The State of Food and Agriculture 2015

The State of Food and Agriculture 2015 perceives that social protection programmes currently benefit 2.1 billion people in developing countries in multiple ways, including keeping 150 million people out of extreme poverty.

According to FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture 2015 report, only about a third of the world's poorest people are covered by any form of social protection.
The report published by FAO in October 2015 finds that in poor countries, social protection schemes; such as cash transfers, school feeding and public works offer an economical way to provide vulnerable people with opportunities to move out of extreme poverty and hunger and to improve their children's health, education and life chances.

The report notes, however, that whilst most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on reducing poverty have been met by many countries, numerous others lag behind and that the post-2015 challenge will be the full eradication of poverty and hunger.

According to the report, many developing countries increasingly recognise that social protection measures are needed to relieve the immediate deprivation of people living in poverty and to prevent others from falling into poverty when a crisis strikes.
Without such assistance, many poor and vulnerable people will never have the opportunity to break out of the poverty trap, in which hunger, illness and lack of education perpetuate poverty for future generations.

This edition of the State of Food and Agriculture 2015 makes the case that when combined with broader agricultural and rural development measures, social protection measures will help break the cycle of rural poverty and vulnerability. Key messages highlighted in this year’s report include:

  • Social protection programmes reduce poverty and food insecurity.
  • Programmes targeted at women have stronger food security and nutrition impacts.
  • Social protection stimulates investment in agricultural production and other economic activities. Social protection enhances nutrition, health and education, with implications for future productivity, employability, incomes and well-being.
  • Social protection does not reduce work effort.
  • Social protection has virtuous impacts on local communities and economies.
  • Social protection by itself is not enough to move people out of poverty.
  • There are clear opportunities to leverage social protection and agriculture programmes to further rural development.
  • A national vision is needed of how agriculture and social protection can gradually move people out of poverty and hunger.

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