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Rural transformation and nutrition transition: Same pathways, different speeds?

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CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets Workshop on Rural Transformation in the 21st Century (Vancouver, BC – 28 July 2018, 30th International Conference of Agricultural Economists). Presented by Will Masters, Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and Department of Economics, Tufts University.

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Rural transformation and nutrition transition: Same pathways, different speeds?

  1. 1. Rural transformation and nutrition transition: Same pathways, different speeds? Will Masters Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and Department of Economics, Tufts University http://nutrition.tufts.edu/profile/william-masters CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets Workshop on Rural Transformation in the 21st Century Vancouver, BC – 28 July 2018 With Winnie Bell and Keith Lividini, PhD candidates at Tufts University
  2. 2. All data shown are national totals Aim is “factfulness” (Rosling), to see both forest and trees Rural transformation and nutrition transition: Same pathways, different speeds?
  3. 3. Three kinds of visualization: (1) Year-to-year changes over time, by region – The ag-nut transition from starchy staples to other foods – The rural transformation from falling to rising farm sizes (2) Preston curves, for Africa vs RoW, 1990s vs 2010s – Agriculture as a share of employment – Child stunting as a measure of health outcomes (3) Lorenz curves of global inequality, 1970 vs 2010 – Agricultural resources (cropland harvested per rural person) – Food and nutrient consumption (units per capita) Then conclusions, and implications for today’s workshop Data visualization reveals global patterns
  4. 4. - 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 kg/ha FAO estimates of cereal yields by region, 1961-2014 E Asia Americas Europe SE Asia World S Asia Africa Data shown are FAOSTAT estimates, from national statistics of UN member countries Let’s start with something we all know Agricultural “revolutions” are slow, cumulative changes
  5. 5. 0.15 0.25 0.35 0.45 0.55 0.65 0.75 0.85 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 Nutrient-densefoods(pctofdietaryenergy) Total dietary energy (calories/capita/year) East Asia SE Asia South Asia Africa World Average Europe United States 1961 20052013 1961 2013 1988 1995 1961 2013 Dietary transitions towards more and more diverse foods, 1961-2013 More food More and different foods Data shown are from FAO Food Balance Sheets, downloaded 14 July 2018 http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/FBS. Europe includes all of the former Soviet Union. The nutrition transition pulls agriculture from more food to different foods
  6. 6. Agricultural and food systems develop around farming as a family enterprise Large enterprises arise due to scale economies in manufacturing and distribution, for both farm inputs and the food industry Input suppliers Food industries Agribusinesses (seed multiplication, fertilizer & chemicals, machinery) Food companies (ingredients, processing, distribution & sales) Farming remains a family operation, with exceptions for immediate processing (e.g. sugar, tea) and confined operations (e.g. chickens) Family farms Consumer diets
  7. 7. 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 Globally, the whole world's rural population is already near its peak and will soon decline Total Rural Urban “peak rural” is 2022 The speed and direction of rural change depends on labor/land ratios and rural population growth relative to urbanization Number of people (billions) Data shown are author’s calculations from UN World Urbanization Prospects, 2014 Revision, from http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup.
  8. 8. 0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.00 2.25 2.50 Sub-Saharan Africa's rural population will keep growing past 2050, despite very rapid urbanization Total Rural Urban Rural population still rising past 2050! Over 50% urban in 2040 World’s fastest urban population growth, but from a small base Africa’s rural population will keep growing for several decades World’s fastest total population growth Number of people (billions) Data shown are author’s calculations from UN World Urbanization Prospects, 2014 Revision, from http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup.
  9. 9. The rise and then fall of rural populations drives agricultural transformation -0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 SS Africa India China China's rural population stopped growing in the early 1990s Africa's rural population will keep growing through the 2050s India's rural population will stop growing in the 2020s UN estimates of total rural population, 1950-2050Number of people (billions) Data shown are author’s calculations from UN World Urbanization Prospects, 2014 Revision, from http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup.
  10. 10. Rural population growth rates reveal differences between countries, and are an important aspect of success stories Data shown are author’s calculations from UN World Urbanization Prospects, 2014 Revision, from http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup. -2.5% -2.0% -1.5% -1.0% -0.5% 0.0% 0.5% 1.0% 1.5% 2.0% 2.5% 3.0% 3.5% 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s UN estimates of rural population growth rates per year, 1950s-2040s S.S. Africa (total) Ghana World (total) India Bangladesh China Thailand When rural population growth declines below zero, the area of land per rural person can grow
