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Agriculture

Innovation with a Purpose: The role of technology innovation in accelerating food systems transformation

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Global food systems today are in need of transformation. Billions of people are poorly nourished, millions of farmers live at subsistence level, enormous amounts of food go to waste and poor farming practices are taking a toll on the environment. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will require food systems that are inclusive, sustainable, efficient, nutritious and healthy.
Achieving a true transformation of food systems requires a holistic approach – one engaging all stakeholders and deploying a wide array of actions such as improved policy, increased investment, expanded infrastructure, farmer capacity-building, consumer behaviour change and improved resource management. Technology innovations, combined with other interventions, can play an important role in enabling and accelerating food systems transformation.
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42
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The State of the World's Forests: Forest Pathways to Sustainable Development

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a commitment made by countries to tackle the complex challenges we face, from ending poverty and hunger and responding to climate change to building resilient communities, achieving inclusive growth and sustainably managing the Earth’s natural resources.
As governments determine how best to commit national efforts to achieve transformational change, The State of the World’s Forests 2018 (SOFO 2018) analyses the role that forests and trees – and the people who use and manage them– can play in helping countries achieve their objectives and bring about a brighter future. It shines a light on the profound interlinkages that exist between forests and many other goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda, enabling policy-makers to strike the right balance in actions, investments and partnerships directed towards food security, poverty alleviation, ecological conservation and, ultimately, to find pathways to sustainable development.
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139
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OECD‑FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018‑2027

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 3, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027 is a collaborative effort of the OECD and FAO prepared with input from the experts of their member governments and from specialist commodity organisations. It provides a consensus assessment of the ten-year prospects for agricultural and fish commodity markets at national, regional and global levels. This year’s edition contains a special chapter on the prospects and challenges of agriculture and fisheries in the Middle East and North Africa.
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112
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Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth

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Publication date: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The focus of this report is on harnessing AI systems today, and as they evolve, to create maximum positive impact on urgent environmental challenges. It suggests ways in which AI can help transform traditional sectors and systems to address climate change, deliver food and water security, protect biodiversity and bolster human well-being. This concern is tightly linked with the emerging question of how to ensure that AI does not become harmful to human well-being.
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52
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State of the World’s Plants - 2017

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Last year's State of the World’s Plants report focused predominantly on synthesising knowledge of the numbers of different categories of plants: How many vascular plants are currently known to science? How many are threatened with extinction? What is the number of plants with uses? etc. We also looked at the main threats to these plants, including climate change, land- use change, invasive plants, disease and over-exploitation. However, simply knowing how many plants there are and how many are under threat is not enough – what is also needed is an understanding of why some plants are more vulnerable than others. This year, therefore, we have also examined the emerging evidence for the characteristics of plants that appear to make some types less/more resilient to current and future threats.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. In this year’s State of the World’s Plants, we also highlight the rapidly accumulating discoveries and knowledge that provide important sign-posts to the next food crops, medicines, timbers etc. Information is now also emerging on the effectiveness of conservation actions and policies in protecting some of the most important plant species and communities across the globe. While there is still much more to do, these positive outcomes demonstrate that with scientific knowledge and evidence-based global actions, it is possible to conserve the extraordinary diversity of plants on Earth and to build on the unique combination of beauty and science which can together provide some of the solutions for the global challenges facing humanity today.
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100
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Farm performance and climate

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This study examines the effect of climate variability and climate change on the productivity of Australian cropping farms between 1977–78 and 2014–15. The productivity of Australian cropping farms is heavily affected by climate variability, particularly the occurrence of droughts. While Australian farmers are well accustomed to managing this variability, the emergence of climate change is presenting some new challenges.
This study combines ABARES farm survey data with spatial climate data to estimate the effect of climate conditions (such as, rainfall and temperature) on cropping farm TFP (Total Factor Productivity, i.e the combined productivity of labor and capital). The study then presents climate adjusted productivity estimates with the effects of climate removed. For comparison, similar results are generated for farm wheat yields using the same data sources and methods.
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71
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Global food production and prices to 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This report uses three scenarios to investigate the possible response of world food prices, food production and trade to the projected increase in demand. This work builds on agrifood modelling in ABARES Food demand to 2050: Opportunities for Australian agriculture (Linehan et al. 2012a).
The uncertainties and dynamics surrounding factors such as climate change, international trade policy and biofuels policies add to the complexity of modelling global agrifood markets out to 2050. However, scenario analysis, which isolates each of these issues, allows for an assessment of indicative price and production responses over the projection period across different regions and agrifood commodities. A reference scenario is developed for this project using a set of assumptions drawn from the literature. The reference scenario serves as a starting point for the policy analysis and shows the sensitivity of the projections to changes in assumptions and parameter values.
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41
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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Over the ten-year Outlook period, agricultural markets are projected to remain weak, with growth in China weakening and biofuel policies having less impact on markets than in the past. Future growth in crop production will be attained mostly by increasing yields, and growth in meat and dairy production from both higher animal stocks and improved yields. Agricultural trade is expected to grow more slowly, but remain less sensitive to weak economic conditions than other sectors. These demand, supply and trade pressures are all evident in Southeast Asia, where this report identifies scope to improve agricultural productivity sustainably. Real prices are expected to remain flat or decline for most commodities.
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142
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Enjeux et perspectives de la consommation collaborative

