Food Policy

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0306-9192
Publications
Article
PIP Faced with balance of payment problems, declining commodity prices, and a corresponding reduction in foreign exchange earnings, Nigeria implemented a structural adjustment program in 1986. This step was taken in response to encouragement from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and was aimed to accomplish the following: find the true value of the official currency; overcome public sector inefficiency through improved public expenditure and parastatal rationalization; reschedule medium- and long-term debt to relieve debt burden; and encourage net foreign capital inflow while limiting foreign loans. Implementing and adhering to these macroeconomic adjustment policies has brought unprecedented inflation, lower real earnings, and increased malnutrition among lower income sectors of the population. The poor have suffered diminishing access to nutritious foods. Conscribed access to food and compromised nutritional status will most likely persist into the 1990s unless corrective policies are adopted. Appropriate policy would aim to increase the poor's access to food and limit population growth.
 
Article
PIP Of the several direct interventions against malnutrition, supplementary feeding is the most frequently employed in poor countries. If properly designed, implemented, and integrated with other services, the allocation of supplementary foods can contribute significantly to the alleviation of malnutrition. The authors survey the ambitious efforts of Egypt's Ministry of Health to make food available to chidlren at risk. These efforts are likely to have disappointing results unless the process of distribution is accompanied by improved program design and management, and greater sensitivity to the culture of health care delivery at the grassroots level.
 
Article
PIP The renewable natural resources sector in Africa is highly important because of the relatively high proportion of livelihoods it supports relative to other developing regions. However, ongoing rapid population growth threatens the long-term survival of the sector. Key concerns include the need for agricultural intensification in the context of systems which are often located in marginal areas, the demands imposed by rapid urbanization, and access rights to essential resources such as water. The policy and institutional environment can make problems worse since trends toward greater democracy often prove destabilizing or deflect the political agenda toward short-term expediency instead of longer-term strategies essential to the renewable natural resources sector. Structural adjustment has yet to produce the expected benefits and it is clear that the private sector will be unable to meet growth and distributional objectives on its own. A broader-based strategy is needed which includes not only government institutions at national and local levels, but also nongovernmental organizations, community organizations, and regional and international bodies.
 
Article
PIP This analysis of rural poverty and hunger in Africa discusses the intertemporal and cross-sectional dimensions of poverty as an aid to policies and programs to alleviate hunger. Since nutritional adequacy of diets varies according to season, seasonality is an important cause of poverty especially in countries with 1 major harvest. In agricultural communities the wet season brings on food shortages and high prices, requiring assistance programs to concentrate on alleviating hunger at this time of year. Drought places a similar demand on resources. People may be poorer in 1 section of a country than another if they have no access to the existing power system, depriving them of services and assistance. There are forgotten regions of Africa where people are poor due to physical isolation, increasing the risk of drought and impeding emergency relief. Production in these areas may be low because there are no consumer goods to buy with surplus. It is important to identify target groups for financial assistance which will change with time and environmental conditions.
 
Article
Experience in nutrition interventions points to several design characteristics of field programmes which could improve their effectiveness. Regular government extension services have the potential to reach large numbers of people, yet staff will require additional training to respond to the changing demands of field work. A new approach to training such staff has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization. The approach provides staff with information and managerial skills that are common to all extension work. The practical examples used to introduce these techniques illustrate nutritional problems that fieldworkers face and give a measure of confidence in finding solutions. Training materials based on this approach are presently used by several governments.
 
Article
The large amount of food aid that was required to meet Africa's emergency food situation resulted in the postponement of some fundamental decisions that were being taken about food aid use in sub-Saharan Africa. Now the donor community and recipient governments are again giving priority to integrating food aid with other available resources in order to meet longer-term food policy and wider development objectives. This paper looks at some of the policy and management issues which need to be addressed if the effectiveness of food aid assistance is to be improved in the current African context.
 
