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Food and nutrition

Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
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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Foresight Future of the Sea

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This report considers the role that science and technology can play in understanding and providing solutions to the long-term issues affecting the sea. It outlines a number of recommendations to help the UK utilise its current expertise and technological strengths to foster trade links, build marine capacity across the world and collaborate to tackle climate change.

From Captain Cook, to Turner and the Royal Navy, the sea is embedded in our culture and history, but what will it mean for the UK to be successful maritime nation in the 21st century, and beyond? That is the key question that this report seeks to answer.
We anticipate many new opportunities for the UK to benefit economically from the sea, and to show leadership on the global stage. We are well placed to succeed. Including the British Overseas Territories, the UK has one of the largest marine spaces of any country in the world – a rich and diverse area that offers new opportunities for exploration, protection and economic activity. Many of the UK’s relevant technological and scientific capabilities are world leading. However business as usual is not an option if the UK wants to fully capitalise on these opportunities, and be a successful marine and maritime nation in the future.
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128
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African futures: Horizon 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
If Sub-Saharan Africa’s future had to be encapsulated in a single word, it would be transformation. In recent years the continent has undergone significant economic, socio-political, and technological transformations, a process which is likely to accelerate over the coming decades. While it would be an overstatement to proclaim that the future will be African, there are strong indications that the global importance of the continent is set to rise – and not only as a source of risk factors spilling over from poverty and instability. By 2045, approximately a quarter of the world’s population will be African. Looking ahead, there is also the potential for Africa’s economic growth to outpace the global average. The expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI), which today already outstrips aid, could drive further integration of African countries in the world economy. The diversification of Africa’s relationship with external partners – which now not only include traditional Western partners such as the EU, but also Asian, Middle Eastern and Gulf countries – will also contribute to increasing Africa’s prominence in the global arena.
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84
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A Strategy for the Trans-Pacific Century

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The open, rules-based international order in Asia is under threat. The set of post-World War II arrangements designed by the United States and its allies and partners provided an unprecedented degree of stability, security, prosperity, and freedom globally and in the region but the continuation of this system under US leadership is no longer guaranteed. As the United States and its Asian and European allies and partners face a diverse array of new challenges in the Asia-Pacific and at home, Washington must reassess its goals, strategy, policies, and its very commitment to leadership in the region. At a time when the United States promotes “America First,” to what extent does a dated order in Asia continue to serve US and allied interests? Will the United States be willing to sustain its long-standing security-provider role in the region, and do its allies find preexisting US commitments credible? How can the United States, and likeminded Asian and European states, best contribute to security, prosperity, and democratic values in the region? Does China’s rise permit the possibility of greatpower cooperation, or is some level of competition —and even outright conflict— inevitable? To what extent, in the changing regional economic architecture, are the United States and its partners willing to make alterations in governance structure in order to adapt to the new economic weight of emerging economies? How do issues that are likely to be high-priority agenda items in the near future (e.g., food, water, and energy security; the environment; urbanization; demographic change; and disruptive technologies) challenge existing frameworks that have shaped regional affairs and societies? These are among the questions that must be addressed as the United States seeks to secure its interests in Asia, and as Asian partners look to the United States for leadership. The Asia-Pacific may be the world’s most dynamic geopolitical region. According to some projections, the majority of all global economic activity could take place within Asia by 2050.
Military might often follows economic power, and Asian countries are already spending more than European states on defense. Both of these developments reflect a broader shift in global power from West to East. If the twentieth century could be characterized as the “Trans-Atlantic Century,” the twenty-first century may well become known as the “Trans-Pacific Century.”
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69
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Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 26, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Global food security is underpinned by trade in a few crops and fertilizers. Just three crops – maize, wheat and rice – account for around 60 per cent of global food energy intake.A fourth crop, soybean, is the world’s largest source of animal protein feed, accounting for 65 per cent of global protein feed supply. Each year, the world’s transport system moves enough maize, wheat, rice and soybean to feed approximately 2.8 billion people. Meanwhile, the 180 million tonnes of fertilizers applied to farmland annually play a vital role in helping us grow enough wheat, rice and maize to sustain our expanding populations. International trade in these commodities is growing, increasing pressure on a small number of ‘chokepoints’ – critical junctures on transport routes through which exceptional volumes of trade pass. Three principal kinds of chokepoint are critical to global food security: maritime corridors such as straits and canals; coastal infrastructure in major crop-exporting regions; and inland transport infrastructure in major crop-exporting regions.
A serious interruption at one or more of these chokepoints could conceivably lead to supply shortfalls and price spikes, with systemic consequences that could reach beyond food markets. More commonplace disruptions may not in themselves trigger crises, but can add to delays, spoilage and transport costs, constraining market responsiveness and contributing to higher prices and increased volatility.
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124
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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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The sharing economy: challenges and outlook

Title Original Language: 
Enjeux et perspectives de la consommation collaborative
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In the broadest sense, the sharing economy may be defined as a community of individuals lending, renting, donating, sharing, swapping and buying goods or services.

There are currently around 300 digital peer-to-peer platforms in France, many of which have an established global presence. This study looks at the state of the sharing economy – from a qualitative and quantitative slant – and analyses supply and demand trends across the following key sectors: travel, transport and storage services, accommodation, entertainment, food, consumer goods, clothing and footwear, domestic services and finance.

The study also considers how traditional players are responding – in some cases to direct competition from the sharing economy – and dissects the positive and negative forces shaping this new phenomenon, touching on aspects such as macroeconomic factors, regulation, new technologies, consumer habits and business model viability.

In addition, the authors outline a series of scenarios depicting what the sharing economy could look like in 2020 – a transition, a partnership between traditional players and new sharing economy protagonists, and an “economic bubble” triggered by unworkable business models. The study concludes with a set of recommendations on ways to foster this emerging trend through policy-making and regulation, focusing on the need to protect consumers, bolster sharing economy initiatives, and create a level playing field.

The service providers behind this study remain exclusively liable for the research methods used, as well as the findings and recommendations detailed in this report.
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336
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