Sustainability in Food

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Price Adjustment Factor Reveals Global Food Security Improves, Food Prices Fall

GFSI HomepageAccording to a press release from the Economist Intelligence Unit, lower global food prices paired with an increase in national incomes over the past three months has resulted in an improved food security outlook for 90 percent of the 109 countries profiled in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI). The 6.5 percent decline in global food prices since the beginning of June has boosted food security, although the effects vary by country.

“Declining raw agricultural commodity prices are translating into lower food prices in the developing world. However, it will take longer for national food prices, particularly in developed economies, to decline. Food processing and transportation costs are not declining, livestock production will take some time to recover and prolonged drought conditions will increase fruit and vegetable prices,” said Steve Elmore, Chief Agricultural Economist at DuPont. “Nevertheless, farmers, globally, have risen to meet these challenges by taking advantage of new technology and management practices to increase their productivity, yielding record corn, rice, soybean and wheat crops this year.”

Key Findings

Global food prices in the period from June to the end of August reached the lowest level in four years, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO), affecting the affordability component of the index and the overall food security scores. The GFSI produced the following findings:

  • Falling food prices broadly improved food affordability, and thus overall food security.
  • Food affordability in high-income countries was least affected by the drop in global food prices.
  • Sierra Leone experienced the largest improvement in its food security adjustment factor for this period.
  • Income growth drove greater food affordability in several countries in Asia and Central & South America.

About the GFSI & Quarterly Adjustment Factor

In 2012, DuPont commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to create the GFSI to enhance the dialogue on food security. The GFSI is prepared annually and evaluates the affordability, availability, and quality and safety of food across 109 countries. The quarterly affordability updates of the GFSI highlight the vulnerability of countries to food price shocks, especially for those where populations already face undernourishment. Incorporating global data and information from the Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO) Food Price Index, the EIU’s quarterly update adjusts for global food price changes and for movements in exchange rates, national incomes and import dependence on a country-by-country basis. This provides a top-level assessment of the impact of price changes that might help or hurt a country’s food security. Global food prices fell 6.5 percent from the prior quarter in the three months ending in August 2014.

To view the 2014 Index report, an interactive visualization of the Index results, and the underlying excel model and findings and methodology report for this study, visit: http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com.

Supporting Agriculture System Development in Ethiopia

Agriculture continues to be a fundamental instrument for sustainable development, food and nutrition security, and apoverty reduction. The Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (AMSAP) was designed with this concept in mind.

Founded in 2013 by the Government of Ethiopia, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and DuPont, AMSAP takes a holistic approach to improving maize farmer productivity. From the farm to the fork through enhanced agronomic training, improved inputs, and greater access to credit, markets, and grain storage, the AMSAP model is already making a significant difference. DuPont Pioneer is providing sample hybrid seed for demonstration plots and facilitating field training sessions. It is also building a network of farmer dealers to advance the utilization and acceptance of high-quality inputs and production techniques.

Check out this new video to learn more about the AMSAP partnership model and hear firsthand from rural farmers in Ethiopia who are experiencing the impact of the program first hand.

 

Snapshot of Year One Progress

  • Planted 320 demonstration plots
  • Over 4,000 farmers, extension workers and development agents benefitted from:
    - Two to three fold increases in yields
    - Increased incomes of as much as US $500
    - Greater access to improved seeds
    - Training in agronomic practices and post-harvest handling.
  • Several farmers are being trained as farmer dealers, who will be able to provide improved inputs to their communities.
  • AMSAP is in the process of scaling up to 3,200 demonstration plots this year, and 32,000 in 2015. We expect the program to impact over 100,000 farmers at its close.

Food security in the news

Impact of climate change on food and nutrition security

Former U.S. Senator, Tom Daschle, penned Food Security is in Jeopardy, an opinion piece that ran in The Hill. In the article, Daschle addresses the importance of science-based solutions and the need for climate smart agriculture (CSA), a term coined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is aimed at sustainable agriculture development to address food security in the face of climate change.

There is growing consensus that the two issues that will define the lives of future generations are climate change and food security. At this week’s United Nations Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action, world leaders will address both of these challenges and the solutions necessary to minimize their impact on the globe.

The two are increasingly more intertwined and more pressing with each passing year. Climate change has long led to tension-filled debates focused on the “who” and the “why,” distracting us from the problem itself and the solutions necessary to address it. ~Daschle

Read the full article here.

Daschle chairs the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation & Productivity, is a senior policy adviser at DLA Piper.

HungerU Tour 2014 – Food security focus

The new 2014 HungerU trailer features a dynamic design showcasing statistics and information from the 2014 Global Food Security Index placed on a world map.

The Fall HungerU Tour launches today in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will travel more than 7,000 miles across the western United States. The HungerU Tour was created in 2012 as a special project of the Farm Journal Foundation’s hunger fighting platform, Farmers Feeding the World. Each semester the Tour visits more than 16 campuses and speaks with over 20,000 students about hunger issues. Each campus visit features the Index on interactive screens, additional games and activities and conversations about ways students can become part of the hunger solution.

The Global Food Security Index was developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit with exclusive sponsorship by DuPont.

Ag education grants available – Oct 30 deadline

DuPont Pioneer and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) are continuing their support of agriscience education through a grant program aimed at training teachers and supplying equipment and resources to elevate the rigor of agriculture and science curricula. Grants of $2,500 to $5,000 are available to help prepare students for careers in agriculture and food.

Pioneer is working closely with the NAAE to award grants to teachers who are implementing Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE), but may lack sufficient resources.

CASE is a multi-year approach to agriscience education with rigorous educator training requirements and hands-on, inquiry focused learning activities. The collaboration with Pioneer and CASE is a special project of the National FFA Foundation. This is the third year of involvement in this effort by Pioneer.

Applications for CASE grants will be accepted through October 30, 2014.

CASE is an instructional system that is changing the culture of agriculture programs by equipping teachers to elevate student experiences in the agriculture classroom, and preparing students for success in college and careers emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math. To learn more about CASE, visit http://www.case4learning.org/.

 

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