Article
PIP AIDS has penetrated at least 42 countries in Africa. Death of Africans usually occurs within 3 years of diagnosis. Not much is currently known about the demographics of the disease or about its impact on economic and social behavior, farming, and food production. There is currently a food crisis in Africa, so it is appropriate to study how much of an impact this disease has on future food production. In order to study the problem, one must predict the spread of AIDS. 2nd, one must infer how labor loss effects current rural production. Labor loss will cause changes in organization of production, technology, and types of crops grown. As a crisis increases, certain groups will be cut out of the food distribution. Characterizations such as these allow the mapping of areas vulnerable to labor loss. Field analysis and modeling must substantiate the theories and predictions. This paper describes the research design which will be used by 2 researchers from the Overseas Development Group of the University of East Anglia to measure the impact of AIDS on food production, working initially in a high HIV - prevalent area in Uganda.
 
Article
In spite of good rains in 1985, much of Africa is still dependent on food aid and millions of people remain displaced from their homes. The reasons for this situation are not climatically related. Although drought exacerbates the situation, the main causes of insufficient food production are related to land degradation-disertification-and high population growth rates. Human growth rates in Africa show no signs of abating in the near future, thus to ameliorate the overall situation, disertification must be halted. To halt disertification policy makers and planners need to devote more resources to programmes and projects that are environmentally related. To facilitate this goal, a new way of analysing the economics of land degradation and rehabilitation needs to be devised and implemented.
 
Article
Access to food is essential to survival, and access to markets is essential for development. Most parastatal marketing systems in Africa have failed either to provide adequate links between surplus and deficit areas, or to extend markets to scattered smallholders, or both. The parastatal system does provide a legitimate need, but it has been frequently misapplied. This article proposes a system for Zimbabwe which retains government control of national stocks and enables the parastatal to stabilize prices, at the same time ensuring a more rational delivery system in rural areas with prices reflecting storage and transport costs. The local population is encouraged to fulfill local needs, thus avoiding the expense of directing all marketing and processing through the urban areas. A more localized system will also have greater multiplier effects.
 
Article
PIP Since the early 1980s nutritional levels have deteriorated in Latin America. A growing number of multinational and bilateral assistance agencies have intensified ongoing efforts at incorporating nutrition components into the formulation of agricultural, fisheries and development projects. The main focus is on measures that would reduce additional deterioration of nutritional status. This paper reviews the response of bilateral and multilateral development agencies to the situation and outlines some practical options of systematically incorporating nutrition considerations in the formulation of agricultural, rural, urban, educational, housing, health and industrial projects. The Sub-Committee on Nutrition (SCN) of the UN Administrative Committee on Coordination has served as a clearinghouse for information on the subject. In spite of the SCN efforts to work closely with nutrition authorities of bilateral and multinational development aid agencies, nutrition has not yet become an integral component of rural or urban development projects. A number of workshops have been sponsored by the SCN and by other agencies such as the International Development Bureau (IDB); their goals and aims are reviewed and it is concluded that to incorporate nutritional considerations into development projects requires overcoming image barriers to the effect that nutrition activities are complex, costly, difficult to administer and economically not readily justifiable.
 
Article
PIP This paper emphasizes the benefits of an agricultural strategy of development in developing countries. It begins by analyzing the close links between food and employment in the development process. In an underdeveloped country, food production is minimal, but demand is as well because of the small population growth. After development begins, income rises and food demand outstrips production. Only at later stages of development can food production meet demand. The middle stage of development describes most developing countries, which have averaged annual growth rates of 3% per capita in 1966-80. The growth in food demand must be met through technological advance in agriculture: high-yield seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation, which, for example, helped India increase cereal yields 29% between 1954-55 and 1964-65. The rate of growth in cropped areas has declined between 1961-1980, making increased yields more necessary. Growth in employment and income leads to higher food demand, which leads to higher prices and labor costs and a tendency towards capital-intensive agriculture. As the rural sector becomes wealthier, there is also more opportunity for non-agricultural rural workers, creating still more demand. In the final development stage, agricultural products can generate foreign exchange. In Asia, the priority is to ensure efficient outcomes of capital allocations, while in Africa, technology must be instituted. Public investment has been shown to be essential to rapid development in Japan, Taiwan, and the Punjab of India. The absence of this investment in Africa, partly because of an overemphasis on urban sector investment, is largely responsible for the backward state of African agriculture. Often rural areas are overtaxed, agricultural experts are lacking, and there is a growing presence of urban bureaucrats. Both experts in the donor community and farmers themselves must become more vocal in demanding investment in the agricultural sector.
 
