Farm Size, Urbanization
and the Links from Agriculture to Nutrition and Health:
Economic Perspectives
Douglas Gollin
Oxfor...
Farm Size, Urbanization, Nutrition, and Health
D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 2 / 23
Outline
1 Background and Motivation
2 Trends and Implications
3 Health and Nutrition Consequences
4 The Role of Agricultur...
1. Background
D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 4 / 23
An Economist's Perspective: Evolution of Marketing
Systems
The changes in farm size and urbanization that the study forese...
Background: Conclusions of the Study
In sub-Saharan Africa, rural populations will continue to grow,
although urban popula...
Background: Agriculture and Nutrition
Recent research challenges much of what we used to think about the
links between agr...
2. Trends and Implications
D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 8 / 23
Rural Food Systems
Most rural people in sub-Saharan Africa will remain smallholders, and
most farms will remain smallholde...
Urban Food Systems
Increasing urban populations and rising incomes will lead to higher
demand for starch staples as well a...
How Will Urban Food Demand Be Met?
Increasing role for imports of food into many cities.
Opportunities for commercial farm...
Parenthesis: Large Farms
Sometimes misconstrued as a debate over the relative merits of family
farms and investor-owned fa...
Implications for Urban Food Supply
Increasing importance of commercial channels:
Very large family farms selling directly ...
Shifting Social Norms
Integrity of existing food supply chains at present relies on social
proximity and social relationsh...
3. Health and Nutrition Consequences
D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 15 / 23
Potential Benets for Health and Nutrition
Consolidation of urban food supplies creates a number of possible
opportunities ...
Potential Dangers for Health and Nutrition
Increased potential for food safety and health hazards to spread on far
wider s...
Adulteration of Food Supplies
Not all potential food safety concerns are the result of accidents.
Incentives for adulterat...
Regulatory and Political Capacity
Limited regulatory capacity in many countries to inspect or manage
food supplies.
Lack o...
4. The Role of Agricultural Research
D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 20 / 23
A Shift in the Research Agenda
The CGIAR's Strategy and Results Framework lists four system-level
objectives, of which one...
What Role for Science?
What role for the CGIAR and/or international scientic community?
Rapid and context-appropriate test...
Conclusions
If the CGIAR seeks to apply agricultural science to improve health and
nutrition of poor people in developing ...
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Douglas Gollin, ISPC Council Member "Farm Size, Urbanization and the Links to Agriculture, Nutrition and Health: economic perspectives"

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Science Forum 2013 (www.scienceforum13.org)
Breakout Session 9: Farm Size, Urbanization and the Links from Agriculture to Nutrition and Health
Douglas Gollin, ISPC Council Member

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Douglas Gollin, ISPC Council Member "Farm Size, Urbanization and the Links to Agriculture, Nutrition and Health: economic perspectives"

