January 25, 2019

Global Food for Thought: Trade Negotiations, Chickenomics, Water Worries

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From Scarcity to Security: Managing Water for a Nutritious Food Future

By 2050, over one half of the world’s population could be at risk due to stress on water resources. How will we grow an adequate quantity—and quality—of food to feed and nourish a rapidly growing, urbanizing world in the face of increasing water insecurity? Hear from government leaders, social innovators, and influencers at this year's Global Food Security Symposium. Register now.

https://engage.thechicagocouncil.org/l/557772/2018-09-21/5xdymt/557772/224304/quote2.pngTOP STORY

Sustainable Water through Aquaculture
The FAO has identified the Middle East and North Africa as priorities for sustainable agricultural use of water. The region faces potential severe water shortages by 2050, and agriculture, which accounts for 85 percent of the region’s water use, will be most affected. One such technique—aquaponics—could help reduce regional water use while providing both fish and crops.

https://engage.thechicagocouncil.org/l/557772/2018-10-01/5xkyvc/557772/225998/camera_icon.pngPHOTO OF THE WEEK

Workers remove coffee beans that did not meet the necessary grading in Holiso cooperative of Shebedino district in Sidama, Ethiopia. (REUTERS/Maheder Haileselassie)

https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/globe_icon.pngBIG ACTORS

Lift for Liberia: The World Bank approved an International Development Association credit of $25 million for the Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project of Liberia. This is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and commercializing 17,500 smallholder farmers, 30 percent of which are women.

Feeding the Displaced: The Aliko Dangote Foundation officially launched a major philanthropic program in Zamfara State, supplying aid for many. Sporadic attacks by cattle rustlers and a continued farmer-herder clash has resulted in 3,000 people killed and 100,000 displaced. The program has successfully fed 30,000 of the displaced.
SEE ALSO: Video Report – Nigeria’s Herders and Farmers Clash

https://engage.thechicagocouncil.org/l/557772/2018-10-01/5xkyvw/557772/226010/insights_icon.pngCOUNCIL INSIGHTS

Early Bird Rates!

Registration Opens for Global Food Security Symposium 2019: By 2050, over one half of the world’s population could be at risk due to stress on water resources. How will we grow an adequate quantity—and quality—of food to feed and nourish a rapidly growing, urbanizing world in the face of increasing water insecurity?

Hear from government leaders, social innovators, and influencers at the Global Food Security Symposium on March 20-21, 2019 in Washington, DC. Register now for early bird rates!

https://engage.thechicagocouncil.org/l/557772/2018-10-01/5xkywr/557772/226026/grow_Icon.pngFOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ISSUES

Indigenous Land: Brazil’s agriculture minister has said that indigenous land should be open for commercial farming. This comes after the control of indigenous land designations was handed over to the agriculture ministry. Activists have warned that the government will strip away protections for the environment, Amazon rainforest, and the indigenous land in the coming years.

Low Food Price in India: Indian farmers are rioting as food price drop and fertilizers become more expensive. The government, while giving tax breaks to big business, is accused of neglecting farmers. The opposition parties attempt to win over farmers’ votes in the upcoming election by offering debt relief.

Chickenomics: Chickens now count for 23 billion of the 30 billion land animals on farm. Chicken consumption since 1990 has grown by 70 percent in OECD countries and even faster in developing countries. Today, chicken is the most widely traded meat in the world. Under a surging consumption of chicken, poultry farming also becomes more profitable.

https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/news_icon.pngDEEPER DIVE

Food Prices in India: Low food prices are beneficial in that low-income people can more readily access food, but also keep farmer incomes low. The current Indian government has been cautious about raising food prices with minimum support prices because some have argued that the change would trigger inflation and hurt consumers. But election season is approaching in India, and some political parties are running on platforms to attract farmers’ votes with proposals to forgive debit owned by state banks.

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A Healthy Resolution: A new report release in the journal Nature says that the way we eat and produce food is posing a threat to future populations’ food security. Nearly 40 percent of the world’s land has been converted or set aside for agriculture; to use less land, one solution is to change our diets. The report suggests that healthier diets could reduce GHG emissions and other environmental impacts by almost 30 percent


Water Worries: Zimbabwe farmers rely on rainfall to support their crops. The lackluster start to the rainy season has prompted water suppliers to increase their prices. The government is allocating nearly $1 billion to fund irrigation and will begin to install water flow regulators to best sustain the water supply.
SEE ALSO: Kenyan Water Minister Issues Drought Warning

Opinion – Indian Government Must Focus on Agricultural Reforms: Kirika Suneja argues that in order to drive private investment, agricultural reforms and small enterprise development must be supported. According to Suneja, consumption demand is going to come from those with small and medium incomes, which are often those in the agricultural sector.

https://engage.thechicagocouncil.org/l/557772/2018-10-01/5xkzwh/557772/226054/big_ideas.pngBIG IDEAS

Water for Protein: Researchers in Sweden are on the way to developing techniques to extract protein from water used for seafood processing. Currently, seafood processing water is disposed of, which is an expensive process. Potential uses range from aquaculture feed to food flavoring. These developments could help mitigate the rise in global demand for protein, which is projected to rise a minimum of 31 percent by 2050.
Irrigation Drones: In India, a new partnership between the Maharashtra government and the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is developing uses for drones in agriculture. Drones can be used for irrigation mapping, infrastructure inspection, and product delivery.

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EU-US Negotiations Continue: The EU Commission’s negotiating mandate limits its scope to industrial good tariffs, specifically excluding agricultural products. The US objectives include a reference to trade commitments for biotechnology products, including hormone-treated beef and genetically modified crops. Genetically modified crops are currently given to EU livestock, but not directly eaten by people. In the event that EU-US trade negotiations fall through and the US imposes duties on European auto imports, the EU Trade Chief said she is preparing a target list for punitive tariffs.

https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/market_icon.pngTRADE & COMMODITIES

Restored Ties between Israel and Chad: Israel and Chad have formally agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations after decades of rupture, a decision that opens Chad’s market for Israeli agricultural products. In addition, the two leaders also discussed opportunities for cooperation in security and agriculture.

Coffee Collapse: The coffee plant has been declared as sensitive to extinction. This comes from a report claiming climate change and habitat loss have prompted approximately 60 percent of all coffee species to be threatened with extinction.

Wheat within Russia: The world’s largest wheat exporter, Russia, plans to limit grain exports in the coming months, in an attempt to regulate domestic grain prices. Requiring foreign governments to apply for export licenses is one way that Russia may limit the grain exports.

https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/calendar_icon.pngUPCOMING EVENTS

SXSW Conference Panel: Cultivating the Next Generation of Food Leaders
Date: March 13
Location: Austin, Texas
Global Food Security Symposium 2019
Date: March 20-21
Location: Washington, DC
EAT Stockholm Food Forum 2019
Date: June 12-13
Location: Stockholm, Sweden


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The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


| By Janet Fierro

Guest Commentary - Rural Niger Women find Opportunity and Hope through Innovative Business Model

When researchers set out to find natural ways to manage a crop-destroying pest in sub-Saharan Africa cowpea fields they knew the results could have significant positive impact on smallholder farmers. What they may not have expected was the significance of the cottage industry it inspired and the entrepreneurial spirit of the rural women of Niger who led it.