Article
This brief review of the state of food and agriculture in Islamic countries underlines the need for much greater public commitment to agricultural development. There is encouraging scope for cooperative efforts between the small, rich, oil-exporting countries and larger poor countries with untapped agricultural potential. The review is based on material prepared by FAO for the second meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conferences (OIC) held at Istanbul, 11–16 March 1986.
 
Article
The unique aspect of food aid projects is that food, rather than money, is used for achieving developmental objectives. As food is usually controlled by women, they benefit most from considering it to be of economic value. Poor women seem to be short of two resources — time and money — which can be supplemented by food aid. Through its income-transfer effect, food aid can enable women to work fewer hours per day and thus have more discretionary time. It can also provide, directly or indirectly, the cash necessary for women to use skills they already possess to set themselves up in small businesses.
 
Article
PIP This article poses the question of whether it is possible to use food aid to meet short-run needs while supporting and not undermining the achievement of long-term goals of self-reliance at the household and national levels. Often either some degree of self-reliance is sacrificed or people will suffer malnutrition. Food aid may be used to generate employment for low income families (food-for-work schemes), to reduce food prices during shortages by increasing the supply, and it can be delivered to target groups as a direct entitlement. What happens to food after delivery is important: often it goes to family members not targeted. Other factors (e.g. measles) affect nutritional status. Food aid must often continue for long periods to avoid nutritional regression. The stage in distribution at which food is used is important; e.g. a measles epidemic might affect the consumption but not the supply of food, or poor targeting might benefit families who do not need it. Complementary actions may improve conditions; for example, if food is sold, increasing income improves the situation. A problem with provision of food is depression of local prices, reducing incentives to produce food locally. Most food aid does not increase demand, and in fact if the effect is to change tastes away from local products demand may be reduced. The effect on demand depends on the type of aid scheme, the timing and duration, and the locality of the project. Most objectives are better achieved by the use of cash aid, which promotes rather than weakens local food producers' incentives, reduces transport and storage, redistributes food, does not affect taste, and adds income by contributing to local decentralized transport. Food aid is a good temporary intervention, but cash aid should be used in the long term.
 
Article
PIP This article is a rejoinder to an article by John Osgood Field which discussed the failure of multisectoral nutrition planning. The author argues that, although nutrition planners may have been overly optimistic in their hopes that political political systems could be made responsive to the problems, significant advances have been achieved. Many of the successes of nutrition planning and theimportance of multisectoral work are outlined. Malnutrition is a problem that escapes all the standard programs, and cannot be tackled through the health and agriculture sectors alone. There has been much critical thinking by many concerned people various countries. To suggest that nutrition planners moved blindly is to ignore much of the literature. A number of cautions--some of them very early--make it clear that practitioners were not oblivious to the bureaucratic constraints and political realities Professor Field now identifies. It would be cruelly wrong to suggest that no progress has been made. Nutrition planning may have borne fruit of a different sort than some of its early advocates envisioned, but there is no question that it bore fruit. The issue is whether nutrition planning has influenced the way people think about nutrition and the way they analyze problems. And about this there can be no doubt.
 
Article
PIP This paper is based on the theory that a society's nutritional well-being is both a cause and a consequence of the developmental process within that society. An approach to the choices made by poor rural households regarding food acquisition and nurturing behavior is emerging from recent research based on the new economic theory of household production. The central thesis of this approach is that household decisions related to the fulfillment of basic needs are strongly determined by decisions on the allocation of time to household production activities. Summarized are the results of the estimation of a model of household production and consumption behavior with data from a cross-sectional survey of 30 rural communities in Veraguas Province, Panama. The struture of the model consists of allocation of resources to nurturing activities and to production activities. The resources to be allocated are time and market goods, and in theory, these are allocated according to relative prices. The empirical results of this study are generally consistent with the predictions of the neoclassical economic model of household resource allocation. The major conclusions that time allocations and market price conditions matter in the determination of well-being in low-income rural households and, importantly, that nurturing decisions significantly affect the product and factor market behavior of these households form the basis for a discussion on implucations for agricultural and rural development. Programs and policies that seek nutritional improvement should be determined with explicit recognition of the value of time and the importance of timing in the decisions of the poor.
 
