Topic: food and agriculture

So how many of the world's people are hungry? Dunno. Work in progress…….

Richard King, my highly numerate colleague, grapples with the confusion surrounding the FAO’s hunger numbers. Global hunger numbers must be among the most widely quoted and over-interpreted of all the indicators at development wonks’ and campaigners’ disposal. ‘One billion people (one in seven of the world’s population) go to bed hungry’ is a compelling headline […]

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Cambodia: community forestry v land grabs is more complicated than I thought

An edited version of this post appeared on the Guardian Poverty Matters blog yesterday Last week in Cambodia, some questions on forestry and development came into sharp relief. I visited a region where Oxfam’s local partners are helping local indigenous people develop community forestry and resist the encroachment of foreign companies (as well as Cambodian […]

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How can Contract Farming work for poor farmers?

The UN’s hyperactive (how often do you see those words in the same sentence?) special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, has a new report out on contract farming. At first sight, contract farming (expanding fast, apparently) looks a lot more promising than the parallel boom in ‘large scale land acquisitions’ (aka […]

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Small farms can be beautiful – how farmers’ markets changed attitudes and policies in Colombia

As a curtain raiser for this week’s GROW Week at Oxfam (see bottom of this post), this piece appeared on the Guardian Poverty Matters site last Friday, as my contribution to Sunday’s Blog Action Day, which this year coincided with World Food Day. I’ll also be doing on online Q&A (on Facebook) on the issues behind the campaign […]

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Food and Finance: a little less speculation, a little more action please…

Some good sense on a polarised topic from Ruth Kelly, Oxfam economic policy adviser and co-author of a new paper on speculation and food prices. When they work properly, financial markets are great at greasing the cogs of the food system. Why, then, are so many people blaming speculation for recent food price spikes?   […]

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The latest (big) numbers on land grabs, and some powerful case studies

Oxfam adds its voice to the growing clamour about land grabs with two new reports out today. Land and Power: The Growing Scandal Surrounding the New Wave of Investments in Land pulls together some fascinating (and sometimes shocking) case studies from South Sudan, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala, and adds up some big new global […]

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What should Oxfam be doing on water?

Just spent an intense couple of days at Oxfam Reflects, a biannual event where a mix of staff, partners and a sprinkling of professors and other wonks shut themselves away to talk through a thematic issue that is confusing the organization and needs a bit of kicking around. This one was on water – trying […]

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Introducing Growbag, a round up of new research on food, farming and climate by guest blogger Richard King

I can’t keep up with the flood of research on the issues related to the GROW campaign, so my ever-hungry colleague Richard King is riding to the rescue…… This occasional ‘blog series is a nutritionally dense (but non-exhaustive) collection of links, highlighting major recent publications and miscellaneous happenings that are relevant to Oxfam’s GROW campaign. […]

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Ending Hunger Now – what's missing from Josette Sheeran's talk?

Inspiring TED talk by World Food Program boss Josette Sheeran. Besides the general moral outrage and can-do optimism she conveys, I like the focus on local sourcing, investing in small farmers, school meals, breast feeding and supporting food banks as a form of local food reserve. But some culprits get off very lightly. Nationally, what about […]

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Will the 2012 Earth Summit be a flop? Guest post from Sarah Best

    You’re Invited!   20th Anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit 4-6 June, 2012, Rio de Janeiro Gift list: to be determined   You’d be forgiven for not clocking that that there’s a major UN sustainable development conference on the horizon.  In less than a year, governments will convene in Rio de Janeiro in […]

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Maasai v investors in Ngorongoro, Tanzania: guest post by Jane Lonsdale

Ngorongoro district in Tanzania, home to the famous Ngorongoro crater and bordering the Serengeti national park, must surely be one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Maybe this explains its hotly contested land disputes.  Everyone seems to want a piece of it, but those in danger of being left without are the indigenous Maasai […]

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How do we talk about resource limits, fair shares and development?

Fascinating morning earlier this week discussing Alex Evans’ new paper for WWF and Oxfam on ‘Resource Scarcity, fair shares and development’. Alex summarizes the paper in the Guardian, so I won’t rehearse his arguments for adding ‘fair shares’ to the more accepted topics of responding to resource scarcity by increasing production and strengthening resilience. Instead, […]

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