Science Meets Reality: Economic Efficiency, Markets, Institutions and Food Security

Food still is, and will continue to be, a basic issue at every day decision process in human behavior. Food consumption has been a problematic issue in human history and today is also recognized as a basic pilar for human health and welfare/quality of life. From a global problem up to the middle of the eighties, right now food security is mainly a local issue (however a macro-level approach continued to be necessary for long run perspective and food safety concerns in trade and commercialization). Food and nutritional concerns today still are unforgetable issues on a local base perspective in many regions: the most common problems are related to the access and consumption to achieve the minimum nutritional requirements, but also other dimension such as production, transformation, distribution and logistic aspects of the “food equation”, mainly in less developed countries, are crucial aspects to be taken into consideration. Economic effciency from a production perspective in the food sector, measured in terms of output per unit of input (technical and technologial innovation) achieved one of the best performances in terms of development in the last 30 years. The same can not be refered in regard to markets and institutional innovations. In fact, looking at institutions including markets and governments, it is necessary to explore and identify the several observed failures (institutional and governance failures: markets, governmental and others) were science can make a contribution. This is the main purpose of the current research, which is starting based on observed problems and applied solutions with good results in many situations, but also pointing out many other situations were solutions are needed based on the old instruments, but also based on innovative procedures. The methodoly followed explores the basic theorectical approach in production theory and in consumption micro-economic concepts, allowing the introduction of some new purposals in regard to efficiency measures. Adding to those aspects some new questions and models are discussed in regard to the “institutional/organizational economics” in the actual world, providing support for improvement measures ( and policy suggestions). The Brasilien case is explored in more detail ( the “Fome Zero Program”), but also some african examples are used to ilustrate that many solutions will have to rely on technological changes, but also on institutional innovations.

Schiefer, Gerhard
Rickert, Ursula
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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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ISSN 2194-511X (Other)
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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