Tracking progress in cutting hunger and poverty in Africa and Southeast Asia
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Tracking progress in cutting hunger and poverty in Africa and Southeast Asia

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands, April 12, 2010

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands, April 12, 2010

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  • 1. Tracking progress in cutting hunger and poverty in Africa and Southeast Asia
    Shenggen FanDirector General
    International Food Policy Research Institute
    April 12, 2010
  • 2. Outline
    Development Strategies in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
    Tracking performance of Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
    Agenda for achieving future food security
  • 3. Different Development Pathways
    Southeast Asia
    Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia
    Market-oriented approach: macroeconomic stability, human capital formation, and trade openness
    Short period of import substitution followed by export-led growth
    Devoted larger share of public investment to rural areas, and lower direct/indirect taxes on agriculture compared to other developing countries
    Vietnam and China: “firing from the bottom approach” that focused on agricultural reforms, including
    Decentralization of agricultural production systems
    Liberalization of pricing and marketing systems
  • 4. Different Development Pathways
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Dominated by agro-pessimistic thinking for many years
    Urban-industrialization approach -> many Sub-Saharan countries missed opportunity to achieve structural transformation where agriculture could deliver aggregate economic growth
    The patterns of discrimination against farmers persist, although there has been reduction in agricultural distortions (especially taxes on farm exports)
  • 5. Tracking performance of Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 6. Economic and Agricultural Growth
    Source: World Bank, 2009
  • 7. Lackluster pattern of poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Share of population living under $1.25 per day, %
    Source: PovcalNet, 2010
  • 8. World Map of Hunger: 2008 Global Hunger Index (GHI) by Severity
    GHI components:
    • Proportion of undernourished
    • 9. Prevalence of underweight in children
    • 10. Under-five mortality rate
    Source: von Grebmer et al. 2009
  • 11. Hunger persists in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
    Source: World Bank, 2009
  • 12. Contributing factors to differences in performance
    Distortions to agricultural incentives
    Investment in agriculture
  • 13. Underspending on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to size of sector
    Agricultural expenditures as % of agricultural GDP
  • 14. Africa is still taxing agriculture
    Source: Anderson 2008.
  • 15. Agenda for achieving future global food security
  • 16. 1. Improve smallholder productivity and access to markets
    Improve access to inputs (e.g. seeds, fertilizer)
    Improve access to services (e.g. extension and finance)
    Increase investment in rural infrastructure (e.g. rural feeder roads, water, irrigation)
    Promote agricultural research and innovation
  • 17. 2. Linking smallholders with modern value chains
    Socioeconomic factors alongside policy reforms have transformed value chains
    Emergence of supermarkets in Southeast Asia and more recently Southern/Eastern Africa
    Small farmers often lack resources to participate and share benefits
    Support innovative institutional arrangements for vertical coordination, e.g. producer cooperatives
    Eliminate bias towards development of high-value chains in Africa -> more focus on increasing the efficiency of food crop value chains
  • 18. 3. Promote productive safety nets
    Secure and smooth food consumption
    Enable saving and investment
    Build and diversify assets
    Types of interventions e.g.:
    Conditional cash/food transfers
    Maternal and child health/nutrition programs
    Public works
    Insurance for the poor
    Programs depend on needs, capacities, and resources
    Source: Adato and Hoddinott 2008.
  • 19. 4. Build institutions and capacities
    Improve evidence-based policy making
    Asian reform process (esp. China) emphasized gradual implementation after careful experimentation in selected districts:
    Successful policies scaled up
    Failed policies used for learning purposes
    Increase investment in information gathering, monitoring, and evaluation
    Strengthen human and administrative capacities through increased investment in education and training
  • 20. The most effective and sustainable actions must be country-led and country-owned