Precarious Lives: Work, food and care after the global food crisis | Foods

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When food prices spiked in 2008, the international price of basic food items peaked at unprecedented levels, bringing a wave of food riots in low-income countries. Subsequent price volatility had huge impacts on millions of people who struggled to feed their families nutritiously. Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility was a real-time investigation by IDS and Oxfam of the experiences of people on low and uncertain incomes as they made dramatic adjustments to their place in the global economy in the wake of the food and financial crises that began in 2007. This is the final report from four years of research in 10 countries, from yearly visits to 23 urban and rural communities and analysis of national and international food data. It finds that as people worked harder and longer and migrated to find work, more turned to convenience fast food, particularly unhealthy processed items – a more ‘Westernized’ diet people in all communities had concerns about food safety and quality. Many called for regulation to protect children from the marketing strategies that encourage poor eating habits from the earliest years the impact was particularly great for women, who are working harder – especially in informal employment – while maintaining the household and caring for children. Their time and energy are being squeezed as never before.
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  Kami, Cochabamba Valley  , is a former mining town 160km from Cochabamba. The expansion of the urban periphery is very noticeable in Kami, where new developments abound. Many in Kami are involved in the construction sector as site workers, welders or quarry workers. Pirhuas Pirhuas is a village in the Cochabamba Valley, 2,500m above sea level. Reverse migration and new infrastructure have transformed the area in the past 15 years. Most people are farmers, including some successful dairy producers. Kalyanpur Notun Bazaar, Dhaka Kalyanpur Notun Bazaar is a slum area in Dhaka. Most people in Kalyanpur are migrants from rural areas who have suffered from climate-related land erosion. They are small traders, rickshaw drivers, waste recyclers, general daily-wage workers, or workers in garment factories. Koyra, Khulna District Koyra, in the southern district of Khulna, was hit by Cyclone Aila in 2009. Agricultural lands in this region were flooded by the tidal wave and many labourers turned to fishing in the Sundarban forest, even though attacks from tigers and pirates were genuine threats. The area did not recover its pre-disaster land and livelihood patterns; instead, shrimp cultivation gained increasing importance, as did out-migration. Dhamurhat, Naogaon District Dhamurhat, in Naogaon District, on the north-west border with West Bengal (India), is located in one of the poorest parts of the country. Agriculture is the main livelihood, with land ownership concentrated in a few hands. Some residents work in brick production, others migrate for seasonal work outside the district. Some make a living from cross-border smuggling. BangladeshBolivia  Kaya, Sanmatenga province Situated 100km north-east of the capital, Ouagadougou, in the north-central region of the country, Kaya is the seventh largest town in Burkina Faso, with about 55,000 inhabitants. It is known as the last town before the Sahara Desert. The residents are mostly involved in agriculture and raising livestock, along with small businesses and crafts. Nessemtenga, Sanmatenga Located approximately 14km away from Kaya, Nessemtenga in Boussouma municipality is an agricultural community of more than 5,000 people. Many of the young men from Nessemtenga have gone to look for gold in one of the many non-industrial mines in the country, leaving farming behind. The gold rush has brought about noticeable social changes. The population is now predominantly female (55 per cent) and young (45 per cent are under 14). The  village market, which is held every three days, brings in traders from surrounding towns and villages. The municipality of Santo Tomás Chichicastenango  is a large indigenous Mayan K’iche’ mountain town, part of the tourist circuit across the Guatemalan highlands. Chichicastenango lies 145km north-west of Guatemala City, and most people are involved in the town’s market and tourism-related industries, or in unskilled agricultural wage labour. Chugüexá Primero , in the rural and mountainous western region of Guatemala, is a settlement of just over 1,000 people. The community comprises a close-knit group of K’iche’ speakers. While the inhabitants grow maize and beans for their own consumption, it is not enough to last the whole year. For the past 30 years, men have mainly worked as tailors. In addition to their domestic work, many of the women in Chugüexá Primero weave, take in laundry, and prepare food for sale on market days. Kolfe sub-city,  in the western part of Addis Ababa, is a mixed urban neighbourhood, with white-collar professionals living alongside shopkeepers, grain dealers, small traders and vendors.  