434,182 research outputs found

    Can we rely on cash transfers to protect dietary diversity during food crises ? estimates from Indonesia

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    The 2008"food price crisis"and more recent spikes in food prices have led to a greater focus on policies and programs to cushion their impact on poverty and malnutrition. Estimating the income elasticity of micro-nutrients and assessing how they change during such crises is an important part of the policy debate as it affects the effectiveness of cash transfer and nutritional supplementation programs. This paper assesses these issues using data from two cross-sectional household surveys in Indonesia carried out before and soon after the 1997/98 economic crisis, which led to a sharp increase in food prices. First, the authors examine how the income elasticity of the starchy staple ratio differs between the two survey rounds using non-parametric as well as regression methods. Second, they provide updated estimates of the income elasticity for important nutrients in Indonesia. The analysis finds that (i) summary measures such as the income elasticity of the starchy staple ratio may not change during crises but this masks important differences across specific nutrients; (ii) methods matter -- the ordinary least squares estimates for the income elasticity of micro-nutrients are likely to be misleading due to measurement error bias; (iii) controlling for measurement error, the income elasticity of some key micro-nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B1, is significantly higher in the crisis year compared with a normal year; and (iv) the income elasticity for certain micro-nutrients -- vitamin C in this case -- remains close to zero. These results suggest that cash transfer programs may be even more effective during crises to protect the consumption of many essential micro-nutrients compared with non-crisis periods but in order to ensure that all micro-nutrients are consumed, specific nutritional supplementation programs are also likely to be required.Food&Beverage Industry,Nutrition,Rural Poverty Reduction,Economic Theory&Research,Inequality

    FERTILIZER DEMAND FUNCTIONS FOR SPECIFIC NUTRIENTS APPLIED TO THREE MAJOR U.S. CROPS

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    Several past studies used time series data to estimate price elasticities of demand for fertilizer or nutrient use on all crops in the United States or by region. In this study, demand functions for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium applied per acre of corn, wheat and soybeans in the United States were estimated, using a combination of autoregressive least squares and seemingly unrelated regression techniques. The results suggest that the demands for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium applied to corn are price elastic, while similar responses for wheat and soybeans are price inelastic. Nitrogen and phosphorous applied per acre of corn were found to be positively related to government sponsored acreage diversion. The estimated elasticities could provide policymakers with insight for developing fertilizer and crop policies.Crop Production/Industries,

    Nitrogen and sulphur management: challenges for organic sources in temperate agricultural systems

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    A current global trend towards intensification or specialization of agricultural enterprises has been accompanied by increasing public awareness of associated environmental consequences. Air and water pollution from losses of nutrients, such as nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S), are a major concern. Governments have initiated extensive regulatory frameworks, including various land use policies, in an attempt to control or reduce the losses. This paper presents an overview of critical input and loss processes affecting N and S for temperate climates, and provides some background to the discussion in subsequent papers evaluating specific farming systems. Management effects on potential gaseous and leaching losses, the lack of synchrony between supply of nutrients and plant demand, and options for optimizing the efficiency of N and S use are reviewed. Integration of inorganic and organic fertilizer inputs and the equitable re-distribution of nutrients from manure are discussed. The paper concludes by highlighting a need for innovative research that is also targeted to practical approaches for reducing N and S losses, and improving the overall synchrony between supply and demand

    Fertimetro, a Principle and Device to Measure Soil Nutrient Availability for Plants by Microbial Degradation Rates on Differently-Spiked Buried Threads

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    A novel patented method (PCT/IB2012/001157: Squartini, Concheri, Tiozzo, University of Padova) and the corresponding application devices, suitable to measure soil fertility, are presented. The availability or deficiency of specific nutrients for crops is assessed by monitoring the kinetics of progressive weakening of cotton or silk threads due to in situ microbial activity. The method is based on a nutrient-primed incremented substrate degradation principle. Threads are buried as is or pre-impregnated with N or P solutions, and the acceleration of the degradation rate for the N-supplemented or P-supplemented thread, in comparison to the untreated thread, is proportional to the lack of the corresponding nutrient in that soil. Tests were validated on corn crops in plots receiving increasing fertilizer rates in a historical rotation that has been established since 1962. The measurement carried out in May significantly correlated with the subsequent crop yields recorded in October. The analysis allows an early, inexpensive, fast, and reproducible self-assessment at field level to improve fertilization rates. The device is envisaged as a user-friendly tool for agronomy, horticulture, and any environmental applications where organic matter cycling, soil quality, and specific nutrients excess or deficiency are critical considerations

    Authenticity and Fraud Information to Retailers regarding Control of Quality and Safety in Organic Production Chains

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    This leaflet provides a practical overview for retailers of what is done to secure the authenticity and integrity of organically produced foods, where improvements are possible and what the retailers can do to support efforts that meet their customers’ demands. Other leaflets for retailers cover taste, freshness and nutrients or safety and contamination, and separate leaflets aim at consumers or at production of specific commodities

    Controlled ecological life support system - biological problems

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    The general processes and controls associated with two distinct experimental paradigms are examined. Specific areas for research related to biotic production (food production) and biotic decomposition (waste management) are explored. The workshop discussions were directed toward Elemental cycles and the biological factors that affect the transformations of nutrients into food, of food material into waste, and of waste into nutrients were discussed. To focus on biological issues, the discussion assumed that (1) food production would be by biological means (thus excluding chemical synthesis), (2) energy would not be a limiting factor, and (3) engineering capacity for composition and leak rate would be adequate

    Authenticity and Fraud Information to Consumers regarding Control of Quality and Safety in Organic Production Chains

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    This leaflet provides a practical overview for consumers of what is done to secure the authenticity and integrity of 7 types of organically produced foods, where improvements are possible and what the consumers can do to support efforts that meet their demands. Other leaflets for consumers cover taste, freshness and nutrients or safety and contamination, and separate leaflets aim at retailers or at production of specific commodities

    Intestinal gene expression in pigs: effects of reduced feed intake during weaning and potential impact of dietary components

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    The weaning transition is characterised by morphological, histological and microbial changes, often leading to weaning-associated disorders. These intestinal changes can partly be ascribed to the lack of luminal nutrition arising from the reduced feed intake common in pigs after weaning. It is increasingly becoming clear that changes in the supply with enteral nutrients may have major impacts on intestinal gene expression. Furthermore, the major dietary constituents, i.e. carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids, participate in the regulation of intestinal gene expression. However, nutrients may also escape digestion by mammalian enzymes in the upper gastrointestinal tract. These nutrients can be used by the microflora, resulting in the production of bacterial metabolites, for example, SCFA, which may affect intestinal gene expression indirectly. The present review provides an insight on possible effects of reduced feed intake on intestinal gene expression, as it may occur post-weaning. Detailed knowledge on effects of reduced feed intake on intestinal gene expression may help to understand weaning-associated intestinal dysfunctions and diseases. Examples are given of intestinal genes which may be altered in their expression due to supply with specific nutrients. In that way, gene expression could be modulated by dietary means, thereby acting as a potential therapeutic tool. This could be achieved, for example, by influencing genes coding for digestive or absorptive proteins, thus optimising digestive function and metabolism, but also with regard to immune response, or by influencing proliferative processes, thereby enhancing mucosal repair. This would be of special interest when designing a diet to overcome weaning-associated problem
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