Topic: food and agriculture

What have we learned from trying to help poor farmers use markets better?

After some pretty rarified policy wonkery on agriculture and development last week, Erinch Sahan, an Oxfam private sector adviser, summarizes what we have learned from our work in the field  (for once, the right expression). And no, there doesn’t appear to be much obvious overlap with the topics covered in the earlier posts, but I […]

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Agricultural policy, poverty and the role of the state: the OECD responds

Today Jonathan Brooks author of the OECD’s new book on agricultural policy and poverty reduction, responds to my rather critical review. (For footie fans, the photo behind him is taken in a Brazilian bar, and celebrates the lobbing of the English goalkeeper David Seaman by Ronaldinho in the 2002 World Cup) Duncan, Thanks for this […]

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OECD versus Ha-Joon Chang on agricultural policy and poverty reduction: I'm with Chang

A recent launch discussion at Chatham House (but mercifully on the record) on the new OECD book, Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction, (powerpoint presentation by author Jonathan Brooks here – keep clicking til it comes up) provides a nice counterpoint to the FAO study discussed over the last couple of days.  The contrast is pretty striking, […]

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Limits to history’s lessons: What’s missing from Ha-Joon Chang’s take on agricultural policy? Guest post by Sally Baden

Sally Baden, Oxfam’s women and agriculture specialist, takes another look at the new book on agricultural policy reviewed yesterday After some lobbying from Duncan, I sat down to read Ha-Joon Chang’s book in January. Sadly reading weighty tomes on agricultural policy is something I don’t have the luxury of doing very often since my younger days […]

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What agricultural policies worked in today's successful economies? Important new book from Ha-Joon Chang

OK, time for a series of posts on agricultural policy. Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan (as well as friend) of Ha-Joon Chang. Routledge recently published a book edited by Ha-Joon that I think is very important indeed. Unfortunately, it’s only come out in very expensive hardback (a snip at £85), […]

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How will political and economic shocks drive social change? Please help me write a paper…..

Something almost unprecedented has occurred – I’ve finished an article early. Oxfam Peru is a redoubt of intellectuals and every year publishes an annual collection of essays on the state of Peru and development in general. This year they’ve asked me to focus on shocks and change, so I’ve donned my false beard and cardigan […]

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Getting Somalia Wrong and other background reading for today's big conference

On 3 February, the UN declared that there were no longer famine conditions in southern Somalia, but six months since that famine was declared, Somalia is still in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. Nearly a third of the population remain in crisis, unable to meet essential food and non-food needs. Key […]

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What causes bad nutrition – not enough power or not enough vitamins?

As a general rule, the further The Economist magazine’s subject matter departs from economics, the better it gets, as information and analysis replace the ideological drumbeat of its market fundamentalist ‘priors’. Thanks to its coverage, vital development issues such as gendercide or resource scarcity reach a global mass audience. This week’s issue has an excellent […]

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Ending world hunger is possible – so why hasn't it been done?

Time for something a bit less wonky than usual. Yesterday the Guardian asked me to bash out a quick response to the new Save the Children report on hunger (which got amazing coverage). It went up on their Comment is Free site, which always gets loads of comments. Often they are very nasty, but this time […]

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Is doughnut economics too Western? Critique from a Latin American environmentalist

Apologies for the blog going offline yesterday – some server glitch which has now been rectified. On with the discussion on Kate Raworth’s new paper. Here Latin American environmentalist Eduardo Gudynas takes on the doughnut from a deeper green perspective for uncritically accepting western concepts of ‘development’. The discussion paper just launched by Oxfam, ‘A […]

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'The doughnut ‘compass’ is a powerful idea': Earth scientists respond to the doughnut…….

Some initial thoughts on yesterday’s post on doughnut economics from Mark Stafford Smith and Will Steffen. Mark (left) is Science Director of the Climate Adaptation Flagship at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and is Co-chair of the upcoming Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge towards Solutions conference in London, March 2012. Will Steffen (right) is Executive […]

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Can we live inside the doughnut? Why the world needs planetary and social boundaries

This post (and commentaries over the next few days) presents some important new thinking by my research team colleague, Kate Raworth. It summarises her new Discussion Paper, published by Oxfam today.  When crossing unknown territory, a compass can be pretty handy. Achieving sustainable development for nine billion people has to be high on the list […]

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