Topic: food and agriculture

Why the World Bank should declare a freeze on big land deals

‘Buy land. They’re not making it any more.’ Around the world, a lot of investors are taking Mark Twain’s advice to heart, and the resulting land rush is doing an awful lot of damage. A hard-hitting, killer fact-tastic Oxfam briefing written by my colleague Kate Geary published today summarizes the stats (as far as we […]

Read More »

In the Philippines: does Oxfam's livelihoods work go beyond trad income generation?

Last week I visited Oxfam’s Philippines programme. Such trips follow a pretty standard format – our national staff and relevant partners whisk me through a series of site visits and conversations with farmers, civil society organizations, local government officials and anyone else who’ll talk to you. For a few days, I’m engrossed, wrestling on multiple […]

Read More »

Why don't Africa's politicians invest more in small farmers? The political economy of ag policy.

Interesting if rather impenetrable new(ish) paper from the Future Agricultures consortium on the political economy of Africanagricultural policy. It seeks to answer an important question – why hasn’t the spread of democracy produced more investment in the smallholder farmers that form the majority of the electorate in many countries? Here’s the summary: “Theories of policy neglect […]

Read More »

The Hunger Grains: new research shows EU biofuel policies drive food prices and land grabs

Oxfam economic policy adviser Ruth Kelly (right) unveils her new paper, published today, on a really simple, bad policy that rich countries can fix – biofuels. The past five years have seen two record spikes in the price of food; and prices are rising again, with corn and soy hitting record highs in summer 2012. […]

Read More »

Prices that bounce – Naomi Hossain on the human face of the food crisis

Oxfam and IDS are starting work on Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, a 4 year project combining qualitative and quantitative methods to track the human impact in communities in 10 countries, building on the methodology behind our 2011 report, Living on a Spike. Richard King at Oxfam and Naomi Hossain at IDS […]

Read More »

Paradigms, lock-ins and liberations: Robert Chambers on rice and shit

 Following my review of his new book, and Robert’s thoughts on immersion programmes (which generated some great comments), here is a third and final piece from Provocations for Development A lock-in is a paradigmatic syndrome in which there is strong mutually-supporting inflexibility. Let us examine two examples of paradigmatic lock-ins which have been comprehensively turned […]

Read More »

Extreme weather, extreme prices: what will more erratic weather do to food prices?

Oxfam Climate Change Policy Adviser Tracy Carty summarizes her new paper, published today With greenhouse gas emissions at an all time high, and the world lurching towards a third food price spike in four years following the worst US drought since the 1950s, there is an alarming gap in our knowledge – how will an […]

Read More »

Cereal Secrets: Lifting the lid on the World's big 4 grain traders

Campaigners and journalists love a brand – targeting Nike, Walmart, (maybe even Oxfam) virtually guarantees you a bigger audience. Unfortunately, that means brand-less companies can get away with murder (hopefully just a figure of speech). Cereal Secrets, a new research report for Oxfam by Sophia Murphy, David Burch and Jennifer Clapp, lifts the lid on […]

Read More »

Climate Change, the Olympics and Hunger: What's the link?

This guest post from Tim Gore (right), Oxfam’s climate change policy adviser, explores the parallels between climate change and the Olympics, ahead of tomorrow’s UK-hosted ‘hunger summit’ ‘Faster, higher, stronger’ is not just the motto of athletes competing at the London games, it’s also a pretty accurate description of our weather over the past 12 months. […]

Read More »

Obama v Kofi Annan: Who has the best model for agriculture in Mozambique?

This guest post from Joseph Hanlon (right) was also published today on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog Mozambique is a development paradox. Rural poverty is increasing despite high growth rates and billions of dollars in aid. Now the country has been targeted by two contrasting models of agricultural development. The Obama model was backed by the […]

Read More »

Fighting for food security in India

Biraj Swain (right) is Oxfam India’s Campaigns Manager and Co-Editor and author of the IDS-Oxfam India Special Bulletin “Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India”, launched in Delhi this week In India, over the past 15 years the debate about food, under a rights-based perspective, has become increasingly complex. Earlier concerns about famines, emergency relief […]

Read More »

Big Decisions today on Food Crisis in the Sahel: here’s the background

A high level collection of EC and member states officials, UN big cheeses and West African leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the unfolding crisis in the Sahel, where a disaster is looming. Some communities already find themselves in crisis, others see disaster on the horizon as an early lean season approaches and the […]

Read More »