Country-driven innovations and agrifood value chains for poverty and hunger reduction
This blog at the Food Security Portal discusses a book chapter by IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan. In this chapter, Fan suggests that more innovative, better focused, and more cost-effective measures are needed to more effectively address hunger. These innovations must be driven by developing countries themselves. Increasing agricultural investments to spur growth in this sector is essential. However, how these investments should be prioritized will depend on each country’s specific needs, capacities, and resources. Developing countries themselves need to take a leading role in determining their priorities, earmarking investments, and driving innovation in the agricultural sector. Government policies that strengthen the position of smallholders need to support their integration into the agri-food value chains. Policymakers need to allow impartial monitoring of value chain activities and adjust their policies based upon the interventions that are most successful for smallholders. Additionally there should be a focus on reducing food losses. To achieve this, several developing technologies should be monitored to determine their effectiveness. Crop diversification, the development of more stress-resistant crops and improved planting and growing practices could help reduce losses before harvest. However, the best channel through which to avoid losses at all levels in developing countries is investment in rural infrastructure, transportation, and food and packaging industries. In conclusion, more and continued country-driven efforts that include global, national, and local actors are needed to reduce hunger and poverty at the global level.