High food prices affect poor populations in a variety of ways. While households that only consume food suffer as a result of rising food prices, households that also produce food can actually benefit from price increases. But there is another, less recognized avenue through which high food prices can impact the poor: rural wages. The lion's share of the world's poor relies on agricultural jobs to make a living; whether or not agricultural wages increase as a result of rising food prices therefore has significant implications for how those price increases will help or hurt.

As the global population continues to grow and become more urbanized, smallholder farmers will play a critical role in feeding the world. Despite their importance to global food security, however, these farmers face daunting challenges in the form of climate change, price volatility, limited access to credit and insurance, and inadequate access to nutritious food. And addressing these challenges effectively is complicated even further by the fact that small farmers have widely varying needs, advantages, and abilities.

The European Union could be on the road to more stringent biofuel regulations. In a hard-won compromise, the European Parliament’s Environmental (ENVI) Committee on July 11 voted to cap the transportation industry’s use of first-generation biofuels at 5.5% and to require reporting of the indirect land use changes (ILUC) caused by biofuel production. The vote also calls for countries and suppliers to promote the use of alternative biofuel sources, such as algae and straw.

Last week, India’s executive branch passed the historic National Food Security Bill (NFSB), an act that will dramatically increase the number of people who receive food subsidies from the government. While India’s existing food distribution system, the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), is already enormous, the NFSB proposes to increase coverage to 75% of India’s rural population and 50% of the urban population – a whopping 800 million people.

Cross-posted from the HarvestPlus blog.

A new initiative, the Community for Zero Hunger, was launched this week. It will identify the greatest gaps that remain in reducing hunger and malnutrition, and leverage the private sector to help fill those gaps at scale.

The 2013 G8 Summit is fast approaching, and development actors around the world are pressing for malnutrition to take center stage at the talks. In the lead-up to the summit, The Lancet, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, has released a new series on maternal and child malnutrition.

Cross-posted from IFPRI.org
*By Marcia MacNeil

West Africa is on the cusp: after years of stagnation and decline, the region has seen steady growth for nearly two decades, and is moving from recovery to transformation

Cross-posted from IFPRI.org
By Grace Lerner

Nearly 30 years after the 1984 famine that left more than 400,000 people dead, Ethiopia has made significant progress toward food security. Some of these recent successes include a reduction in poverty, an increase in crop yields and availability, and an increase in per capita income—rising in some rural areas by more than 50 percent!

What happened to cause this breakthrough, and what steps does the country need to stay on track?