  11. 11. Ag’s share of the workforce has remained much higher in Africa than elsewhere and did not shift down from 1991 to 2010 Reprinted from W.A. Masters, N.Z. Rosenblum and R.G. Alemu, 2018. Agricultural transformation, nutrition transition and food policy in Africa. J. of Development Studies, 54(5): 788-802. Rural population growth ensures that a large fraction of African workers are farming
  12. 12. Africa’s stunting rates are higher than others The big structural shift at each income level is towards taller children Reprinted from W.A. Masters, N.Z. Rosenblum and R.G. Alemu, 2018. Agricultural transformation, nutrition transition and food policy in Africa. J. of Development Studies, 54(5): 788-802. but have benefited from innovation in maternal & child health
  13. 13. Another approach to structural change is through Lorenz Curves From 1970 to 2010, the global distribution of harvested land area per rural person became more unequal If harvested land area were distributed equally among all rural people, the Lorenz curve would be a diagonal line at the top, among land-rich countries Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  14. 14. We can see countries’ position in the global distribution through a Parade chart 1970 2010 By 2010, African countries (in light green) are no longer land abundant. Some are among the world’s most land-scarce countries. Global mean (line of perfect equality) Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  15. 15. Diet quality (e.g. consumption of protein) has become more equal Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  16. 16. Diet quality (e.g. consumption of protein) has become more equal 1970 2010 Global mean (line of perfect equality) Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  17. 17. Consumption of animal-sourced foods has become much more equal African countries (in light green) are among those with the least access to animal-sourced foods Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  18. 18. Global mean (line of perfect equality) Consumption of animal-sourced foods has become much more equal African countries (in light green) are increasingly among those with the least access to animal-sourced foods Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  19. 19. Consumption of vitamin A has also become more equal But increased equality in vitamin A consumption has occurred only in vitamin-A rich countries Countries with below-median consumption have had no increase in their share of global vitamin A Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  20. 20. Global mean (line of perfect equality) Consumption of vitamin A has also become more equal Closure of the “poverty gap” in vitamin A consumption has occurred here There is still a large gap among countries with low vitamin A consumption Source: W.A. Masters, W. Bell and K. Lividini, 2018. Inequities in global agriculture, dietary intake and health outcomes (working paper, forthcoming).
  21. 21. Rising rural population, most farmers have shrinking land area Stable rural population, most ag is large farms Stable rural population, most ag is large farms Near peak or falling rural population, small farm sizes that can now expand Stable rural population, most ag is large farms Stable rural population, most ag is large farms Implications for CGIAR research on Policies, Institutions and Markets We must avoid misleading generalizations, but it can be helpful to see the world in stylized ways:
  22. 22. Continent: Agriculture: Africa (previously other regions) South Asia (previously other regions) East & SE Asia (previously other regions) Europe, N. America and other early-growth regions Farm workforce (Driven by demographic history, urbanization and migration opportunities) Rising (from a low base) Near peak (previously rising) Falling (peaked recently) Stable (previous falling) Innovations needed (Direction of change driven by trends in quality and quantity of land, water and other resources per worker in farm households, driving labor intensity and mechanization) Shrinking average farm sizes implies that more labor- intensive techniques are needed; land becomes more valuable and may be consolidated by elites in a few large farms, squeezing remaining smallholders onto even smaller farms Farms no longer shrinking but have been fragmented by history of falling land- labor ratios; farmers are still poor but often gain political power at this time, and may get rapid improvement in public services Opportunities for some farmers to expand by taking over neighbors’ land depends on tenure rules; flexibility permits adjustment in land use to allow mechanization and changing mix of outputs and inputs Farm sizes no longer expanding on average, but may keep expanding in remote hinterlands (where farming is full-time work) while shrinking in multifunctional areas (where farming is a part-time activity) Implications for CGIAR research on Policies, Institutions and Markets We must avoid misleading generalizations, but it can be helpful to use typologies:
  23. 23. • Africa is increasingly the center of agricultural and nutritional deprivation – Falling farm sizes, while other regions see stable or rising land area per rural resident – But also increasing diversity among African countries (plus great variation within countries, not shown here) • Agriculture and nutrition differ in recent trajectories – Agricultural resources (harvested area) have become more unequal – Diets (e.g. protein, ASFs, vitamin A) have become less unequal …but the most deprived have seen little increase in their share of global totals • Global visualizations of a single development pathway reveals rather than masks local diversity – Seeing Africa’s commonalities reveals diversity within it – Seeing shared pathways aligns expectations, and reveals diverse obstacles to be overcome Rural transformation and nutrition transition: Same pathways, different speeds?

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