Article
PIP The results of a worldwide survey of nutrition planning professionals' attitudes towards nutrition policy are presented. The objective of the survey was to determine what those involved in nutrition planning perceive to be the causes of hunger and malnutrition, and their views on the effectiveness of the programs implemented to overcome these problems. In mid-1979, a questionnaire was compiled comprising 48 questions related to attitudes towards nutrition policy, voluntary questions about social class, political classification and professional behavior and a question on perceived major impediments to solving malnutrition in the world. The questionnaire was sent to 728 professionals 87 countries; 250 replies from 55 countries; 250 replies from 55 countries were received. 44% of respondents resided in the US, 16% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 14% in the Far East, 12% in Africa and the Middle East and 13% in Europe, Canada and Australasia. Self-classification of political beliefs is the most clear cut correlate in predicting attitudes towards food and nutrition policy. There appear to be 2 clear schools of scientific/political behavior in the sample: one holds a more moderate, but generally liberal, set of views regarding the failure of modern technology in resolving world hunger and nutrition problems; a 2nd more liberal group believes political causes to be at the root of hunger. There is no single profession that can be typified as a breeding ground for nutrition planners. While the European trained and/or native group tends to be more to the left in their attitudes than their counterparts in the US, both groups are decidedly liberal and believe that social structural changes are needed to solve the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the world.
 
Article
PIP The state government of Victoria, Australia, recently prepared a discussion paper towards a regional food and nutrition policy. This evaluation finds it deficient in various ways. The critique contains recommendations for the building of a national food policy. The commission report displays a lack of a systems view of the problem of nutrition, which would recognize a diversity of influences on eating (e.g. social frameworks and frameworks by which we think and know). Linear causality is not an adequate concept. Agribusiness impacts heavily on the environment. In the case of meat production, inputs to production far exceed food energy outputs. Disposal of the by-products of meat production is also more problematic. The way to impact on these wasteful and destructive industrial practices is to consume less meat. Additives in food are a serious problem not well enough addressed. This and other processing increase the cultural perception of foodstuffs as human artifacts. Awareness of the cultural role of foods would allow Australians to cope with industry campaigns promoting meat and processed foodstuffs. There should be more attention to mutual impacts of environment, consumptiuon, and additives and processing. Food from low in the food chain (cereals, seafood) should be promoted not as substitutes but as foods in their own right. Commission recommendations should deal with questions such as nutritional information labeling of foods, and especially an attempt to foster consciousness of the environmental impact of food consumption: Government policy should be mindful to the extent possible of the impact on poor areas of the world of wasteful food consumption in Australia. Proposals for action should benefit from the impact of several fields of expertise beyond health, agriculture, consumer affairs and others; for instance, anthropology or environmental science.
 
Article
PIP This paper presents results of the 1992 National Rural Nutrition Survey in Ethiopia that challenge the appropriateness of the centrality of food security as a dominant element of nutrition policy and planning. While the focus of this work is on protein-energy malnutrition in Ethiopia, the implications extend to other countries, and some of the same principles apply to micronutrient deficiencies. After a description of the design of the Ethiopian national nutrition surveillance system, results are presented for rural Ethiopia in terms of 1) the prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight by age; 2) changes in prevalence of stunting and underweight between February 1983 and March 1992; 3) prevalence of stunting and wasting by region; 4) distribution of stunted children by economic group and size of cultivated land; 5) prevalence of stunting and wasting in selected household economic groups by age group; 6) prevalence of stunting and wasting among children 24-59 months of age by size of cultivated area among cereal growers; 7) height-for-age z-scores across regions and cultivated areas; 8) weight-for-age z-scores; and 9) prevalence of stunting and medial age of introducing complementary foods. The most relevant findings of the study are that 1) stunting is far more common than wasting; 2) chronic malnutrition occurs at high rates among infants aged 6-11 months despite a typical rate of low birth rate, and the presence of stunting does not increase markedly after 24 months; 3) high rates of chronic malnutrition are ubiquitous, with some of the highest in food surplus areas; 4) the prevalence of chronic malnutrition has increased since 1983; 5) household food security is not uniformly associated with child nutritional status; and 6) cultivated area and child nutritional status are not significantly associated among children 6-23 months old.
 
