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Providing sufficient, healthy food to a rapidly growing world population requires maximising agricultural innovation and its use. Intellectual Property (IP) can play an important enabling role, but is also seen by some as an obstacle. This chapter discusses the root causes of the negative perception of IP and explores solutions that can foster a constructive and ethical use of IP. Patents and plant breeders’ rights provide incentives for different plant-related innovations, which can in principle be complementary, fostering a broad range of innovations. Current tension between the two systems seems to result less from what can be protected, and more from a non-harmonized use of rights resulting from the two systems. The chapter argues that solutions exist, especially if they rely on a combination of industry-based provisions, encouraged and supported by legislative frameworks. These can achieve a cultural shift from “exclusivity and value capture” to “access and benefit sharing” and encourage an ethical use of patents on seeds: one that does not limit access to genetic resources and solutions for food security. The international licensing platform for vegetables, based on the principle of “free access but not access for free”, is an example of such a new use of IP.
Innovative methods to collect dietary data at multiple times across the year are needed to better understand seasonal or temporal changes in household diets and measure the impact of nutrition-sensitive agricultural programmes in low-income countries. This study aims to validate a picture-based research tool for participants to self-record their household’s dietary diversity each month in villages of Manyoni District, Tanzania. Pictorial record charts were developed to reflect local food resources. In 113 randomly selected households, the person responsible for food preparation was trained to mark all items consumed by any household member within the home, or prepared for consumption outside the home, for a single recording day. The next day, an interview-based household 24-hour food recall (H24HR) was collected for the same period. Separate analyses tested agreement (a) between picture charts and H24HR, and (b) between H24HR following chart completion and on an alternative day. Concordance between methods differed between food groups and items, but was high to very high for all cereals, vegetables, pulses, legumes and nuts, and almost all fruits. Recording of ten items (including non-cultivated fruits and ingredients of mixed dishes) differed significantly between H24HR assessments, all of which were reported by more households in interviews following chart completion. Results suggest potential for visual prompts and the contemporaneous nature of data collection to improve the accuracy of interview-based recall. With adequate investment in developing and implementing context-adapted tools, pictorial charts may also offer an effective standalone method for use at multiple time-points in agricultural programmes.
Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food production sectors in many low-income and food-deficit countries with aquatic ecozones. Yet its specific impact on nutrition and livelihood in local communities, where commercial and/or export-orientated aquaculture activities are developed, is largely unknown.
The present narrative and argumentative review aims to provide an overview of our current understanding of the connections between aquaculture agroecosystems, local and national fish production, fish consumption patterns and nutrition and health outcomes.
The agroecological dynamic in a coastal-estuarine zone, where the aquatic environment ranges from fully saline to freshwater, is complex, with seasonal and annual fluctuations in freshwater supply creating a variable salinity gradient which impacts on aquatic food production and on food production more generally. The local communities living in these dynamic aquatic ecozones are vulnerable to poverty, poor diet and health, while these ecosystems produce highly valuable and nutritious aquatic foods. Policies addressing the specific challenges of risk management of these communities are limited by the sectoral separation of aquatic food production – the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the broader food sector – and public health institutions.
Here we provide an argument for the integration of these factors to improve aquaculture value chains to better address the nutritional challenges in Bangladesh.
Projections of a burgeoning population coupled with global environmental change offer an increasingly dire picture of the state of the world's food security in the not-too-distant future. But how can we transform the current food system to become more sustainable, more equitable and more just? We identify kitchens as sites of transformative innovation in the food system where cooks and chefs can leverage traditional food knowledge about local food species to create delicious and nutritious dishes. Achieving a sustainable food system is a grand challenge, one where cooks in particular are stepping forward as innovators to find solutions.
To examine mothers’ and young children’s consumption of indigenous and traditional foods (ITF), assess mothers’ perception of factors that influence ITF consumption, and examine the relationship between perceived factors and ITF consumption.
Longitudinal study design across two agricultural seasons. Seven-day FFQ utilized to assess dietary intake. Mothers interviewed to assess their beliefs about amounts of ITF that they or their young children consumed and on factors that influence ITF consumption levels.
Seme sub-County, Kenya.
Mothers with young children.
Less than 60 % of mothers and children consumed ITF at time of assessment. Over 50 % of the mothers reported that their ITF consumption amounts and those of their children were below levels that mothers would have liked for themselves or for their young children. High cost, non-availability and poor taste were top three reasons for low ITF consumption levels. Mothers who identified high cost or non-availability as a reason for low levels of ITF consumption had significantly lower odds of consuming all ITF except amaranth leaves. Mothers who identified poor taste had significantly lower odds of consuming all ITF except green grams and groundnuts. Similar relationships were noted for young children’s ITF consumption levels.
