October 16 is World Food Day. It can be a day of action, dedicated to tackling hunger and ensuring food security and nutrient-dense diets for everyone. Food should nourish and nurture people, society, and the planet, but in so many ways, the food system is broken. “Not only have habits changed, but also foods. When was … More On World Food Day, Take a Holistic Approach to Food Production
Persistent global hunger and undernutrition have underscored the need for urgent action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to end all forms of malnutrition and double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers by 2030. In sub-Saharan Africa, lack of dietary diversity is a key causal factor of malnutrition since … More Veggies offer new opportunities to farmers in Tanzania
Down in the valley in the village of Kasuza in the Eastern Province of Zambia, along the border with Mozambique, Aaron and Mervis Mumba are legends. The couple, who have two children, are literally turning on its head the negative connotation associated with the phrase ‘reaping where you did not sow’. Through meticulous analysis of … More Zambian farmer finds the sweet spot during dry season
In the Ethiopian Highlands, where yields have been only about one third of their potential, diffused light storage of seed potatoes is getting results. Mrs Tadelech Lachemo, a farmer in the Ethiopian Highlands, had a dream to increase her agricultural productivity and run a profitable restaurant. Taking part in Africa RISING’s potato seed multiplication training … More Potato farmers see the light in Ethiopia
At nutrition field schools in southern Mali, young mothers are learning and teaching about the building blocks of life. Fighting child malnutrition in the Sahel has always been a daunting task. In southern Mali, over 28% of children under five are stunted – despite this area being the grain basket of the country. Iron … More In Mali, field schools educate mothers, nourish children
Farmers in Babati District of northern Tanzania had been reluctant to use fertilizers due to a belief, handed down the generations, that inorganic fertilizer ‘kills’ the soil. This myth was born out of a poorly implemented fertilizer scaling exercise decades ago – the ammonium sulfate that was recommended then isn’t good for the soils in … More In Tanzania, farmers restore faith in fertilizer
Focusing research on farmers’ preferred practice has resulted in tripled faba bean yield. Africa RISING researchers in the Ethiopian Highlands were intrigued to see that smallholders growing faba bean chose to weed only once in a season, even though they were aware that weeding twice gave consistently higher yields. So to find out why, in … More When is a weed not a weed?
Pigeon pea–groundnut doubled-up legumes intercropping in Malawi. Photo credit: Jim Richards Intercropping two legumes – groundnut and pigeon pea – means two grain harvests plus two crop residues to improve soil fertility. Smallholder farmers in southern Africa face a conundrum. They need to get more crops onto their limited land – but without reducing the … More Double grain, double gain
In 2011, USAID’s Agricultural Research Division solicited brief proposals from IITA and ILRI as to how they would lead research efforts offering solutions to the numerous constraints to smallholder farm productivity while simultaneously achieving multiple objectives around food and nutritional security, improved incomes, and soil and water conservation. Three key production regions across sub-Saharan Africa … More Africa RISING: a multidisciplinary program using an integrated systems research
The Partners in GFAR have joined our open and inclusive movement in agriculture and food because they see a need for change. They wish to be part of agri-food research and innovation systems that really change lives for the better, driven by the needs and demands of farmers, local producers and rural communities themselves. To achieve … More The Partners in GFAR now number over 600!
Just four crops – wheat, maize, rice and soybean – provide two-thirds of the world’s food supply. But scientists in Malaysia are trying to change that by reviving crops that have been relegated to the sidelines. On a small fruit farm near the Straits of Malacca Lim Kok Ann is down to just one tree … More Are Forgotten Crops the Future of Food?
Blockchain appeared in our lives as a modern technology that promises ubiquitous financial transactions among distributed untrusted parties, without the need of intermediaries such as banks. Several ongoing projects and initiatives now illustrate the impact blockchain technology is having on agriculture and suggest it has great potential for the future. As blockchain technology gains … More The Rise of Blockchain Technology in Agriculture
Winner of the 2017 Africa Food Prize and founder of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Professor Ruth Oniang’o explains the vital steps towards achieving a hunger-free Africa. What is the potential for neglected and underutilised species to improve diets and address Africa’s hunger crisis? The potential that these crops have to … More “Everyone has to participate in nutrition security”
Over 200 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across the world today. In 2017, the UN-coordinated appeals reported a shortfall of 41 per cent, despite receiving a record amount of funding. As the demands on these limited funds increase, there is a concurrent increase in the need for high-quality evidence on the … More Too difficult, too disruptive and too slow? Innovative approaches to common challenges in conducting humanitarian impact evaluations
This International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9, is an opportunity to celebrate the ecological and cultural value of indigenous foodways. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared the day to encourage the world to protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples. Celebrating their cultures means preserving their time-tested farming practices, … More On International Day, Indigenous Peoples Preserve Biodiversity
There are many inter-linked issues in the whole data value chain that affect the ability of farmers, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, to access, use and harness the benefit of data and data-driven technologies. There are policy issues (decisions on making data open and prioritizing types of data to open up to investment decisions); … More Expert consultation in Bonn on “Ethical, legal and policy aspects of data sharing affecting farmers”
The market for space-procured business data is expected to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2028. We look into how satellite data is playing out in the agricultural field. By Jeffrey Hill of Via Satellite There are several large orchards and tree farms scattered among the hills at the eastern edge of Pennsylvania along the … More For Farmers, A Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Data Sets
The view that a productive agriculture is critical for employment creation and poverty reduction is now widely shared within the development community. Yet, this has not always been the case. In the runup to the 2008 world food price crisis, many development practitioners, government officials, and economists doubted whether agriculture could still play this role, … More Five new insights on how agriculture can help reduce poverty
More than ever before, dieticians, the media, and even supermarket chains looking to attract new customers are praising the merits of alternative diets, free of animal products or “staple” grains, or both. Whether it’s a choice made for better health, a moral or ethical conviction, or a necessity owing to intolerances, everyone seems to be … More Are meat and grains being demonized?
At a recent YES Bank panel and digital startup competition, it was evident that India’s digital boom was lending the Indian startup ecosystem a distinctly agri-flavour. The convergence of mobile networks, broadband internet, cloud platforms, IoT, AI and open data is helping transform one of the world’s oldest professions. This is of great significance as … More Tech transformation: how agriculture is being redefined through digital innovation and startups