Carolyn Steel “Sitopia: rethinking our lives through food”

Food Governance

On 2 April 2020 I had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting the first Informed Cities webinar with Allison Wildman from ICLEI.

The webinar was called “Sitopia: rethinking our lives through food” an was presented by London-based architect and speaker, Carolyn Steel, author of “Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives” and the recently published “Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World”.

Carolyn is a leading thinker on food and cities. A London-based architect, academic and writer, Carolyn has lectured at Cambridge University, London Metropolitan University, Wageningen University and the London School of Economics.

Her 2008 book, “Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives”, establishing her as an influential voice across a range of fields in academia, industry and the arts. It has been translated into seven languages and has become a key text for architects, planners, green thinkers and food professionals.

We later had a follow up…

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Combating desertification in Nigeria: Lessons from Ankara

DESERTIFICATION

EnviroNews Nigeria –
https://www.environewsnigeria.com/combating-desertification-in-nigeria-lessons-from-ankara/

Promoting good land stewardship for the benefits of present and future generations has continued to attract global attention as the World Day to Combat Desertification held on June 17.

Desertification and land degradation are said to be serious challenges that can lead to hunger and poverty

This year’s global observance, which marked the 25th anniversary celebrations of the adoption of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), was held in Ankara, Turkey, with the theme “Let’s Grow the Future Together.”

The international community had in Paris on June 17, 1994, adopted the Convention out of concern that desertification and drought are problems of global dimension affecting all regions.

Some 196 countries and the European Union are parties to the Convention, out of which 169 are affected by desertification, land degradation or drought.

Setting the tone for the World Day to Combat Desertification, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, called forurgent action to…

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Livestock’s future: An opportunity not a threat — ILRI news

Getting Serious about Farming in the City

Brussels Development Briefings

Agripreneurs, technology and innovation are transforming the landscape of urban agriculture

The recently held Brussels Development Briefing no. 50 on “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities” attracted over 140 participants to the ACP Secretariat on 10 April to debate the status, opportunities and challenges which face urban agriculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

The event, jointly organised by CTA, the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and Concord Europe, saw leading practitioners, policymakers and entrepreneurs deliver their recommendations for sustainable urban agriculture ecosystems, with a focus on job creation, especially for youth and women, as well as improved food access, sanitation and nutrition in ACP countries.

Underpinning the discussions were the issues of rapid urbanisation, population growth, migration, employment generation and the changing rural-urban dynamics. These topics were introduced by Viwanou Gnassounou as being some of the leading priorities and concerns…

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Nourishing diversity in our food systems

THE GFAR BLOG

1_Food Change Lab in Zambia. Credit - Salimu Dawood

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. [1]

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 and container gardening against hunger (Africa54 / FAO)

DESERTIFICATION

Read at :

Africa54 (see my Blogroll)

FAO Newsroom

http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000484/index.html 

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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Tree lucerne (Cytisus proliferus) is a key supplementary feed for ruminant animals particularly in dry seasons

DESERTIFICATION

Photo credit: Google

Tree lucerne a promising animal feed option for Ethiopia farmers

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Agricultural water productivity for sustainable development

DESERTIFICATION

Photo credit: IWMI

Sprinkler irrigation used in Eastern Highlands on the Mozambique border to irrigate farms. Photo: David Brazier / IWMI

The “biography” of a bold idea

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-ahjedis-daughter-demonstrating-how-she-takes-readings-from-rain-guage 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

To help…

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Latest Brussels Briefing 47: “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities”

Brussels Development Briefings

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 .

Webstream: Click here to watch the event live
View the coverage on Twitter: @BruBriefings and using hashtag #BB47

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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Livestock feeds and forages – highlights from ILRI’s corporate report 2015–2016

ILRI news

The highly nutritious Brachiaria grass (situated in the centre of the photo) thrives all year round, providing a constant supply of animal feed. Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu) The highly nutritious Brachiaria grass (situated in the centre of the photo) thrives all year round, providing a constant supply of animal feed. Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu)

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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It’s possible to achieve accelerated rates of yield gain, but more research and development are required.

DESERTIFICATION

cereals_africa_trends_en-2-768x517 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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Drought-tolerant crops can end Africa’s food insecurity (Google / New Vision)

DESERTIFICATION

Read at : Google Alert – drought

http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/459/699460

Drought-tolerant crops can end Africa’s food insecurity

By Dr. Daniel Mataruka

A crisis is looming over the small-scale farms of Africa. Experts agree that climate change is manifesting itself in the form of prolonged drought in many parts of Africa. This is having a devastating impact on millions of resource-poor, small-scale farmers. And yet, for the first time in history, we have solutions in hand that can help these farmers cope with the effects of drought.

We can prepare them for climate change by rapidly increasing the development and use of drought-tolerant crops in Africa. We know how to do this. We just need the political will to get it done.

The choices we make now and in the coming years will determine how quickly these new crop varieties can be put into the hands of Africa’s farmers, helping to…

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6 Steps to succeed in Agribusiness as a #Youth…my experience! #IYD2016

Kalu Samuel's Blog

Well its 12th August, 2016 and today been the International youth day, i decided to reflect on the Nigerian Youth and their get rich quick farming mentality. Everyone wants to become a cucumber farmer, now everyone wants to go into tomato farming, soon they will all rush into another quick returns agribusiness venture, even considering doing 2 acres of farm when they have never planted a mustard seed in their backyard, doing all this without any practical knowledge or training but ALL based on what some internet marketer put up in some e-book or what some mathematician cooked up in one corner of their one room and put on the internet…#shame!

