The economic costs of Indonesia’s 2015 forest fires are estimated to exceed US $16 billion, with more than 100,000 premature deaths. On several days the fires emitted more carbon dioxide than the entire United States economy. Here, we combine detailed geospatial data on fire and local climatic conditions with rich administrative data to assess the underlying causes of Indonesia’s forest fires at district and village scales. We find that El Niño events explain most of the year-on-year variation in fire.
Indonesia’s oil palm expansion during the last two decades has resulted in widespread environmental and health damages through land clearing by fire and peat conversion, but it has also contributed to rural poverty alleviation. In this paper, we examine the role that decentralization has played in the process of Indonesia’s oil palm development, particularly among independent smallholder producers.
Over the last two decades global production of soybean and palm oil seeds have increased enormously. Because these tropically rainfed crops are used for food, cooking, animal feed, and biofuels, they have entered the agriculture, food, and energy chains of most nations despite their actual growth being increasingly concentrated in Southeast Asia and South America.
Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on sub-Saharan Africa is a compilation of research stemming from the Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, hosted by the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The series, and this volume, have brought the world's leading policy experts in the fields of food and agricultural development together for a comprehensive dialogue on pro-poor growth and food security policy.
The American Midwest is suffering through the driest summer in decades, and Stanford economist Walter Falcon is watching the corn wither in his fields. He writes how the drought is affecting crops, prices and the livelihoods of his fellow farmers in Iowa.
Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.
World leaders are focused on agricultural supply data, insurance schemes and speculation as they try to quell volatility in global food markets. They should also turn their attention to perhaps the leading cause of price instability: U.S. ethanol policy.
This paper aims to demonstrate the relationships between ENSO and rice production of Jiangxi province in order to identify the reason that ENSO might have little effect on Chinese rice production. Using a data set with measures of Jiangxi's climate and rice production, we find the reason that during 1985 and 2004 ENSO's well correlated with rainfall did not promote Chinese rice production. First, the largest effects of ENSO mostly occur in the months when there is no rice in the field. Second, there is almost no temperature effect.
The recent upheavals in staple food prices, financial markets, and the global economy raise questions about the state of food insecurity, the nature of price variability, and the appropriate strategies for international agricultural development. For decades preceding this turmoil, agriculture had received waning attention from the global development community as real food prices declined on trend. Analysts who worried about food insecurity focused on the fate of poor producers.
This study uses regression analysis to evaluate the relationships among sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) averaged over the Niño-3.4 region (5°N-5°S, 120°-170°W), rainfall, and rice production, area harvested, and yield in Luzon, the large island on which most Philippine rice is grown. Previous research on Philippine rice production and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has found negative associations between El Niño events and rice yields in rainfed systems. This analysis goes further and shows that both irrigated and rainfed ecosystems are impacted.
This chapter looks more qualitatively at Asia as a single region and focuses more speculatively on the longer run. It is also more personal, since views of the 2025, like beauty, depend inevitably on the eyes of the beholder. The chapter begins by running history backwards via a thought experiment. Suppose in 1975 that one had been predicting the contours of the Asian maize economy in 2000. What variables and parameters would forecasters have missed in significant ways? This procedure turns out to be a very sobering exercise for anyone now predicting events in 2025.
During the eighteen months after January 2007, cereal prices doubled, setting off a world food crisis. In the United States, rising food prices have been a pocketbook annoyance. Most Americans can opt to buy lower-priced sources of calories and proteins and eat out less frequently. But for nearly half of the world’s population—the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 per day—rising costs mean fewer meals, smaller portions, stunted children, and higher infant mortality rates.
This paper provides an original account of global land, water and nitrogen use in support of industrialized livestock production and trade, with emphasis on two of the fastest growing sectors, pork and poultry. Our analysis focuses on trade in feed and animal products, using a new model that calculates the amount of "virtual" nitrogen, water and land used in production but not embedded in the product.
The integration of the agricultural and energy sectors caused by rapid growth in the biofuels market signals a new era in food policy and sustainable development. For the first time in decades, agricultural commodity markets could experience a sustained increase in prices, breaking the long-term price decline that has benefited food consumers worldwide. Whether this transition occurs, and how it will affect global hunger and poverty, remain to be seen. Will food markets begin to track the volatile energy market in terms of price and availability?
We select a 30-day delay in monsoon onset as a threshold beyond which significant impact on the country's rice economy is likely to occur.
A concept note about setting up an international program for studying the effects of the emergence of biofuels on global poverty and food security.
In this article, we examine why concerns about food security have diminished, at least relative to earlier periods. We argue that it should be in the interest of agricultural economists to return this concept to the G-8 agenda in light of the clear linkages between agricultural development, economic growth, food security, and national security in poor countries.
Wheat yields in Mexico, which represent an important measure of breeding and management progress in developing world wheat production, have increased by 25% over the past two decades. Using a combination of mechanistic and statistical models, we show that much of this increase can be attributed to climatic trends in Northwest states, in particular cooling of growing season nighttime temperatures.
Global meat production is becoming increasingly industrialized, spatially concentrated, and geographically detached from the agricultural land base. This Policy Forum reviews the process of livestock industrialization and globalization, and its consequences for water, nitrogen, and species-rich habitats in meat- and feed-producing regions often vastly separated in space.
The combined forces of El NinoSouthern Oscillation (ENSO) eventsand global warming are likely to have dramatic effects on future cropproduction and food security in Indonesia and other tropical countries.Indonesia consistently experiences dry climatic conditions and droughtsduring El Nino events, resulting in delayed production of rice—thecountry’s primary food staple—and exacerbated problems of foodinsecurity among the poor. Our preliminary analysis suggests thatglobal climate change could cause Indonesia’s “normal” climate state tobe similar to an El Nino state currently.
Improved understanding of the factors that limit crop yields in farmers' fields will play an important role in increasing regional food production while minimizing environmental impacts. However, causes of spatial variability in crop yields are poorly known in many regions because of limited data availability and analysis methods. In this study, we assessed sources of between-field wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield variability for two growing seasons in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico.