Monthly Archives: April 2008

Ethiopian exchange bans trade in futures

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3e4ccc42-0ef6-11dd-9646-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

This is an FT online article about the Ethiopian exchange; Africa’s newest for agricultural commodities.  It caught my interest also because there was comment from Ms Gabre-Madhin, the Ethiopian economist featured in the ted.com talk I posted a couple of days ago.  She said she “hoped the exchange would boost productivity – and enable Ethiopian farmers to benefit from rising prices – by creating a more stable environment in which they were willing to invest in fertiliser, machinery, irrigation and higher-yielding crops.”

Victoria Henson-Apollonio & CAS-IP in the news… “Experts Discuss Policy on Patent Landscapes for Life Sciences”

http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/index.php?p=1014

Article on Intellectual Property Watch site – CAS in the news!

Ethiopian economist’s view on how to help Ethiopian farmers receive better prices for their harvest

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/185

Victoria Henson-Apollonio (the CAS-IP manager) brought this link to my attention.  The website ted.com is worth a mention on its own.  Victoria wrote:
“What does this talk have to do with IP?  You will notice that Dr. Gabre-Madhin talks about legal issues, quality standards, etc.  These can have a lot to do with IP; quality standards serve as equivalents or surrogates for “brands”. Additional branding work might help ensure that even more of the value of the commodities goes to the farmer; the use of VSAT technology to reach farmers means there is a need to ensure that this technology is transferred quickly.”

“Out of Poverty” book review

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89848686
http://www.amazon.com/Out-Poverty-Traditional-Approaches-Currents/dp/1576754499/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209003974&sr=1-1

Have a listen to (first link), or a read (second link) this review – he talks quite a bit about subsistence farmers.  “Paul Polak, founder of the non-profit International Development Enterprises, has spent 25 years working to eradicate poverty. In Out of Poverty, he says simple technologies and a willingness to listen are key — and that government subsidies can do more harm than good.”

Agricultural Digest – scientific Facts resource online

http://www.greenfacts.org/en/agriculture-iaastd/index.htm#il1

This caught my eye.  It’s an online summary of a report put together by The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) addressing the topic of Agriculture & Development.  The format makes the material easily accessible to a wider audience.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs on his new book

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/04/21/common_wealth_q/

Thanks to my colleague Peter Bloch for this link today.  He says it’s worth listening to this interview even if you have heard him before.  Its relatively short – text available for those who have problems with online audio.

Legal debate on genetically modified food labeling

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0195326865/ref=pe_3421_10235501_pe_snp_865

My colleague Irina Curca spotted this book release today. It has been billed as “the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of the debate about labeling genetically modified food. The contributors include philosophers, bioethicists, food and agricultural scientists, attorneys/legal scholars, and economists”. Has anyone read it? What did you think?

CAS-IP Housekeeping item; Sebastian Poehlmann gave his final seminar today

Those of you who have been lucky enough to meet Sebastian Poehlmann will know he is a big personality.

Luckily it’s not the last we are going to see of him. He will continue to contribute to CAS in the future. The System Dynamics and IP work he has been working on has attracted a lot of attention and interest. An article about the progress can be found in the CAS newsletter (due to be published shortly) – I will post a copy on the blog when it’s available.

Agricultural Digest – scientific facts resource online

http://www.greenfacts.org/en/agriculture-iaastd/index.htm#il1

This caught my eye today. It’s an online summary of a report put together by The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) addressing the topic of Agriculture & Development. The format makes the material easily accessible to a wider audience.

“Grains gone wild”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/opinion/07krugman.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Most certainly food for thought! An inconvenience for some can spell disaster for many – a NY Times piece on rising grains prices. This is a news item that unfortunately isn’t going away…