  1. 1. Farm Size, Urbanization and the Links from Agriculture to Nutrition and Health: Economic Perspectives Douglas Gollin Oxford University Chair, CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment CGIAR Science Forum 2013 Bonn, September 23-25 D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 1 / 23
  2. 2. Farm Size, Urbanization, Nutrition, and Health D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 2 / 23
  3. 3. Outline 1 Background and Motivation 2 Trends and Implications 3 Health and Nutrition Consequences 4 The Role of Agricultural Research? D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 3 / 23
  4. 4. 1. Background D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 4 / 23
  5. 5. An Economist's Perspective: Evolution of Marketing Systems The changes in farm size and urbanization that the study foresees will imply major changes in food markets. This presentation focuses on these changes in the marketing system and some potential impacts on health and nutrition: Emphasizes channels of food quality and food safety. Touches on issues of dietary-related disease, including metablic syndromes. Challenges for agricultural science (and the CGIAR): Potential shifts in research emphasis D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 5 / 23
  6. 6. Background: Conclusions of the Study In sub-Saharan Africa, rural populations will continue to grow, although urban populations will grow more in both absolute and relative terms. Diets will shift towards meat and higher value foods, especially in urban areas but demand for starch staples will continue to grow in the poorest countries. Dynamic areas and hinterlands may experience diverging patterns of growth and consumption. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 6 / 23
  7. 7. Background: Agriculture and Nutrition Recent research challenges much of what we used to think about the links between agriculture and nutrition: In the short run, the relationship between household food baskets and nutrition outcomes is a weak one. The link between household income and nutrition outcomes is also relatively weak. Nutrition outcomes are not closely related to what (how much) households produce or even what (how much) they consume. Much more research needed to understand these linkages; e.g., this Science Forum! Long-run relationships are almost certaintly dierent; in the long run and at a global scale, food production must be related to human nutrition outcomes. Where does this leave agricultural research? What role for the CGIAR? D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 7 / 23
  8. 8. 2. Trends and Implications D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 8 / 23
  9. 9. Rural Food Systems Most rural people in sub-Saharan Africa will remain smallholders, and most farms will remain smallholder farms. Non-farm employment opportunities will emerge, but these opportunities are limited and do not exist everywhere. Many rural households will remain largely self-sucient in food production. Sell small quantities of surplus and/or cash crops. Purchase foods (e.g., vegetable oil) that they cannot readily produce. With limited scope for expanding area under cultivation, we will see a footrace between shrinking farm size and rising productivity. Welfare of the rural poor will depend on this outcome. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 9 / 23
  10. 10. Urban Food Systems Increasing urban populations and rising incomes will lead to higher demand for starch staples as well as growing demand for high value foods. Massive increases in total demand for agricultural production. Changes in food marketing, as well. Demand for food away from home; demand for processed food; demand for convenience food. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 10 / 23
  11. 11. How Will Urban Food Demand Be Met? Increasing role for imports of food into many cities. Opportunities for commercial farming in well-connected urban peripheries. Growing consolidation and formalization of supply chains, including: The growth of supermarkets. The growth of markets for branded consumer products (especially with processed foods). The increasing reach of contract farming and commercial production aimed for urban markets. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 11 / 23
  12. 12. Parenthesis: Large Farms Sometimes misconstrued as a debate over the relative merits of family farms and investor-owned farms. Not much to debate: family farms almost always win out, with the exception of a few crops and activities... But family farms can come in many sizes! Large commercially oriented family farms, using mechanization, are the norm in much of the world. Not obvious why there would not be a niche for these farms in Africa as well as the rest of the world. Expansion of some farms implies shrinking farm size for others. Potential emergence of a dualism in African farm size. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 12 / 23
  13. 13. Implications for Urban Food Supply Increasing importance of commercial channels: Very large family farms selling directly to supermarkets. Large farms selling to large-scale traders. Increasing role for food processors: Local production of processed convenience foods, fast foods. Growth in local chains and brands. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 13 / 23
  14. 14. Shifting Social Norms Integrity of existing food supply chains at present relies on social proximity and social relationships to guarantee quality. People may buy from (and sell to) individuals with whom they share some social capital. Trust and repeated games provide some protection. Goods are also sold in minimally processed form; with processing taking place in the home, less risk. Lengthening supply chains and formalization of processing alters the relationship between people and their food. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 14 / 23
  15. 15. 3. Health and Nutrition Consequences D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 15 / 23
  16. 16. Potential Benets for Health and Nutrition Consolidation of urban food supplies creates a number of possible opportunities to improve health and nutrition. Supplementation and fortication of foods becomes far easier. Regulation and control of food supply becomes more feasible (e.g., pasteurization, management of abbatoires). D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 16 / 23
  17. 17. Potential Dangers for Health and Nutrition Increased potential for food safety and health hazards to spread on far wider scale than previous; e.g., a breakdown in cold chain in a poultry production plant contamination of water supplies from concentrated animal feeding operations large quantities of chemically contaminated foods reaching market Problems that might at present be isolated and sporadic have the potential to emerge at far wider scale. Potential for disasters. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 17 / 23
  18. 18. Adulteration of Food Supplies Not all potential food safety concerns are the result of accidents. Incentives for adulteration of food supply; e.g., dilution of milk. Incentives for corrupt use of contaminated products. Pirating of brands and sale of knock-os. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 18 / 23
  19. 19. Regulatory and Political Capacity Limited regulatory capacity in many countries to inspect or manage food supplies. Lack of trained personnel and equipment. Not necessarily a priority for governments. Limited political capacity to enforce regulations on powerful commercial interests. Examples of rich countries do not inspire condence. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 19 / 23
  20. 20. 4. The Role of Agricultural Research D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 20 / 23
  21. 21. A Shift in the Research Agenda The CGIAR's Strategy and Results Framework lists four system-level objectives, of which one is improving nutrition and health. If we take this mandate seriously, and if we are accept the ndings of recent research, we need to look seriously about the mapping from this SLO into research priorities. Perhaps we are over-investing in research aimed at production and nutritional enhancement. Perhaps we are under-investing in research aimed at other food-related health issues. Perhaps not... Or perhaps the CGIAR has no comparative advantage in these other areas. But there are emerging issues related to urban food supply and agricultural commercialization, and good science is needed. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 21 / 23
  22. 22. What Role for Science? What role for the CGIAR and/or international scientic community? Rapid and context-appropriate tests for various food safety issues: bacterial and chemical contamination, including tampering and adulteration Context-appropriate measures to deal with livestock waste. Management of animal agriculture to reduce risks of zoonoses. Advice in designing regulatory regimes, sampling frameworks, etc. Other?? D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 22 / 23
  23. 23. Conclusions If the CGIAR seeks to apply agricultural science to improve health and nutrition of poor people in developing countries, production is only one of the possible topics to be addressed. Urbanization and changes in the size and structure of farms will raise numerous challenges for health and nutrition. They will also bring potential benets. Perhaps a good moment to think whether there are targets here that the CGIAR might usefully hit... A possibility of moving into some new areas of research. D. Gollin (Oxford) Economic Perspectives CGIAR Science Forum 23 / 23
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