The chachafruto (‘basul,’ Erythrina edulis), a leguminous tree native to the Andean region that produces large and sweet beans inside its pods, reminds me of my childhood in eastern Antioquia, Colombia. During the harvest season, the beans were used to produce delicious and super nutritious cakes. It was so popular that one of the local chivas, rustic colourful buses … More All aboard the Chachafruto Express
“Loss of biodiversity means we have less opportunities,” says Christian Puglisi, sending off fireflies with his eyes. A Danish chef of Sicilian-Norwegian heritage, he is an alumnus of the world’s famous Noma and runs several restaurants in Copenhagen, including the Micheline starred entirely organic Relæ. He also has a farm in Lejre, 40 minutes away from … More Food Biodiversity: The bottomless well of innovation
According to The State of the Food Security and Nutrition in the World released last year (SOFI 2018), global hunger and malnutrition has increased considerably since 2016, reaching 821 million undernourished people – approximately one person out of every nine in the world. This means that the number of people suffering from hunger has returned … More Diversified Agri-food Systems: Bastions of biodiversity, nutrition and resilience
Agricultural innovation – Is it only about technology? Or can broadening participation be innovative in itself? Key takeaways from FAO’s International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers resonate strongly with the Partners in GFAR: Innovation must be done by and with farmers and youth. The International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers, held … More We’re all in this together: Putting farmers and youth at the center of #AgInnovation
In 1962 the environmentalist Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring that criticized the pesticide industry and the impact of its products on both nature and human health. The book marked an important milestone in the development of the crop protection industry as it emphasized the need to improve and invest in the safety … More Changing Face of the Pesticide Industry
Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path. The plants that nourish us won’t disappear entirely. But they may have to move to higher and cooler latitudes, or farther up a mountainside. Some places may find … More 5 Major Crops In The Crosshairs Of Climate Change
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?
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”
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
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?
In 2017, several members of Social Lab Guatemala, an incubator for social business, were inspired to build a national model for regenerative agriculture in Guatemala. Their inspiration led them to strategic partnerships with Regeneration International (RI) Main Street Project (MSP) and ultimately to the formation of Regeneration Guatemala. Regeneration Guatemala’s mission is to rebuild the … More Regeneration Guatemala Seeks to Transform Rural Guatemala Agriculture