IMG_0900

Several practical farmers creates opportunities for Youths to learn, rather what the youth does is get a land somewhere then after planting they start bombarding you with calls and of course you try to help a brother or sister…

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Sustained investment in smallholder agriculture key to food security (UNNews / FAO / IDB / Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brasil)

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Read at : UNNews

NEW AGREEMENTS WILL DELIVER FUNDS, EXPERTISE TO HELP UN COMBAT HUNGER

New York, Nov 15 2009  4:05PM

United Nations efforts to strengthen agriculture and enhance food security received a boost today, ahead of a major summit set to begin on Monday, thanks to new initiatives with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and a leading Brazilian university.

The $1 billion <http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/37341/icode/>agreement signed in Rome by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (<http://www.fao.org/>FAO) and IDB will fund agricultural development in 26 least developed countries that are members of both the Bank and FAO. The agreement aims to help leverage additional resources and bring total investment in the IDB-FAO programme to $5 billion by 2012.

“This agreement comes at a critical moment, when the international community recognizes it has neglected agriculture for many years,” FAO stated in a news release. “Today, sustained investment in agriculture — especially smallholder agriculture…

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Longer-term efforts to boost food security in the Horn of Africa (UNNews)

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AID TO HORN OF AFRICA MUST BE LINKED TO BOOSTING LONG-TERM FOOD SECURITY – BAN

New York, Jul 25 2011  1:05PM

Emergency delivery of aid to people facing drought-related hunger in the Horn of Africa must be accompanied by longer-term efforts to boost food security in the region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling for an agricultural transformation that improves the livelihoods of rural communities in the region.

“Short-term relief must be linked to building long-term sustainability. This means an agricultural transformation that improves the resilience of rural livelihoods and minimizes the scale of any future crisis,” Mr. Ban said in a <“http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=5431”>message to delegates attending a United Nations-convened emergency ministerial meeting on the Horn of Africa in Rome.

“It means climate-smart crop production, livestock rearing, fish farming and forest maintenance practices that enable all people to have year-round access to the nutrition they need,” said Mr. Ban in the…

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Successful examples of rural institutions

DESERTIFICATION

Photo credit: FAO

Members of this forest and farm producer organization in Guatemala are holding a meeting. Rural institutions can help rural communities strengthen their livelihoods and food security.

Forest and farm producer organizations are drivers of sustainable global development

Forest and farm producer organizations are key players in meeting the world’s growing demand for food and forest products, improving the lives of rural communities, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  That is the key take-away of a new FAO publication launched today at the European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium, taking place on 15-16 June.

In the publication, FAO calls upon governments, development partners, civil society and the private sector to help channel further support to forest and farm producer organizations to enhance their ability to play a critical role as actors for sustainable global development.

“Through service-provision to their members, contributions to local economies and increasing…

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IN MY DESERTIFICATION LIBRARY : Book Nr. 05

DESERTIFICATION

DRYLANDS, POVERTY AND DEVELOPMENT

Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University – Belgium)

image copy

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC  in 1994-2006, I was able to collect a lot of interesting books on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 05

Please click: DRYLANDS, POVERTY AND DEVELOPMENT

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Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor

Traditional Animal Genetic Resources for Food Security Under Climate Change Influence

No doubt, rural chicken is playing pivotal in the socio-economic, socio-cultural and food security chapters of the rural and remote regions of the world. The chicken model for rural micro-development and poverty reduction is always appreciated and accepted globally. Bill Gates has rightly chosen this special small creature to help the rural poor of Africa. I hereby share my experience so for in this field and comment in the ensuing lines.
chick.jpg
For several years, I worked with the projects like that (Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor) in rural areas of Pakistan, especially Balochistan. I’m the witness of many projects; given livestock heads to the rural poor to achieve the objectives as following.
  • Provision of rich/important sources of food (protein, minerals and vitamins) for the family use, like milk, egg  and meat etc. This part is especially important for the children and women
  • To get rid from…

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Food security under threat

ILRI Clippings

A new science paper, published on Thursday, has warned that plans to fund programmes to boost small-scale agriculture in developing countries with billions of dollars are unlikely to succeed.

This is due to increasing populations, changing environments and “intellectual commitment” to ubiquitous small-scale and mixed farmers who raise both crops and animals.

“In most regions of the world, farming systems are under intense pressure, but the problems are not the same everywhere.

“In the past, farmers have developed the ability to adapt to small changes in terms of weather patterns and access to fertile land and water.

But the rapid rates of change seen in many developing countries today outstrip the capacity of many to adapt,” said Mario Herrero, ILRI Senior scientist and the paper’s lead author.

Read more…(Daily Guide – Ghana)

Related articles:

Food security: Special issue of Science examines obstacles and solutions (ILRI Clippings)
Report says new…

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Factors determining household market participation in small ruminant production in Ethiopia

LIVES-Ethiopia

Small ruminants, which account for more than half of the domesticated ruminants in the world, are an important component of the farming systems in most developing countries.

Despite their economic and social importance, socioeconomic and marketing research on small ruminants has so far been limited, a fact which also holds strongly true in Ethiopia.

This study, based on survey data of 5004 Ethiopian smallholder households, uses analysis of descriptive information and econometric analysis to draw implications to promote market orientation.

Econometric results are based on estimation of bivariate, ordinal, and multinomial probit models. We find that herd size, herd structure, access to livestock market, and involvement in the institutional services of extension and credit stand out as the most important factors affecting market participation behaviour of households.

Results imply that an effective package of interventions to promote market-oriented small ruminant production will need to include development of livestock market infrastructure…

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