 | De Nardi M.,viale dellUniversita 10 | De Nardi M.,SAFOSO AG | Van Der Meulen K.,Ghent University | And 22 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2015

In December 2011, the European Food Safety Authority awarded a Grant for the implementation of the FLURISK project. The main objective of FLURISK was the development of an epidemiological and virological evidence-based influenza risk assessment framework (IRAF) to assess influenza A virus strains circulating in the animal population according to their potential to cross the species barrier and cause infections in humans. With the purpose of gathering virological data to include in the IRAF, a literature review was conducted and key findings are presented here. Several adaptive traits have been identified in influenza viruses infecting domestic animals and a significance of these adaptations for the emergence of zoonotic influenza, such as shift in receptor preference and mutations in the replication proteins, has been hypothesized. Nonetheless, and despite several decades of research, a comprehensive understanding of the conditions that facilitate interspecies transmission is still lacking. This has been hampered by the intrinsic difficulties of the subject and the complexity of correlating environmental, viral and host factors. Finding the most suitable and feasible way of investigating these factors in laboratory settings represents another challenge. The majority of the studies identified through this review focus on only a subset of species, subtypes and genes, such as influenza in avian species and avian influenza viruses adapting to humans, especially in the context of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1. Further research applying a holistic approach and investigating the broader influenza genetic spectrum is urgently needed in the field of genetic adaptation of influenza A viruses. © 2015 International Association for Ecology and Health

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