Article
PIP An Infant Feeding Practices Study (IFPS) in 1982 in Kenya, which included a cross-sectional survey of a weighted sample of 980 low and middle income Nairobi mothers who had given birth in the previous 18 months, found that most women breastfeed their infants for long periods, but many introduce alternate feeding, especially infant formula, in the 1st 4 months (86 and 50% of the infants were breastfed at 6 and 15 months respectively, but 50% of the 2 month-olds and 63% of the 4 month-olds were receiving substitutes, mostly formula). This is done largely out of the belief that infant formula is an additional health benefit. A workshop to discuss the findings of the IFPS and other available data, and to make policy recommendations urged the adoption of a policy of protection, support and promotion of breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding is already widely prevalent in Kenya, protection of breastfeeding should receive the 1st priority in policy related to infant feeding. Attention should be directed at at least 2 influences which help undermine breastfeeding: widespread availability and promotion of breast milk substitutes. Support for breastfeeding is viewed as the 2nd policy priority. Situations where support can play a helpful role are, women's paid employment outside the home, hospital practices, maternal morbidity, and difficulties in breastfeeding. Since promotion is the least cost effective of the 3 options, and most Kenyan women are already motivated to breastfeed, this should be the last priority. Promotion includes reeduction of mothers to make them better aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. The workshop recommended the dissemination of appropriate information, consisting of standarized messages based on clearcut guidelines, using mass media techniques.
 
Article
PIP Past failures of nutrition programs could lead to disillusionment among governments with nutritionists unless realistic targets are adopted. High child death rates are due to both infection and malnutrition, both causes of high general fertility rates. A nutrition program in Zambia examined malarial infections and undernutrition as causes of death. Where malnutrition was diagnosed in youngest children, significantly more siblings had died. However, positive malaria in the youngest child was associated with most sibling deaths; rates being always higher among children where it was detected. A reduction in malaria transmission is proposed as a more effective policy than that of increasing general food production. This would reduce death rates and population growth and increase the availability of family resources for each child.
 
Article
PIP A review of current practices and recent developments regarding impact evaluation of nutrition programs for preschool children in developing countries is presented. Nutrition education, food suplementation, and nutrition rehabilitation, the 3 major components of intervention in child nutrition, generally focus on food consumption and are directed at individual cases. Impact evaluations are generally confronted with situations where different programs operate in a variety of cultural settings, where the effects of the interventions are small, and where methodological difficulties usually weaken the evaluations. Definitions of impact evaluation generally include reference to the measurement of program effects by "objective" and "systematic" means. The 1st refers to the use of reliable measuring instruments with standard routines; the 2nd to the comparison of different groups of recipients (and nonrecipients) in such a way that it reveals the impact of the intervention, irrespective of other factors that influence child nutrition. Impact evaluation has 2 major components the indicators selected to reflect program impact, and the design used for the comparison of different groups of recipients. Both the interventions and evaluations have to operate under restricting conditions, and different strategies to accomodate this situation are mentioned. It is argued that the contribution of evaluation is not so much in the nature of being a final arbiter, but rather in the nature of helping to seek the optimal combination of local conditions and type of assistance offered.
 
Article
PIP This article discusses the reasons for poor child nutrition in India. Inadequate advice to mothers in poor rural communities about breast milk supplements could allow progressive erosion of breast feeding practices in the face of aggressive promotion from baby food manufacturers. Health workers need better information about possible supplements produced from locally available foods if nutrition education programs are to succeed. The author warns of the detrimental effect on nutritonal status of the deemphasis of school health nutrition programs in India, and points to the need for a nutrition component as an integral part of rural employment/development programs.
 
