Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development

To examine past successes in agricultural development and draw out the lessons they offer, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) documented evidence on what works in agriculture—what sorts of policies, programs, and investments in agricultural development have actually reduced hunger and poverty.

The findings and lessons from this report will be shared broadly. The final publications include complete technical background papers, a booklet with summary narratives, and a book with detailed narratives called Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development. All materials will be available from the IFPRI web site on November 12, 2009.

The case studies of success for the Millions Fed project were chosen through a rigorous process that included an open call for nominations, a wide-ranging literature review, an expert opinion poll, and key informant interviews. More than 250 case studies were nominated or identified. Using a comprehensive set of criteria that took into account such issues as scale, time and duration, impact, and sustainability, the project identified 19 proven successes that have had a demonstrated and significant impact on food security and poverty in developing countries.

These successes in developing-country agriculture are rich and diverse in nature. The pathways to success spanned six different areas:
  1. intensifying staple food production;
  2. integrating people and the environment;
  3. expanding the role of markets;
  4. diversifying out of major cereals;
  5. reforming economy-wide policies;
  6. and improving food quality and human nutrition.
Millions Fed: Pathways to Prosperity. This video showcases two successful projects—one in India, another in Africa—that are helping small farmers increase their productivity and incomes, and ultimately providing a path out of hunger and poverty.

Investments in agriculture provide a path for small farmers to prosper; improved seeds, new tools and training, and access to markets can lead to better, healthier lives. Learn about two successful projects—one in Uganda, one in India—that are having a significant impact on farmer productivity and are helping millions lift themselves out of hunger and poverty.

India: Leaving the Plow BehindOver-working of the land in India has led to soil depleted of nutrients. Learn how small farmers are adopting a new method, known as "zero tillage" to help retain nutrients and water, making their farms sustainable for the future.

The Green Revolution changed farmers' lives in India in the 1970s, increasing their crop yield by nearly 70% and allowing farmers to become self-sufficient. Due to over-tilling, however, the soil became depleted of nutrients. Learn how zero-tillage farming methods being used today are helping to retain nutrients and water by decreasing disturbance in the soil.

Uganda: Combating Cassava Mosaic DiseaseCassava has long been a staple crop in Africa, used for both food and income by most poor farmers. Learn how farmers and scientists have worked together to bring it back from the brink of destruction.

When a disease threatened to wipe out a staple crop, researchers and farmers worked together to develop a new variety of cassava that would be able to resist the disease.