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Characteristics of resilience and sustainability

Characteristics of resilience and sustainability

• Effective in generating practical approaches for improving soil health that are appropriate to smallholder conditions.

• Effective in generating moisture management technologies for semiarid farming areas.

• Generation of technical innovations that raise farm productivity (increases over time in the ratio of outputs to inputs) appropriate for use by small-holder farmers.

• Bi-directional extension systems that enable learning between farmers and the R&D system and that support adaptation to specific farm conditions and resource levels.

• Generates technologies that support energy and water conservation.

• Ability to satisfy farmer demand for inputs with low transaction costs to both farmers and suppliers.

• Ability to provide finance to overcome purchasing power constraints and ability to recoup loans.

• Ability to produce improved/more productive inputs, e.g., fertilizers that are more efficient in yield response and respond quickly with farm input needs in response to changes in climate, disease, and other shocks and stressors.

• Seed system diversity, preservation of seed diversity, encouragement of competition to maintain input sourcing options for farmers..

• Access to sufficient clean water to maximize crop and animal productivity and efficient use of water.

• Improvements over time in soil health drawing upon improved land management knowledge for specific varied conditions and farming systems in SSA.

• Equitable access to inputs and practices necessary for productivityenhancing technical innovation.

• Yield and productivity growth on existing land; minimal loss of forestland, grasslands, and biodiversity.

• Access to risk-reducing options including affordable insurance and a minimum social safety net.

• Incentives/set aside to maintain/preserve biodiversity and forests, grassland, undisturbed environments, ecosystems services provided by forests, undisturbed lands.

• Security of tenure for members of local communities.

• Ability of system to shift land use between willing buyers/sellers with minimal transaction costs.

Characteristics of resilience and sustainability

• Capable of flexibly scaling-up transport and financing capacity to respond to variations in marketed farm output.

• Capacity to efficiently reach farmers in remote areas.

• Ability to release product to the local market in times of excess demand through efficient combinations of imports and stocks.

• Absence of monopolies.

• Ability to anticipate and respond to system shocks and stressors.

• Processing costs decline relative to consumer incomes.

• Minimizes adverse side-effects on health and the environment.

• Carried out with less and less non-renewable energy sources.

• Ensures food safety.

• Retailing costs decline relative to consumer incomes.

• Minimizes adverse side-effects on health and the environment.

• Carried out with less and less non-renewable energy sources.

• Ensures food safety.

• Consumers incentivized and empowered to make better choices.

• Retailing costs decline relative to consumer incomes.

• Minimizes adverse side-effects on health and the environment.

• Carried out with less and less non-renewable energy sources.

• Ensures food safety.

• Information/early warning systems to allow for rapid response.

• Response system designed before shocks occur.

• Timely and frequent generation of data to provide up-to-date evidence-based policy guidance.

• Capacity to produce high-quality evidence-based analysis.

• Capacity to effectively guide local policy processes.

• Timely and professional decision-making.

• Predictability and transparency in public policies affecting food markets and trade in particular and food systems in general.

• Ability to absorb or insulate national population from global food price and production shocks.

• Ability to absorb/mitigate the effects of macroeconomic shocks.

Characteristics of resilience and sustainability

• Educational system flexibly adapts to changes in demands for particular skills and competencies.

• Cooperation and other soft skills are considered a desirable trait in individuals and institutions and taught in the educational system.

• Progress in reducing system-wide risk; reducing spatially co-variant risks.

• Progress in reducing risks at each stage in the system as opposed to accepting current levels of risk and insuring against them; risks create costs that are borne somewhere in the system; a resilient food system reduces the degree of risk.

• Sufficient development of insurance and reinsurance in food systems to protect actors from at least most types of shocks.


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Low Mitigation. Environmental Research Letters 10.8.

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Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System. Rockefeller Foundation.

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Number 5, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC.

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