Article
PIP This article examines the relationship between poverty, population, and environmental degradation in China. Environmental conditions include water pollution, deforestation, destruction of grasslands, soil erosion, and salinization. The authors review China's success in controlling environmental degradation through leadership, environmental policies, and institutional capacity. Findings suggest that environmental progress is best achieved indirectly by poverty alleviation, market integration, and population control. Government policies were not very effective. Degradation occurs due to limited financial resources, poorly trained personnel, and political factors. Control of water pollution was instituted since the 1980s. The levels of pollutants have been reduced, but the type of pollutant determines the seriousness of impact. Water pollution is due to industrial wastes, agricultural run-off, and soil erosion. Since the 1970s, reforestation targets have not been met. Technical extension and monitoring of planting is not available in most areas, and private, profit seeking interests control acreage. Grassland destruction is due to deforestation, agricultural expansion, and overgrazing. Independent regional authorities have successfully managed pasture programs. Erosion is the most serious in Loess Plateau, the Red Soils area, the Northeast China Plain, and the Northwest Grasslands, which comprise 70% of total land area. In 1990, erosion control was practiced in 39% of eroded land area. Salinization has remained fairly constant. Environmental controls (direct regulation, planned recovery, and state-mandated technological improvements) are uneven. The main tool for environmental management is the State Environmental Protection Commission and its executive unit, SEPA. Problems stem from vague laws, lack of means of enforcement, lack of coordination of laws, and lack of standards, schedules, and other provisions in ordinances.
 
Article
PIP A pilot survey of the factors affecting infant feeding practices in rural Western Nigeria highlights intercultural perceptual problems. Results show widespread use of imported, high cost carbohydrate foods and great resistance to the early introduction of local health protective items. It is commonly thought that "too much food" is bad for a child. Staff responsible for health education are held in a degree of disrepute not conducive to the acceptance of their educational efforts in the community. Recommendations include control of advertising; reviewed staff orientation and training; and an intensive campaign to reestablish breast feeding as the cultural norm. No data is presented on feeding of fluids (breast milk, additional milk, boiled water and glucose in water) and nonfluids (imported carbohydrate, local carbohydrate, local protein and fruits and vegetables) based on the mother's estimate of the age of a baby shown in a photograph. Approximate market prices of imported commodities commonly used for infant feeding in the study area are also included.
 
Article
PIP This paper discusses procedures for "ex ante" assessment of likely nutritional effects of development projects. Reported are results of 1 field trial in the Philippines of the "ex ante" assessment procedure in terms of: its feasibility and timeliness and the recommendations for project design that can be made and their influence. In the procedure described, emphasis is placed on assessing likely direct effects--through income, environmental changes and access to services. Indirect effects through food output and prices are assessed qualitatievly. 2 primary questions are addressed in the "ex ante" assessment: 1) who is to benefit directly from the project, in relation to their need (measured in terms of nutrition) and 2) is there reason to suppose that these benefits will not improve their nutrition? The procedure began with an initial assessment to identify the main issues based on reviewing existing data and a short field visit; since there was insufficient information, a rapid nutrition survey was conducted and analyzed; recommendations for project design were made within the necessary time for inclusion. The assessment of the large-scale development project in the Philippines indicates priority to remote areas, small farmers and subsistence fishermen. It is concluded that production-oriented components (e.g., agricultural and infrastructure development) of the project appear likely to improve nutrition insofar as they reach the priority groups defiend above. There is little reason to believe that increased income will not improve nutrition. Finally, there is evidence that an intervention to improve water supply is likely to be effective. Limitations of the procedure are that the assessment is limitied to direct, microlevel effects; long-term influences on nutrition, through changes in the overall economy of the area, are not assessed. Also, the data used cannot easily quantify expected effects on nutrition of project participants. Future application of such procedures are seen to be important if they can be fully integrated with the overall project planning.
 
Article
PIP Disaggregated demand analysis is beginning to receive increased importance in food policies for developing countries. Using household data from the 1977 Mexican Income and Expenditure Household Survey, the authors estimate the income and demographic effects on expenditures for 9 aggregate food categories. In addition, they use a probit model to explore the effect of these variables on the purchase decision for 5 high protein supplying goods. The results indicate that demographic variables, as well as income, have important effects in determining food expenditures. The authors analyze these effects and indicate the role they might play in food policy programs such as PRONAL, the National Food Programme.
 
