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Income growth, urbanization, nutritional awareness, and supermarket revolutions in Asia are fueling demand for high-value agricultural products (HVPs), such as vegetables and fruits. This change in consumer demand can provide new agri-food market opportunities, which in turn can contribute to numerous Sustainable Development Goals through increased rural income, rural livelihood improvement, and rural poverty reduction.
By Saraswati Upadhaya. Posted March 19, 2021
Human activity is accelerating climate change, and those most at risk are vulnerable populations in developing countries that are already suffering from chronic poverty. These countries also tend to be ones that contribute only negligibly to climate change. The changing climate is waiting for no one—most of us have already experienced, read, or researched its impacts, and scientists have gravely warned of the consequences in the form of wildfires, droughts, floods, and landslides, among others.
By P. Kumar Mallikarjunan. Posted September 1, 2020
Much of the displaced labor force from urban centers is moving back to rural homes due to closures from restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is important that this displaced labor force is put in a working environment and kept engaged, specifically in the agricultural sector, so that such the young and energetic in the workforce are not left out. A disgruntled labor force without financial support might turn to unwanted or illegal activities.
Do the socioeconomic spillovers from sewage treatment plants in developing countries justify heavy investment in them?
Decent sanitation for all is crucial for rapidly urbanizing developing countries, such as India. As large volumes of wastewater in developing countries remain untreated, the investments in treatment facilities have not kept pace with the steady increases in population and urbanization and the resulting increases in wastewater volumes.
By Han Phoumin. Posted November 16, 2018
Rapid economic development in recent decades has transformed Southeast Asia and prepared the region to join international production networks, which allow greater exports of manufacturing products, textiles, and other primary high-quality valued added products to the international market. This economic development has been achieved thanks to investments from around the globe into the region as a result of a favorable labor force, connectivity and innovation growth, and regional political stability as driven by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vision.
Land trust laws as a solution to the land acquisition dilemma for infrastructure development in Asia
Many developing countries struggle with the dichotomy of acquiring land for infrastructure development and balancing landholder interests. Industrialization of rural villages across developing Asia (particularly in India) has created widespread social and political tensions in the recent past. Most of these are attributed to land acquisition (Sarkar 2007). The “right” of sovereignty on land has long been a contested subject. Even in democracies, the exigencies of collective benefit versus individual land rights have been at loggerheads. In the long run, growth dividends from infrastructure development and industrialization are likely to materialize (Paul and Sarma 2017), and acquisition of land to facilitate this process remains one of the main development challenges in many Asian countries.
Promoting the sustainable development goals with “win–win” regulations in food and agricultural trade
By Norbert Wilson. Posted December 9, 2016
While the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) do not explicitly mention trade, freer trade does support at least two of them: SDG 8 (Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all) and SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) are possible through the benefits of the movement of goods and services globally. Dating back to the work of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, evidence suggests that trade is beneficial and that different types of countries can gain from trade. The gains come from efficient production and expansion of consumption opportunities.
The green revolution has done wonders for Asia. Yields for most crops, particularly the region's main staple of rice, have doubled over recent decades. In the Lower Mekong Delta, considered to be Asia's rice bowl, the new technologies and crop strains that the green revolution brought were a big success.
The story of East Asia’s rapid growth includes ample reference to the export of technologically complex manufactured goods, such as cars and computers. This is the model that has characterized Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taipei,China. It also provides an example for Asia’s current middle-income countries, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC). They need to develop high-value manufacturing, the argument goes, churning out domestically designed goods or linking into global production networks. Failure to move up the value chain may result in a country getting stuck in the middle-income trap (Zhuang et al. 2012).
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