Book Chapters

  • The human Right to Food and sustainable soil management: linking voluntary agricultural sustainability standards with food security.

    03.04.2017

    Beuchelt, T., Mohr, A. and R. Schneider (2017). The human Right to Food and sustainable soil management: linking voluntary agricultural sustainability standards with food security. In: Ginzky, H., Heuser, I., Tianbao Qin, Ruppel, O. and P. Wegerdt (eds). International Yearbook on Soil Law and Policy. First volume. Spinger, pp. 237-262. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-42508-5_17?no-access=true 

    Abstract

    Land degradation and deforestation worldwide threaten future food and non-food biomass provision. Induced mainly by unsustainable land use and management practices, land degradation may hinder the global shift towards green or bio-economies which requires increasing supplies of biomass. As a strong linkage exists between soil management, biomass production and food security, the need for sustainable land management practices and suitable governance mechanisms emerges. Rising concerns about sustainability have led to the development of voluntary certification standards to ensure that biomass is sustainably produced. So far, these voluntary standards have a strong ecological focus and include only selected social aspects. Food security and the linkage between the Human Right to adequate Food and soil management are hardly addressed though they are a key element of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and important for (export) production and processing in low- and middle-income countries. The Sustainable Development Goal 2—to end all forms of hunger by 2030—clearly includes sustainable soil management and agriculture. The unification of these two targets in one goal underlines the dependency of the realization of the Human Right to adequate Food on sustainable land management and land-use patterns.

    In this chapter we first discuss how the Human Right to adequate Food, which is applicable in over 100 countries, is linked to sustainable management of soils and the implications of this linkage. Then we show how the Human Right to adequate Food can be ensured in local biomass production and in certification systems in food-insecure regions. We present a conceptual framework to integrate the Human Right to adequate Food in certified biomass production, processing and trade. Then we suggest food security criteria that ensure that this right is not violated by certified biomass operators, and can be easily integrated in existing voluntary sustainability standards for biomass. We develop 45 criteria classified in 17 themes relevant for the fulfilment of the Human Right to adequate Food. The criteria are applicable to all biomass types and uses and serve as a best-practice set to complement sustainability standards.

    Keywords

    Agricultural investments; Bioenergy; Biomass Certification; Food security; Human Right to adequate Food; Land use; Private governance; Soil management

  • Biomass-Based Value Webs: A Novel Perspective for Emerging Bioeconomies in Sub-Saharan Africa

    22.08.2016

    Virchow, D., Beuchelt, T.D., Kuhn, A., and M. Denich 2016. Biomass-Based Value Webs: A Novel Perspective for Emerging Bioeconomies in Sub-Saharan Africa. In:  Technological and Institutional Innovation for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development. F.W. Gatzweiler and J. von Braun (Eds.), Springer International Publishing, pp. 225-238.

    View article

    Abstract

    Growing demand for increasingly diverse biomass-based products will transform African agriculture from a food-supplying to a biomass-supplying sector, including non-food agricultural produce, like feed, energy and industrial raw materials. As a result, agriculture will become the core part of a biomass-based economy, which has the potential not only to produce renewable biological resources but to convert this biomass into products for various uses. The emerging bioeconomy will intensify the interlinkages between biomass production, processing and trading. To depict these increasingly complex systems, adapted analytic approaches are needed. With the perspective of the “biomass-based value web” approach, a multi-dimensional methodology can be used to understand the interrelation between several value chains as a flexible, efficient and sustainable production, processing, trading and consumption system.

  • Gender, Social Equity and Innovations in Smallholder Farming Systems: Pitfalls and Pathways

    29.03.2016

    Beuchelt, T. 2016. Gender, Social Equity and Innovations in Smallholder Farming Systems: Pitfalls and Pathways. In:  “Technological and Institutional Innovation for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development. F.W. Gatzweiler and J. von Braun (Eds.), Springer International Publishing, pp. 181-198.

    Abstract

    Development processes, economic growth and agricultural modernization affect women and men in different ways and have not been gender neutral. Women are highly involved in agriculture, but their contribution tends to be undervalued and overseen. Sustainable agricultural innovations may include trade-offs and negative side-effects for women and men, or different social groups,
    depending on the intervention type and local context. Promising solutions are often technology-focused and not necessarily developed with consideration of gender and social disparity aspects. This paper presents cases of gender and social equity trade-offs related to the promotion and diffusion of improved technologies for agricultural development.The analysis is followed by a discussion of opportunities and pathways for mitigating potential trade-offs.