“@SHallWorldfish: To reduce poverty & hunger globally we need to re-imagine agricultural research in development http://t.co/BuX8uqi2 #AgRinD #Ag4Dev”
On the surface at least, modern foods systems appear to be astonishingly diverse. A person walking into a supermarket almost anywhere in the world can be overwhelmed by the profusion of choices. The productivity of our food systems is also impressive: between 1961 and 2001, crop yields more than doubled in all regions of the developing world except Africa. 
But this abundance and variety are deceptive. Hunger and malnutrition persist in many countries in spite of increased food production. A few ingredients like refined flour, sugar, soy, palm oil and high fructose corn syrup appear over and over again in a huge range of different products. What seems like variety is actually just endless re-engineering, re-combining and repackaging of the same basic, highly processed ingredients. Meanwhile, rising consumption of ultra-processed foods such as sodas, chips, energy bars and candies are contributing towards a global epidemic of overweight and obesity…
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Urban farming against hunger
Safe, fresh food for city dwellers
1 February 2007, Rome – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has opened a new front in its battle against hunger and malnutrition – in the world’s cities where most of global population growth is set to take place over the next decades. “Urban agriculture” may seem a contradiction, but that is what FAO is supporting as one element in urban food supply systems in response to the surging size of the cities of the developing world – and to their fast-advancing slums – according to Alison Hodder, senior horticulturist with the Crop and Grassland Service.
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Photo credit: IWMI
Sprinkler irrigation used in Eastern Highlands on the Mozambique border to irrigate farms. Photo: David Brazier / IWMI
Adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has added new impetus to the far-reaching concept of agricultural water productivity. This is the idea that raising farm outputs or their value relative to the amount of water used in agriculture, by far the world’s biggest water consumer, is critical to address water scarcity.
SDG 6 (“ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”) includes a target (6.4) to “substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors.” For the first time, efficient water use has gained a prominent place on the international development agenda.
Fulani farmer Abdullah Ahjedi’s daughter demonstrating how she takes readings from rain guage. Photo: Thor Windham-Wright / IWMI – http://g9jzk5cmc71uxhvd44wsj7zyx.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/fulani-farmer-abdullah-ahjedis-daughter-demonstrating-how-she-takes-readings-from-rain-guage.jpg
Bringing the idea to life
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The Brussels Development Briefing n.47 on the subject of “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities” took place on 3rd February 2017 in Brussels at the ACP Secretariat (Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels) from 09:00 to 13:00. This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with IFPRI, the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD .
Trade and regional integration have dominated the political agenda in recent years, with scores of countries pursuing trade agreements under various configurations. There is a renewed focus on the role of the private sector, and on reducing and eliminating trade barriers in order to boost economic growth by encouraging more trade and investment. The nexus between trade, integration and development is recognised to hold…
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The experience of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partner scientists in 2015–2016 shows the positive benefits of implementing pioneering research and development interventions that increase the overall quantity and nutritional quality of feed biomass and help smooth seasonal feed variability, creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for smallholder livestock keepers. But the real scope for spreading the knowledge in this research lies in the development of on- and off-line tools that can be used by isolated smallholder farmers to access approaches for assessing feed constraints and developing effective feed and forage improvement interventions.
These are the findings from the feeds and forages research and interventions, presented in the ILRI Corporate report 2015–2016: highlights on livestock feeds and forages. These findings are…
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To satisfy the enormous increase in demand for food in sub-Saharan Africa until 2050, cereal yields must increase to 80 percent of their potential. This calls for a drastic trend break. Graphic courtesy of Wageningen University – http://www.cimmyt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cereals_africa_trends_EN-2-768×517.jpg
Can sub-Saharan Africa meet its future cereal food requirement?
Sub-Saharan Africa will need to transform and intensify crop production to avoid over-reliance on imports and meet future food security needs, according to a new report.
Recent studies have focused on the global picture, anticipating that food demand will grow 60 percent by 2050 as population soars to 9.7 billion, and hypothesizing that the most sustainable solution is to close the yield gap on land already used for crop production.
Yet, although it is essential to close the yield gap, which is defined as the difference between yield potential and actual farm yield, cereal demand will likely not be met without taking…
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