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09 December 2014

Food Security Series Explores Ways to Combat Food Vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa

A new series published by CCAPS and UT's Innovations for Peace and Development program explores food security vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa. The four briefs delve into the implications of food vulnerability, analyze measures of resilience, and provide policy recommendations for increasing food security on the continent.

The first brief in the series, Research Brief No. 25 by Cherie Saulter, discusses how resilience is defined, how responsibilities for resilience strategies may be divided among various actors, and how they can be implemented most effectively.

The second brief in the Food Security in Africa series examines the opportunities and drawbacks associated with biotechnology in African agriculture. In Research Brief No. 26, Emmy Griffin explores the use of biotechnology—such as biosafety hazards and climate resilience—and whether the technology can be used effectively and sustainably by smallholder farmers. The brief discusses the political and economic debates surrounding this technology to shed light on various perspectives. Finally, the brief highlights the most useful and sustainable applications of biotechnology that may be suitable for smallholder farmers.

In Research Brief No. 27, Lindsay Read considers how persistent inequality threatens to undermine development strategies and magnifies exposure to risks for marginalized segments of rural and urban populations. As governments direct more attention to the agricultural sector, what strategies will ensure that increased investment will translate into increased food security? What is the effect of growing inequality, occurring in tandem with growing vulnerability, on the potential for countries to reduce hunger and poverty as their economies grow? This third brief puts forth recommendations for inclusive growth with the ultimate goal of food security for whole populations.

The fourth brief in the Food Security in Africa series details the history and controversy surrounding contract farming—also known as outgrower systems—and their potential role as a vehicle for inclusive agricultural growth. In Research Brief No. 28, Jesse Libra outlines the benefits and risks of contract farming as well as best practices for firms, smallholders, and governments to ensure optimal outcomes for all participants. The brief argues that contract farming can promote inclusive agricultural growth by raising farmers' incomes, providing new technologies and increased market access, and improving job training.

 

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