A majority of the mothers reported that they and their children did not consume as much ITF as the mothers would have liked. Further studies should examine strategies to improve availability and affordability of ITF, as well as develop recipes that are acceptable to mothers and children.
To deepen understanding of the relationship between food insecurity, acculturation, and diagnosis of CHD and related health outcomes among immigrant adults.
Using cross-sectional, nationally representative data from the National Health Interview Survey 2011 to 2015, we address two research questions. First, what is the relationship of household food insecurity and acculturation with: CHD, angina pectoris, heart attack, self-rated poor health and obesity? Second, what is the association of food insecurity with these health outcomes over years of living in the USA? We estimate multivariate logistic regressions without (question 1) and with (question 2) an interaction term between food insecurity and acculturation for CHD and related health outcomes.
Low-income immigrant adults.
Food insecurity and acculturation are both associated with diagnosis of CHD and related health outcomes among immigrant adults. Food insecurity and acculturation are associated with the health of female immigrants more than males. Also, the differences by food security status in the probability of having several poor health outcomes (self-rated heath, obesity, women’s angina pectoris) are largest for those in the USA for less than 5 years, decrease for those who have lived in the USA for 5–14 years, and are larger again for those in the USA for 15 or more years.
Recent and long-term food-insecure immigrants are more vulnerable to CHD and related health outcomes than those in the USA for 5–14 years. Further research is needed to understand why.
Empowering farmers to increase productivity by educating them on conservation agriculture (CA) could contribute to reducing vulnerability, alleviating food insecurity, and fighting poverty while being ecologically sustainable in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This study assesses the effect of a CA-promotion agriculture program. Findings suggest that location of the farm, training, having accessed credit, belonging to a farmers’ group, and being a vulnerable female all drove adoption to varying degrees and directions. Results also suggest that policy makers and CA practitioners should emphasize the ability that CA has to increase income and food security, which could widen CA adoption.
Most of the water humans consume is for agriculture. Rapidly increasing water demand has led to overexploitation of water resources in many important food-producing regions. In particular, growing groundwater-based irrigation causes potentially damaging depletion. Food systems are increasingly globalized, leading to large export-oriented production. Much research has focused on quantifying the amount of water resources embedded in traded products, but less attention has been given to the role of groundwater use and the related sustainability of agriculture globally. We assess current knowledge of virtual water trade in light of groundwater use and sustainability and highlight remaining challenges in this field.
We investigate the sectoral and the distributional effects of a food subsidy program, where food consumption in the economy is subsidized by taxing the manufacturing good producers. In a two-agent model comprising of farmer and industrialist households, agents consume food to accumulate health. Simulations indicate that while the subsidy program increases food output and agents’ health both in the short run and the long run, manufacturing output and aggregate real GDP appear to fall in the short run and increase only in the long run. The program does not make both agents better off and exhibits social welfare gains for a limited range of subsidies.
We present a view on global marine fisheries that emphasizes mitigating the conflict between sustainability and the scale of industrial exploitation driven by the demand of continuous economic growth. We then summarize the current state of global fisheries. Finally, we advocate strongly for scaling back industrial fisheries, most of which are non-sustainable. This can be achieved through eliminating the harmful, capacity-enhancing subsidies that prop up industrial fisheries to continue operating despite declining fish stocks. Instead, we propose to support well-managed, locally owned and operated small-scale fisheries, which generally contribute more to local employment and food security. We stress that contrary to deep-seated opinion in the fishing industry and among politicians, reducing overfishing by eliminating overcapacity in fishing fleets will actually lead to greater, not reduced catches. This would address part of the increased global seafood demand over the coming decades, which is driven by population and wealth growth. This seems counterintuitive, but is supported by fisheries science, data and experiences. Thankfully, we are beginning to see that some of these changes are being pursued by a growing number of countries and international institutions.
To identify the prevalence and demographic characteristics of food insecurity in a presurgical bariatric population. To date there has been no research on food insecurity in a presurgical bariatric population.
Participants completed the ten-item adult food security survey module created by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), with additional questions related to food shopping behaviours and perceived affordability of post-bariatric supplements. USDA scoring guidelines were used to classify participants as food secure, marginally food secure and food insecure.
Academic medical centre bariatric surgery clinic in Central Pennsylvania, USA.
Adult bariatric surgery candidates (n 174).
There was a prevalence of 17·8 % for food insecurity and 27·6 % for marginal food security. Food insecurity was associated with younger age, higher BMI, non-White race/ethnicity, having less than a college education, living in an urban area, receiving Medicaid/Medicare and participating in nutrition assistance programmes. Food-insecure participants endorsed food shopping behaviours that could interfere with postsurgical dietary adherence and perceived post-bariatric supplies as unaffordable or inaccessible.