The local administration has been providing credit and training to support poor people working in various sectors, including carpentry, metalwork, construction, tailoring, agriculture and food processing. Many people rely on remittances from abroad. Consumers’ Associations provide subsidised food, including meat, for local residents. Many women from Kolfe who have returned from the Gulf countries have set up small food stalls, selling samosas or French fries. Adami Tullu, Oromia While some 95 per cent of people in the kebele  (village) at Adami  Tullu in Oromia region are farmers, only 30 per cent have access to irrigation. The expansion of the irrigation system has brought considerable change to the kebele , in this dry area that lies on the main road 170km south of Addis Ababa. Producers who have irrigation are prospering and are considered model farmers. They grow onions and tomatoes which they sell from roadside stalls. Given that there has been no new land distribution since the 1980s,  younger people share land with their parents or inherit smaller pieces of agricultural land. There are no alternative jobs for young people, despite rising levels of education. GuatemalaEthiopiaBurkina Faso  PRECARIOUS LIVES: FOOD, WORK AND CARE AFTER THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  Acknowledgements Our thanks to all the householders and key informants who welcomed us and made this work possible.And to the lead researchers who adapted the design and led the qualitative and quantitative research in ten countries: Amna Akhtar, Gabriela Alcaraz, Mysbah Balagamwala, José Luis Barroso, Azmat Budhani, Marie-Jo Cortijo, Nhat Nguyen Duc, Rizki Fillaili, Carolyne Gatimu, Haris Gazdar, Ferdous Jahan, Ludovic Ouhonyioué Kibora, Richard King, Rosario Léon, Alma Lucrecia Olivet López, Grace Lubaale, Mwila Mulumbi, Hussain Bux Mallah, Ayesha Mysorewala, Rachma Indah Nurbani, Mamun-ur-Rashid, Asif Mohammad Shahan, Yisak Tafere, Tran Cong Thang, Vu Huy Phuc, Sharif Abdi Wahab and Tassew Woldehanna.And to all the research assistants who so patiently listened and recorded material from householders and key informers each year, most recently in Bangladesh: Raju Ahammed, Irteza Ahmed, Meraz Ahmed, Md. Akteruzzaman, Muhd. Naimul Amin, Nahid Hasan, Md. Mahbub Hasan, Muhammad Hedayet Hussain, Sanjida Hossain, Md. Ali Newez Khan, Shameem Reza Khan, Md. Moniruzzaman, Omar Faruq Siddique, Sharif A. Wahab; in Bolivia:  Pedro Badran, Jean Paul Benavides, Eduarda Cabrera, Jauregui Gilda, Blanca León; in Burkina Faso:  Bambara Awa Carole, Dayamba K. Francis, Mando Guibril, Ouedraogo Honorine, Ouédraogo Soulheiman, Sawadogo Marie, Segda Ablassé; in Ethiopia:  Workneh Abebe, Abraham Alemu, Kiros Berhanu, Asmeret Gebrehiwet, Tefera Goshu; in Guatemala:  Ingrid Bocel, Jennifer López, Jerson Estuardo López, Marvin Lotzoj, Fernando Coc Macú, Cruz Elena Morales, René Morales,  Tomasa Eugenia Morales, Mishelle Olivet, Margarita Ramirez, Micaela Sut, María Jacinta Xon; in Indonesia:  Nur Aini, Hafiz Arfyanto, Mariatul Asiah, Rahmat Juhandi, Mayang Rizky, Mella Roosdinar, Mayang Rizky, Hariyanti Sadaly, Abdani Solihin, Bambang Sulaksono; also for advice and support, Herry Widjanarko, Arran McMahon, Asri Yusrina; in Kenya:  Carolyne Cherop, Nathaniel Kabala, Peter Kimani, Keziah Mumbi, Diana Ndung’u; in Pakistan:  Hassan Zaib Abbasi, Ilma Ghouse, Ayesha  Tarek; in  Vietnam:  Dinh Bao Linh, Vu Huy Phuc, Pham Thi Hong Van; and in Zambia:  Kabuswe Chikoti, Joseph Chikwanda, Gift Mataa, Regina Mubanga, Harold Mukupa, Estone Phiri.And to those in Oxfam country offices, including Md. Badi Akhter and Monisha Biswas in Bangladesh, Carlos Aguilar in Bolivia, Issaka Ouandaogo and Omer Kabore in Burkina Faso, Ayman Omer in Ethiopia, Md. Qazilbash in Pakistan, Sumananjali Mohanty in Kenya, Bui Phuong Lan and Vu Thi Quynh Hoa in Oxfam Vietnam, Dini Widiastuti in Oxfam Indonesia, Aída Pesquera