Food and nutrition security

© Louise Virault for AFD
© Louise Virault for AFD

Following the food crisis in 2008, AFD wished to gain a better understanding of the factors of food insecurity and security, both on the supply and demand side. Indeed, food crisis situations can be caused by production deficits (quantity and quality of available food), the causes of which need to be understood (agricultural productivity depending on the operating structures, attractiveness of agro-food activities in rural areas, climate hazards and price risks), but also by shortcomings on the demand side (accessibility, purchasing power, consumption patterns and nutritional habits). The research conducted at AFD on the theme of food and nutritional security addresses the aspects of both supply and demand.

Contribution of family farming to food security 2012-2014

The international community regularly emphasizes the key role played by family farming and small producers in policies against hunger (G20, World Water Forum, Committee on World Food Security, Rio+20...) and 2014 has been declared “International Year of Family Farming” by the United Nations. The family farming model is also central to France’s strategic orientations, approved by the Interministerial Committee on International Cooperation and Development (CICID) in 2005 and 2009. The “Agriculture-Food Security” sectoral strategy therefore aims to “support the sustainable technical and economic development of family farming with a twofold objective of reducing inequalities and increasing incomes”. Yet this farming includes very diverse situations, ranging from large and modern European holdings to smallholdings in the South, and there is no real consensus on the contribution that this type of model makes to food security, job creation, growth and sustainable development.

As France is de facto among the promoters of the International Year of Family Farming, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI), Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (MAAF) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) wanted to review the notion of family farming and similar notions used by development partners, document the contributions to employment expected from family farming, the management of territories and natural resources, adaptation to climate change, etc. and, finally, identify the role that family farming plays in the agricultural policies of some developed countries and countries in the South and the role assigned to it.

Partnerships: CIRAD, MAEDI, MAAF.


  •  Forthcoming: Les agricultures familiales du monde, coll. A Savoir n° 28, AFD, 2014.
  •  Agricultures familiales et mondes à venir. Jean-Michel Sourisseau (Scientific Editor), Coll. CIRAD-AFD, Agricultures et défis du monde. Editions Quae, 2014. 

The cost of malnutrition in Africa: Economic and Social Impact of Child Undernutrition (COHA: Cost of Hunger in Africa), 2010-2015

The lack of data on the prevalence and economic and social consequences of child malnutrition (on health, education and future productivity) means that people are ill-informed of the seriousness of the phenomenon among citizens. Consequently, AFD, along with WFP and a number of other African and international partners, has launched research in 12 countries* in order to estimate the prevalence of the phenomenon of malnutrition and its consequences, increase the visibility of the problem among citizens, attract the attention of policymakers and provide them with better information to allow public policies to be enhanced. Several criteria guided the choice of countries, including the prevalence of phenomena of malnutrition and poverty, and the availability of DHS (Demographic and Health Surveys): studies have already been conducted in Egypt, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda and Rwanda, and are planned in Botswana, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Mauritania.

Partnership: COHA is conducted by the African Union Commission (AUC) and supported by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), NEPAD and World Food Program (WFP). In France, AFD is a partner with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI).

Last update in September 2014

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