These results highlight the importance of screening bariatric surgical patients for food insecurity. Further study of this important problem within the bariatric population should address effects of food insecurity and related shopping behaviours on postsurgical outcomes and inform the development of programmes to better assist these high-risk patients.
In Mali's current context, where the crops sector is particularly exposed and vulnerable to agricultural drought, this study assesses the economy-wide impacts of such events and the potential effectiveness of some adaptation strategies. Using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model, we conduct counterfactual simulations of various scenarios accounting for different levels of intensity and frequency of droughts over a 15-year period. We first show how mild, moderate and intense droughts currently experienced by the country affect its economic performance and considerably degrade the welfare of its households. We also show how these negative impacts could be aggravated in the future by the likely increased number of intense droughts threatened by global climate change. However, we finally show that there appears to be some room for Mali to maneuver in terms of drought-risk management policies, such as fostering the use of drought-tolerant crop varieties, improving drought early warning systems or extending irrigation capacities.
To determine if constraints on agricultural production were a novel construct in the Panama Food Security Questionnaire (FSQ) and to characterize agricultural and economic determinants of food insecurity during the planting, growing and harvesting time periods in subsistence farming communities.
This longitudinal study followed households during land preparation, growing and harvest periods in one agricultural cycle. Agricultural production and economic variables were recorded and the Panama FSQ was administered. Exploratory factor analysis was used to verify construct validity of the FSQ. A food insecurity score (FIS), ranging from 0 to 42, was derived. Multiple regression analyses of FIS were conducted for each agricultural period.
Fifteen rural villages in Panama.
Subsistence farming households (n 237).
The FSQ contained four constructs: (i) ability to buy food; (ii) decreased amount/number of meals; (iii) feeling hungry; and (iv) lower agricultural production because of weather or lack of resources. Although most households were mildly food insecure in all time periods, determinants of food insecurity differed in each. Higher FIS was associated during land preparation with less rice and legumes planted and lower asset-based wealth; during growing months with less rice, more maize and pigeon peas planted and not selling produce; and during harvest with less rice planted, fewer chickens and lower income.
Constraints on agriculture was a novel construct of the Panama FSQ. Different income-related variables emerged in each agricultural period. Planting staple foods and raising chickens were associated with food security, but some crop choices were associated with food insecurity.
We collected dietary records over the course of nine months to comprehensively characterize the consumption patterns of Malagasy people living in remote rainforest areas of north-eastern Madagascar.
The present study was a prospective longitudinal cohort study to estimate dietary diversity and nutrient intake for a suite of macronutrients, micronutrients and vitamins for 152 randomly selected households in two communities.
Madagascar, with over 25 million people living in an area the size of France, faces a multitude of nutritional challenges. Micronutrient-poor staples, especially rice, roots and tubers, comprise nearly 80 % of the Malagasy diet by weight. The remaining dietary components (including wild foods and animal-source foods) are critical for nutrition. We focus our study in north-eastern Madagascar, characterized by access to rainforest, rice paddies and local agriculture.
We enrolled men, women and children of both sexes and all ages in a randomized sample of households in two communities.
Although the Household Dietary Diversity Score and Food Consumption Score reflect high dietary diversity, the Minimum Dietary Diversity–Women indicator suggests poor micronutrient adequacy. The food intake data confirm a mixed nutritional picture. We found that the median individual consumed less than 50 % of his/her age/sex-specific Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamins A, B12, D and E, and Ca, and less than 100 % of his/her EAR for energy, riboflavin, folate and Na.
Malnutrition in remote communities of north-eastern Madagascar is pervasive and multidimensional, indicating an urgent need for comprehensive public health and development interventions focused on providing nutritional security.
We explored how positive and negative life experiences of caregivers are associated with household food insecurity.
The Midlands Family Study (MFS) was a cross-sectional study with three levels of household food security: food secure, food insecure without child hunger and food insecure with child hunger. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was used for analyses of negative and positive life experiences (number, impact, type) associated with food insecurity.
An eight-county region in South Carolina, USA, in 2012–2013.
Caregivers (n 511) in households with children.
Caregivers who reported greater numbers of negative life experiences and greater perceived impact had increased odds of household food insecurity and reporting their children experienced hunger. Each additional negative life experience count of the caregiver was associated with a 16 % greater odds of food insecurity without child hunger and a 28 % greater odds of child hunger. Each one-unit increase in the negative impact score (e.g. a worsening) was associated with 8 % higher odds of food insecurity without child hunger and 12 % higher odds of child hunger. Negative work experiences or financial instability had the strongest association (OR = 1·8; 95 % CI 1·5, 2·2) with child hunger. Positive life experiences were generally not associated with food security status, with one exception: for each unit increase in the number of positive experiences involving family and other relationships, the odds of child hunger decreased by 22 %.
