New initiatives in agroforestry are seeking to integrate indigenous trees whose products have traditionally been gathered from natural forests into tropical farming systems, such as cocoa farms. This is being done in order to provide marketable timber and non-timber forest products from farms that will enhance rural livelihoods by generating cash for resource-poor rural and peri-urban households. There are many potential candidate species for domestication that have commercial potential in local, regional or even international markets.
Pollution and Health
With rising concerns over energy security and the environment, governments have been aggressively encouraging biofuel production. Current biofuel technologies use agricultural feedstocks such as grains and sugar for ethanol and rapeseed and palm oil for biodiesel. Brazil mandates biofuel consumption and uses about half its sugar cane to produce ethanol. The United States has tax incentives, subsidies, and consumption mandates for biofuel production. At the current pace of investment, the US is planned to produce 15 billion gallons of biofuel by 2010.
Although Bhutan is still clean and intact, a growing population and the increasing development activities are putting the pressure on the fragile Himalayan environment.
The majority of Bhutanese live in rural areas and rely on natural resources to earn income in sectors such as agriculture, fishing, and forestry. Natural resources also provide food and shelter for the poor.
Climate change is a reality and will affect the poor in developing countries in many ways. The effectiveness of global change research could be substantially improved by linking International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) study with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres based in the tropics. These centres are carrying interdisciplinary research and development on how to achieve food security and reduce rural poverty through the innovative management of natural resources.
This paper develops a framework to measure the impact of agricultural research on urban poverty. Increased investments in agricultural R&D can lower food prices by increasing food production, and lower food prices benefit the urban poor because they often spend more than 60% of their income on food. Application of the framework to China shows that these food price effects are large and that the benefits for the urban poor have been about as large as the benefits for the rural poor.