Feeding the world is an enormous challenge. But research is commonly funded in small pots. Adam Staines wrestles this paradox.
In the UK there has been an intellectual battle to make the case for more food-related research. Though the increasing global population (9Bn by 2050) will need more food, the third of global food wasted, problems of western obesity and overeating, and well-stocked supermarkets – combined with stark imagery of European wine lakes and butter mountains from the 1980s – have made it an uphill task to persuade a sceptical western society we need more food, let alone more food research.
Continue reading Following the money: supporting food security science
A digest of the Global Food Security website and blog. Arran Frood reviews.
It’s been more than two years now since the Global Food Security (GFS) website, and this blog, was launched.
This short post I hope will serve as a big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved, highlight some of the content we have published during this time, and most importantly flag some recent improvements, such as the new blog post ‘notification by email’ box to the right, and our Twitter feed: @FoodSecurityUK.
Continue reading Present thanks, future plans
Growing the farming sector in developing countries will improve children’s health. Or will it? Katy Wilson reports.
Evidence of the impact of agricultural interventions on nutrition security is urgently needed. This was an issue raised at the launch of a Montpellier Panel briefing paper, Scaling Up Nutrition, in the UK Parliament on 17 May, authored by Tom Arnold, CEO Concern Worldwide and myself.
As we have learned from the Green Revolution, it is often the poorest and most in need that are neglected as agriculture develops. India is the second fastest growing economy in the world (with real growth rate of GDP equalling 8.3 per cent in 2010) but the prevalence of underweight children is still high at around 40 per cent.
Continue reading Intuition versus evidence: agriculture and the fight to end child undernutrition
Better data on how and where aid is spent is needed to make real progress on tackling hunger, argue Gordon Conway and Laura Kelly.
Holding global leaders to account has never been easy. But when they come together in the Muskoka region of Canada 25-26 June, G8 leaders claim they will report on their own progress on tackling global hunger.
Continue reading From pledges to progress: measuring agricultural development assistance
The needs of food security require that food production be increased on a relatively fixed amount of land but in a sustainable way. How can this objective be achieved?
In particular how can we protect plants against pests and diseases in a sustainable way? Many consumer and environmentalists would like
Continue reading ‘Green’ pesticides and a greener revolution
The second decade of the last century was an important decade for food research with the setting up of six research institutes focusing on specific sectors such as dairying (National Institute for Research in Dairying) plant breeding (Welsh Plant Breeding Institute) and human nutrition (Rowett Research Institute).
The second decade of this century is witnessing a resurgence of interest in food research, but this time with a difference. Today, the research objectives are not so much about maximising production of food, but producing nutritious food while minimising negative impacts on the environment, including limiting greenhouse-gas emissions.
Continue reading The past, the future, and partnerships