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Dorward A.,University of London | Dorward A.,Leverhulme Center for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health
Food Policy | Year: 2013

In the last few years high and unstable food and agricultural commodity prices and concerns about population growth, increasing per capita food demands and environmental constraints have pushed agriculture and food production up national and international political, policy and research agendas. Drawing on both theory and empirical evidence, this paper argues that fundamental impacts of links between agricultural productivity sustainability and real food price changes are often overlooked in current policy analysis. This is exacerbated by a lack of relevant and accessible indicators for monitoring agricultural productivity sustainability and real food prices. Two relatively simple and widely applicable sets of indicators are proposed for use in policy development and monitoring. Historical series of these indices are estimated for selected countries, regions and the world. Their strengths, weaknesses and potential value are then discussed in the context of the need for better sustainable agricultural development and food security indicators in any post 2015 successors to the current MDGs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Dorward A.,University of London | Dorward A.,Leverhulme Center for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health
Food Security | Year: 2012

There is widespread concern about the impact of recent food price rises on the welfare and food security of poor people and about future impacts of high prices. Responses to these concerns are, however, sometimes clouded by lack of clarity about the nature of short and medium term impacts of food price changes for different people. This paper reviews both theory and empirical evidence on these impacts. It finds that theory and empirical evidence are broadly complementary and consistent, with a high degree of variability in impacts. In broad terms staple food price increases have had very serious effects on the poor in national or local economies which have experienced high food price shocks without broad based growth processes. Poor net buyers of food, in both rural and urban communities, have been most negatively affected, with limited second order benefits from high staple food prices tightening labour markets in poor rural economies. Short term impacts can be ameliorated by economic growth and, for international food price increases, by limited price transmission. Economic growth and lower domestic price transmission of high international prices in different countries, notably India and China, have led to lower increases in global poverty, hunger and malnourishment than hunger and poverty simulations have suggested. However these findings should not detract from the very serious impacts high food prices have had for very large numbers of very poor people in poor countries, and the need for policies and action to address this. © 2012 Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology.

Dangour A.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Green R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Hasler B.,Leverhulme Center for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health | Rushton J.,Leverhulme Center for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society | Year: 2012

Recent global fluctuations in food prices and continuing environmental degradation highlight the future challenge of feeding a growing world population. However, current dialogues rarely address the relationship between agricultural changes and health. This relationship is traditionally associated with the role of food in nutrition and with food safety, and while these are key interactions, we show in this paper that the relationship is far more complex and interesting. Besides the direct effects of agriculture on population nutrition, agriculture also influences health through its impact on household incomes, economies and the environment. These effects are felt particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where dramatic changes are affecting the agriculture-health relationship, in particular the growth of nutrition-related chronic disease and the associated double burden of under- and over-nutrition. Greater understanding of the negative effects of agriculture on health is also needed. While lengthening food value chains make the chain of influence between agricultural policy, food consumption, nutrition and health more complex, there remain opportunities to improve health by changing agricultural systems. The first challenge in doing this, we suggest, is to improve our capacity to measure the impact of agricultural interventions on health outcomes, and vice versa. © 2012 The Authors.

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