Irrigation isn’t the only way to achieve food security in Ghana

Farmers attending their livestock in Northern Ghana (2012) by Ericsson Images / Flickr By Rachael Taylor, PhD studentSPRU, University of Sussex Earlier this month, a number of Members of the Ghanaian Parliament presented a statement to the House calling for large investment in irrigation systems throughout Ghana. They advocate the use of irrigation for crop…

World Food Day: The State of Food Insecurity in the World and the Need for Coordinated Action

By John Thompson and Jim Sumberg The three Rome-based agencies of the United Nations – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – formally launched the 2012 edition of the annual State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) on World Food…

A NEW ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SECURITY, OR A TWO-TRACK AFRICA?

In a new post on the Future Agricultures Consortium blog, Ian Scoones examines the ‘New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition’, announced at a high-profile conference in Chicago last week – attended by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, three African Heads of State, Andrew Mitchell and others.“…will the initiative really deal with the underlying political economic…

EVERYONE’S A WINNER (EXCEPT IF YOU’RE NOT…)

Photo: Jatropha curcas – the biofuel plant from tonrulkens’ photostream on Flickr Our director Melissa Leach is giving the first Annual Piers Blaikie Lecture on Environmental Politics at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in July. She’ll be speaking on ‘Green wins or green grabs? Contested pathways to sustainability in Africa’. In our environmentally-anxious age,…

A NEW LEADER AND A NEW BEGINNING FOR THE UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANISATION?

By John Thompson, co-convenor, STEPS Centre food and agriculture domain and joint coordinator, Future Agricultures Consortium The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) chose Brazil’s José Graziano da Silva as its Director General, the first new leader in almost two decades as the world faces near-record food prices that are driving…

FEEDING THE FUTURE? THE FORESIGHT REPORT ON FOOD AND FARMING

By John Thompson and Erik Millstone, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture Co-Convenors A new report from the UK Government-commissioned study into Global Food and Farming Futures has called for urgent action to improve food security in the UK and around the world and to avert global hunger. The Foresight report on The Future of Food…

HUNGRY FOR RESULTS?

By John Thompson, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture Convenor In advance of the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit in New York on 20-22 September, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released new figures on the number of people worldwide who suffer chronic hunger in 2010. The latest estimates, which will soon be…

THE LIMITS OF SOUND SCIENCE: PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS, ACCOUNTABILITY AND FALL OUT AT THE FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY

By John Thompson and Erik Millstone Co-Convenors, Food and Agriculture Domain, The STEPS Centre Brian Wynne, Professor of Science Studies at CSEC and at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen) and a member of the STEPS Centre International Advisory Board, announced on the 31st of May 2010 that he was…

ERIK MILLSTONE ON FOOD SECURITY IN THE SUNDAY TIMES

Two days ago the Sunday Times carried a briefing on “Environment, Sustainability and the Food Supply Challenge”. The supplement includes an interview with Erik Millstone, STEPS Centre Food and Agriculture Co-convenor, on food security. “Poor farmers should not be thought as entrepreneurs looking for risky investments. They are householders looking to diminish their risk.” Read…

WORLD FOOD DAY: £26 BILLION PACKAGE NEEDED

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member As today’s World Food Day dawns, new research reveals £26-£48 billion package is needed to alleviate seasonal hunger – a fraction of the proposed $700 billion package to bail out Wall Street. Food issues are likely to get higher profile coverage today than preceeding World Food Days thanks to…