Article
This article assesses the effectiveness of nutrition programmes and policies since the World Food Conference. The authors perceive several distinct programme approaches: the technological fix; integrated nutrition planning; nutrition in the health sector; nutrition in the agricultural sector; nutrition intervention analysis; and food policy analysis. They conclude that progress was attained over the decade, but was far less than expected or needed. Whether there will be more progress in the coming decade depends on responses to the challenges laid out by the authors.
 
Article
The variation between different estimates of the magnitude of the world food problem are enormous. The author questions the basis of the major surveys of FAO, the World Bank, and USDA, and suggests that they have grossly overestimated the extent of world hunger. By analyzing the connection between population, food, and economic participation, a more realistic view is obtained, suggesting a return to targeted assistance programs for the improvement of maternal and child health.
 
Article
PIP Fragments of a nutrition policy are seen throughout the different phases of Tanzania's modern history. Efforts of the pre-Independence period culminated in formation of a committee on nutrition which advocated improving food storage, food legislation and standardization, and nutrition education. After independence, an initial period of concentration on cash crops was followed by increased cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, and some nutritional surveys were undertaken. After the Arusha Declaration in 1967 a basic needs strategy giving greater stress to food production and adequate nutrition received emphasis, and a Food and Nutrition Centre was established with 4 departments: food science and technology; manpower development; medical nutrition; and planning and coordination. Emphasis on production is reflected in a target of reducing malnutrition by 30 to 50% in every region by 1981, and an interdisciplinary approach is being used to achieve this goal. The basic similarity in proposed activities during the various phases of Tanzania's history indicates that political will is necessary for carrying out the policies.
 
Article
Measurements of nutritional status, usually based on the growth of children, have been suggested as potentially useful indicators of the health and welfare of communities, in addition to their value for screening individuals for curative treatment. The article discusses the limitations of these applications of nutritional data from a systems viewpoint. It should be recognized that numerical scales and critical levels of indicators reflect social valuations (of ‘bad’ states or ‘good’ states) and are not simply technical descriptions of physiological states. Properly understood and employed, nutritional indicators could be used for the planning and evaluation of programmes, not only in the health sector, but in all areas concerned with social development.
 
Article
PIP Multisectoral nutrition planning emerged in the early 1970's as a bold new approach to combating malnutrition in low-income countries. Conceptually elegant and operationally ambitious, it blossomed on paper but collapsed in practice notwithstanding vigorous promotion by international assistance agencies. This essay reviews the meteoric rise and fall of the multisectoral approach and then proceeds to examine its theoretical underpinnings. The essay concludes by identifying 12 lessons learned that, if heeded, can help the current generation of intersectoral initiatives against malnutrition to realize their potential. In retrospect, it was a mistake to assign responsibility for nutrition to economic planners and scientists who possessed little political influence or operational authority. Nutrition requires high-level political sponsorship if it is to command resources, be integrated with established ministerial responsibilities and have staying power. Nutrition planning bcame attractive to basically conservative governments anxious to accommodate international benefactors without having to accept more fundamental reforms; the analysis of malnutrition causality focused primarily on attributes of the malnourished and their families, not on the social, economic, and political order around them.
 
Article
An important aspect of the milk and dairy industry in the European Community is the reaction of milk producers to milk prices. In theory farmers behave like the economic man of basic economic textbooks. In practice, farmers behave quite differently, ie they increase their production when prices fall. For policy makers in the field of dairy products it is essential to know the reaction of the farming industry. Surprisingly this information is not available in the EEC; there are various opinions and estimates but they are heavily disputed. However, we now have the results of a study which can settle the dispute.1 It is interesting to see the results and to notice that there really is a fundamental problem involved, ie how to discriminate between economic models.
 
Article
The authors present the results of a comparative study on the energy inputs required for traditional fishing and various techniques of aquaculture in the USA. The importance of suitable environmental conditions for reducing energy costs is stressed.
 
Top-cited authors
Christopher B. Barrett
  • Cornell University
Patrick Webb
  • Tufts University
Thomas S Jayne
  • Michigan State University
Spencer Henson
  • University of Guelph
Matin Qaim
  • University of Bonn