and Luis Paiz-Becker in Oxfam Guatemala, and Dailes Judge in Zambia, who supported the research and its dissemination; and in Oxfam GB special thanks to Richard King (now at Chatham House), Duncan Green, Deborah Hardoon, John Magrath and Anna Coryndon.Also to: Budhi Adrianto, Mbak Dini, Jamie Evans, Stephen Grischik, Novita Maizir Mukti Mulyana, Dyah Prastiningtyas, Bambang Samekto (Indonesia).And to IDS administration staff without whom the partnerships could not have been so productive, including Nadine Beard, Talia Jenkin, Katy Miller, Dick Douglas and Mustafa Roberts and to the communications staff including Carol Smithyes, Emilie Wilson and Beth Richard. And to our funding partners in UK Aid, Irish Aid and Oxfam. IDS Production Editor   Beth Richard Copy-editor   Kathryn O’Neill Designer   Lance Bellers Proofreader   Paula McDiarmid Printer   Gemini Digital Print Citation  Scott-Villiers, P.; Chisholm, N.; Wanjiku Kelbert, A. and Hossain, N. (2016) Precarious Lives: Food, Work and Care after the Global Food Crisis , Brighton: IDS and Oxfam International Authors  Patta Scott-Villiers, Nick Chisholm, Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert and Naomi Hossain Published  September 2016 Disclaimers  The Institute of Development Studies and Authors cannot be held responsible for errors or any consequences arising from the use of information contained in this report.  The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the IDS and Authors. Oxfam supports the publication of this report in order to share research results, to contribute to public debate and to invite feedback. It does not necessarily reflect Oxfam policy positions.  The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Oxfam.  The results reported represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of DFID or the Government of Ireland. Copyright  © Institute of Development Studies and Oxfam International, 2016. ISBN 978-1-78118-325-0  This is an Open Access report distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the srcinal authors and source are credited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode Institute of Development Studies, Brighton BN1 9RE UK www.ids.ac.uk IDS is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (No 877338). Front cover  People bought broken eggs when they couldn’t afford whole ones, Dhaka. Photographer credits Front cover: Mamun-ur-Rashid; p.1 (clockwise from top left): (1) Mamun-ur-Rashid, (2) Md. Asaduzzaman, (3) Bayazid Hasan, (4) Blanca León, (5) Rosario Léon; p.2 (clockwise from top left): (1) Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert, (2) Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert, (3) Alma Olivet, (4) Alma Olivet, (5) Workneh Abebe, (6) Asmeret Gebrehiwet; p.8: Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert; p.9: Marvin Lotzoj; p.10: Alassane Pafadnam; p.12: Collective for Social Science Research; p.15: Herry Widjanarko; p.19: Ludovic Kibora; p.20: Collective for Social Science Research; p.23: Mwila Mulumbi; p.25: Pham Thi Hong Van; p.26 (top to bottom): (1) Oxfam/Sam Tarling, (2) Grace Lubaale, (3) Oxfam/Jennifer Huxta; p.27 (top to bottom): (1) Herry Widjanarko, (2) Bambang Sulaksono, (3) Bambang Sulaksono; p.28: Yisak Tafere; p.29: Nguyen My Y; p.30: Asmeret Gebrehiwet; p.32: Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert; p.33: Carolyne Gatimu; p.34: José Luis Barroso; p.35: Blanca León; p.36: Alma Olivet; p.37: Rachma Nurbani; p.38 (top to bottom): (1) Patta Scott-Villiers, (2) Mwila Mulumbi, (3) Mwila Mulumbi; p.39 (clockwise): (1) Nguyen My Y, (2) Pham Thi Hong Van, (3) Nguyen My Y; p.40: Dora Kakomwe; p.41: Rachma Nurbani; p.42: Collective for Social Science Research; p.43: Mwila Mulumbi; p.44: Herry Widjanarko; p.46: Carolyne Cherop; p.47: Humphrey Kimani; p.48 (top to bottom): (1) Alma Olivet, (2) Alma Olivet, (3) Jennifer López; p.49 (top to bottom): (1) Shameem Reza Khan, (2) Raju Ahmed, (3) Jankie (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/  ); p.50: Shameem Reza Khan; p.51: Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert; p.52: Oxfam/Jennifer Huxta; p.53: Collective for Social Science Research; p.54: Raju Ahammed; p.55: Pham Thi Hong Van; p.74 (clockwise): (1) Herry Widjanarko, (2) Arran McMahon, (3) Rahmat Juhandi, (4) Oxfam/Jennifer Huxta, (5) Carolyne Gatimu; p.75 (clockwise): (1) Naila Mehmood, (2) Naila Mehmood, (3) IPSARD/Nguyen My Y, (4) Mwila Mulumbi, (5) Mwila Mulumbi, (6) Quach Dai Vuong.
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