Topic: food and agriculture

What does the UN’s first Africa Human Development Report say about food security?

A guest post from Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (right), who is taking over from me as head of research at Oxfam in a couple of weeks, (I’m not leaving, just changing jobs within Oxfam – more on that later). Over the past two years, I spent most of my time working on the first Africa Human Development […]

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Jobs, Justice and Equity: excellent new overview of Africa's progress

Jobs, Justice and Equity is the title of a new report published today by the Africa Progress Panel, a high powered group of ten luminaries including Kofi Annan and Graca Machel. And Bob Geldof. The report does an excellent job of assessing the cup half empty v half full narratives on Africa, and has some […]

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How poor people get through crises: some excellent 'rapid social anthropology' from IDS and the World Bank

On Wednesday, I spoke at the launch of a new book, Living Through Crises: How the Food, Fuel and Financial Shocks Affect the Poor, by Rasmus Heltberg, Naomi Hossain and Anna Reva. It’s a joint World Bank and IDS publication, also available for free online. I think it could prove quite influential. The starting point […]

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Guatemala v Honduras: comparing prospects for change

[This post is published in Spanish on the 3500 milliones blog] From Honduras, I went to Guatemala for a couple of days. Didn’t have time to get out into the countryside, which is a real shame since rural Guate has to be one of the most amazing places to visit in Latin America. But a […]

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Is blood and sacrifice enough? The Honduran peasant movement's model of change

[This post is published in Spanish on the 3500 milliones blog] I spent three days last week trying to understand the peasant (campesino) movement in Honduras. It was the perfect field trip in many ways, split between a flying visit to the Bajo Aguan region up on the lush Northern coast, site of the most […]

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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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