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Enjeux et perspectives de la consommation collaborative
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Abstract in English: 
À partir de 2007, la crise financière et économique mondiale a provoqué dans les pays industrialisés une brusque montée du chômage, une baisse du pouvoir d’achat des ménages ainsi qu’une déstabilisation du système bancaire mondial. Les effets de la crise ont agi comme un catalyseur de tendances de fond observées depuis quelques décennies (mouvements altermondialistes, critiques du système agro-industriel intensif, etc.) et ont intensifié un questionnement citoyen sur les modes de production, de financement et de consommation actuels. Cette remise en question a notamment été illustrée en 2011 par des mouvements comme celui des Indignés en Espagne ou Occupy Wall Street aux États-Unis, promouvant un modèle de société plus responsable. Les pratiques visant à échanger et à partager des biens entre particuliers ainsi qu’à limiter les intermédiaires entre producteur et consommateur ont connu un engouement progressif; donnant naissance à un ensemble d’initiatives rassemblées sous l’appellation de consommation collaborative. Ce mouvement récent et grandissant s’appuie sur des pratiques prénumériques telles que les Systèmes d’Échanges Locaux (SEL), qui ont vu le jour en France au début des années 90. Il s’agit de systèmes d’échanges de produits ou de services entre les adhérents d’un même groupement associatif, selon une unité propre à chaque groupe. On peut également mentionner les Associations pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne (Amap), qui permettent aux consommateurs de s’approvisionner directement auprès du producteur, ou encore les recycleries qui collectent, réemploient et valorisent des objets de seconde vie depuis 1984. La popularisation de ce phénomène et son essor à grande échelle ont notamment été permis par la forte démocratisation des nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication (NTIC), se traduisant par des taux d’équipement en informatique particulièrement élevés. Les NTIC ont contribué au développement de plateformes internet accessibles au plus grand nombre, permettant de mettre en relation des particuliers ne se connaissant pas au préalable pour réaliser des transactions. Les NTIC et le e-commerce ont également contribué à faire évoluer la relation unissant consommateurs et entreprises en modifiant les manières de s’informer et en démultipliant les possibilités d’interaction et de coopération. Les années 2010 ont vu l’émergence d’un mouvement d’empowerment du consommateur, qui s’implique de plus en plus dans les transactions et se positionne comme un "consommacteur" exerçant une influence sur la marque, les prix et les produits/services (forum deconsommateurs, appels à idées, customisation de produits, comparateurs de prix, etc.). Le rapport de force se modifie notamment dans les pratiques de consommation collaborative, pour lesquelles le consommateur passe du statut unique de "demandeur" à un double statut d’"offreur-demandeur".
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336
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Foresight Africa 2017

Author: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The world is facing a major shift in demographics. In fact, by 2050, Africa will be home to a billion young people. With so many of the world’s youth concentrated in Africa, countries have the advantage of large working-age populations, and could be looking to capitalize on a “demographic dividend.”

But the economic contribution of young people will depend on the skills they possess, placing a premium on education. Unfortunately, many countries in Africa are struggling to educate their current youth, and projections in coming decades predict millions more will be left behind. According to the latest UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, based on current trends, sub-Saharan Africa will not achieve universal secondary school completion until after 2080. On top of the issue of schooling completion, millions of young people who do complete school still lack even basic literacy and numeracy skills, and recent estimates from the Education Commission find that more than half the world’s youth in 2030 will not meet even low levels of proficiency.
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112
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