Robynne Anderson's Emerging Thoughts on Ag

FAO Dialogue with the Private Sector Mechanism on Inclusive Finance and Investment Models in Agriculture

Jaine Chisholm Caunt, Chair of the Private Sector Mechanism and Director General of the Grain and Feed Trade Association, and I were featured in an FAO dialogue on inclusive finance and investment models in agriculture at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome. Watch the video below.

For information regarding the FAO Director-General’s meeting with Private Sector at CFS focusing on Inclusive Finance, visit the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) news page.

Stats Show Women Still have a Way to Go

For years, the Emerging team has been working to highlight the particularly gaps that face women farmers and the high degree of poverty experienced by rural women. Women and children make up the majority of the population living in poverty and are most affected by transecting, systemic barriers and societal attitudes which preclude them from working their way out of poverty.

The UN’s goals to end poverty, end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture are intrinsically tied with their ability to meet the goal of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. Their infographic on poverty highlights the issue of gender inequality and its relation to poverty. Often, the gender disparities seen today are a result of women’s lack of access to these economic resources. One in three women have no influence over any major purchases for their household. In many developing countries laws and policies restrict women’s access to land, capital and other assets. These restrictions are regularly due to laws that inhibit their economic independence. In the developing nations where data was collected for this study, 28% had laws that did not guarantee the same inheritance rights as men, 52% had laws that give women the same rights but have customs that discriminate against women and only 20% had laws that guarantees the same rights for men and women.

Furthermore, there are less women who have their own income because there is a disparity in access to paid work versus unpaid work. This is not to say that women aren’t working. Women’s contribution to the rural economy is generally undervalued. Women perform a disproportionate amount of care work, work that often goes unrecognized because it is not seen as economically productive. Through efforts to ensure women have access to resources and economic opportunities the UN can eradicate hunger and poverty.

To read more click here:

The Pope and the SDGs at the UN today!


17 Heads of State, 1 Pope, 17 goals for a new global partnership makes for a lot of security and a lot of media.

Thrill for one farm girl.

Canada’s Gun Deaths Creeping Up

Growing up in Canada, I’ve always known there to be a relatively high rate of gun ownership.  Living in a vast country with a lot of wilderness, a weapon is necessary in Northern communities or on most farms.  Even as close as our farm is to civilisation, it is known to have a bear or two, and certainly coyotes and other wildlife, regularly in the area. For the most part, I’ve always believed those guns weren’t likely to be aimed at people.

What surprised me in this excellent infographic, was how much higher our rate of deaths by guns is than similar countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.

Sure the US figures are so horrifying it is easy to miss the statistics for the rest of the world, but Canada is on the wrong side of the trajectory for number of guns opened versus number of deaths. It gives one pause, and makes me wonder what steps would be needed to drop those levels down to those of NZ or Scandanavia.

gun homicides per capita

World Bank Should Support Ag Now More Than Ever

It was just as we in agriculture feared – after seeing agriculture rise on the agenda in 2008-09, there are signs that momentum is waning.  An important symbol is the planned exit of the World Bank from funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research commonly known as the CG. The CG is the most important public research body into agriculture and food.

The World Bank has been a funder of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) since 1972 with their $50 million contribution. Recent budget discussions have resulted in a World Bank plan to phase out their support entirely in the coming two years. This is a very critical investment for hunger alleviation.  Global food security will not be achieved quickly or sustained without continued investment and innovation.

So this withdrawal of resources would send a terrible signal. Ariculture is facing challenges: weather extremes and gradual changes in temperature that affect yields, invasive pests and diseases, consumer demands for more product diversity and improved nutritional qualities, and the need for greater productivity to feed the world’s growing population from roughly the same amount of soil and water resources currently being used. World-class research is needed to address these challenges and the CGIAR must continue to generate the public knowledge that will spark global innovation.

In 2009, in L’Aquila, Italy, a Food Security Initiative was pursued by world leaders to prevent a reoccurrence of the crises created by the soaring food prices of 2007-2008 and better prepare for a food-secure future. Initiatives such as the Global Food Crisis Response program by the World Bank, or the bilateral Feed the Future initiative in the United States and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition were launched to significantly increase global investments in food and agriculture, reversing years of stagnant or declining interest in these sectors.  Withdrawing funding would be a terrible message and all countries should be reminding the World Bank of that.