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This paper discusses the influences on food and farming of an increasingly urbanized world and a declining ratio of food producers to food consumers. Urbanization has been underpinned by the rapid growth in the world economy and in the proportion of gross world product and of workers in industrial and service enterprises.

Food security [1] is a measure of the availability of food and individuals' ability to access it. There is evidence of food security being a concern many thousands of years ago, with central authorities in ancient China and ancient Egypt being known to release food from storage in times of famine. At the World Food Conference the term "food security" was defined with an emphasis on supply; food security is defined as the "availability at all times of adequate, nourishing, diverse, balanced and moderate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices". The final report of the World Food Summit states that food security "exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

The role of women in rural development, food production and poverty eradication

This paper discusses the influences on food and farming of an increasingly urbanized world and a declining ratio of food producers to food consumers. Urbanization has been underpinned by the rapid growth in the world economy and in the proportion of gross world product and of workers in industrial and service enterprises. Globally, agriculture has met the demands from this rapidly growing urban population, including food that is more energy-, land-, water- and greenhouse gas emission-intensive.

But hundreds of millions of urban dwellers suffer under-nutrition. So the key issues with regard to agriculture and urbanization are whether the growing and changing demands for agricultural products from growing urban populations can be sustained while at the same time underpinning agricultural prosperity and reducing rural and urban poverty.

To this are added the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build resilience in agriculture and urban development to climate change impacts. The paper gives particular attention to low- and middle-income nations since these have more than three-quarters of the world's urban population and most of its largest cities and these include nations where issues of food security are most pressing.

In , worldwide, there were 6. This has been underpinned by the rapid growth in the world economy and in the proportion of gross world product and of the economically active population working in industry and services since most industrial and service enterprises are in urban areas. Globally, agricultural production has managed to meet the demands from a rapid growth in the proportion of the workforce not producing food and rapid changes in food demands towards more energy- and greenhouse gas emission-intensive food.

However, hundreds of millions of urban dwellers face under-nutrition today, although this is far more related to their lack of income than to a lack of capacity to produce food. Much is made of the fact that in , the world's urban population exceeded its rural population for the first time.

Less attention has been given to two other transitions: around , the economically active population employed in industry and services exceeded that employed in the primary sector agriculture, forestry, mining and fishing ; and around , the economic value generated by industry and services exceeded that generated by the primary sector Satterthwaite In addition, the figure might be higher if the value of food produced by rural and urban dwellers for their own consumption is taken into account.

UN projections suggest that the world's urban population will grow by more than a billion people between and , while the rural population will hardly grow at all United Nations It is likely that the proportion of the global population not producing food will continue to grow, as will the number of middle and upper income consumers whose dietary choices are more energy- and greenhouse gas emission-intensive and often more land-intensive and where such changes in demand also bring major changes in agriculture and in the supply chain.

Two key demographic changes currently under way and likely to continue in the next few decades are the decline in population growth rates and the ageing of the population. The precise demographic definition of urbanization is the increasing share of a nation's population living in urban areas and thus a declining share living in rural areas. Most urbanization is the result of net rural to urban migration. The level of urbanization is the share itself, and the rate of urbanization is the rate at which that share is changing.

This definition makes the implications of urbanization distinct from those of urban population growth or those of the physical expansion of urban areas, both of which are often treated as synonymous with urbanization. A nation's urban population can grow from natural increase births minus deaths , net rural to urban migration and reclassification as what was previously a rural settlement becomes classified as urban or as an urban settlement's boundaries are expanded, bringing into its population people who were previously classified as rural.

Nations with rapid economic growth and relatively low rates of natural increase such as China over the past few decades have most of their urban population growth from urbanization; nations with little or no economic growth and high rates of natural increase including many sub-Saharan African nations during the s have most of their urban population growth from natural increase see Potts Differences in rural and urban rates of natural increase influenced by differences in fertility and mortality rates also influence urbanization, although generally these act to reduce urbanization.

The term urbanization is also used for the expansion of urban land uses. The conventional definition for urbanization used in this paper entails a shift in settlement patterns from dispersed to more dense settlement.

By way of contrast, much of the expansion of urban land use is the result of a shift from dense to more dispersed settlement. In effect, the term urbanization is being used to refer to two opposing spatial shifts in settlement patterns, likely to have opposing effects on, for example, the land available for agriculture.

Many development professionals see urbanization as a problem. Yet, no nation has prospered without urbanization and there is no prosperous nation that is not predominantly urban.

Over the past 60 years, there is a strong association between economic growth and urbanization and most of the world's poorest nations remain among the least urbanized nations.

Urban areas provide many potential advantages for improving living conditions through the economies of scale and proximity they provide for most forms of infrastructure and services.

