The vast majority of farms in Asia are small-scale and are becoming smaller due to population growth and further subdivision. The average farm size halved in India between 1971 and 2006 and the number of farms less than 1 ha in Bangladesh increased from about 50 percent in 1976 to 90 percent in 2005 (Otsuka 2013). As farm sizes shrink, many throughout the region have begun to wonder whether small family farms are still a viable livelihood option. [Read more...]
The potential for agriculture in Myanmar is enormous, given the country’s favorable geographic location and resource endowments. Government statistics show it is the largest economic sector and the main source of livelihood for nearly 60 percent of the population. Yet agricultural productivity in Myanmar is low compared with most of Southeast Asia. Achieving productivity levels similar to those of its agro-ecologically similar neighbors could significantly raise rural incomes and reduce overall poverty and malnutrition. Doing that will require large amounts of investment by government and private agro-enterprises of all sizes. Government policies will likewise have an important part to play in creating an enabling environment for private sector growth.
On September 20, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA) launched Tajikistan Spatial, an interactive online portal providing information about food security and development for policymakers, researchers, and the general public. The platform was launched in collaboration with the Local Development Committee under the President of Tajikistan. The Committee will promote the use of the online platform among policy-makers and researchers. [Read more...]
Written by Yifei Liu and Yifei Liu and Saima Zaman
A one-day conference on Agriculture and Food Systems, Climate Change and Nutrition in CIS countries featuring the Global Nutrition Report 2015 was held at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow on February 11. The conference brought together about 80 participants from universities, governments and international development agencies in the Central Asia region. The discussion highlighted the linkages between climate change, agriculture, food systems, social safety nets, and nutrition outcomes. [Read more...]
A new regional strategy calls for modernization and transformation of the rice sector in Asia
Asian countries are undergoing structural transformation; the economy is shifting from agriculture to non-agriculture sectors, and laborers are migrating from rural areas to cities. Asia’s economic future depends on its ability to successfully fast-track structural transformation through policy that facilitates job creation and opens up new sectors and markets, according to Asian Development Bank. What does this mean for agriculture? As the sector with the lowest productivity, that still engages over 43 percent of Asia’s total employment, agriculture is also likely to undergo a transformation to a system that requires fewer farmers and greater mechanization, increased yields per unit area, larger farm sizes, , and improved value chain integration, among others. [Read more...]