More research is needed to understand approaches to build resilience against negative life experiences and strengthen positive familial, community and social relationships.
To discern the impact of food donations provided by a food pantry and soup kitchen on food security.
In this cross-sectional study, participants completed a demographic questionnaire, core food security module, FFQ and list of food donations. The FFQ was utilized to assess diet quality as estimated via the 2010 Healthy Eating Index.
Clients were selected randomly from a food pantry and soup kitchen in Central Texas, USA.
A total of 222 adults.
Approximately 73 % of participants lacked food security. Compared with the food secure, the food insecure consisted of 61 % men, 42 % Caucasians, 56 % single and 67 % homeless. Also, of the food insecure, 60 % were soup kitchen clients and 64 % had an annual income <$US 1000 (P<0·01). The probability of food insecurity was reduced by ≥1·17-fold when the total dietary intake included the food donations, as these were rich in fruits, total vegetables and grains, dairy and protein foods (P<0·05).
Food insecurity was quite prevalent in this sample of individuals who visited food pantries and soup kitchens. The addition of food donations improved the quality of the participants’ total diet and had a positive influence on food security. Thus, community organizations should financially support these food assistance agencies and strive to offer a variety of healthy and tasty foods in adequate quantities to provide optimum diet quality.
Crop wild relatives (CWR) can provide one solution to future challenges on food security, sustainable agriculture and adaptation to climate change. Diversity found in CWR can be essential for adapting crops to these new demands. Since the need to improve in situ conservation of CWR has been recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (2010) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (2011–2020), it is important to develop ways to safeguard these important genetic resources. The Nordic flora includes many species related to food, forage and other crop groups, but little has been done to systematically secure these important wild resources. A Nordic regional approach to CWR conservation planning provided opportunities to network, find synergies, share knowledge, plan the conservation and give policy inputs on a regional level. A comprehensive CWR checklist for the Nordic region was generated and then prioritized by socio-economic value and utilization potential. Nordic CWR checklist was formed of 2553 taxa related to crop plants. Out of these, 114 taxa including 83 species were prioritized representing vegetable, cereal, fruit, berry, nut and forage crop groups. The in situ conservation planning of the priority CWR included ecogeographic and complementarity analyses to identify a potential network of genetic reserve sites in the region. Altogether 971,633 occurrence records of the priority species were analysed. A minimum number of sites within and outside existing conservation areas were identified that had the potential to support a maximum number of target species of maximum intraspecific diversity.
The rising need for crop diversification to mitigate the impacts of climate change on food security urges the exploration of crop wild relatives (CWR) as potential genetic resources for crop improvement. This study aimed at assessing the diversity of CWR of the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues and proposing cost-effective conservation measures for their sustainable use. A comprehensive list of the native species was collated from The Mauritius Herbarium and published literature. Each species was assessed for the economic value of its related crop, utilization potential for crop improvement, relative distribution, occurrence status and Red List conservation status, using a standard scoring method for prioritization. The occurrence data of the priority species were collected, verified, geo-referenced and mapped. A total of 43 crop-related species were identified for both islands and 21 species were prioritized for active conservation. The CWR diversity hotspots in Mauritius included Mondrain, followed by Florin and Le Pouce Mountain. Although a wide diversity of CWR has been recorded on both islands, most do not relate to major economic crops in use, therefore only a few species may be gene donors to economic crops at the regional and global level. For example, coffee, a major global beverage crop, has three wild relatives on Mauritius, which could potentially be of interest for future predictive characterization.
Successful conservation strategies require that taxa are prioritized because resources for planning and implementation are always limited. In this study, we created a partial checklist of crop wild relatives (CWR) that occur in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and identified the taxa of highest priority for regional conservation planning based on their importance for food and economic security. We found that the region contains over 1900 wild relatives of species cultivated for food, beverages, ornamental, forage/fodder, forestry, medicinal, environmental and other uses. Prioritization of these species was based on two criteria: (i) the value of the related crop for human food and economic security in the region and/or globally, and (ii) the potential or known value of the wild relatives of those crops for crop improvement. The region contains 745 CWR species related to 64 human food and beverage crops that are of high socioeconomic importance and 100 of these are of immediate priority for conservation action. The results of this study show that the SADC region contains a wealth of CWR diversity that is not only of value for food and economic security within the region but also globally. Furthermore, this study represents the first step in developing a CWR conservation and sustainable use strategy for the region, where its implementation would contribute to food security and well-being.