This can be seen in the high life expectancies evident in the best governed European, Asian and North and South American cities. Urbanization over the past two centuries has also been associated with pro-poor social reforms in which collective organization by the urban poor has had important roles Mitlin But there are still very serious development problems in many urban areas, including high levels of urban poverty and serious problems of food security and of high infant and child mortality.

But it is not urbanization that is the cause of such problems but the inadequacies in the response by governments and international agencies. In most nations, the pace of economic and urban change has outstripped the pace of needed social and political reform, especially at local government level.

The consequences of this are evident in most cities in Asia and Africa and many in Latin America and the Caribbean—the high proportion of the population living in very poor and overcrowded conditions in informal settlements or tenements lacking adequate provision for water, sanitation, drainage, healthcare, schools and the rule of law.

This is evident even in cities where there has been very rapid economic growth. Here too there were problems of under-nutrition, lack of education and serious problems with exploitation, as well as deeply entrenched discrimination against women in almost all aspects of life. It was social and political reforms that dramatically reduced these. And social and political reforms are addressing these in many middle-income nations today—as in Thailand, Brazil and Tunisia where housing and living conditions, basic service provision and nutritional standards have improved considerably for large sections of the low-income urban population.

The world's urban population today is around 3. Many aspects of urban change in recent decades are unprecedented, including the world's level of urbanization and the size of its urban population, the number of countries becoming more urbanized and the size and number of very large cities. But these urban statistics tell us nothing about the large economic, social, political and demographic changes that underpinned them.

These include the multiplication in the size of the world's economy, the shift in economic activities and employment structures from agriculture to industry and services and within services to information production and exchange , and the virtual disappearance of colonial empires.

Aggregate urban statistics may suggest rapid urban change but many of the world's largest cities had more people moving out than in during their last inter-census period.

Although rapid urbanization is seen as a problem, generally, the more urbanized a nation, the higher the average life expectancy and the literacy rate and the stronger the democracy, especially at local level.

Of course, beyond all these quantitative measures, cities are also centres of culture, of heritage, of social, cultural and political innovation. Some of world's fastest growing cities over the past 50 years also have among the best standards of living within their nation.

It is also important not to overstate the speed of urban change. Rates of urbanization and of urban population growth slowed in most sub-regions of the world during the s.

Mexico City had 18 million people in , not the 31 million predicted 25 years previously. Kolkata formerly Calcutta , Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Chennai formerly Madras and Cairo are among the many other large cities that, by , had several million fewer inhabitants than had been predicted.

In , Europe and Northern America had more than half the world's urban population; by , they had little more than a quarter. Asia now has half the world's urban population. The distribution of the world's urban population by region, — Derived from statistics in United Nations Some caution is needed when comparing urban trends between nations because of deficiencies in the statistical base.

Accurate statistics for nations' urban population and urbanization levels depend on accurate censuses. It is also difficult to compare the current population of most of the world's largest cities because each city has at least three different figures for their populations, depending on whether it is the city or built-up area , the metropolitan area or a wider planning or administrative region that is being considered—or whether the city population includes the inhabitants of settlements with a high proportion of daily commuters.

Also, there are significant differences between nations in how urban centres are defined, which limits the validity of international comparisons for urbanization levels. Two aspects of the rapid growth in the world's urban population are the increase in the number of large cities and the historically unprecedented size of the largest cities. In , the average size of the world's largest cities was 6.

De-urbanization is a decrease in the proportion of the population living in urban areas. During the s, in various high-income nations, there appeared to be a reversal of long-established urbanization trends nationally or within some regions as there was net migration from large to small urban centres or from urban to rural areas. This was labelled counter-urbanization, although much of it is more accurately described as demetropolitanization because it was population shifts from large metropolitan centres to smaller urban centres or from central cities to suburbs or commuter communities.

This was not underpinned by a shift in the workforce back to agriculture but by the growth of the labour force in industry and services that could live in small urban centres or rural areas and commute to work.

In addition, with advanced transport and communication facilities, a proportion of new investment in industry and services could locate in rural areas. Telecommuting allows work to be done and incomes earned in rural areas, even if the work is for a city-based enterprise.

This is best understood not as de-urbanization but as the urbanization of rural areas. Here, most rural households enjoy levels of provision for infrastructure and services that have been historically associated with urban centres; many are also within say 1 h of central-city theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries, restaurants and shops.

Historically, there are examples of de-urbanization where the proportion of the economically active population working in agriculture increased, especially as nations faced economic or political crises or during wars Bairoch ; Clark In the past 50 years, various nations de-urbanized for particular periods driven by central planning and force for instance in Cambodia, Vietnam and parts of China. In the past two decades, some regions in sub-Saharan Africa de-urbanized or had no urbanization, largely in response to economic crisis and to structural adjustment Potts Others that have had wars or long-running conflicts may have de-urbanized, unless those fleeing these conflicts went to urban areas.

The term de-urbanization has also been applied to particular cities that lose population. This is confusing in that there are always changes in any nation's urban system as some urban centres are more successful than others at attracting or retaining investment. For instance, China has urbanized rapidly over the past three decades, underpinned by rapid economic growth, and it has many rapidly growing cities but also some that have had declining populations. In the United States and Europe, many of the great nineteenth and early twentieth century ports and steel, textile and mining centres have lost economic importance and population Pallagst et al.

These are not associated with a shift in the economically active population to agriculture but with locational shifts in where new investments are going. We need to understand what has underpinned urbanization in the past and how this is changing and might change in the future to be able to consider its implications for agriculture and food production.

The history of urbanization and of the cities and towns it encompasses is a history of political strength and economic success. The spatial distribution of towns and cities is in effect the geography of the non-agricultural economy since it is where industrial and service enterprises have chosen to locate.

It is also a map of where people working outside agriculture, forestry or fishing make a living. Changes in this spatial distribution reflect changes not only in the economy but also in how this is organized—for instance, how this is influenced by the growth of multinational corporations and how they are structured, by shifts in goods production to greater use of out-sourcing and by economic changes underpinned by advanced telecommunications including the Internet.

The rural to urban migration flows that cause urbanization are mostly a response to these economic changes. This close association between urbanization and political strength and economic success is not likely to change looking to the future, although the countries and regions that enjoy the greatest success will change.

Economic success for most cities may depend more today on success in global markets than 50 years ago, although intense inter-city competition for markets beyond national boundaries has been an influence for most cities for many centuries Bairoch ; Clark Urbanization has also been underpinned by the expansion of the state, although the scale of this depends on economic success.

In addition, competent, accountable urban governments have considerable importance for economic success. Today, many of the world's largest cities are large not because they are political capitals but because of their economic success.

How urbanization is understood has large implications for how its likely future influence on food and farming is perceived. If urbanization is regarded as a process taking place in almost all nations and as a driver of change, then it can be assumed that extrapolating past trends provides us with a likely picture of the world's future urban population.

This is backed up by projections for all nations for their urban populations and their levels of urbanization up to and beyond United Nations These suggest that almost all nations continue to urbanize except for those already classified as per cent urban.

Within this assumption of almost universal increases in urbanization, often there are references to urbanization being out of control because it seems to take place regardless of economic conditions. There is also uncertainty as to how to fit examples of de-urbanization into this broad picture of a world with almost all nations becoming increasingly urbanized. But if urbanization is understood as a process that is deeply influenced by the scale and nature of economic, social and political change see for instance Hasan , then projections up to and beyond become more uncertain.

Urbanization Issues Affecting Food System Sustainability

Food production and rural development — Croatian perspective within the European context. Puni tekst: engleski, pdf KB str. Agroeconomia Croatica, 4 1 , Citirano Agroeconomia Croatica [Internet].

Ejembi S. Obekpa H. Ivande P. Alternatively, you can download the PDF file directly to your computer, from where it can be opened using a PDF reader. To download the PDF, click the Download link above. Fullscreen Fullscreen Off.

Key words: local food system, rural development, sustainable agricultural production, Bulgaria. Introduction. Recently, there has been a renewed and.

Food security

Metrics details. Unhealthy foods and tobacco remain the leading causes of non-communicable disease NCDs. These are key agricultural commodities for many countries, and NCD prevention policy needs to consider how to influence production towards healthier options. There has been little scholarship to bridge the agriculture with the public health literature that seeks to address the supply of healthy commodities. This scoping review synthesizes the literature on government agricultural policy and production in order to 1 present a typology of policies used to influence agricultural production, 2 to provide a preliminary overview of the ways that impact is assessed in this literature, and 3 to bring this literature into conversation with the literature on food and tobacco supply.

To feed the growing world population, food production must increase by an expected 70 percent. Satellite Earth Observation EO is a powerful technique for continuously assessing the status of agricultural production on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Organisations concerned with food security require timely information on predicted and actual crop production figures at different stages in time, to assess for example the market situation or act upon food scarcity events.

The aim of this programme is to prepare graduates to work in agri-food systems and sustainable rural development with specific focus on developing countries and tropical areas. The programme is based on the interdisciplinary approach focused on food production systems in tropics, food processing and use of suitable agricultural technologies based on renewable energy resources. An important component of the program is food security, which plays a key role in sustainable rural development in all developing countries. Faculty provides many opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and practical skills through participation on different international projects. Students are highly encouraged to elaborate their master's thesis in connection to these international projects or with a local or partner institutions situated in developing countries.

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Agri-food Systems and Rural Development

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  1. Charlie M.

    PDF | The worldwide interest in sustainable development has not only prompted ecological developments in policy and research in key sectors such as | Find.

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